Work

Work


Vocational and Day Supports

Wildwood believes that each person should have the opportunity to work and/or participate in meaningful ways within their communities.  To support people in building the lives they want, Wildwood maintains a Vocational Continuum of services which allow each person to build skills and receivesupports that are responsive to their specific needs and goals. 
 

 

Employment Services

Wildwood Programs’ Employment Services help people with intellectual disabilities to find and maintain meaningful work, at competitive wages, in their own communities.   Since 1984, Wildwood Programs has provided a full array of supported employment services, including community-based assessments, career exploration, benefits planning, resume writing, interview preparation, soft-skills training, application assistance, and supported employment both on-site and off-site as needed. 
 
Employment Services at Wildwood depend on strong partnerships with the businesses community.   Wildwood helps employers understand the value of hiring people with disabilities and ensures that businesses realize the full benefit of inclusive employment.   

Wildwood is pleased to be a provider of services for New York State Promise, a research project for 2,000 families in New York State with teens who receive Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI).  The goal of the Promise Project is to explore the best ways to help kids with disabilities receiving SSI to successfully transition from high school to adulthood.

Employment Service may be available to anyone who is of working age and has been diagnosed with a disability. Wildwood receives referrals from ACCES-VR (Adult Career and Continuing Education Services - Vocational Rehabilitation) and OPWDD (Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities).  For further information about Employment Services, contact Paula Martelle, Director of Employment Services, pmartelle@wildwoodprograms.org or 518.640.3339

 

Day Supports

Day Services at Wildwood provide an environment within which people who are eligible for service through OPWDD can be involved in meaningful activities that allow them to grow and learn, pursue personal goals and interests, gain greater independence and make a contribution to their community.  Individuals participate in a variety of group activities designed to address their personal goals. Wildwood’s Day Services are provided through three sites (in Albany, Colonie and Clifton Park) as well as through a ‘Without Walls’ program. 
 

Day Services: Site-based Supports
Wildwood offers site-based Day Supports at three sites throughout the Capital Region (in Albany, Colonie and Clifton Park).  Each site provides broad choices of activities including community service, arts, recreation, culinary, and vocational skill-building.  Programs are deeply embedded in the community allowing individuals participating to build relationships and form bonds.
 
Day Services: Without Walls
Wildwood’s DayHab Without Walls program (WoW) provides support for individuals who spend their entire day in the community.  Staff provide transportation from home at the beginning of the day and back again at day’s end.  Throughout the day, individuals participate in broad choices of activities including community service, arts, recreation, culinary, and vocational skill-building.
 
For information about Wildwood’s Day Services, contact Robin Sheldon, Director of Day Services rsheldon@wildwoodprograms.org or 518.640.3410
 
For information about intake to Day Services, contact Barb Kirby, Intake Coordinator bkirby@wildwoodprograms.org or 518.640.3356
 
 

Mud Shoo Farm

Farming and Outdoor Projects at Mud Shoo Farm has been part of Wildwood Programs since 1999.  The grounds include a greenhouse, a year - round education building, an indoor riding arena, fields for growing fruits and vegetable, and pens for raising chickens. Thanks to the ongoing generosity of Wildwood’s supporters, this premiere facility makes “Learning for Life” a reality for over one hundred people annually from Wildwood’s Day Services, School, and other programs.
 
Farming and Outdoor Projects at Wildwood, allows individuals to access a variety of non-traditional life-long learning opportunities in agriculture, animal husbandry, horticulture, equine care, horsemanship and farm support as well as access to recreational activities in a country atmosphere away from the urban and suburban environment where many people live and receive services.
 
The fields at Mud Shoo Farm have produced thousands of pounds of vegetables and fresh eggs that are distributed to local food pantries to help those in need. Participating in the care of chickens and cultivation of crops in order to help their local communities is a great source of pride for people at Wildwood.
 
The Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program provides those interested in equine activities with an opportunity to learn from the ground up about safety, equine care, horse behavior and instincts, handling, tack and tools and riding skills. The program is administered by a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor.   
 


Wildwood Transportation

Wildwood Transportation
Wildwood’s Transportation Department provides transportation from a person’s home to their site-based Day Program, and back again.

For questions about Wildwood Transportation, contact Steve Beaulac, Director of Transportation sbeaulac@wildwoodprograms.org or 518.608.6102 
 


Pre-vocational Services

Wildwood’s Pre-Vocational Services support those who are interested in working to explore options and build skills that will allow them to attain paid employment that it integrated into the community.  Wildwood’s network of committed business partners provides opportunities for real-world learning.  Two programs are offered with people who have eligibility through OPWDD.
 
Pre-vocational Services: Work Readiness Initiative
The Work Readiness Initiative (WRI) is an OPWDD Community-based Prevocational Program with two primary components:
  • An interactive curriculum that is designed to help participants grow the skills needed for any job.  The curriculum covers 52 topics that reinforce workplace expectations, development of universal "soft skills", and knowledge needed for specific careers. 
  • A series of increasingly personalized opportunities, including workplace tours, job try-outs and internships, allowing individuals to experience a variety of vocational settings so they can make more informed choices about their career path(s).
 
Similar to other types of educational settings, the Work Readiness Initiative has defined start and end dates (every January and July), so that a group of individuals can start at the same time and learn together.  The fundamental goal of WRI is to develop qualified candidates who will be ready to transition into paid employment in their field of choice.
  
WRI operates out of Wildwood’s administrative facility at 1190 Troy Schenectady Road in Latham
 
The Work Readiness Initiative offers three possible scheduling options:
  • 5 Days/week: Monday – Friday
  • 3 Days/week Monday, Wednesday, Friday
  • 3 Days/week Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

Pre-vocational Services: Pathway to Employment
Pathway to Employment is a person-centered employment planning and support service that provides assistance for individuals with OPWDD authorization to obtain, maintain or advance in employment.  The service is available to individuals expressing an interest in competitive employment or self-employment including (but not limited to) individuals who receive Day Habilitation, Pre-Vocational and Supported Employment services, as well as students leaving high school.  Pathway to Employment can be provided concurrent with existing supports.  Leaving Day Services or other programs is not a requirement for participation.
 
This service offers an individualized planning process that helps individuals identify a career or vocational direction.  Pathway to Employment also provides instruction and training in job readiness skills and develops a plan for achieving competitive, integrated employment. 
 
Within 12 months the outcome of this service is documentation of the participant’s stated career objective; a detailed career plan used to guide individual employment supports; and preparation for supported employment services.
 
For information about Wildwood’s Pre-Vocational Services, contact Jennifer DeCosmo, Director of Pre-Vocational Services jdecosmo@wildwoodprograms.orgor 518.640.3434
 
For information about intake to Pre-Vocational Services, contact Barb Kirby, Intake Coordinator bkirby@wildwoodprograms.org or 518.640.3356
How Can You Help? Donate Today! Donate