The Basics

Numerous campus and community resources are available to students with disabilities as you make your transition into the work world. Some are right there on the school campus. Others are government services designed to help youth and young professionals get ready for and get work. In many towns there are also community programs providing similar services.

It’s important to include campus and community resources as part of your plan. These resources include:

  • Campus Career Resource Center
  • Professors/Instructors
  • American Job Centers
  • Vocational Rehabilitation

Campus Resources

Career Resource Centers typically have many resources though they do not do direct job referrals. Resources include:

  • Skill Building: Workshops on resume building, interviewing, etc.
  • On Campus Recruitment Events: Where employers come on campus to recruit and interview students.
  • Job Fairs: Where groups of employers will come together on campus to meet and interview students.

Instructors Are an Untapped Resource

Professors/Instructors, especially in specific professional fields like education, health care, business administration often do private consulting with government, business and industry. They also often stay in touch with successful alumni.

Check in with your professors/ instructors that you have a relationship with from your classes. See if they have any contacts that you could use to help identify a job in your field.

Vocational Rehabilitation

If you have a disability that makes employment hard for you, you may be eligible for special services to help you get and keep a job. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a U.S. Department of Education program that provides these services in every state. This agency can help you fund your education, provide needed accommodations and support. They can meet with you as early as high school or while you are in college. They also provide job placement services to individuals they sponsor. Check out the VR program in your state in the Resources Section.

Independent Living Centers

Independent Living Centers (ILCs) are local agencies that help individuals with disabilities achieve and maintain independence by providing job coaching, training, and information on disability in the workplace. ILCs may also have information on employers in your geographic area who actively recruit people with disabilities.

American Job Centers

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has several thousand American Job Centers run by state and local community Workforce Development Boards. In some states, they are called One Stops and in others Career One Source. To learn more, go to America Job Centers in the Resources Section.

These Centers provide a wide variety of training and placement services which include a computer-based listing of thousands of jobs in your area.

Specialist v. Generalist

Just like every other job seeker without a disability, you can check out any of the online resources that help match workers and employers. “Monster.com” and “Snag a Job” are just two of hundreds of online resources available. Some employers seeking professional white collar workers will hire a “head hunter” to find them a pool of qualified candidates for a fee. If money is no problem, you can also consider hiring a professional placement expert.