Designed for individuals supported by the DDA, Group Supported Employment (GSE) provides supervised employment activities for groups of no more than eight workers with disabilities. The workers are individuals who have a need for ongoing supervision and support in order to maintain employment. Group employees are supervised and trained by Skils’kin staff. Typical GSE jobs include custodial, warehouse, stocking, assembly, packaging, and customer service.


To enroll in our Group Supported Employment program, or for further guidance on the enrollment process, contact Mary Stevenson, Vice President of State Programs (contact information below).


Skils'kin Group Supported Employment Services Individual Handbook




What is Skils’kin?
Skils’kin’s Mission Statement
What are Group Supported Employment Services?
What should I expect at my first meeting?
What if I need accommodations?
What to expect next?
How long will I receive Skils’kin’s services?
Rights and Responsibilities
Tobacco, Drug, and Alcohol Policy
Medication Policy
What if I’m Unhappy?
Grievance Resolution Procedure
Termination of Services
Contact Information
Document History




What is Skils’kin?

Skils’kin was started in 1970 to assist Spokane-area adults with one or more disabilities. The name “Skils’kin” is a Salish word that means “a place where a person goes to seek personal identity and self-empowerment.” Skils’kin is a community-based, not-for-profit agency.
Skils’kin offers a number of services for people with disabilities. Those services include:

    Community Living Services: This program provides affordable living and assistance for adults with developmental disabilities who live in Spokane. Services are designed to assist adults with everyday living skills as is funded through DDA.


    Payee Services: Payee Services provides financial management to people receiving state and/or federal benefits, including from Social Security and Veterans Affairs, along with retirement pensions and wages.


    Employment Services: Provide opportunities for full-time, stable and rewarding careers to working-age adults with disabilities, with support based on individual needs. These employment services are offered in ways that promote choice, independence, productivity, financial security, benefits, and opportunities for advancement. Each component is tailored to individual needs, interests, and abilities, through person centered planning, discovery, and goal setting.





Skils’kin’s Mission Statement

To enrich the quality of life for adults with disabilities.





Become the company most known for creating and implementing the model for delivery of collaborative services for adults with disabilities.





Accountability is the acknowledgement and assumption of responsibility for actions, decisions, and policies. This includes the obligation to report, explain and be answerable for resulting consequences.
Working with others to achieve shared goals.
Understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is understanding each other; moving beyond simple tolerance to embrace and celebrate the rich dimensions of each individual.
The creation of more-effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas.
The honesty and accuracy of one’s actions.



What are Group Supported Employment Services?

Skils’kin’s GSE employees work at local businesses in small groups, with an on-site Employment Support Specialist who provides training and supports. These groups may perform a variety of jobs, including assembly, packaging, sorting, and production. Unique to our GSE program are the work opportunities at Fairchild Air Force Base in grounds maintenance, custodial, and food services.
Your Employment Support Specialist will assist you with applying for services with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) as well, offering you additional benefits and assistance if accepted to the DVR program.
A DVR individual could be denied service or found ineligible if staffing managers do not feel they can obtain results for the individual for lack of motivation and participation, or the individual’s level of service is too low for support needs. The employment support specialist will be informed of the reason and will make the final determination.
Skils’kin will assist individuals and relevant others in understanding how earned income may have an effect on benefits received. In addition, assist the individual with resources such as DDA, the Social Security Administration (SSA), and/or a benefits planning specialist for additional information and assistance.



What Should I Expect at My First Meeting?

You will meet with a Skils’kin representative to talk about your goals and fill out paperwork. You will have the opportunity to ask questions about the services you will receive from Skils’kin. Staff members will get to know you: who you are as a person, what you like, your skills and any other information that will help Skils’kin assist you in your employment skill building. Skils’kin is dedicated to finding you employment where you can become independent. We want to make sure you are successful in your employment.



What if I Need Accommodations?

If you require an accommodation you should communicate that information to Skils’kin staff members. All requests for accommodation are treated confidentially and will only be disclosed to those individuals who are necessary to the accommodation process. Your success matters to us and we will work to ensure all reasonable accommodations are made where a hardship will not be created for you or the employer.



