Texas Health and Human Services is committed to providing resources for people with disabilities that will help them enter the workforce. To be successful, people need to have soft skills that support their employment goals, such as communication, critical thinking and networking.
The Employment Readiness Project supports HHS employment first principles by providing individuals, families and providers with resources to help build skills that will enhance employability. The project’s goal is to provide up-to-date access to free and for-fee resources to teach these skills.
We share resources in a readily accessible site and format, including training materials developed and used by other developmental disability and vocational rehabilitation state agencies as well as private entities.
To learn more, email MSS-SPU_ERT@hhsc.state.tx.us.
Learn the skills needed for effective communication, including:
- Active listening
- Nonverbal communication such as body language and eye contact
- Stress management
- Giving and receiving constructive feedback
- Using email, telephone, etc.
Sample training for communication in the workplace (PDF)
Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
Get training on critical thinking skills such as:
- The 4 Ws and H
- Who, what, when, where and how of problem-solving
Learn problem-solving skills:
- Identifying a problem.
- Thinking of other options.
- Choosing the best option.
- Judging the success of that option.
Sample training for problem-solving and critical thinking (PDF)
Enthusiasm and Attitude
Demonstrate enthusiasm and attitude, including:
- “Get up and go” attitude
Sample training for enthusiasm and attitude (PDF)
- Others with similar interests or hobbies
Sample training for networking (PDF)
This category consists of three subcategories.
- Wear the appropriate attire.
- Be clean and neat.
- Be well groomed.
- Work hard.
- Be on time.
- Take initiative.
- Have good attendance.
Sample training for professionalism (PDF)
Learn the traits for working in a team, including:
- Showing support
- Being helpful
Sample training for teamwork (PDF)
Curricula and Resources
Below are links to resources that can help individuals, families and providers develop employment readiness for the workplace.
- Edutopia: information on communication, community integration, networking and more
- Bridges from School to Work: a free program that helps young adults with disabilities find jobs with employers
- Perkins School for the Blind eLearning
- Userlike: 7 Fun Communication Games That Increase Understanding
- Job readiness activities: weareteachers.com (search for job readiness)
- U.S. Department of Labor: Soft Skills to Pay the Bills
- Attainment Company: Work Skills (for fee)
- Teachers Pay Teachers: An online marketplace for educational resources
- Life After IEPs: Free Resources for Teaching Employment “Soft Skills”