People at work
Photo courtesy William Bronston, M.D.

The value base for real work for real wages in integrated settings began to evolve in the 1970s through the work of visionaries such as Marc Gold, Lou Brown, Tom Bellamy, and Paul Wehman. Research and demonstration work at university centers (especially, Oregon, Wisconsin and Virginia) supported people with severe disabilities to do real work and gain competitive employment. The idea of supported employment and the term, "job coach" emerged from this work. The demonstration work focused on supporting adults in both employment and educational programs that looked forward to employment for people with severe disabilities.