What to Expect Next

If you apply for and receive a job in a group-supported employment setting, you will be matched with a job coach who will work with you as often as allowed for you to be successful.



How Long Will I Receive Skils’kin’s Services?

You will have Skils’kin’s services for as long as services are approved. Our goal is always to help you to live as independently as you can. Skils’kin is dedicated to supporting you to the best of our ability.



Rights and Responsibilities

You have a responsibility to be actively involved in your journey with us. This means you will keep appointments, be respectful toward Skils’kin staff and community representatives, and follow Skils’kin dress code policies, tobacco policies, and safety policies.
Respectful Service

1. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

2. You have the right to privacy and confidentiality.

3. You have the right to freedom from abuse, neglect, retaliation, humiliation, financial or other exploitation.

4. Your opinions and suggestions will be considered in all phases of service development.

Information about services

1. You have the right to be informed of all service options.

a. Our staff will assist individuals in making informed choices about services available by providing all available options.

2. You have the right to know the cause and effects of your choices.

3. You have the right to review your case files upon request.

Access to Services

1. You have the right to access Skils’kin programs as eligible regardless of gender, age, disability, ethnicity or religion.

2. You have the right to a face-to-face meeting two (2) times per month when not earning wages.

On the job site

1. You have the right to job supports necessary for job success.

a. Including assisting with resources for transportation, job support, job attire, and job counseling needs.

2. You have the right to services available on a flexible schedule as required to do the job once employed.

3. You have the right to receive company benefits typical for others employed at that business.

4. You have the right to work for an employer who follows all employment/labor laws, including minimum wage required.

Right to Refuse Services

1. You have the right to refuse services, existing services, and future services.

Informed consent

1. You have the right to behavioral support resources and services that will assist you in giving informed consent prior to the start of any behavioral plan.

Support Services

1. You have the right to support services which respect your personal values and belief system. This includes both cultural and spiritual beliefs.

a. Our staff can assist you in accessing local agencies and resource services.


1. You have the right to be free of chemical or physical restraint.

2. You will be involved in the development of any behavioral support plans.

Individual Responsibilities

1. You have the responsibility to participate in decisions about services.

2. You have the responsibility to be honest and complete when providing information regarding medical and job history.

3. You have the responsibility to inform your Employment Specialist if you have questions or concerns regarding services you are receiving.

4. You have the responsibility of not violating the rights of others.

5. You have the responsibility to respect the privacy of others.

6. You have the responsibility of being honest when completing the satisfaction survey provided by Skils’kin. Each survey will be reviewed and the comments used to better our services and to form department and company goals.




Tobacco, Drug, and Alcohol Policy

Skils’kin is committed to the health and safety of employees and individuals. As a result of this commitment, Skils’kin is a tobacco, drug, and alcohol-free campus. If you would like to smoke, ask a staff member to show you where the designated smoking area is located.



Medication Policy

Skils’kin’s Employment Services staff members do not administer medications of any sort. Medications must be self-administered, or you must arrange for access to professionals for medicating needs during scheduled employment/training times. All medication must be kept on your person and cannot be left unattended.
You will need to keep Skils’kin staff informed of relevant medical conditions so that in the event of an emergency, we can work with medical professionals to act accordingly.
All Skils’kin support staff are CPR/First Aid/AED certified.



What if I’m Unhappy?

Skils’kin takes your concerns seriously. If you are unhappy your first step is to talk about it with your Employment Specialist, if you are uncomfortable speaking with them, the Director of Employment Services will be happy to assist you. You also have the right to request an Advocate to assist you in this process. Skils’kin staff will work with you to resolve any issue to the best possible solution. We also have a Formal Grievance Resolution Procedure.



Grievance Resolution Procedure

1. Step One – You make a verbal complaint. Most concerns can be addressed at this first step.

1.1. You can explain your complaint or situation with your Employment Specialist verbally or in writing.

1.1.1. You are encouraged to request advocates to assist during the entire process.

1.2. The Employment Services Director reviews the complaint and recommends actions to be taken in response. These actions shall be communicated to you (and your advocate), both verbally and in writing.

1.3. If you are not happy with the response, or if the complaint involves your Employment Specialist, you may make a formal complaint.


