Community Needs & Resources Assessment

Community Needs & Resources Assessment

How Does it Work?

A community needs and resources assessment identifies each community’s unique strengths and challenges and explores both how they support people with disabilities and limit them from participating in job-seeking and quality employment activities.

The knowledge gained from a community needs and resources assessment empowers vocational rehabilitation professionals to leverage community strengths and address the unique barriers people with disabilities encounter when seeking employment and developing long-term career goals.

Vocational rehabilitation service providers work closely with community stakeholders to explore unique community characteristics and identify its needs, service gaps, strengths, and resources. They collaboratively develop strategies to overcome identified barriers and build on strengths. Community needs and resource assessment activities could include:

  • Developing an assessment plan that includes community stakeholders
  • Establishing Community Advisory Councils
  • Engaging with stakeholders through Community-Based Participatory Research sessions involving:
    • local vocational rehabilitation agency staff
    • community-based organization representatives
    • individuals with disabilities
    • parent-educator groups
    • interfaith groups
    • other community leaders
  • Using a SWOT analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
  • Conducting community surveys and interviews
  • Developing integrated resource teams

Selected resource and training materials to support community needs and resource assessments:

Resources Roundup

Want to know more about how this employment strategy can be incorporated into your work? Check out these resources:

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Best Practices/Research

Project E3’s research summaries provide an “At-a-Glance” overview the latest research findings, as well as recommendations for best practices and how to incorporate them in your work.

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Strategy Use in Targeted Communities

This Project E3 Community used this strategy to improve employment outcomes for their most underserved populations: