Having a Disability
If you have a disability, there are some resources you can use to help with career exploration, paying for post–high school training, and other things related to getting a job and pursuing a career.
Some of the main things you need to do are:
- Talk to your Individualized Education Program (IEP) team about your goals and dreams for a job and a career;
- Be sure your goals are written in your IEP;
- Become connected to your local Workforce Center and specifically to a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor no later than age 16; and
- Request work-based learning experiences (real jobs where you get to try them out) while you are still in high school so you can start to get a feel for what you like and don't like.
You'll also want to be aware of your disability rights (Section 504 and ADA) with respect to potential employers in job interviews, and existing employers.
Try a Youthhood activity:
Browse a Web site:
- Disability Mentoring Day October 18, 2006 is DMD! Sign up for job-shadowing and hands-on career exploration.
- The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)) Source for information about employment and youth with disabilities.
- Leading Disability Employers (National Organization on Disability) The NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal™ is a public recognition that applauds those organizations that are leading the way in disability hiring and encourage additional companies to tap into the many benefits of hiring talent with disabilities, including high rates of productivity and dedication, and greater employee engagement across the workforce.
- Self-Advocacy and Disability Disclosure (Pacer) Information on how and when to disclose disability status to employers.
- Guide for Job Seekers & Workers with a Disability (MoneyGeek) This guide was created to introduce disabled workers and job-seekers to the rights afforded to them by federal and state governments. In addition, there are useful tips for finding a job, advice on staying gainfully employed, and guidance that can help you talk with an existing employer about making a reasonable accommodation for you.
- Career Guide for Students with Disabilities Learn about the ADA, how to receive accommodations in the workplace and where to find internships, jobs, and support.
- Support for Students with Down Syndrome (AC Online) Theis guide highlights standout college programs, offers details about scholarships and financial aid, and provides expert advice for families of students with Down Syndrome who are weighing their options for post-secondary options.