With businesses more open to a diverse workforce than ever and employers looking for qualified candidates to fill open jobs, the time can be right to find the right job for persons with disabilities. In addition, there are now more opportunities in some occupations to work remotely after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is important to prepare to work and to understand what opportunities and industries maybe best suited for your abilities and skill set. Here are a few tips:
- Believe you can work – The first step to finding a great job is to believe that you can do it. People with disabilities bring a lot of value to the workforce. Employers are looking for resilient, creative people who are able to adapt. Whether you are looking for an entry level position, a position that utilizes your prior work experience, or if you have an advanced degree, there are many open positions in different industries.
- Seek Out Job Assistance Support – The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program provides people with disabilities services to prepare for and find a job. An experienced counselor can evaluate your interests and skills, provide vocational counseling, and/or assistance with training or education to get a job – and most services come with no cost. The VR program, administered by the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, can even help with special equipment or technology to address disability-related barriers.
- Try Out a Job – In addition to providing vocational training and support, BRS works with many businesses who are seeking the talent people with disabilities bring to the workforce. A job coach may accompany you on the job during training to support you and ensure your transition into the workforce is as smooth as possible. You may have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills to an employer through an On-the-Job training or paid work experience opportunity. Or you may benefit from a direct placement to an open position based on your skills, experience, and education. BRS also understands that not every job or job location may be right for you and can help find additional opportunities, if needed.
Who is Eligible for Services from BRS?
You may be eligible for the VR program if you have a physical or mental impairment, and your physical or mental impairment causes substantial barriers to employment. 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 in a 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.