State intellectual and developmental agency
You may be eligible for services from your state agency that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. That’s sometimes called the “state IDD agency.” Florida’s IDD state agency is called Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). You can go to their website here: http://apd.myflorida.com/
Mental health and substance abuse agency
You may also be eligible for services from your state agency that supports people with mental health and substance abuse disorders. In Florida, this agency is called the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Department of Children and Families. You can go to their website here: http://www.myflfamilies.com/
Vocational rehabilitation agency
Every state has a vocational rehabilitation agency, or “VR agency,” that helps people with disabilities to find, keep, and succeed at a job. Many people with disabilities and their families have found these agencies helpful. Your state VR agency can give you flexible services to help you reach your employment goals. Find Florida’s state VR agency website here: http://www.rehabworks.org/.
Let’s talk more about VR and what it can do for you. Your VR agency can help you in many ways. For example:
- VR has tools to help you learn more about your interests, your skills, and the supports you need.
- They will also help you develop an Individualized Plan for Employment that outlines your goals and the services you will receive. In this plan, your VR counselor will help you think about an employment goal. It is the VR counselor’s job to help you figure what type of job you want and support you to look for a job. You’ll also make a list of all the steps that will help you get there. The work we’ve done together in this curriculum will help you be prepared for that!
- VR services may include:
- Vocational counseling. This is when you and your counselors have a conversation about your strengths and what type of job may be best for you.
- Job placement assistance. VR can help you to meet with potential employers and set up interviews.
- College or vocational training. VR can pay for you to go to college or a trade school to prepare you for a job.
- Job coaching or tutoring. VR can pay for someone to come to the job to help you learn it until you don’t need that type of help anymore.
- Transportation. VR staff can help you figure out how you will get to and from work.
- Assistive and rehabilitation technology services. If you need a special piece of technology to help you with your job, VR may pay for all or part of it!
What if you met with your counselor with all the information that you gathered by doing this curriculum? Let’s review all the work we’ve done so far. You’ve answered questions about:
- What you’re interested in
- Your employment goals
- What accommodations you might need on the job
All this information will help you and your counselor find the services you need to get the right job for you. So while you’re waiting for a meeting date with your counselor, complete these exercises. The more you know about the job you want and what you need to do to get it, the better off you’ll be.