Your self-directed employment assistant
As a disabled jobseeker myself, when I started out in the workforce I relied on a lot of different community resources and supports to get me where I am today. While there are several places that one can receive guidance and direction for employment, I’m going to highlight a few big ones that are a great place for jobseekers to start.
Starting off our list of resources is Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (VR), a state and federally funded program that’s designed to help folks with disabilities obtain, secure, and hopefully retain their employment. Specialists can also assist with career exploration, resume crafting, interviewing coaching, and more. I utilized my local VR and will never forget the kindness of my contact there who taught me so many wonderful skills that I still carry with me today. Next, we have American Job Centers (AJCs) which are places located around the country in communities to help jobseekers with and without disabilities find employment. In addition, they also provide access to computers, assist with job searches, and help with resume development. The Ticket to Work (TTW) program is put into place to help with career development for those ages 18 through 64 that receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. This program is free, voluntary, and most importantly helps folks with disabilities move towards financial independence as well as connects them to services and supports that will bring them towards success. Lastly, there are Independent Living Centers (ILCs) which are community based nonprofit agencies that are solely run for and by people with disabilities. They provide job coaching, training, information on disability in the workplace, and more. ILCs can also provide folks with the necessary referrals to receive support services from other local agencies, as well as up to date information on employers in the area who are looking to recruit people with disabilities.
After reading through this blog, put your new knowledge into action and seek out your local employment support resources! If you want to learn more about community job seeker resources and support, check out this helpful resource I found. As always, be sure to check out our informative Digital Tip on this topic, too. Until next time, I hope you have a warm, sunny, and safe Summer. See you in August!