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Making Work, Work for You

Reasonable Accommodations

In order to be productive at work, you may need to ask for a reasonable accommodation. And what exactly is "a reasonable accommodation?" It's any change that may need to be made to your job or your work environment that will allow you to do your job well. These accommodations can include making your workplace accessible (for example, putting in a ramp), purchasing equipment, computer software, or providing sign language interpreters. You may also request a part time or an adjusted work schedule based on your ability to do the job. Your employer is often required to provide these reasonable accommodations for you based on your disability. Do not be afraid to ask for what you need, you have the right to do so!

Additional Resources:

Your right to a reasonable accommodation is covered under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For more information on the ADA visit this website: http://www.bu.edu/cpr/reasaccom/whatlaws-adaact.html

To learn more about your legal rights to accommodations, contact Disability Rights California (DRC). For more information visit their website: http://www.pai-ca.org/about/offices.htm

Disability Disclosure

Telling your employer about your disability is a personal decision and requires some thought. If you decide to share this information with your employer, it may allow for an open discussion about what kind of accommodations you may need to help you do your job. It's your choice when or whether to tell them about your disability. This can be a difficult decision but don't worry, you'll find useful information and advice on choosing the right time to disclose this information at: http://www.ncwd-youth.info/resources_&_Publications/411.html. The biggest thing to always keep in mind is — you're in control of your life, you decide what you want and how to do it. And yet, the beauty of it all is that you're not alone. There are lots of people and resources available to help. Never fear. Always ask!

Transportation

Once you get the job of your dreams, you want to be sure that you can safely get to and from work. If you have the ability to drive, you'll need to start the process of getting a driver's license. Begin by taking a driver's education course. This is most appropriate way to properly prepare for the Department of Motor Vehicles' test.

If you do not have the ability to drive, you still have many options! You can always have your parents drive you, but if you're ready to be more independent you can use public transportation (buses, light rail, etc.). If you're a bit nervous or unsure about how to use public transportation or worried about how to pay for it, there are agencies such as Department of Rehabilitation and the Regional Centers that can provide you with a public transportation pass and training on how to use the public transportation system.

Another good option to help you get around is a program called Paratransit. Paratransit provides door-to- door transportation services to individuals with disabilities. To find the contact information for Paratransit service in your area, check out this website: http://www.apta.com/links/state_local/ca.cfm

Once you become comfortable using these services you'll find that getting around on your own is a huge step in becoming more independent. And when you're independent, you're free to see more, do more and be more!

Now you're all set so, go for it!