Individuals of varying ability can work! As you consider entering the workforce, you should do some career exploration. This allows you to examine your skills, interests, preferences and abilities and how they might match up with various jobs and careers. One idea is to take a self-assessment, which gives you a snapshot of your personality, skills, interests and preferences.

If you are not yet ready to take on a career, but know you are interested, one idea is to job shadow/find a mentor. This provides the opportunity to spend a day with an individual in their place of employment learning about how they spend their day, the type of work they do, and their work environment. Individuals may set up shadowing opportunities through their school, college, or by networking with individuals around them.

“Just as no two faces are alike, so are no two minds alike.”

B. Barakhot 58a

Disability Mentoring Day

Disability Mentoring Day is “a nationwide effort to promote career development for students with disabilities through hands-on career exploration.” Disability Mentoring Day takes place every October in conjunction with Disability Employment Awareness Month. For more information, visit the American Association of People with Disabilities website.

Once you are ready to work, you may need to ask for certain accommodations. But, what is a reasonable accommodation and how do you request one? A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job or work environment that allows you to fully participate in all employment related activities. As a job seeker or an employee, it is your responsibility to request accommodations. Resources such as the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can help determine the best accommodation for you. A reasonable accommodation may be requested at any time.

Accommodations are not limited to only your job functions. Your place of business should provide accessible break rooms, cafeterias, restrooms and transportation, if company provided.

Local Resources

Agency for Persons with Disabilities Employment Enhancement Project
Offers supported employment for APD wait-listed Floridians, ages 18 – 24, with transitioning from school to work. APD has allocated approximately $2,500 per EEP job seeker to provide supported employment coaching, follow-along services for supported employment, transportation for work and paid internships as employment. The intent is for APD, local school districts, collaborating agencies and organizations to work together to assist an additional 200 young adults who are leaving school to secure competitive employment.

CareerSource Broward
Increases opportunities and choices for Social Security Disability (SSDI) beneficiaries ages 18 -64 to become gainfully employed. Three locations in Broward County.

The Dan Marino Foundation
The Dan Marino Foundation (DMF) is a results-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons with autism or other developmental disabilities. Using innovative approaches to problem solving and leveraging the latest computer technologies, the DMF is creating unprecedented opportunities for the disability community. At the core of the Foundation’s initiatives is Marino Campus, an intensive 10-month post-secondary educational program to help young adults with autism or other developmental disabilities bridge the gap between high school and employment

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Assists individuals with physical, emotional and developmental disabilities with achieving employment goals. They provide medial/psychological evaluations, counseling, interpreter services, adjustment services and employment assistance.

Picasso Einstein
Picasso Einstein provides educational and consulting services to create meaningful employment for someone with a developmental disability by starting a small sustainable business focused on the strengths and interests of the individual. Picasso Einstein offers courses, consulting and benefits counseling.

The Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program
Offers opportunities to those receiving disability benefits to obtain employment, vocational rehabilitation and other services that assist in achieving employment goals.

SpectrumTech Technology Center
United Community Options (UCO) and Helping Adults with Autism Perform & Excel (HAAPE)

After graduation most young adults with Autism need considerable help in finding truly meaningful employment that takes advantage of their unique skills in an appropriate workplace environment. SpectrumTech is HAAPE’s pilot program to train and hire adults with autism to professionally perform software testing and quality assurance/data analysis at a competitive price point within the marketplace, while paying our employees a competitive wage.

Americans Live With an Autism Spectrum Disorder
of Children Have Been Diagnosed with a Developmental Disability