Located on campus, the University of North Texas Workplace Inclusion and Sustainable Employment (UNTWISE) is a training and consultancy group for community rehabilitation programs and organizations serving individuals with disabilities.
Who UNTWISE Serves
UNTWISE provides training to vocational rehabilitation practitioners, Employment Service Providers (ESP), and organizations serving individuals with disabilities.
What UNTWISE Does
UNTWISE trains and consults with professionals in the field of rehabilitation on the most up-to-date practices, procedures and research. While the program is located on campus, training sessions are primarily offered through distance learning for continuing education students.
UNTWISE also partners with universities, vocational rehabilitation agencies and other stakeholders to develop new training and service programs based on the needs of specific communities.
About Training and Courses Offered by UNTWISE
The online training provided by UNTWISE, offered via webinar, on-demand, and Blackboard Learn are designed to increase the participant’s knowledge or skill in the practice of:
- Job Coaching
- Job Placement
- Job Development and Marketing
- Natural and Ongoing Supports in the Workplace and Community
- Supported Employment
- Employment Planning
- Delivering Services
- Ethics and Advocacy
- Aspects of Disabilities
- Fraud, Waste and Abuse
- Employment Service Staffing
Continuing education courses are led by a qualified instructor, with documented education and expertise to teach the subject matter. Documentation is dependent on the subject matter and could include:
- Certification in rehabilitation, related field or in the specific subject area
- Documentation of previous presentations on the subject
- Published articles and/or books in the subject area
- Recognition as an expert in the subject by state or national organization
- Expertise in the subject area through license, education or experience
- Master’s level education or higher in the related subject matter field
- License or certification in the related subject area by a state or national organization
All presentations comply with relevant local, state or national laws related to serving people with disabilities.
The program is delivered in an accessible, barrier-free manner, so no one with a disability is excluded. Presentation materials are available in accessible formats, including handouts and support materials.
UNTWISE partners with universities, vocational rehabilitation agencies and other stakeholders to develop new training and service programs based on the needs of specific communities. Recent collaborations include:
- In an effort to increase the quality of employment services provided by Texas Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) Providers, the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) partnered with UNTWISE in 2010 to develop and maintain a credential process. The credential requirement applies to all of employment services providers such as Job Coaches, Job Skills Trainers, Job Placement Specialists, Supported Employment Specialists and CRP Directors. UNTWISE developed the credentialing process including the training and testing. Over 2,000 individuals hold one or more employment services credentials.
- Career Cruisin' Camp was designed for transitioning youth with disabilities to explore career pathways and vision a job they liked in their future. The camp was created in partnership with the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. Not only did the camp provide a platform for campers to explore career pathways and visit workers doing these jobs, but also served as a venue for UNT's rehabilitation studies undergraduates and rehabilitation counseling graduate students to put into practice what they had learned.
- UNTWISE, along with the Division of Blind Services, conducted the first REAL Program in 2010, aimed at youth with visual impairments. The Real Employment and Living (REAL) Program was a 5 week program where 10 participants learned independent living skills, interviewing skills, and job skills. During weeks 2-5, participants worked at various businesses in the Denton area, and in the evening, practiced independent living skills, such as cooking, laundry, and cleaning their dorm room. During the summer of 2011, the REAL Program will hosted 20 participants.
- A Leadership Project, piloted in Texas, designed to facilitate strong collaboration between CRPs and VR counselors, while enhancing knowledge and understanding of the VR process at national, state and local levels. This was accomplished through a variety of strategies, including shadowing, technical assistance, and a comprehensive educational tool. End goals included the successful design and implementation of an Employment project in the CRP/VR partners' local area that enhanced positive employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
- Technical assistance and training program for Louisiana Rehabilitation Services and Office of Mental Health that furthered the understanding of Supported Employment as an evidence-based practice and conceptualized implementation at the local level. This effort articulated the importance of collaboration and the roles played by the MH clinician, VR, family, employment professional and other supports.
Among the many successes and achievements of UNTWISE, we are particularly proud to be a recipient of the RSA Commissioner's Award for Excellence in Education and Training.
How to Get Involved
To learn more about UNTWISE, visit the website.