All people have a desire to reach their fullest potential, personally and professionally.

EFNE’s Employment Services program aims to support you in your journey towards gratifying, competitive and integrated employment, first, by acknowledging that you are wonderfully unique and have a desire to contribute in a meaningful way.

Finding work in a competitive job market can be challenging, to say the least.  Finding work that is gratifying, pays well, and fits the transportation and accommodation requirements that many people with epilepsy require, is even more challenging – but not impossible.

Excellent employment outcomes start with a clear sense of self: ·      

  • What do you love to do?
  • What are your unique qualifications?
  • What are you willing to sacrifice (purpose, convenience, time or money)?
  • What are the perceived limitations that prevent you from achieving your goals?
  • What are the REAL limitations that result from your epilepsy?
  • How much effort are you willing to invest towards achieving your goals?

A well-designed employment support plan takes all these factors into consideration as they support your journey towards gratifying work. You can expect us to help you answer these questions as we work together to create a strong sense of self and professional foundation that enables you to achieve your goals.

What We Value:

Honesty – Not all jobs will be appropriate for you.  We will either help you get there or direct you to what is appropriate.

Integrity – Employment is a two-way relationship between the employee and employer.  We will honor both sides of that relationship to build trust with you and the employer.

Growth – Programs evolve and grow, based on a deeper understanding of the service needs.  We will continue to develop new, effective ways to improve your career outcomes, with your support and guidance.

 

Employment Services Advisory Council

This mission is supported by an Employment Services Advisory Council who are committed to building a program that equalizes access to gratifying and financially sustaining jobs through innovation in assessments, coaching, training and support, focused specifically on the needs of individuals living and working with Epilepsy. Advisory Council members include:

  • Lauren Welby, Import Agent, H.L. Brokerage, Inc
  • Amanda Rich, CNA
  • Steve Austin, VP, Media Relations, Fidelity
  • Kristianne Widman, Employer Liaison, North Suburban Employment Collaborative
  • Rich Mcllveen, VP, Corporate Investigations, Iron Mountain
  • Kimberly Wilmett, Ph.D, Neuropsychologist, Brigham and Women's Hospital 
  • Subs Acharya, Strategy Director
  • Jaimee Bartlett, HR Manager, J.C. Cannistraro, LLC
  • Bill Braunlich, retired, EFNE Board member
  • Jeff Glidden, retired, EFNE Board member
  • Franky Descoteaux, Director, Employment Services at EFNE
  • Elaine Kiriakopoulos, MD, MSc, Neurologist, EFNE's COO

Service Programming

Job Assessment & Coaching:  Everyone benefits from the guidance that a valid assessment and honest coaching provides.  We will get to know you through formal and informal assessments, and a coach will be made available to help you identify, target and achieve your professional goals.  

Assessments help job seekers:

  • Identify his/her unique contribution as an individual and job seeker
  • Translate interests, skills, and capacity into appropriate career aspirations
  • Coordinate goals with other service providers and medical professionals
  • Develop a 360 perspective of you and your unique skills and qualifications

Coaches help job-seekers:

  • Clarify and set career goals based on an understanding of the current job market
  • Achieve short and long term learning goals, based on desired career outcomes
  • Develop a clear and compelling professional story
  • Foster self-advocacy to successfully navigate the job hunt process
  • Achieve success during the application, interview and onboarding process

Coaches help employees:

  • Feel empowered to present Seizure and Personal Support Plans to employers
  • Advocate for appropriate reasonable accommodations
  • Educate colleagues and managers on the reality of working with epilepsy
  • Design and implement step-down plans, if necessary

Steps Toward Employment Program (STEP): Not everyone has a clear vision of what they want to be when they grow up =)  or perhaps they do, but never pursued the appropriate training to get them there. Beyond assessments, coaching and job-search support, EFNE is committed to helping individuals achieve their long-term goals, through pre-employment training.  Pre-employment training is often a multi-step process that can include: 

  • Behavior Education Support & Training (BEST)
  • Personal Education Plans (PEP)
  • Supported Education & Employee Development (SEED)

BEST (Behavior Education Support & Training):  The Steps Toward Employment Program (STEP) assists in the development of behaviors and job skills that can lead to employment.  BEST programs include short and long-term small group workshops as well as one-on-one training.  Training will cover:

  • Interpersonal skills – getting along with co-workers and supervisors
  • Communication skills – listening, speaking openly, clearly and concisely, following directions
  • Developing flexibility – working on different tasks and in varied work teams
  • Productivity – working quickly and accurately, meeting deadlines
  • Organizational skills – setting priorities, completing work as assigned
  • Problem-solving – making decisions, taking responsibility
  • Personal appearance – hygiene and appropriate work attire
  • Attendance and punctuality – arriving each day on time and maintaining consistent attendance

 Personal Education Plans (PEP): Personal Education Plans are for individuals who have a clear view of the career they would like to develop, but who don’t have the required skills to enter into the field.  The process includes an assessment to confirm capacity and aptitude for that particular job.  If capacity and aptitude are appropriate, a Personal Education Plan (PEP) will be developed, which will result in a portfolio of work that ensures the individual is highly qualified for the desired position.  The commitment for this program is a minimum of six months.

SEED (Supported Education & Employee Development): EFNE is developing partnerships with employers for the purpose of creating job-specific training, which will result in long-term placements and support.  These partnerships are exciting and maturing.  Once fully developed, individuals will have the opportunity to learn a specific job, based on the needs of an actual Employment Services Employer Partner. This training will be developed with the Employer Partner with the goal of increasing access to jobs that might otherwise be challenging to access without this pre-training opportunity.  We are currently working with several key partners and will update this page as the programs come together and get closer to launch.  If you know an employer who might be interested in partnering with EFNE, please let us know.

Entrance Requirements

To participate in EFNE’s Employment Services program, you must be committed to your personal growth.  Each of us has real and perceived limitations that prevent us from achieving our goals.  EFNE is committed to help you overcome your challenges and reach your fullest potential at work.  Because the majority of the hard work happens before you get your dream job, we expect the same level of commitment from you.

If this sounds intriguing, and you would like to speak to someone who is dedicated to your growth and to helping you achieve your personal and professional goals, please contact Franky Descoteaux at fdescoteaux@epilepsynewengland.org.

Other Program Options

Accommodation / Advocacy Support: Sometimes things just don’t go as planned and you may need support understanding your rights and preparing to advocate for yourself at work.  Others may face changing work expectations or capacity and require assistance in developing and asking for reasonable accommodations.  When appropriate, EFNE’s Employment Services program can assist with these challenges as well. If your particular need does not fall within our area of expertise, we will do our best to refer you to the most appropriate resource.

Entrepreneurial Training: Some people's greatest dream is to open a small business.  If this is your passion, but fear, a lack of knowledge or your epilepsy have held you back, we might be able to assist.  

Employer Engagement: Some jobs are hard to fill and others have unmanageably high turnover.  Perhaps EFNE’s Employment Services can assist you by partnering with you in the development of your recruitment and training pipeline. Our clients are hardworking, driven and dedicated to establishing long-term relationships with supportive employers, EFNE's Employment Services might just be the perfect solution to your staffing challenges. 


Franky descoteaux - Director of employment services

Franky descoteaux - Director of employment services

Contact Franky Descoteaux for more information:

fdescoteaux@epilepsynewengland.org

617-506-6041 x 112