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Ensuring Support Systems that Work: Getting Beyond the Natural Supports vs. Job Coach Controversy

by Katherine J. Inge & George Tilson

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This article is intended to challenge the field of supported employment to enter into a new dialogue in which professionals agree that all people, regardless of life circumstances, need support systems in order to be successful. Furthermore, support systems can look vastly different from one another. The authors suggest that little benefit comes from arguing over which is better, or more cost efficient: natural supports or job coaching. An alternative approach would be to view all support strategies in a customer service and accommodation framework. The concept of customer service is discussed and suggestions for identifying person to person support strategies are provided.


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