Return to Work, School, or Volunteering
Engaging in meaningful occupation is known to improve quality of life. If you are interested in returning to work, furthering your education, seeking new employment, or volunteering in some capacity, you will want to set reachable goals for yourself. Occupational therapists assist you in reaching your goals. Explore the resources below to learn about resources that support your work or vocation goals.
- Return to work/seeking employment
Return to work/seeking employment
Explore the links below to discover vocational resources:
- Most states in the U.S. have a vocational rehabilitation office. Counselors assist you in re-entering the workforce. Click on Listing of U.S. Vocational Rehabilitation Offices
- The Workers with Disabilities section of CareerOneStop.Org has counselors to support you in your job search.
- You can also check into the American Job Center in your area. Click on American Job Center Website
- The United States Federal government is actively recruiting and hiring people with disabilities. Click on the USAJOBS.gov website
- Ticket to Work supports career development for Social Security disability beneficiaries age 18 through 64 who want to work. Click on the Ticket to Work website.
- The NCWD for youth helps disabled students age 18-24 transition to the workforce. Click on the NCWD-Youth website.
Video source: Stroke Foundation
Explore the links below for federal grants that support individuals by paying for a full college education. States may have individual education grants specific for the disabled.
- PELL Grant: Undergraduate degree only
- Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
- National SMART Grant
- Academic Competitiveness Grant
Institutions receive federal money through a government program called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA. This act helps both universities and colleges become more accessible to the needs of the disabled making the academic environment equal for everyone. It allows them to have adequate housing as well. One important thing to remember before starting college is to inform the school that you are disabled before the year begins so necessary accommodations can be arranged.
Small Business Grants for Disabled Individuals
- Disability Research Project and Centers Program Grant, reference number CFDA 84.133, at Grants.Gov.
- Private grants to disabled individuals are made available through charitable networks, community portals, schools and other support organizations. Jimmy Buffet's Singing For Change grants, for example, include disabled individuals. Singing For Change grants are offered nationwide annually with awards that range from $500 to $10,000 to nonprofit organizations with tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code.
- You could start by volunteering at your local hospital or rehabilitation center where you received your rehabilitation.
- You could create or volunteer for a stroke support group at the hospital, senior center, or college.
- You could become a lab volunteer at the local university with occupational, physical, and speech therapy students.
- Volunteers are always welcomed at community theaters, museums and monuments
- Libraries and senior centers
- Service organizations such as Rotary clubs and the Lions Club
- Youth organizations, sports teams, and after-school programs
- Historical restorations and community parks and recreation
- Places of worship such as churches or synagogues