Working at a fulfilling job is a dream most people share, including those with disabilities.
Having a job provides people with:
- A paycheck and money management skills.
- A connection to the community.
- Social and emotion growth.
- Increased independence.
- Improved well-being and health.
- A greater sense of accomplishment and self-worth.
Vocational Services provides resources for people interested in employment. They will:
- Learn new job skills.
- Build a résumé.
- Apply for jobs.
- Understand appropriate workplace attire.
- Practice workplace etiquette.
Learn How Getting a Job Can Transform Your Life
6 Ways to Work
Through Vocational Services, people with disabilities find employment in a variety of positions and workplaces suited to their skills and experience, including:
- Competitive employment at a local business with limited or no support from staff.
- Supported employment at a local business, such as Chick-fil-A, Big Lots or Body Works Family Sports with the assistance of a job coach.
- Enterprise activities to create goods, such as pottery, artwork or furniture for direct sale.
- Enclave work in a group in the community, such as lawn crews or janitorial staff, supervised by a job coach.
- Client worker programs in which state supported living center (SSLC) residents work on campus, such as in the canteen, food services, landscaping or new employee orientation.
- Work centers where residents develop vocational and social skills with the help of vocational staff with the goal of enhancing those skills for future integrated employment in the community.
DADS Services for Integrated Competitive Employment
People with disabilities may face difficulty being accepted into integrated community settings. They may not be accepted or understood by others; they may have communications barriers, or be afraid of doing or saying the "wrong thing." DADS services can help people with disabilities overcome these difficulties.
Employment assistance helps people with disabilities obtain integrated competitive employment, while supported employment helps them maintain that employment.
Integrated employment is employment at a work site where the employee routinely interacts with people without disabilities outside the employee's work site supervisor or service providers. Competitive employment pays at or above the greater of the applicable minimum wage or the wage paid to people without disabilities performing the same or similar work.
These DADS programs offer employment services:
- Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions (ICF/IID)
- State Supported Living Centers (SSLCs)
- General revenue-funded ID services
- Medicaid 1915(c) waivers:
These and other programs also include services that may be used to support people in their jobs, such as personal assistance and transportation services. Anyone who wants to work, regardless of the program in which they are enrolled, are encouraged to apply with the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services for assistance with job preparation and search.
Myths and Facts
Myth: People with disabilities do not have vocational skills and cannot work in the community.
Fact: Everyone has something to offer. You can gain training in job skills and receive accommodations in the workplace to do your job.
Myth: People with disabilities have very few work opportunities.
Fact: Employers have many opportunities that require varying skill levels to meet your interests while emphasizing training and building skills.
Myth: People who use adaptive equipment or medical devices cannot be employed.
Fact: Employers on and off campus can accommodate people who require medical devices to perform certain functions.
Myth: SSLC residents can work only in work centers on campus.
Fact: Residents can also work off campus in local communities or even create their own goods (artwork, pottery, etc.) which they can sell.
Myth: People who work at work centers do not get paid.
Fact: Anyone with a disability who works earns money.
Job-focused Assessment, Planning & Search Tools
Note: If you use assistive technology and have trouble accessing any of these documents, please send an email to DADS Supported Employment Questions at SE.Questions@dads.state.tx.us.
- Career Exploration Plan (PDF). Source: Institute for Community Inclusion
- Career One Stop Job Seeker Tools
- Disabled Person, Inc.
- Finding the Right Job (PDF). Source: Institute for Community Inclusion
- Personal Profile (PDF). Source: Institute for Community Inclusion
- Skills to Pay the Bills (PDF)
- Situational Assessment (PDF). Source: Institute for Community Inclusion