Once your eligibility is approved, the next step is to create a plan for employment just for you. During the development of this plan, you will make many decisions. You will decide on your career goals, your work interests, the type of services you need, and the providers of those services. Your counselor will be your partner in making these “informed choices.” Informed choice means that you have obtained all the information you need to decide for yourself about the direction your rehabilitation will take. You may look to your counselor to help gather this information. He or she may also help you make decisions if necessary.

Knowing Yourself

The first part of developing a plan for employment consists of knowing yourself. It’s important to understand your strengths, capabilities and qualifications. You and your counselor will evaluate all of these things, sometimes with the aid of tests or other services. Then you’ll move on to the next step, understanding the workplace that you wish to enter.

Understanding the World of Work

Understanding the world of work that you’ve chosen increases your chances of being successful. If you wish to work in a career that is not available in your area, you will have to consider moving. If you don’t want to move, you’ll have to consider the types of work available in your local area. Your counselor can help you locate information about jobs in your local area and throughout the state.

Setting an Employment Goal

Next, you will be setting an employment goal. Along with your counselor, you will consider all the information developed during the previous two steps and make an informed choice about the employment goal that’s right for you. This goal should be as clear as you can make it. You’ve put a lot of time and thought into choosing it, and it plays a crucial role in determining the success of your rehabilitation.

Selecting the Services and Service Providers

After you and your counselor have agreed on an employment goal, you must select the services and service providers necessary for your success. Your counselor has valuable information and expertise to help you choose services and providers. You’ll be given the names of licensed and contracted service providers, information about those providers, and, in some cases, other consumers’ experiences with the providers.

You’ll then choose the services you need and a provider for each service. Here’s a list of some of the services provided by RSB:

  • educational services, including commercial training, vocational - technical schools, college and university programs;
  • treatment to help improve your physical or mental condition;
  • interpreter services (sign language or foreign language);
  • reader services;
  • instruction in independent living and travel;
  • transportation to get to and from rehabilitation services;
  • telecommunication, sensory and other technology;
  • rehabilitation technology services (computer and other electronic equipment);
  • assistance in getting services from other agencies;
  • assistance in moving from school to work;
  • work licenses, tools, equipment, initial stocks and supplies needed to start a business;
  • assistance in finding a job;
  • job coaching to learn job tasks and expectations;
  • follow-up services for you and your employer to ensure your success in continued employment.

Already Working but Want to do Your Job Better

You may be already working but want to do your job better or move up with your employer. Your counselor will follow the same process you’ve just read about, except for introducing you to the world of work. You will still need to evaluate yourself, determine your goals and select the services and providers necessary to achieve those goals. All of these steps can be accomplished while you keep your job and continue to work.