Vocational Options Program

Vocational Options Program

Who do we serve?

Cunningham’s Vocational Options Program (Options) works with youth and adults, ages 6-40, who have emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges. The Options staff help individuals become self-sufficient through training, support, and real-world experiences. Services are developed around an individual’s understanding of their skills, accommodations, and disability while providing a workplace experience.

What services do they receive?

Youth and adults receive individualized assistance from Cunningham's Vocational Options Team to explore careers, assess their skills, and better understand learning styles in order to determine the best career fit. They receive on-site job training and coaching to help grasp the importance of work ethics and social skills. Each week, team members complete evaluations which determine if there are any needs for other accommodations or additional training. Individuals receive 411 Disability Disclosure Training so that they fully understand their disability in relation to their work and post-secondary life. In addition the training teaches individuals how to be their own advocate for accommodations. Options receives grant funding from the Workforce Investment Innovative Opportunity Act and the United Way of Champaign County plus through the Department of Rehabilitation Services.

Options services include:

  • Career Exploration, Assessment, and Planning: An individual assessment of interest and skills; Counseling on vocational options and development of a vocational plan.
  • Skill Development/Certificate: Skill development for work place employment through a nationally-recognized certificate that covers careers in the hospitality industry, 411 Disability Disclosure Training; and assistance to obtain Illinois Food Handler’s Certificate
  • Job Advocacy and Placement: Assistance advocating for any accommodations needed for success in employment; Job coaching is provided as needed; Job placement in unpaid internships, volunteer opportunities, subsidized employment, and independent employment and Business Partners are established in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Mahomet, and throughout Champaign County where our youth and young adults live. 

Read a success story here.