VII. Job Training and Employment Opportunities

 

There are several different ways of going about obtaining job training and employment. There are many private programs designed to teach vocational skills and there are also agencies that receive funding to provide training to people with disabilities. Planning that should take place in high school can help determine what the steps are in choosing and training for a career.

The Americans With Disabilities Act

 

In considering employment opportunities, it is always important to bear in mind that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) distinctly prohibits discrimination in employment in the public and private sector and in state and local government. The ADA requires reasonable accommodation in recruiting, hiring, employing, promoting and training qualified workers with disabilities. Of course, the question always turns on what is considered to be a "reasonable accommodation," but a person qualified for a job now has the legal protection to fight discrimination.

For further information about the ADA as it relates to employment, contact:

 

Equal Opportunity Employment Commission

 

New York District Office

7 World Trade Center, 18th Fl.

New York, NY 10048

1-800-669-4000

212-748-8500

Supported Employment

In addition to competitive employment for a person who is independent and can manage the responsibilities of a job without help, there is the possibility of supported employment. Supported employment is an option for people with disabilities who require assistance on the job. With the help of a job coach--a person who actually can be present on the job site to facilitate work--and the work readiness training necessary to be able to do a job, many people are able to achieve the goal of paid employment in the community. There are several types of supported employment provided with the help of an agency for people who meet the requirements of having a developmental disability. These include:

Supported Individual Jobs- For people who can work at an actual work

site with the help of one-on-one training by a job coach.

Enclaves/Work Stations- For a group of individuals working together at

an integrated site. Training, special supports and supervision are

usually provided by the rehabilitation agency.

Entrepreneurial Model- A small business employing people with

disabilities along with people without disabilities.

 

Access to these programs is through Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) of the New York State Education Department.

New York State Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID)

At age 21 a person with a disability is no longer eligible for educational services under IDEA (see p. 1). One of the vocational options available is VESID, the state agency which is set up to provide access to vocational counseling, evaluation, training and job placement. People who qualify through VESID can receive an array of services, ranging from transportation and architectural modifications to actual placement and payment for job training programs.

 

Services:

VESID offers many services. Everyone qualifies for an evaluation to determine disability and to help identify vocational skills and interests. For people who then meet the criteria for VESID services, they can access:vocational counseling and career planning, on the job training programs, job coach services, work-study programs, rehabilitation agency programs, assistance for college students, modifications to vehicles, homes and work sites, assistive technology, and general help in job readiness and job seeking skills. All of the services must be related to the general goal of achieving employment.

 

Eligibility:

An applicant must have a diagnosed mental, physical, learning or substance abuse disability which creates a significant vocational handicap which requires vocational rehabilitation services. Those who are legally blind receive services from the New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped. Financial resources can be taken into account in determining eligibility for services.

 

The application process:

The application process is usually begun through the Transition Coordinator in high school. It is a good idea to fill out an application, even when uncertain about needing the services. Application can also be done at a later time through the VESID office in the borough or county in which the candidate lives. When filling out the application, make sure to provide all the required information. If there is information missing, the form will be returned, causing an additional delay in processing. VESID gets many applications and some of the offices will be backlogged. Be sure to follow up applications: call to find out how they are progressing. A successful applicant will be assigned to a counselor. Because the counselors all carry large caseloads be aware that a missed appointment will cause a delay in the process. Please note: if application is made in one borough and then an applicant moves to a different borough, a new application will have to be submitted.

Most public schools have a VESID counselor who works with the school's Transitional Linkage Coordinator to register appropriate students. The VESID counselor usually begins working with the student in the second year. If a child is not registered by the last year of school, contact the Transitional Coordinator to request a VESID referral. Failing that, contact the local VESID office (listed below). The contact people either have prior knowledge of FD or have been provided with a fact sheet.

