This section provides information and resources for school professionals, students, and families, on the following stages of secondary and postsecondary employment:
Job Searching/Job Developing - Resources for students who are looking for employment, educators who develop jobs, and family members who provide support.
Applying for a Job - Resources for students who are ready to apply for a job opening as well as for educators and family members who support them.
Disclosing a Disability/Requesting Accommodations - Resources on disclosing disabilities and requesting accommodations from an employer. If and when to disclose a disability are important, personal choices, sometimes involving complex factors, for which students should be adequately prepared.
Accepting a Job Offer/Starting a New Job - Information for students who are deciding whether to accept a job offer and the educators and families who support them.
Benefits Planning for Employment - Resources and information on benefits planning, the impact of wages on disability benefits, and achieving self-sufficiency. Disability benefits have complex regulations governing their award and administration. It is essential that students and families work with qualified counselors in investigating, applying for, and managing benefits--especially before a student’s 18th birthday when benefits change significantly.
Keeping a Job - Information on job retention and career advancement.
Employing Youth with Significant Disabilities - Information on employment options and strategies for students with significant disabilities.
Supporting Youth with Disabilities on the Job - Information on support services and strategies for ensuring that students succeed on the job. Supports may be needed for transportation; assistive technology; tools, uniforms, or other job necessities; alternate formats for work materials; personal finances; career mentoring; and/or transitioning to adult provider systems.
Resources Related to Employment of People with Disabilities - Resources that (a) are "gateways" to research or other resources, (b) provide foundational information, or (c) may be of assistance to educators and families working with youth with disabilities.
An excellent resource for youth seeking employment is the Skills to Pay the Bills curriculum developed by the Office of Disability Policy in the U.S. Department of Labor. It focuses on youth ages 14-21 and provides short videos and instructional modules with hands-on activities in six skill areas including communication, teamwork, problem solving, and professionalism. Users may download the full publication or individual modules and videos at http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/youth/softskills/.
Two checklists for ensuring that students who are exiting high school are better prepared for employment may also be helpful:
Employment Checklist for Students with Disabilities Exiting High School
Supplemental Employment Checklist for Students with Significant Disabilities Exiting High School
| The development of this website was funded by the University of South Florida St. Petersburg
through a grant by the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services,
Florida Department of Education (2010 - 2011, 291-2621A-1C008).