Environmental Work Assessments
EWA substitute content for ASD/IDD page:
This is where an Environmental Work Assessment may be of value. EWAs are conducted by The River City Group’s Employment Specialists who have earned the Autism certification through Relias Learning and The University of North Texas. As we all know, environmental influences play a critical role in determining the potential for success with any job, and any employee – including all of us. For individuals with developmental disorders like Autism, the influence of environment is magnified, and can in fact represent the biggest barrier to workplace success. Is there a difference in food service work at Ft. Sam Houston vs. the corner McDonalds? Yep, there is. Noise levels, activity levels, lighting, interaction requirements, etc. are all very different, and DD clients are going to react differently based on environment.
Accordingly, EWAs are used to determine what type of work environment offers our client the best chance for success. The impact of things like ambient noise, work pace, and work culture are evaluated in real-time as our client performs sample job functions. Typically, we will sample three different work environments in order to establish a composite, model setting. Discovering and codifying the influences and environmental effects unique to each site serves to inform us what a plausible path forward might look like. As importantly, we can mitigate the potential anxiety and associated bad outcomes that occur when we assume an environment is suitable – based on our experiences, instead of our client’s perceptions and/or reactions. When barriers to success are rooted in environmental dimensions, identifying, isolating, and ameliorating any negative factors can go a long way toward increasing our client’s potential for success.