About Northwoods

Banquet Hall & Conference Room Rental

Visit our FACEBOOK Page

Rehabilitation Services We Provide

Assembly & Packaging Services for Industry

Rest Area Maintenance

Videos & Testimonials in Support of Northwoods

Download Program Brochures

Endowment Fund & Other Donations

Contact Info & Directions

Links to Other Rehabilitation Resources

Northwoods Calendar



Rehabilitation Services We Provide

Northwoods provides services to 

        • People with disabilities
        • Seniors and Frail Adults 
        • Families in Need
        • Incarcerated Adults with a Disability


Feel free to scroll down this page to learn about all the services we offer. 

If you are looking for information on one particular service, go to the right side of this page and you will find a listing of our service components grouped by the population we serve.   Click on the topics that interest you.



The services that Northwoods offers for people with disabilities are quite comprehensive in scope. 

These services are designed to assist people to learn the skills and behaviors necessary to be successful and as independent as possible in all aspects of their life including their work, their home and in the community.

Return to the list of our services



A Vocational Evaluation is an individualized, timely, and systematic process by which a person seeking employment, with an evaluator, learns to identify and develop employment goals.   A vocational evaluation utilizes work, either real or simulated, as the focal point for the assessment.

In addition, it incorporates medical, psychological, social, cultural, and economic data as well as vocational exploration into the process for the sole purpose of assisting individuals with developing their vocational pursuits.   


Situational Assessment

During this type of assessment, individuals are evaluated in an employment setting using actual work to determine their assets and limitations.  The assessment takes place within a two week period and focuses on one’s work behaviors, physical tolerance, and work habits.  Information is also  gathered through personal reports, work history, and observational data.  At the end of the assessment period, a staffing is held and a formal report is written with recommendations.  Examples of recommendations include, but are not limited to, direct job placement, work adjustment, long term work services, or further schooling prior to obtaining employment. 

Psychometric Testing

During this type of evaluation, the individual is assessed through a series of achievement, aptitude, and interest tests that take place over the course of two days in an effort to determine one’s assets and limitations.  Additional data is obtained through background information, personal reports, and observations.  This testing determines the need for further training prior to the obtainment of work as well as assists with finding an appropriate job match according to one’s abilities.  A staffing and formal report conclude the evaluation.

Return to the list of our services


A short term program lasting from one to nine months that is designed to help the individual who has vocational limitations.  Individualized programming will be implemented to help the person with a disability to build the stamina and/or develop the appropriate work skills and behaviors to be successful in a job in the community.

Return to the list of our services



The Supported Employment Program is a direct, one-on-one service provided in a community job setting.   The primary focus of this program is to teach people with disabilities how to do their job and exhibit appropriate behaviors in the job setting so they can maintain their job.

Supported Employment Assessment

If there is any uncertainty with knowing a person's skill level, Northwoods can offer a Supported Employment Assessment or Evaluation.  This assessment process would assist with the following:  determining preferences, assessing local area employment needs, considering family concerns, and investigating opportunities for integration into a community job setting. 

It would further identify living situation needs, transportation issues that might job keeping, the person's physical needs, and other vital information.

Job Coaching

During the Supported Employment process, a job coach works side by side with the individual and provides necessary cues, instruction, prompts, and feedback in order for the worker with a disability to learn their job tasks to the best of their ability.

Depending on ones’ skill level, job coaching may need to be present up to 100% of the time.  The long term goal is to gradually fade the amount of job coaching to a minimum over time.

The goals of supported employment is to learn and display the appropriate traits that society demands of good employees, including but not limited to:

  • A good work ethic
  • Respect for supervisors and coworkers
  • Ability to meet company quality standards
  • Understanding punctuality and attendance issues
  • Appropriate interaction and communication with supervisors and others
  • Correctly following work directives


Return to the list of our services



This service is provided to those persons with a disability who have never worked or are currently unemployed, as well as those who have held a job, have acquired a disability due to illness or accident, and have a goal to re-enter the work force.

Individuals receive assistance and training in filling out applications, using resources to find job openings, and job interview skills.   Our staff help to open the door to employers whose job openings match the skills, interests and abilities of the program participants.  Upon successful hire, in some situations, our staff will assist employers in applying for and receiving tax rebates or other incentives for hiring people with disabilities.  We provide follow-up services for the individual and the employer to insure long term employment success.

Return to the list of our services


Long-term employment or short term-employment, depending on individual need, which includes on-going training in work behaviors for those persons who are either not ready or capable of working in the competitive market.  A participant in this program will be given support by a case manager and will have opportunities to work on a variety of jobs in order to learn what it means to be a good worker while earning a paycheck.  Depending on each individual's situation, Northwoods may provide transportation to and from the work sites.

