As the founder of Unique Options LLC, I first began to see the need for a non-traditional sheltered workshop while doing research in 1989 for my Master's thesis on Closed Head Injury and Employability. Since that time, I have worked as a Licensed Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, working closely with individuals who have sustained brain injuries and their families. I was asked to advise them on appropriate vocational placement following completion of their rehabilitation programs. As I saw it, there were two distinctly different needs to be serviced. One being direct community placement (employment), and the other, placement (employment) in a sheltered supported environment.
When touring the traditional sheltered workshops, I could see the distress on the faces of my clients and their families. My clients and their families had concerns about piece work rate payments, lack of attention to head injury issues, lack of individualized programming, and the quality of the overall workshop environment. Clients with closed head injuries remember what their pre-injury employment environment was like. They just want to be treated with dignity and respect for what they have to offer.
On November 15, 2004, after much research, planning and hard work, Unique Options LLC, opened. We offer quality employment opportunities through an environment where each employee is treated as an individual with Dignity and Respect. Employees have coworkers who have also experienced traumatic brain injuries and they have supervision from a staff trained and experienced in acquired disabilities. The environment at Unique Options LLC encourages independence up to the employee's optimal level, with a minimum of 1 to 3 supervision. If employees are capable of competitive employment, we encourage and assist them in reentering the community. If employees need long term supervised employment to meet their needs, we provide a clean, comfortable, safe and supportive environment where they can do real work with pride and dignity and receive a real paycheck.
I welcome any questions or comments you may have.
Sue Ellen Jurcak, M.A., C.C.M, C.D.M.S., L.P.C.
President, Unique Options LLC
10 Year Anniversary Reflection
Arriving here at Unique Options has turned out to be an inspiring event in my time working. I have expanded my horizons in the various departments because staff has been so versatile in their assistance with us 'clients' by providing adaptive devices to compensate for the multitude of handicaps encountered. Here, the title 'handicap' is an obtrusive term. It actually is a misnomer; non-existent in this atmosphere. Unique Options' arena poses a positive concept of being 'different' in today's society. The people eligible for the program are given opportunities to reenter the arena of 'living' in this world, compared to 'just existing.'
Personally, the encounters I have had left an optimistic view for me to move forward in this position of life. Before I came to Unique Options, my daily routine at home revolved around watching my favorite game shows and westerns. Now, I do get out of the house regularly and socialize. It may be the same people, but the personalities vary. Man, if that's not everyday living, mmmm!
- Angela C. | Client at Unique Options since 2009