Disabilities and mental illnesses can create barriers to employment, but with the right support, anyone who seeks employment has the potential to obtain and keep a job that they enjoy.

The Career Access Network at Trinity Services seeks to empower and enable people with disabilities and mental illness to secure community-based employment with competitive earnings and benefits. Services include:

  • Employment opportunity analysis
  • Personal employment planning,
  • Personal consulting and training to enhance job-seeking and retention skills
  • Support for developing job preferences
  • Disability awareness training
  • Self-advocacy training
  • Job development and placement
  • Work orientation support
  • On-site coaching services
  • Follow-up consulting and assistance
  • Job groups
  • Work assessments.

Employment specialists and job coaches provide a strong network of support in every phase of the employment process, taking time to learn each person's strengths, skills, hopes and desires.

Specific programs in the Career Access Network are outlined below. For more information about Trinity’s Career Access Network, contact Employment Services Coordinator Kristina Zappavigna at 815-462-3652 or by email.

Career Access Milestone

The Milestone program offers flexible services appropriate to each individual’s needs. People may receive support ranging from short-term consultative services to very intensive services, such as advocacy efforts for reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employment specialists often assist with interview techniques and work supports. The Milestone program is available to anyone with a disability in the Will, Cook, DuPage, and Grundy county areas.

Supported Employment

Supported employment is a more intensive service, allowing for additional one-to-one time with an employment specialist. Persons participating in this program receive assistance in becoming employed, often for the first time. Job seekers are guided through the process of identifying a preferred job, successfully completing applications, and preparing for interviews. The employment specialist takes on the role of advocate and mediator with community employers, ensuring a successful job experience for the employee and an excellent employee for the business. Participants may receive on-site job coaching support to achieve independence through employment.

Individual Placement and Support

The goal of the Individual Placement and Support program is to assist individuals with a mental illness to obtain competitive employment. The individual’s therapist and employment specialist work closely with him or her, with input from a psychiatrist and rehabilitation counselor at the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), to identify a job goal and ensure successful job development. A strong professional team works with each individual through the job-related aspects of recovery from mental illness.

Project SEARCH

The Project SEARCH program is a collaboration between Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202, AMITA Health Bolingbrook, the Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Rehabilitation Services, and Trinity Services to provide internship opportunities for students with disabilities ages 18-21. The primary goal is to prepare each intern for competitive employment upon completion of this year-long skill-building experience and to support interns as they transition into adult services. Project SEARCH defines a successful placement as employment in an integrated setting (working alongside coworkers with and without disabilities) year-round at 16 hours per week or more. Interns are placed in various departments in three 10-week-long internships at the hospital that are decided based on intern strengths, vocational interests, and individual needs.