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Chesapeake Service System's mission is two-fold. First, it is to provide meaningful work opportunities to people with mental retardation and other severe disabilities, enabling them to reach their full potential in a least restrictive environment that maximizes independence. Second, it is to advocate for changed perceptions and inclusion of people with mental retardation and other disabilities in the community so that the community sees their ability rather than the disability.
CSS is a private-nonprofit organization originally formed in January 1985 by the Chesapeake Community Services Board to provide vocational opportunities and habilitation to people with mental retardation. Since then, CSS has expanded and is now serving people with all different disabilities from all cities in the Hampton Roads Area.
Eventually, we target being a statewide and possibly even a nationwide provider of vocational services for people with disabilities. We are endeavoring to reduce the 70% unemployment in this country for people with severe disabilities.
Pursuant to the Olmstead Employment Initiative, we also are seeking to free people with the most severe disabilities from segregated non-productive environments so that they can develop properly and be included and valued for their worthwhile contributions to their communities.
The following are services offered by CSS to people with disabilities:
- Sheltered Employment that offers integration experiences in the community.
- Enclave and Mobile Work Crew job opportunities.
- Supported Employment Services that focus on the quality of the placement.
- Job Placement and Training.
- Employment for Ticket To Work participants.
- Advocacy for inclusion and acceptance into the community for all people with disabilities.
- Transitional Services from school to work.
- Teri Arnold
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