 

Access in New York City

Bronx VESID

1215 Zerega Avenue

Bronx, NY 10462

718-931-3500 Fax: 718-931-4299

John Nardozzi

 

Brooklyn VESID

55 Hanson Place

Brooklyn, NY11217

718-722-6701 Fax 718-722-6714

TDD 718-722-6736

Danna Mitchell, District Office Manager

 

 

Manhattan VESID

116 West 32rd Street

New York City, NY 10001

212-630-2300 Fax 212-630-2365

Bill Janowitz, District Office Manager

 

Queens VESID

59-17 Junction Boulevard 20th floor

Corona, NY 11368

718-271-8315 Fax 718-760-9554

Lois Benjamin, District Office Manager

 

 

 

 

 

Access Outside New York City:

Hauppauge VESID

New York State Education Department

NYS Office Building

Veterans Highway

Hauppauge, NY 11788

516-952-6347

Beverly Cody, Sr. Rehabilitation Counselor

 

Hudson Valley

White Plains VESID

55 Church Street

White Plains, NY 10601

914-946-1313 Fax: 914-946-1726

Dr. Sandra Countee, Regional Coordinator

 

 

Hempstead VESID

50 Clinton Street Suite 208

Hempstead, NY 11550

Ingo Gloeckner, Director

516-483-6510 Fax 516-483-6058

TTY 515 483-6087

Independent Living Centers

These New York State-funded agencies are an important source of help about employment options. Each center has its own special projects, but each of them focuses on the needs of people with disabilities, particularly physical disabilities, and the needs that they have in order to achieve independence. Contact the local center for help with employment, housing, obtaining government benefits and much more (see p. 98).

Competitive Employment

The following are some sources of help for people looking for competitive employment:

 

Federation Employment and Guidance Service

(FEGS)

62 West 14th Street

New York, NY 10011

212-366-8060

 

Just One Break (JOB)

120 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

212-785-7300

 

Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities

52 Chambers Street

New York, NY 10007

212-788-2830

 

Placement and Referral Center for Clients with Special Needs,

New York City Board of Education

100 Attorney Street

New York, NY 10002

212-505-6390

You can also contact the New York State Department of Labor for referrals to job training programs and employment:

 

In New York City

New York State Department of Labor

Labor Exchange

212-352-6971 - NYC - Employment referrals & job training programs

 

 

 

Outside New York City

Nassau County

New York State Department. of Labor

Community Service Center - Freeport

516-623-1956

 

New York State Department of Labor

Community Service Center - Hicksville

516-934-8500, 516-934-8550

 

New York State Department of Labor

Community Service Center - Hempstead

516-486-3442

 

Suffolk County

New York State Department of Labor

Community Service Center - Bayshore

516-666-7482

 

New York State Department of Labor

Community Service Center - Hauppauge

516-952-6491

 

 

 

 

 

New York State Department of Labor

Community Service Center - Huntington Station

516-673-1500

 

New York State Department of Labor

Community Service Center - Patchogue

516-758-7700

 

New York State Department of Labor

Community Service Center - Riverhead

516-727-4870

 

Rockland County

New York State Department of Labor

Community Service Center

914-426-2700

 

Westchester County

New York State Department of Labor

JOBS Program (Regional Office)

914-997-9535

 

Jewish Programs

The Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York

The Vocational Preparation Program for Jewish Students with Special Needs

426 West 58th Street

New York, NY 10019

212-245-8200

Provides vocational counseling, aptitude testing and career planning, as well as information about vocational training, vocational rehabilitation, and financial and supportive services available in the community.

 

Hebrew Academy for Special Children (HASC)

1311 55th Street

Brooklyn, NY 11219

718-851-6100

The HASC workshop in Brooklyn is for adults with mental retardation, who, because of their developmental delays, need a sheltered employment setting. The staff includes counselors, psychologists, special education teachers and training personnel. The workshop operates five days a week from 9AM to 4PM and serves breakfast and lunch. Participants are paid for their work.

 

Women's League Community Residences

1552 38th Street

Brooklyn, NY 11218

Hannah Kaplan

718-853-0840 Fax 718-853-0818

In Project CBR the Womwn's League provides help for people with mild to moderate mental retardation, 18 years of age and up, to obtain and maintain employment with the assistance of job coaches.