Frequently Asked Questions:
1.What about my benefits?
- Each individual who receives SSI or SSDI checks should connect with a Benefits to Work Community Work Incentives Counselor to determine how working can help you as you maintain a safety net of services. 1 (888) 839-5333
2. Where can I go to get a job?
- Start with the Career Center in your area. They have the most jobs and connections to local employers. Anyone can use their services. You can work with them before or while you are working with Vocational Rehabilitation.
3. Will my family member be safe and treated kindly at work?
- Best Hopes, Worst Fears [PDF] by Kathie Snow may help you think about this.
- Teaching Stranger Safety Skills to Children and Adults With Disabilities is a how-to guide developed and tested at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.
- Amy Gonzalez, DIDD Day Services Coordinator, and Former Program Coordinator/Job Developer, Next Steps at Vanderbilt says,
In most cases, when individuals with disabilities join the workforce, they are welcomed by everyone and they are accepted as one of the team. In my experience, I have observed that individuals with disabilities motivate and inspire their non-disabled co-workers to be more productive, decrease absenteeism and to have a “good attitude” when it comes to work in general.
There has been a few times that I have observed hostility in the workplace. In these cases, most individuals felt it was unfair to provide the individuals with “preferential treatment”, however, once educated about accommodations and the importance of them, most of the hostility shifted to positivity and acceptance of the individual. In reality the preferential treatment is not that, but an accommodation for the individual to successfully complete their tasks. I think educating the employers and the staff is crucial to the individuals success in the workplace, education is key!
4. What do you mean by “work” or “employment”?
- Some definitions of the different kinds of work and work settings are provided in this PDF.
5. Who should use this site?
- Any Tennessean who is interested in improving the employment of people with disabilities. There is info for:
- employment professionals
- job-seekers with disabilities
- their supporters and families
- educators who help with transition from school to work
6. How does it work?
- The menu on the home page can direct you to the parts of this website.
- Under “About the Collaborative“, learn more about who? what? how? and why?
- Skip to “Resources and Publications” for info related to employment.
- Join the community at “Get our e-newsletter“.
- The Employment Events page lists events from the TN Disability Pathfinder Calendar.
- On the “Categories” menu to the right of the home page, posts are arranged by who can best use the information.
- Use the Search box to find specific information.
7. Why use TennesseeWorks?
“This website will serve as a dissemination communication venue, resource clearinghouse, and gathering place for the collective work of the Collaborative and partners throughout the state. We want to foster effective communication concerning what each is doing and what is available throughout the state in terms of services, resources, professional development, supports, and linkages. We will also launch a new statewide list serve and quarterly e-newsletter to share the work of members and others.”
8. Can TennesseeWorks help me get a job?
- We do not work directly with individual Tennesseans to help them get jobs. We hope the information on the website can help you get a job. We are a grant funded to provide information.