With summer’s arrival, thousands of teens across the country are looking for their perfect summer job. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) have a lot to consider as they start applying for summer jobs, and we hope the following resources will be useful as they begin the process not only for summer employment, but for a meaningful long-term career.
For a comprehensive list of terms that will help you or your loved one as they begin to look for a job, visit the Autism NOW Center’s employment glossary. This compilation will explain some terms that may otherwise be confusing and answer questions about different work environments.
Planning is key. If you break your job search down into a series of small, workable tasks, the process will be more manageable. One way to keep tasks in order is to create a 30-Day Placement Plan. The following brief provides a placement plan form, along with instructions about how to use it: The 30-Day Placement Plan: A Road Map to Employment.
The Arc’s Resource Center has a number of links to help you learn about additional programs, and how to utilize the transition services that you already have in place to find employment.
There are also a number of resources available in your community:
- Contact your state or local I/DD agency or State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency for information about employment services for people with disabilities in your area. Find your State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency.
- If you are a student age 16 or older who receives special education services, your Individualized Education Program, or IEP, should include a transition plan with goals for your transition to adult life, including employment. While you are still in school, you should be learning how to find a job or continue your education after you graduate.
- Contact your local chapter of The Arc. They can assist you in finding out what you need to do and who to contact in your area. You can find your local chapter’s contact information by visiting www.thearc.org and clicking on Find a Chapter at the top of the page.