For individuals with disabilities who aspire to join the workforce, the path to finding gainful employment with a secure job that is tailored to their needs can be challenging. However, there's a valuable resource that was created specifically to significantly ease this journey: the Connecticut Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS). BRS provides specialized services that are designed to empower individuals with disabilities by providing them with individualized support, training, and resources on their path to meaningful employment.
So, what are the benefits of vocational rehabilitation and why seek the support of a BRS counselor in your employment journey? Here are 6 reasons to consider:
- Tailored Career Counseling and Guidance – Navigating the complex world of employment can be overwhelming for anyone, including for individuals with disabilities. This is why vocational counselors at BRS work closely with individuals to help identify their strengths, interests, and skills as well as to understand their career aspirations to align them with job opportunities. This tailored approach not only boosts confidence but can also ensure that individuals make informed decisions about their career paths, setting them on a trajectory toward success.
- Customized Skill Development and Training – Because BRS vocational rehabilitation counselors recognize that every individual has unique needs and abilities, they can provide access to skill development and training programs to equip individuals with the necessary tools for their desired jobs. Whether it's job-specific skills or soft skills like communication and time management, these programs are designed to enhance an individual's employability and overall job performance. These services can also offer financial support for education, training, or work-related expenses. By bridging skill gaps and bolstering qualifications, state vocational rehabilitation services enable individuals with disabilities to compete effectively in the job market.
- Assistance with Job Search and Placement – Securing a job involves more than just having the right skills, it also requires an effective job search strategy. BRS works closely with employers of all sizes and in all industries across that state to match job seekers with employers and job openings that align with their capabilities and preferences. In addition to job search and placement, job seekers can also access assistance in areas like resume building, interview preparation, and networking guidance. Plus, job seekers can also try out a job to ensure it’s a good fit. By providing practical support throughout the job search process and having a network of employers who are seeking to fill vacancies, vocational rehabilitation counselors can increase the likelihood of individuals finding suitable and fulfilling employment.
- Access to Assistive Technology and Accommodations – Technology has revolutionized the workplace, and individuals with disabilities can benefit immensely from assistive technology and workplace accommodations. BRS vocational rehabilitation counselors can help provide access to resources to find the tools and technologies that facilitate job performance. This might include screen readers, adaptive software, mobility devices, ergonomic equipment, or other accommodations. By ensuring a supportive and inclusive work environment, these services can remove barriers and empower individuals to thrive in their chosen careers.
- Job Retention and Advancement Support — Securing a job is an important milestone, but maintaining and advancing in a career are equally significant. By offering ongoing support to individuals with disabilities, BRS counselors help to ensure job retention and advancement. This might involve on-the-job coaching, conflict resolution guidance, or assistance with career progression planning. By helping individuals overcome challenges and grow within their roles, these services contribute to long-term career success and job satisfaction.
- Financial Assistance and Benefits Counseling -- BRS vocational rehabilitation counselors are trained to understand the financial considerations that come with employment. For example, they can provide information and counseling about how employment might impact disability benefits, ensuring individuals make informed decisions about their financial well-being. These services can also offer financial support for education, training, or work-related expenses. By addressing these concerns, state vocational rehabilitation services alleviate potential barriers and create a smoother transition into the workforce.
In the pursuit of meaningful employment, individuals with disabilities have a powerful ally in BRS vocational rehabilitation counselors and services. This comprehensive program offers tailored guidance, skill development, job search support, assistive technology, and ongoing assistance, all of which contribute to the successful integration into the workforce. By leveraging these resources, individuals can unlock their full potential and embark on a journey towards fulfilling careers.
Who is Eligible for Services from BRS?
If you have a disability or diagnosis that causes substantial barriers to employment, you may be eligible for BRS services. This includes if you were working previously and acquired a disability, or your disability is now posing a barrier to your job. BRS will determine if you need support to prepare for, obtain, maintain, or to advance on the job. If you are unsure but or have been struggling and want to better understand your difficulties with work, please contact us to discuss your circumstances.
How to get started
BRS has offices throughout the state that have specialists who can help you or answer your questions. Click here to find the office closest to you. You can also call the main number at 800-537-2449 or fill out this Contact Us form.