Each October, the St. Louis Arc recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This national campaign raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.
The St. Louis Arc’s Supported Employment team works with individuals who want to explore finding employment, but need to build upon their skills to find competitive employment. Over the past year and a half, the teams have developed free, virtual classes for anyone enrolled in Employment Services or who are on the waitlist. The Supported Employment team understands the need for adequate social skills in a workplace. A common saying in the department is “hard skills can get you a job, but soft skills are what keeps a job”. In addition to learning and improving upon skills, virtual classes are a great way for individuals to socialize with others during the pandemic.
Currently, there are three virtual classes offered each week:
Mondays at 11 a.m.
Motivation Monday focuses on an individual’s physical and mental health. The aim for these classes is to encourage individuals to stay active and maintain physical stamina for work and to practice strategies to stay positive while calming stress or anxiety that presents at home or work. Activities for physical health include cardio, kickboxing, Thai Chi, Yoga, dance, mile walks, and HIIT(what is this); while mental exercises may include meditation, mindfulness, and affirmations.
Tuesdays at 10 a.m.
Engagement Activity is a class targeted toward staying engaged with others. Sessions include showcasing talents, cooking class, BINGO, trivia, scavenger hunt, and more. Each week has a different topic but always relates back to work and appropriately socializing with others.
Skills to Pay the Bills
Thursdays at 10 a.m.
Skills to Pay the Bills classes were created based off the national Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) curriculum and targets six main components: communication, enthusiasm & attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving & critical thinking, and professionalism.
Individuals can sign up for classes through their Supported Employment staff and receive weekly links. For more information contact Taylor Hartmann, Assistant Director of Pre-Employment Services, at 314-817-2225.