In the past, many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities did not have jobs. This happened even though they might have wanted a job and could work. If they worked, they might not have had a job that used their skills and strengths.
Many people went to “prevocational” programs. The programs were just for people with disabilities. They learned skills to get ready for work. People could do some tasks where they were paid. Their pay was less than minimum wage. They did not move to jobs alongside people without disabilities.
New changes help people with disabilities get jobs in the community. Now people have more ways to explore, find, and keep jobs in their communities.
More people are working alongside people without disabilities. They are paid by their employer. People are making the same amount of money as others doing the same work. This is called competitive, integrated employment.
Competitive, integrated employment is:
- Alongside people without disabilities;
- Paid by the employer;
- Paid the same wages and benefits as others with the same job;
- Full or part time work;
- With or without supports from an employment provider; and
- Employment services if you want to own your own business.
There are services that can help you prepare for a job that pays a competitive wage. These services teach general work skills, not specific skills for a specific job. People with disabilities can receive prevocational services if they do not expect to have a job within 1 year.
- Starting in 2021, Pre-Vocational Services will be limited to 3 years. Participants must also receive employment services and/or a day support service.
You may access these services if both these conditions are met:
- You are expected to need this service for more than a year
- Your service need and eligibility are re-evaluated every year
Prevocational Services teach basic work skills such as:
- Ability to focus
- Effective workplace communication
- Effective social skills and conduct
- Following directions
- Motor skills
- Personal self-care and appearance
- Public transportation
- Safety (e.g. pedestrian street safety)
- Task completion
Prevocational Services do not include:
- Special education services available and funded through the Individuals with Disabilities Education ACT (IDEA);
- Vocational services available and funded through Section 110 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; or
- Training that teaches specific job skills or employment objectives.
There can be barriers for people with disabilities to find and get a job. You can get supports for your employment needs. You may be at different stages in your life and there are services that can help you at any stage. Here are some resources that can help:
Exploration Services can help you know your choices for competitive, integrated employment.
Exploration services staff can support you in:
- Exploring various jobs and careers
- Touring businesses
- Talking with or interview current employees
- Finding an internship
- Job shadowing
Development Services can help you get competitive, integrated employment. It can also help you be self-employed or start your own business.
Development services staff can help you:
- Practice communication and interview skills
- Build a resume
- Match your skills to jobs
- Apply for jobs
- With job support when you start
- Create a business plan and start a business
Individualized Support Services
Individualized Support Services help you keep a job in your community.
Support services staff can help you:
- Meet your new supervisor and co-workers
- Understand job benefits
- Learn new skills or tasks
- Help with accommodations or assistive technology
- Ask for help and problem solve
- Keep a job or small business going
You are eligible if you receive a waiver. This waiver is known as Minnesota’s Home and Community-Based Services. This is a part of an individual community service plan.
How to apply?
The County or Tribal case manager can help you find work options and use employment services.
- Disability Hub MN
- MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)
- Assistive Technology (Information for people with disabilities to access technology they need to live, learn, work and play)
- Arc Guide Arc Guide to Employment Services When Receiving Waiver Services (PDF)
For further information or advocacy services, contact The Arc Minnesota at 833.450.1494 or visit www.arcminnesota.org. (Please note: This document is not legal advice. No information should replace the advice of an attorney.)
All rights reserved (c) 2020 The Arc Minnesota. Document updated August 2020.