Self-Advocacy and Job-Seeking Skills

Work is a significant part of your life and it is important that you make your own decisions about what type of work you want to do. Being a self-advocate means speaking up about the important decisions in your life and being in control of decisions about your life.

If you have a career that you find interesting and satisfying, it can give you a great source of purpose, enjoyment, and self-confidence. The best way to make sure you find satisfying work is to keep your job search focused on your interests and the type of work that you enjoy doing.

Part of the process of self-advocacy involves improving your job-seeking skills so that you are more in charge of your job search. Focus on core issues first, such as improving your resume, writing a clear cover letter, and taking advantage of opportunities to meet people who might help you with your job search. Other important skills are how to prepare for and do well in an interview.

CareerOneStop.com has articles on job-seeking skills. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) also has a page that discusses how to prepare for a job interview.

If you need another person to help you with your job search, you can apply to work with a counselor at the Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration. To find the closest office near you, click here.

On 2-1-1 Arizona you can see a directory of additional organizations that offer career counseling and employment support.

Disability-Related Job Resources on the Web

In addition to the job-search resources listed here, there are several disability specific job banks. DisABLED Person allows you to connect with future employers by posting their resume and finding detailed information about potential jobs.

Linkages of Arizona has job listings and other career services on its website. Linkages of Arizona serves people with disabilities in Arizona. Another disability-related career site is GettingHired.

Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (COSD) is a national association that includes more than 600 colleges and universities and over 500 major national employers. COSD's mission is to improve the employment rate of college students and recent graduates with disabilities on a national basis.

ARIZONA@WORK

ARIZONA@WORK is a public and private partnership with a network of 47 local offices in 12 regional areas that helps employers and job seekers connect.

ARIZONA@WORK helps employers of all sizes and types recruit, develop, and retain the best employees for their needs. ARIZONA@WORK helps job seekers throughout the state with services and resources that help with the pursuit of employment opportunities. Through the support of federal funding, ARIZONA@WORK services are provided at no charge.

Learn more about ARIZONA@WORK.

Arizona Job Connection and One-Stop Centers

Arizona Job Connection (AJC) offers jobseekers the ability to register and search for jobs throughout Arizona, by either visiting a local One-Stops or by creating an account online.

You can visit a One-Stop Center in person to get help you with your job search or career planning. Each Center has knowledgeable staff to guide you, with essential tools to make your job search a success. Most services are free of charge. To find the One-Stop nearest to you, click here.

All One-Stop Centers have a range of assistive technology and staff to help you use their services and resources.

Services Offered

At the One-Stop Centers there are staff that can tell you about the services offered at the Center and any special services that might be available to you. They can help you use online job banks and other employment websites, such as the Arizona Job Connection. Staff can also give you advice about local employers that are hiring, teach you the basics of conducting a job search, and help you with your resume.

The One-Stop Centers have office equipment that will help you in your job search, such as telephones, photocopy machines, computers with internet access, printers, and fax machines.

Each One-Stop Center also has various resources available about how to search for a job, write resumes and cover letters, interview effectively, and find out which industries and jobs are expected to offer good prospects for the future.

Courses, Workshops and Trainings

One-Stop Centers offer a variety of workshops to help you with your job search and career planning. Examples of workshops include interviewing skills, networking, Internet job searches, completing job applications, and writing effective resumes and cover letters.

Career fairs bring many employers together at once. They are great places to apply for jobs or just to learn about what industries are hiring and what types of positions are available. To find a job or career fair near you, click here.

Other excellent courses, workshops and trainings on career planning and skills are offered through local community colleges, community education departments, and nonprofit groups.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Vocational Rehabilitation services can offer you a wide variety of counseling, training, job skills and job placement services. Vocational Rehabilitation is a term for programs that help people with disabilities become employed. In Arizona, the Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) offers these services to persons who qualify.

Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)

For more information about employment services, you can visit their website or call the Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration at 1-602-542-3332 or 1-602-542-6049 (TTY).

The Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration can help you get the training or other services that you need to return to work, to enter a new line of work, or to enter the workforce for the first time. The services they offer to you are carefully chosen to match your personal needs. You and your counselor will work together closely to set goals and then develop a plan to help you reach them.

Eligibility

Eligibility is based mostly on whether you have a physical or mental disability that makes it difficult to prepare for, get or keep work.

If you get Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you are presumed eligible for vocational rehabilitation services from Arizona RSA.

Health Insurance While Seeking a Job

There are a variety of resources to help you get health insurance, if you don’t have insurance. If you need health insurance, you can apply for Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) health coverage online.

To read more about keeping your AHCCCS health coverage, read the DB101 article on Managing Your Benefits While Working. Also, when you begin to work, you may be able to get health care by enrolling in the AHCCCS Freedom to Work program.