2. Step Two – Filing a written complaint.

2.1. You submit a written complaint within five (5) business days of receiving the verbal complaint response. This written complaint will be on Formal (Written) Complaint Form, these can be requested when necessary.

2.2. A Skils’kin representative (or your advocate) can assist with writing the written complaint if you wish.

2.3. A written complaint requires the following information:

2.3.1. The nature of the complaint

2.3.2. Complaint that had occurred

2.3.3. When, where, and how the complaint occurred.

2.3.4. The specific nature of the complaint

2.3.5. Name of the individuals involved

2.3.6. Date and time the complaint occurred

2.3.7. Other information to assist with resolving the complaint.

2.4. The complaint must be submitted to the Employment Services Director.

2.5. Within five (5) business days of receiving the written complaint, the Employment Services Director will attempt to schedule a meeting between the appropriate Skils’kin staff, the individual making the complaint, and advocates.

2.6. Following the meeting, the Employment Services Director recommends actions to be taken in response to the complaint. This response shall be returned to you (and your advocate) both verbally and in writing.

2.7. If you are unhappy or don’t agree with the response, you may appeal the decision to the Corporate Compliance Officer.

3. Step Three – Appealing to the Corporate Compliance Officer (CCO).

3.1. You will submit the original Formal Complaint form to the CCO within five (5) business days after receiving the response from the Employment Services Director.

3.2. The CCO investigates the complaint by reviewing information from all previous meetings and any information, talking to people involved, and if necessary, bringing all parties together to see if the problem can be resolved.

3.3. Within ten (10) business days, a follow-up meeting with the CCO and you (and your advocate) will occur. The CCO’s decision will be provided to you (and your advocate) verbally and in writing.

3.4. If you are unhappy or don’t agree with the CCO’s decision, you may appeal to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

4. Step Four – Appealing to the CEO

4.1. You must submits the original Formal Complaint form and all previous documents to the CEO. This must occur within five (5) business days of receiving the CCO decision.

4.2. The CEO will investigate the complaint and provide you (and your advocate) with a decision. This decision will be returned to you (and your advocate), both verbally and in writing.

4.3. If you are unhappy or don’t agree with the CEO response, you may appeal the decision to the Board of Directors.

5. Step Five – Appealing to the Board of Directors (BOD)

5.1. You must submit the original Formal Complaint form and all previous information to the BOD. This must occur within five (5) business days of receiving the CEO’s written decision.

5.2. The BOD will investigate the complaint and provide you (and your advocate) its decision, both verbally and in writing.

5.3. If you are not satisfied with the BOD’s decision, you may appeal to an outside advocacy group.

6. Step Six – Making a final appeal to an outside advocacy group. This is the final step in the Grievance Resolution Process.

6.1. You must submit the original Formal Complaint Form and all previous decision documents to an outside advocacy group. This must occur within five (5) business days of receiving the BOD’s written decision.

6.2. Skils’kin will cooperate with the outside advocacy group to help them make an informed decision about the complaint.

6.3. Skils’kin will consider the findings and recommendation of the outside advocacy group.

6.4. The CEO will make a final decision and present it to you (and your advocate). The final decision will be provided to you (and your advocate) both verbally and in writing.




Termination of Services

You have the right to terminate services with Skils’kin at any time by either by contacting your DDA case manager, or notifying Skils’kin Employment Services staff.
Skils’kin reserves the right to cancel our services with you at any time as well.



Contact Information

Skils’kin Main Office
4004 E Boone Ave
Spokane, WA 99202
(509) 326-6760
Director of Employment Services
(509) 326-6760 x 2681
Developmental Disabilities Administration
1611 W Indiana Ave., Spokane, WA 99205
(509) 329-2900
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
1313 N Atlantic, Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 363-4700
Department of Services for the Blind
510 W Riverside, Room 209, Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 456-4458



Document History

Updated October 2014
Updated December 2014
Reviewed by Employment Director,
Approved for release/New cover on 12/31/15
Updated March 2016
Updated December 2016
Updated February 2017
Updated June 2017
Updated July 2017




For more information

Mary Stevenson

Vice President of State Programs

(509)-326-6760 ext. 2681


4004 E Boone Ave

Spokane, WA 99202