Students in a classroom

Thinking about college?

College is for everyone!

There are many college programs that serve students with intellectual disabilities. They provide individual supports and services for the academic and social inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities in academic courses, extracurricular activities, and more. Follow this link for a list of inclusive college programs from our friends at Thinkcollege.net!

What am I interested in?

Not sure what you want to do for a job? Think about what interests you?

  • What are/were my favorite classes in school?
  • What do I like to do in my free time?
  • What things am I good at?

The things you are good at are also called “skills.” These skills can help you decide what a good job might be. For instance, if you are very organized, you might want to work in a library or an office. If you’re friendly, you might want to work at the check-in desk at a gym. If you know a lot about music, maybe you could work in a music store.
Learn more by visiting our Explore Work lessons!

Top 3 reasons people want to work

  1. Money. People work to make money. They need money for food, for rent, and to have fun with their friends and family. 
  2. Independence. Money isn’t the only reason to work. Working can also give you more independence and more control over your own life. When you work, you are learning new things, getting more skills, and making friends with people you meet through your job.
  3. Community. People work to be part of and contribute to their communities. This means that jobs exist not only for your benefit, but jobs also let you help others. For example, let’s say I have a job in an office delivering the mail. I’m helping the whole office save time and get stuff done.

Do you know why you want to work? Visit our Explore Work lessons to read and do exercises about community employment.

Fast Facts

How many Floridians with disabilities are working?

There are many different ways to answer this question. Check out our latest Fast Facts featuring data from the sources below!

#6 American Community Survey

One way is to look at data from the United States Government. It collects information through the United States Census. This survey is called the American Community Survey (ACS).

#7 Indicator 14: Post-School Outcomes

Indicator 14: Post-School Outcomes measures the percent of youth with disabilities who are no longer in high school, had Individualized Education Plans when they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or working in the community within one year of leaving high school.

#8 National Core Indicators Project

Data from the National Core Indicators (NCI) Project can help us understand what percentage of people are working and what percentage of people want to work.

#9 Rehabilitation Services Administration-911

Florida’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation reports data every year to the Rehabilitation Services Administration, which is part of the US government.The report shares the outcomes of the services Florida VR gave to job seekers with disabilities.

#10 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Florida reports data on individuals who got behavioral health services that are funded through grants from the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Behavioral health services are ways of helping people with mental illnesses or substance use disorders.

Why is employment important for people with disabilities?

People with disabilities are LESS likely to work and MORE likely to live in poverty when compared to people without disabilities. Poverty is incredibly limiting. It limits where you live, how you get places, what you do in your free time, and the number of people you know.

Employment not only helps to reduce poverty, it also gives us independence and control over our own lives. It presents us with the opportunity to learn new things, gain skills, and make friends with people we meet through our job.

Autism resources

Recently, a mom who follows along with our project sent some autism resources for us to share with you. Check them out. If you have any recommended resources, let us know!

Are you worried about losing benefit payments?

Two type of benefits that people with disabilities may receive are Supplemental Security Income (called SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (called SSDI). Both programs have rules that let you try working without worrying about losing your benefit payments. There are a lot of resources to help you figure out what benefits you may still need once you are working. It is important that you talk to someone that can get to know you and your individual situation. Below are important resources.

What You Need to Know About Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) When You Turn 18 [PDF]
Work Incentives – General Information
Disability Benefits 101