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Two employees bond in a kitchen.Two employees bond in a kitchen.

Employment and pre-employment services help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities learn the skills needed to obtain and maintain a competitive or integrated job in the community of their choosing. It is a well-known fact that individuals who work have a better quality of life and feel more productive. Employment support staff support New York State’s Employment First Policy, delivering meaningful employment, fair wages, and career advancement for people with disabilities.

Career Visions

Career Visions employment services provide person-centered supports to people as young as 14 years of age. The program teaches employability skills, how to create a quality resume, interview skills and how to obtain and maintain a job in the community.  

These services include:

  • Supported employment (Intensive and Extended services)
    • Discovery First
    • Employment training program
  • Community-based prevocational services

Career Visions staff have fostered partnerships and relationships across Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and St. Lawrence counties.

Referral sources
A referral is needed to obtain employment support services through Citizen Advocates. For more information, see the links below:

Discovery First

Discovery First is the process of learning about an individual through gathering information relevant to employment. The purpose is to analyze and synthesize this information into a recommendation for meeting the individual’s career and vocational goals. Discovery through Exposure, Exploration, Experience, Evaluation, Education, and Empowerment will also prepare the individual for competitive employment.

Employment Training Program

The Employment Training Program is a service offered specifically to state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) eligible participants. In most cases, it starts with an in-depth discovery process to learn more about the job seeker. The discovery process includes interviews with family, friends and staff, volunteering and job shadowing, and community assessments at various businesses within the community. This process helps the individual and employment staff, better learn what the person’s skills are and what their barriers are. Once the discovery process has been completed and approved by OPWDD, job development begins. One key factor that makes the Employment Training Program different from other employment programs is that when a job is found, the person is actually put on NYS payroll for up to a year. This gives businesses more incentive to hire participants of that program since they aren’t responsible for the person’s wages for a period of time. The program also allows for intensive job coaching.   


Employment Supports – Malone Phone:518-483-3553
Employment Supports – Saranac Lake Phone:518-891-2590, ext. 9
Madison Weise Employment Training Program Supervisor Phone:518-359-4269

Extended/Follow Along Services

Follow Along Services are designed to help an employed person maintain their job. Employment staff work with the person and the employer to ensure success for that individual. They assist by implementing solutions that overcome any barriers or obstacles that may stand in the way of the individual’s continued success. Follow Along Services can be provided to people through each funding source (OPWDD, Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR), Commission for the Blind and Health and Recovery Plan (HARP)).

Need help navigating our intellectual & developmental disabilities services?

At Citizen Advocates, we work as a team to provide the best individual, person-centered services to the people we serve. Care coordination assists clients with identifying and accessing the services that will assist them in addressing the problems they are experiencing, or that will help them to achieve a higher quality life or level of functioning.

go to care coordination »