GATE Program paves way out of sheltered workshops

A trainee preps potatoes

A program developed by ADRS-Supported Employment and the Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) is preparing adults with significant disabilities for competitive employment.

The GATE (gaining access to employment) Program is for individuals who have previously worked in sheltered workshops. Participants rotate through a series of jobs that provide real-world work experience designed to help them excel in a competitive work environment.

GATE currently has five trainees on the job at The Club in Birmingham, where they are working in the store room, main kitchen, banquet kitchen, and kitchen set-up.

United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham is providing the job coaching services for the site. Two of the trainees at the site have already been offered permanent employment, one at The Club and one at St. Vincent’s Hospital.

The program is supported through braided funding from ADRS and ADMH/Medicaid waiver.

The Club is one of three sites currently operating in the state, with the other two in the Mobile area.


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