Employment - Part 2

The Five Work Competencies

  • Physical competence exists when the individual/family monitors and controls health issues, assures proper nutrition and builds healthy eating habits, provides appropriate periods of sleep and encourages regular exercise and physical activity
  • Mental competence exists when the individual/family minimizes stress and assures that job duties are clearly understood and trained so people are successful
  • Social competence exists when the individual/family learns/teaches social skills, how to get along with others and basic good manners and etiquette
  • Emotional competence exists when the family provides encouragement and compliments that lead to pride in what one does
  • Ethical competence exists when the family leads by example and talks through ethical issues such as confidentiality, honestly and respect for others.

Tips on How to Find the Best Professional Help

  • Work with a professional who will present positive attributes to potential employers
  • Work with a professional who will approach business owners directly in small businesses where most jobs exist
  • Work with a professional who understands personal relationships get jobs instead of turning in a lot of applications and resumes and then waiting for the employer to call
  • Work with a professional who asks about and is aware of your unique religious, cultural or family characteristics
  • Work with a professional who asks you about your employment expectations and preferences (for example, whether you prefer to work a certain time of day, day of the week, type of work, or if you have certain times or days of the week that you will not work, if you have a preference for people over paperwork or vice versa, etc.)
  • Work with a professional who is flexible, respectful and fun
  • Work with a professional who views the family as an important source of information about the interests, skills, and abilities that can lead to a long-term career
  • Work with a professional who can explain the impact of work on social security, Medicaid and other benefits (see ?Benefits Planning? section)
  • Work with a professional who understands how to write plans that protect social security benefits and how to complete benefits planning activities (see ?Benefits Planning? section)
  • Talk to other families about employment programs, agencies and services they used and found to be helpful

School Resources

Often a family becomes aware too late that school will not always provide a support during the day. Generally, in Utah, students are eligible for special education until they turn 22, once the student turns 22 they exit the public school system. If the family has not prepared for this it may mean that a parent or sibling must stay home and become a caregiver during the day.

One resource available from the time the student turns 16 is the school transition program. This program is a valuable resource in the search for a career. Sadly, some families do not use this resource or the opportunities it provides. School transition can provide work sampling and career exploration, specific job training and development of work skills. The supports are tailored to each student?s needs through the Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Improper IEP planning and use of the school transition resource may result in the student graduating without a plan for getting a job. As people sit at home with nothing to do they lose work skills, friends, associations with peers and employment prospects. Proper planning, however, will help to identify a path to adulthood and provide volunteer and real work experiences before graduation, a valuable career after graduation, a place to go during the day, and opportunities for social interactions with others.

Not everyone will go directly to work after graduation, some students will attend vocational or college programs before moving on to a career. The important thing for a family to remember is that proper planning and partnering with the school transition program will minimize negative experiences when transitioning from school to adult life and can assist people to make meaningful contributions as adults.

Other Considerations

Maintain an open mind and believe that you/your family member can have a successful career - work should always be a goal. For almost everyone, getting a job is a real possibility, even for people with the most severe challenges. Do not count your family member out before you try. Talk to other families who have had success for motivation and ideas. When an individual does not want to work, be sure that it is not due to being unprepared or a lack of information, but is truly a free and informed choice.

Do not hurry to find a job. Take the time it takes to find a job that meets your/your family member?s needs. As you pass by businesses in the community where you shop, ask questions about how the business is doing, chat with the owner about when they need extra staff and other needs the business may have. Take the opportunity to introduce yourself/your family member to business owners, in your role as a customer. Ask what criteria they use to hire people in their field. If you do this consistently, you will have a vast knowledge of the needs that exist among businesses in your community and can more easily find a place where you/your family member can be an asset.

A family helps people believe in themselves through offering love, care and understanding. Remember people cannot grow through shame, blame, or criticism. When difficult challenges come along and someone is there to offer understanding, people find ways to change the situation in a positive direction.


Note: There may be several professionals helping in the job search at once. For example, there may be an employment counselor from Workforce Services, a support coordinator from the Division of Services for People with Disabilities, a rehabilitation counselor from the Division of Rehabilitation Services, and a job coach from an agency that does job placement. Use these resources if they are available to you. Some of these resources also pay for comprehensive vocational assessments, custom fit training programs that target jobs in new technologies, self-employment opportunities, vocational training and even college.

  • School Transition Program (school aged youth) ? contact your school or local school district
  • Department of Workforce Services :website www.jobs.utah.gov/jobseeker
  • The Division of Services for People with Disabilities (contact your support coordinator)
  • Private Job Placement Agencies
  • Division of Rehabilitation Services: (Vocational Rehabilitation) Utah State Office of Rehabilitation: web site www.usor.utah.gov
  • State Vocational Rehabilitation Employment Resource Center: provides a number of resources and supports to assist individuals who are seeking employment supports
  • (801-887-9393)
  • Supported Employment ? provides competitive work in integrated work settings for individuals for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred, or for whom competitive employment has been interrupted as a result of a severe disability, and who, because of the disability, need ongoing support services to perform that work.
  • Supported Job Based Training:
  • Benefits Planning: The Utah Benefits Planning Assistance and Outreach (UBPAO) program is designed to give Social Security Disability Beneficiaries information on how employment may affect their benefits so that they may make an informed choice about working. The UBPAO can also look at any other benefits a person receives and assess how work may affect those benefits.
  • Work Ability: Opening Doors to Work: 877-2GO-WORK (877-246-9675) email- www.workabilityutah.org People with disabilities can work who want to work. Work Ability helps prepare people with disabilities to work. Employer's benefit from hiring qualified workers with disabilities. Work Ability helps employers by connecting them with an untapped workforce. This program provides information to individuals who receive public benefits like Medicaid and Social Security due to a disability. Work Ability connects people with supports to help them find and maintain work.
  • Employment Related Personal Assistance (EPAS): Personal Assistance services for people with disabilities who are employed and, because of their disability, need personal supports to work. A licensed agency or qualified personal care assistant can provide services at work and/or at home. Email- Mbuckley@utah.gov
  • **The Utah Governor?s Committee on Employment for People with Disabilities**: promotes employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, assisting both employers and job seekers. For information contact Diane Russell at drussell@utah.gov or call 801-88

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