There are many different types of job situations that might be appropriate and rewarding to an individual with a disability. Some people are able to work in full or part-time positions while others may need supported employment. Still others might create their own microboard or work as volunteers.
This is work that you do without pay. For some, being a volunteer will allow them to have meaningful work that will accommodate their needs. An example, might be a person who has special healthcare needs or disabilities that will only allow them to work for very short periods of time. Being a volunteer might fit this schedule. Some great reasons to volunteer are a) to gain experience and add new job skills; b) to try out different types of jobs to see what you like; c) to make new contacts for paying jobs. Some examples of volunteer jobs that might be available in your community are serving meals at a senior center, picking up trash in community parks, helping out at the local animal shelter, tutoring or mentoring kids, etc.
Internships are experiential work learning experiences that take place on the job rather than in the classroom. Internships can be for pay or not for pay, part time or full-time, and they can range in duration from a few weeks to a few years depending on the type and purpose of the position.
Young people with disabilities can benefit greatly from the internship process. Internships can help students with disabilities develop fundamental job skills that are needed to compete in the real world job market.
A microboard is a non-profit organization that is centered around the individual with the disability to help plan, develop and maintain the ongoing services necessary to support him/her.
What is Supported Employment?
Supported employment assists people with significant disabilities by providing ongoing individualized supports designed to assist them to obtain competitive work in integrated work settings and become successful members of the workforce.
Watch this video for an introduction to disability disclosure for youth with disabilities in school or at work.