Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend
 
 
 

Helpful Tips and Information for Job Seekers with Disabilities

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Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend is committed to providing employment-related services to all citizens of the Coastal Bend. Workforce Solutions provides a variety of options to help customers with disabilities use the services, resources and information offered at each of our Career Centers. As a person with a disability, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you have the right to access all services, programs and activities provided at our Career Centers. Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.


Workforce Solutions can provide:

  • Reasonable Accommodations
  • Workshops for a Successful Job Search
  • Sign Language Interpreters
  • Accessible Technology
  • Job Development Services
  • Job Coaching
  • Ticket to Work Program
  • Education and Training Programs
  • Financial Aid Opportunities

Information & Referrals to Agencies that provide:

  • Social Security Disability Benefits Planning
  • Job Accommodations
  • Public Transportation Services
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Social Security Work Incentive Programs

Should I tell staff at the Career Center about my disability?

It is your personal decision whether to tell staff about your disability. There may be advantages to disclosing, so you need to decide what is best for you. Under the ADA, Career Centers can ask if you have a disability to determine if you are eligible for certain services. However, disclosing your disability and information about it, is strictly voluntary. Disclosing your disability can have some real benefits. By doing so, you can receive the accommodations and assistance you need to fully benefit from the services of the Career Center. By disclosing, you may also become eligible for special programs available for people with disabilities.

As a person with a disability, how can I advocate for myself to get the services I want
from a Career Center?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law that was passed in 1990 to assure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities for meaningful participation in our society as everyone else. Under the ADA, as someone with a disability, you are entitled to request accommodations and assistance in order for you to understand, use and benefit from the services that a Career Center has to offer. It should be expected that the Career Center will work with you to make your involvement there successful. Here are some tips to help you get the most from your Career Center experiences.

  • During your initial visit at the Career Center ask for any assistance you need to help you understand the range of services. Some accommodations that might be helpful include: an individual meeting rather than group orientation; help with filling out any registration forms; brochures, flyers, and other information in an alternative format such as a different language, Braille, or large print; sign language interpretation; using a tape recorder to remember information.
  • Bring a friend or family member with you to help you use the books and computers in the resource library in order to check job openings, compose your resume and cover letters, fax applications, etc. You can also bring a staff person from another agency with which you are working.
  • Gain an understanding of all of the Core services, classes, and other free resources and activities (such as computer lab) that are part of using the Career Center.
  • Request an individual meeting with Career Center staff to develop a plan or a list of ideas that can help you make the best use of the services and opportunities available at the Career Center.

  • Stay informed about ongoing activities such as employer interviews or presentations held at the Career Center, as well as workshops and hot job leads. Look for flyers, posters, newsletters, etc.
  • Get to know the front desk staff. You will then feel comfortable asking them for helpful general information including what current events and activities are happening or coming soon.
  • Other important people to get to know are the resource library staff. They can be extremely useful in answering your questions as you use the resource library (career books, magazines, newspapers, job postings, fax and copy machine) and the computers and Internet.
  • As you settle into using the Career Center, be sure to ask for any accommodations you may need such as: a larger/accessible work station at the computer; resources in a different language; Braille, large print, TTY, interpreter services, etc.; assistance using information you don't understand; adaptive equipment to use with computers and phones.

Can I use a Career Center if I am already receiving services from another agency?

Yes. If you are receiving employment services from another agency you can also utilize core services of the Career Center system. In fact the core services may be helpful to you and your current service provider. In addition, you can utilize core services any time in your career. If your employment services provider helps you become familiar with how to use the Career Center now, you may be able to use it on your own in the future if you want to change jobs. You may also want to speak with your counselor at the other agency about whether you are eligible for some of the special projects at Career Centers. They could refer you to the Career Center and help you get these services.

How would services through the Career Center system supplement what I am getting
from another agency?

  • Access to computers. Using a computer can help you develop a professional looking resume and cover letters. In addition you can use the Internet at Career Centers to help you find out about job openings, to submit your resume to a number of different resume banks, and to learn more about companies where you would like to work.
  • Workshops. Many Career Centers offer workshops as part of the core services. Workshop topics may include resume writing, interview skills, introduction to the Internet, job search skills and information about industries that have a demand for new employees. While the agency helping you find a job may also offer support in these areas, you may want to review the workshop calendar for the Career Center you are using to determine if any offering would be useful in your job search. Participating in the workshops may also allow you to meet fellow job seekers who can provide support and advice.
  • Job Referral. The staff at the Career Centers work with employers to help them find qualified applicants for job openings. While they will not provide individualized job development as part of the core services, they may have job leads that you will not learn about through other sources. If you find out about a job through the resource library, the Career Center staff and your employment service provider can work together to make sure you receive the individualized assistance you need to follow-up on the job lead.

Should I let my Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor know that I am working with the Career Center?

Yes. If you are also working with a Vocational Rehabilitation agency and/or with a private employment program to help you with your job search, let them know about your involvement with the Career Center. Everyone can then be working together to best meet your employment goal.

Personal Responsibility

As you are using the services of a Career Center, keep the following in mind: Career Centers have a wide array of resources that help you to obtain and succeed in employment; you have the absolute right to use these services, and to be treated in a welcoming and respectful manner. While hopefully your experience will be a completely positive one, if you have concerns about how the services of a Career Center are being provided, remember that it's your responsibility to make the staff aware of your concerns, and to educate and advocate in a positive and effective manner, so that your needs, and the needs of all people with disabilities are met. The most effective way that Career Centers can learn how to meet the needs of people with disabilities is by people with disabilities going out and actually using the services of a Career Center.

We encourage you to go visit your local Career Center, and find out what it has to offer. The use of Career Centers by people with disabilities, combined with education and advocacy, will ensure that the service system is able to fully deliver on its potential for helping

 

Equal Opportunity Employer/Program

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
Relay Texas: 1-800-735-2989 (TDD) and 1-800-735-2988 or 7-1-1 (Voice).
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