Northwoods operates these real world job sites:

  • Assembly & Packaging: Factory type operation located in our main building in Portage

    The Northwoods Assembly and Packaging program operates on a regular, daily basis, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. year round, like most factories so that we can service our manufacturing customers.  The work, subcontracted from local industry, provides a realistic work environment, work training, a regular schedule, and a paycheck for adults with disabilities.  

  • Roadside Facility Maintenance Program (RFM):  Contract janitorial, building and grounds maintenance program under contract with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation

The RFM program provides janitorial and maintenance jobs to adults with disabilities at rest areas and waysides located in Columbia County, Marquette County, Adams County, and Dodge County.  RFM provides year-round employment to the workers employed there.  Scheduled hours and assigned duties vary greatly depending on the needs of the program, abilities of the workers, and seasons of the year.

Commercial Kitchen Worker:  Learning kitchen skills required in restaurants and cafeterias. 

Northwoods operates its own cafeteria kitchen, serving daily meals to clients and staff, and uses this as a training site.

An individual person with a disability who is involved in the Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment Programs may work at one of the work sites as part of the evaluation of their work behaviors or as a means to provide training and behavior shaping to improve their work behaviors in order to make them job placement ready.

Return to the list of our services


The program provides services to adults with disabilities who are more severely involved, usually people with a dual diagnosis of both a mental disabilities and a physical or emotional disability.  For these people, work training or work placement is either a limited option or not a viable one for the individual. 

The Northwoods Adult Day Services Program is designed to provide each participant with recreational activities, socialization opportunities, self-help skills training, and pre-vocational skills training opportunities.  The program is individualized for each participant so that each person can be involved in activities that interest them and that they want to take part in.

The program operates daily, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Return to the list of our services


The primary focus of the Daily Living Skills Program is to teach people with disabilities how to become and remain as independent as possible within their home and community.  All instruction is individualized to the person's own needs and desires in order to accomplish realistic, functional goals.  Teaching is done in the areas of:

  • budgeting money and money skills,
  • meal planning and cooking skills
  • grocery shopping
  • house cleaning
  • organizational skills
  • grooming
  • basic learning concepts
  • time management
  • and much more.

If there is some uncertainty about the participant's ability to perform tasks in the home, a Daily Living Skills Assessment can be done by Northwoods' trained staff to determine needs and to make recommendations for training.


Return to the list of our services


Home Care Services are provided to frail adults and seniors who need help staying as independent as possible in their own homes rather than going to live in assistive living, a nursing home, or another more restrictive setting.  The services we provide are non-medical in nature and are provided on a one to one basis.  Our excellent Home Care staff are well trained, honest, caring and bonded.  Examples of the services provided are:

  • House Cleaning
  • Cooking
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Laundry
  • Running Errands
  • Attending Social Activities
  • Transportation to Medical Appointments

Northwoods operates three (3) programs designed to meet the needs of frail adults and seniors.  The services the programs provide are very similar in nature yet funding for each of the programs comes from different sources: 

  • Supportive Home Care's funding comes from the State and County.  
  • Chore Service is funded through the Columbia County Commission on Aging. 
  • At Home in the Northwoods is a private pay service operated for those who are not eligible for Public support yet they have a need for the service and have the financial resources to pay for the service out-of-pocket.

Northwoods is not a Home Health provider.  Consequently, we do not provide any medically based services.




Return to the list of our services


The Family Support Program assists families who may benefit from prevention and intervention services. This includes teaching and supporting parents to care for and nurture their children.  The goal is to provide necessary supports to families in order to deter a crisis. The ultimate goal is to prevent child abuse and neglect. 

The Family Support Program also assists parents who are dealing with limited cognitive abilities or mental health issues to maintain their independence within the community. 

What types of services can be provided by the Family Support Program? 

  • Enhancing parent and child interactions Improving home safety 
  • Teaching child management techniques 
  • Providing age specific information regarding childrens’ needs and behaviors 
  • Providing emotional support 
  • Facilitating problem solving 
  • Assisting in household organization  
  • Assisting in making resource connections (i.e. job opportunities and training, energy assistance, medical care, housing, etc.)  
  • Budgeting

Each family is unique which requires very individualized services that recognize and build on strengths. This program understands that families are comprised in a variety of ways. There may be two parents, a single parent, extended family, or unrelated members who have become part of the family. Therefore, this program changes its support focus as the family's needs change.  In most cases, direct hands-on, one-to-one teaching is provided in each family's home and in their community.


Return to the list of our services