Making Sense of

FAQ Sheet

What is the Breakthrough Supported Employment Program?

What a person does for a living is an enormously important part of one’s identity and how one fits into their world and communities. Unfortunately, many people with disabilities think they are not qualified to work or do not have the support necessary to achieve and maintain successful employment. The Breakthrough Supported Employment Program seeks to breaks down the barriers and misperceptions that surround employment for individuals with disabilities by providing various programs and avenues of support. We offer employment placement, resume writing workshops, one-on-one vocational coaching, employment classes, and job coaching. We sincerely believe that every single person who desires an opportunity for competitive wage employment should be given a chance to achieve their goals.


What is Vocational Rehabilitation?

Vocational Rehabilitation is a State run program under the direction of the Department of Human Services. This program offers qualified agencies the funding to work with persons with disabilities to assist them in finding employment. The first step in the process of the Breakthrough Supported Employment Program is to open an employment case with VR. This can be done through Breakthrough Corporation as a referral, or a family or individual can contact the program directly. For details and VR contact information, please visit


What is a Breakthrough Supported Employment Plan of Action Meeting?

Plan of Action Meetings are designed to offer support to the Breakthrough Residential staff and the Breakthrough Day Services staff. These meetings are scheduled and facilitated by the Breakthrough Supported Employment Director. Through communication and formal goal development, a plan of action is put in place to help each individual served reach their vocational goals.


What is Discovery?

Discovery is the process of getting to know the interests, strengths, preferences and skill level of those we support through the use of various tools such as home visits, interviews, observation, etc. Discovery is an important step in the vocational and placement process.


What is the REDI Program?

The Retail Employees with Disability Initiative is a 4-week retail training program through Walgreens Corporation. Training includes soft skills classes (getting along with co-workers, interview skills, etc) and also hands-on, one-on-one practical in-store instruction. Breakthrough hosts two REDI trainings each year, one in the spring and another in the fall.


What is Project SEARCH?

Project SEARCH is a nationally recognized program originally started at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. This is a 9-month internship program in which individuals experience 3, 10-week internships in a hospital setting in order to gain hands on employment skills and vocational classroom instruction. Breakthrough currently runs a Project SEARCH program at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Enrollment for this program begins each fall with a new internship class beginning each winter.


For more information about the Breakthrough Supported Employment Program, please feel free to contact our Supported Employment Coordinator, Kendrise Colebrooke, at or 865-247-0065 ext 28.