Opening Doors for Work

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Individuals and Families

Working can be challenging and rewarding. It is critical to have both the skills needed for employment and the opportunities to utilize those skills in the workplace.

If you are a job seeker needing assistance and information to search for employment, you will find information about available programs and agencies that may be of help. You'll also find general disability information and information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to mention a few. A simple click will take you to the section you want to access.

Getting Job Training

Getting the job training you need is critical one key resource to assist people with disabilities to get job training is the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation.

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)—The mission of VR is to assist and empower eligible individuals with disabilities to achieve and maintain meaningful employment. Vocational Rehabilitation services can include the following: Counseling and guidance, medical services and treatment, assistive technology, training and education, job placement, and follow up services.

Another resource is the Department of Workforce Services (DWS). At your local DWS office, you'll find a variety of training opportunities for job training. DWS can help you explore your interests, abilities, and current skill levels. DWS may be able to assist you in the development of an individual employment plan, assess your current skills, explore potential training and identify the providers who deliver the actual training that can help you meet your goals. You will need to visit your local DWS office located across the state, but you can also explore the DWS training website for more information.

Benefits such as Social Security and Medicaid

Are you concerned what will happen to benefits such as Social Security and Medicaid if you go to work? The Benefits Planning Assistance and Outreach program can help. Do you receive Social Security—SSI or SSDI? Do you want to go to work or work more hours?  Do you want to know how earning more money effects your Social Security? Benefits planning can help you understand what all this means when you go to work or increase your work hours.

Health Care—Is health care coverage important? Are you worried that you might lose your Medicaid if you go to work? What options are available to you? There are a many medical assistance programs for people with disabilities in Utah. Learn more about the many programs for which you may be eligible.

Social Security Administration—The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs are the Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. These two programs are different in many ways. Learn more about what Social Security is and how it affects you.

Often as you look for a job, other concerns arise such as shelter, food and caring for children. The Department of Workforce Services can provide information as to how to care for you or your family's needs. Programs such as Food Stamps, Child Care, and others may meet your needs.

Another source of both community and state services is Utah 2-1-1. You can search among many resources to meet your needs.

Legal Rights and Responsibilities

Advocacy—Understanding your rights and responsibilities and those of the business can be a powerful tool to smooth the employment process. What are your rights? Who can help you? The Americans with Disabilities Act provides you with protections as well as responsibilities during the entire employment process. Online be sure to check out the Americans with Disabilities Act homepage.

The Disability Law Center mission is to enforce and strengthen laws that protect the opportunities, choices and legal rights of people with disabilities in Utah. This includes access to services, programs and facilities, employment, housing, transportation and voting. Specifically for employment, the Disability Law Center provides a fact sheet, "Your employment rights and how to protect them." (doc) (pdf)

For general information, you can also view the Work Ability Utah Advocacy.

Going to Work and Finding a Job

To learn more about working in Utah, see "Going to Work". Here you will find information about job training, Social Security and Health Care.

Job Openings PWDNET—Search for jobs with employers who understand disabilities. These businesses have received training in the application and hiring process. They understand accommodations for people with disabilities.

Youth and Young Adults

Moving from the school to adult living can be daunting. There are many challenges to face, but there are also many resources available to assist with the planning and preparation needed. For planning and resources, see Youth in Transition.