If You are Disabled are the Chips Stacked Against You in the Job Search?

The truth is there are many employers willing to hire someone with a disability, but finding them can present challenges to the disabled. These employers need to know how to find you and you need to know how to find them. Surprising a potential employer with your disability when you arrive for an interview is not how you want to bring up the issue. So how do you find these potential employers and how do you discuss the elephant in the room before anyone realizes it’s there? Find a vocational rehab counseling (VRC) company. They are staffing companies that focus solely on placing those with disabilities in positions.I had no idea businesses like this existed until I met Bridget Benton of Benton Employment Solutions at a networking event. She owns and runs a full service employment agency placing people with disabilities into rewarding positions. Now before you go conjuring up your idea of what types of jobs VRC companies will place you in, know this. These companies place high functioning and low functioning disabled professionals in positions that match their skills sets, experience and career ambition. VRC companies place people in the C-suite to baggers at the grocery store.

So how do you find these potential employers and how do you discuss the elephant in the room before anyone realizes it’s there? Find a vocational rehab counseling (VRC) company. They are staffing companies that focus solely on placing those with disabilities in positions. I had no idea businesses like this existed until I met Bridget Benton of Benton Employment Solutions at a networking event. She owns and runs a full-service employment agency placing people with disabilities into rewarding positions. Now before you go conjuring up your idea of what types of jobs VRC companies will place you in, know this. These companies place high functioning and low functioning disabled professionals in positions that match their skills sets, experience and career ambition. VRC companies place people in the C-suite to baggers at the grocery store.

A Disability Is Not the End of Your Career

One-third of the population has a disability. A disability can be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, sensory or a combination of the aforementioned. A disability does not mean the end of a meaningful career or gainful employment. It may appear so, but that is simply not the case. Each state has a Community Mental Health Department. Your first phone call should be to your local office. They will refer you to a VRC company that can help place you in a position.

Because companies like Bridget’s are categorized as “vocational rehab counseling”, you might think they won’t provide the assistance you need. Not true. Companies that place disabled individuals get categorized this way because they provide job coaching and other coaching if it is necessary for a candidate to be more employable. If you don’t need job coaching, the VRC company won’t provide it. If you do, the VRC company will.

No more wondering how to bring up your disability when you get the call for an interview. VRC companies have the conversation with the employer about your disability before your interview. The potential employer already knows that the candidates VRC companies send them for interviews are disabled so it is not a surprise.

Who pays?

I always tell my clients if anyone ever asks you to pay them to help you find a job, hang up the phone. You should never have to pay someone to help you find a job. The paradigm of recruiters getting paid by the companies they place you with is upended with VRC companies. While you do not pay for a VRC company to assist in your placement, neither does the employer. This service is funded by the taxpayers in each state.  When you are successfully placed, the state pays the VRC company who placed you. If you need job coaching, the state pays for that. If you need accommodations in your new job, the state pays as well.

Employers Take Note

There are many advantages to hiring disabled individuals. They bring a new perspective and outlook to your teams that can be refreshing and eye opening. Additionally, employers receive a substantial tax rebate for every disabled person placed in the company. If accommodations are needed, the state pays for them. If your team and/or staff needs coaching on how to interact and accommodate their new team member, the state will pay for that coaching as well.

To the Disabled Job Seeker, You’ve Got This!

With the right people behind you, you can make this happen. If you need an advocate or someone to be the bridge between you and an employer about your disability, get a referral to a VRC company like Benton Employment Solutions, JVS or New Horizons to name just a few. A team of experts is waiting to ensure your disability doesn’t stand in the way of you landing your next great position!

The best is yet to come,

Michelle

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!