Supported Employment Program (SEP)

Statement of Purpose

– to empower blind or Deaf-Blind adults who also have a developmental disability to become more independent in the work environment by providing training and services that help foster independence in the areas of vocational training, mobility, communication, social skills, and independent living skills –

Supported Employees

The Supported Employment Program (SEP) provides job support and training for approximately twenty-five blind or Deaf-Blind individuals with developmental disabilities. Supported employees are usually referred by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) – Division of Developmental Disabilities, the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, or the Department of Services for the Blind.

Supported employees perform a wide variety of jobs throughout the Seattle Lighthouse, including assembling, sorting, labeling, packing, and manufacturing items for federal customers. Most supported employees work from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Most SEP employees receive a piece-rate wage based on the prevailing wage paid in Seattle for entry-level assembly jobs as well as medical and dental benefits, paid vacation time, sick leave, and full pension plan eligibility. Each SEP employee is assigned a job coach who provides instruction, guidance, and support to help that individual succeed in his or her position.

SEP Programs and Services

SEP provides the following training and services for employees who are blind with developmental disabilities:

  • One-to-one training
  • Job development
  • Adaptation of jobs to individual capabilities
  • Supportive mechanisms to assist in task completion
  • Strategies for effective communication
  • Positive behavioral support
  • Independent living skills training


SEP is funded primarily through Washington State and King County. Remaining funding comes from community support. Community support includes financial contributions from local corporations, foundations, service organizations, and individuals.

All community support for Lighthouse programs is channeled through the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation, whose sole purpose is to gather community support for fulfillment of the Seattle Lighthouse mission.

Information contact
Jodie O’Flaherty
Supported Employment Program Coordinator
Phone: (206) 436-2238
Fax: (206) 436-2234

This entry was posted on Monday, December 13th, 2010 at 4:01 pm and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Our Mission: To create and enhance opportunities for independence and self-sufficiency
for people who are blind, Deaf-Blind, and blind with other disabilities.

© 2015 The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.