- A job coach is a person who works with people with disabilities to help them find, learn and keep a job that matches their interests, skills and abilities. A job coach can provide various types of support, such as:
- Helping the job seeker identify their career goals and preferences
- Assisting the job seeker with resume writing, job searching and interviewing
- Negotiating with employers to create customized jobs or provide reasonable accommodations
- Providing on-the-job training and coaching to help the employee learn and perform their tasks
- Developing natural supports and relationships in the workplace
- Monitoring the employee’s progress and satisfaction
- Resolving any issues or problems that may arise
- Fading out the support as the employee becomes more independent and confident
Why is a job coach beneficial?
A job coach can benefit both the person with a disability and the employer in many ways, such as:
- Enhancing the well-being, self-esteem and independence of the person with a disability
- Helping the person with a disability access meaningful and fulfilling employment opportunities
- Increasing the income and financial security of the person with a disability
- Reducing the reliance on government benefits and services for the person with a disability
- Increasing the diversity, productivity and profitability of the employer
- Helping the employer find and retain qualified and loyal employees
- Educating the employer and co-workers about disability awareness and inclusion
- Creating a more positive and supportive work environment for everyone
How can I get a job coach?
There are different ways to get a job coach, depending on your situation and needs. Some possible options are:
- If you are still in school, you can ask your Individualized Education Program (IEP) team to include job coaching as a transition service in your IEP. This can help you prepare for your future employment goals while you are still in school.
- If you are an adult, you can contact your local Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) or other agencies that provide employment services for people with disabilities. They can help you access job coaching and other supports to help you find and keep a job in the community.
- If you are already employed, you can talk to your employer or human resources department about getting a job coach. They may be willing to hire or contract a job coach to help you succeed in your job. They may also be eligible for tax credits or other incentives for hiring people with disabilities.
- If you have your own funds, you can hire a private job coach to help you with your employment needs. You can find a job coach by searching online, asking for referrals or contacting professional associations.
Where can I find more information?
If you want to learn more about job coaching and how it can help you or someone you know with a disability, you can check out some of these resources: