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ASERT has compiled resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

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Employment Information for Individuals with Autism

Overview

Whether it is preparing a resume or requesting an accommodation, it is important to know where you can find additional information to help you with the employment process. Below is information on employment that we hope will be helpful in preparing for your next step!

Adjusting to New Situations

Overview

Competencies: Community Living Skills & Supports; Familial and Environmental Considerations

Change is part of everyday life. The ability to change is central to our growth as individuals. For people with autism, who often rely on predictability and routine to feel calm and safe, change can affect them differently. Adjusting to new situations may be met with anxiety, fear, or resistance. Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to ease adjustment to new situations.

Plan Ahead

Try to give advance notice about new situations, if possible. Share details about the change and how it could affect the person. Discuss the positive outcomes of the new situation or change. Use visual tools to provide predictability and structure. Examples may include:

  • A countdown calendar
  • A social narrative (e.g. a written and/or illustrated guide to a specific social setting, such as how to use public restrooms safely)
  • A video or photographs of new people or settings
  • An activity schedule using pictures
  • A written daily agenda

Discuss and Practice Coping Strategies

Suggest use of calming strategies using fidgets (hand-held items that are non-intrusive and can be manipulated by the user, ranging from squeeze toys to knitting) Model positive self-talk, provide time to adjust before trying a new strategy, listen and validate the person’s experience, offer breaks when needed.

Teach and Reinforce Flexibility

Always positively reinforce attempts to cope with change. During periods of routine, include
new or different activities into daily schedules to build stamina for change.

What Can You Do Now?

  1. Test out the strategies described above for supporting someone through a small change. Make note of which methods work best for the individual and utilize these when planning for big changes.
  2. New situations are not always predictable. Prepare yourself and the person you support by practicing coping strategies together and learn which strategies work for the person you’re supporting. Remember, what works for you may not necessarily work for the person you’re supporting.

Getting Feedback at Work

Overview

In every job, you will be given feedback about your performance, both positive and negative. The reason for feedback at work is to help you learn what you are doing well at your job, as well as what areas you need to improve. It can be stressful to hear feedback about yourself, especially the negatives, but it is important in learning about yourself as a worker. This resource provides some tips to help you deal with negative feedback at work.

Don't get angry or defensive

While your first instinct may be to become angry, defensive, or upset, this is not the time to let out these emotions. Reacting negatively may make the situation worse or make your boss respond more negatively to you. Try to stay calm when you respond to the feedback.

Be respectful

When getting negative feedback, try to be respectful and polite. Listen to what you are being told, have good eye contact, and nod to show you are listening. You do not have to be happy about the feedback but it is important to be respectful in the moment.

Focus on the positives

If during the feedback, your boss remarks about the positives of your work, focus on that. Also, try to remember that everyone makes mistakes and has weaknesses at work. This is normal. No one is perfect, and you have the ability to get better.

Ask for suggestions

Ask your boss for suggestions about how to improve. This shows that you want to do better and care about the job. If you need further explanation about your weaknesses, now is the time to ask.

Practice relaxation

When getting feedback, you may experience stress or anxiety. This is normal! Take some slow deep breaths if you are feeling overwhelmed and try to relax your body. After the feedback, you may want to take a little break to relax before returning to work.

Vent about it later

It’s normal to want to discuss or vent about things that happen at work. When it comes to getting negative feedback, be careful about letting out your reaction at work. You should wait and discuss what happened with a trusted friend or family member outside work.

Workplace Relationships

Overview

Understanding Interactions

While you may be thinking that the only important part of a job is doing the job itself, the relationships you have with coworkers are also very important. You will likely spend a lot of time with coworkers, so understanding how to interact with them is a necessary skill to learn. Below are some questions and answers you may have about workplace relationships.

Can I be freinds with my co-workers?

Yes, but this can come with challenges. Being friends with coworkers outside of work is ok, and often very common. However, you will need to remember that when you’re at work, you need to be professional and limit personal conversations to certain times and places, like lunch breaks. Also, being friends with coworkers can be hard if that friendship ends. You will still need to be able to work together even if you’re not friends anymore.

What can I talk about at work?

You can absolutely have “small talk” with coworkers. Good topics include the weather, weekend plans, job tasks, movies, music, sports, and other favorites. There are also inappropriate topics that should not be discussed at work, such as politics, religion, sexuality, and money. Also, using offensive language is not appropriate at work because that behavior is often thought of as unprofessional.

Can you date a co-worker?

  • While work can be a great place to meet people, dating coworkers can lead to challenges. You will need to remember to be respectful at work, including limiting public displays of affection, such as kissing or hugging, and talking about personal or sexual topics. You will also need to think about how you will handle working with the other person if the relationship ends.
  • There are some times when dating a coworker is not appropriate. Dating your boss, or someone that you supervise is usually not allowed. Also, some companies may have rules that forbid office romances.

Where and when can I talk with co-workers?

While chatting with coworkers is appropriate at work, it does depend on where and when these conversations are happening. Engaging in small talk when you are supposed to be working, are at a meeting, or your boss is around are not good times. However, during breaks or lunch time is perfectly okay. It is also okay to spend time with and talk with coworkers outside of work.

How do I become friends with co-workers?

Becoming friends with coworkers is the same as with anyone else. You need to introduce yourself and begin getting to know them. Ask questions and find common interests. One easy conversation starter is something you already have in common – the job! Just remember to limit personal conversations to times when it is appropriate at work, such as breaks or lunch time.

What about social media?

It’s ok to connect with coworkers on social media. However, be careful what you post! Remember that anything you post about your personal life on social media could be seen by your coworkers. Connecting with your boss on social media should be limited.

Employment Resources for People with Disabilities

Jobs Accomodation Network

Can help you with: Finding a reasonable accommodation to enable you to do the job you have or want

Contact:https://askjan.org/ (800)526-7234 (Voice) (877)781-9403 (TTY)

Workforce Incentives Planning Initiative

Can help you with: Information on how to maintain your benefits while working

Contact: Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (www.drnpa.org)
1315 Walnut Street, 5th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107 1-800-692-7443 Ext. 309 (voice) • 215-789-2498 (TDD)

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

Can help you with: Supported employment services to find and keep a job

Contact: 444 N 3rd St # 5A, Philadelphia, PA 19123 Phone: (215) 560-1900 TTY: 215-560-6144

PA Client Assistance Program

Can help you with: Problems accessing services at OVR; if you have been denied OVR services

Contact: 1515 Market Street Suite 1300 Philadelphia, PA 19102 Toll Free (888) 745-2357 Voice/TTY (215) 557-7112 http://www.equalemployment.org

Career Link

Can help you with: Searching job listings, building a resume, networking opportunities

Contact: http://www.philaworks.org Suburban Station 1617 JFK Boulevard, 2nd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103 Phone: 215-557-2625

Legal Clinic for the Disabled

Can help people with physical disabilities with: Consumer protection, family law, housing, wills, public benefits, and insurance

Contact: legalinfo@lcdphila.org

Intake: Wednesday only: 9:30am to 3:30pm call: 215-587-3350

Liberty Resources

Can help you with: Living independently in the community

Contact: 714 Market Street, Suite 100 Philadelphia, PA 19106 215-634-2000 tdd: 215-634-6630 LRinc@libertyresources.οrg

Sierra Group Academy

Can help you with: Building skills to find employment

Contact: 714 Market St, Suite 302, Philadelphia, PA 19106 info@lriacademy.org
215.634.2000 ext. 203

Public Interest Law Center

Can help you with: Employment discrimination based on disability; reasonable accommodations at work; criminal records in employment applications

Contact: jfoster@publawint.org 267-546-1313

Philadelphia Legal Assistance

Can help you with: Unemployment compensation, home ownership, bankruptcy, medical assistance, family law

Contact: 215-981-3800 on Tuesday or Thursday between 9:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
Walk-in: Mon & Wed, 9-11:30 The Cast Iron Building,718 Arch Street, Suite 300N

Family law: call 215-981-3800 Mon & Wed, 10 – 12 (no walk-ins)

Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN)

Can help you with: Work Incentives Planning Assistance, Ticket to Work

Contact: 800-692-7443 (voice) or 877-375-7139 (TDD) intake@drnpa.org

OVR Early Reach Program

Overview

Early Reach is an outreach initiative intended to promote successful outcomes for youth with disabilities by increasing awareness of OVR services and the benefits of early career planning. The Early Reach Coordinator will reach out to youth with disabilities, their parents, local schools and community agencies that serve youth.

Contacting An Early Reach Coordinator

Parents, guardians, school personnel and community agencies may request outreach services by contacting an early reach coordinator listed below or by visiting www.dli.pa.gov.  Written consent must be received from a parent or guardian before individual services can be provided to youth with disabilities under the age of 18.

Building a better future: Transitioning from school to work and independence:

What is transition?

Transition is the movement from school to post-school life. Youth with disabilities may require services and support in their transition to life after high school. This requires planning and coordination long before they leave the educational setting.

OVR’s role in the transition process

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) Counselors work closely with school personnel and agency staff to help eligible youth with disabilities secure and maintain employment and independence after transitioning from the education system. OVR services are employment-focused and based on the unique needs of each individual. Youth with disabilities who are interested in OVR services must be planning to obtain competitive employment.

Early Reach Initiative

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation started early reach to increase successful outcomes for youth with disabilities by increasing awareness of OVR services, independent living skills, career planning and the role of OVR in the transition from school to adult life.

Early Reach Coordinators

An Early Reach Coordinator is assigned to each of the 15 Office of Vocational Rehabilitation district offices in Pennsylvania to connect earlier with youth with disabilities, their parents, local schools and other community agencies. Coordinators reach out to youth with disabilities as early as age 14, so that they know more about OVR services and what to expect from vocational rehabilitation services. In addition, Coordinators are knowledgeable about the full array of services available to youth with disabilities.

The Role of the Early Reach Coordinator

Early Reach Coordinators provide informational presentations and consultations to school personnel, community agencies, youth with disabilities and families to outline the services offered by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Coordinators also provide education and consultation on the benefits of early career planning and the development of independent living skills. Coordinators can assist youth with disabilities in planning and applying for OVR services, and can provide consultation and links to resources that will help youth with disabilities pursue both independence and participation in the workforce.

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Handbook

Overview

Rehabilitation Services Handbook

The Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, or OVR, provides vocational rehabilitation services to help persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment. OVR provides services to eligible individuals with disabilities, both directly and through a network of approved vendors. Services are provided on an individualized basis. This guide from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry explains the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the services it provides.

This guide will help explain vocational rehabilitation — how it works and how you can make it work for you. Your counselor will also explain vocational rehabilitation services and answer any questions that you or anyone in your family may have.

What is OVR?

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) serves people who have disabilities that present a substantial impediment to employment. Services are provided to individuals to prepare for, enter into, engage in or retain employment. OVR has 21 District Offices located around the State. Our counselors work every year with thousands of persons who have physical, mental and emotional disabilities.

Should I apply to OVR?

You should apply if:

  • You have a disability
  • Your disability causes you substantial problems in preparing for, obtaining or maintaining a career
  • You want to work.

How do I get started?

For more information about services, call or write the OVR District Office listed on the back of this brochure that is nearest to where you live.

Will I be eligible?

When you apply to OVR for help with employment, a counselor will be assigned to work with you. The counselor will meet with you face-to-face to get to know you in order to decide how OVR can best assist you to help yourself. With your written consent, your counselor will gather information about your needs, your interests, aptitudes, education, work experience, family and finances. Your counselor will arrange any needed medical examinations and testing, at no cost to you.You will be eligible for OVR services if:

  • You have a disability, that is a physical, mental or emotional impairment which results in a substantial impediment to employment and you can benefit in terms of an employment outcome from services provided
  • Vocational rehabilitation services are required for you to prepare for, enter, engage in or retain gainful employment.

How long will it take to determine if I'm eligible?

You will know if you are eligible for OVR services within60 days of the date you apply for OVR services, unless

  • Exceptional and unforeseen circumstances beyond our control preclude us from completing the determination and you agree an extension is warranted
  • An extended evaluation is required to determine your eligibility.

What happens after I become eligible for OVR?

You and your counselor will work together to make informed choices regarding a cooperative plan of action to include a career goal, the services needed to assist you help yourself to get started in or maintain your career, and your responsibilities. This plan of action is called the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

Deciding on your goal usually takes time. During this time you will receive information and options to assist you in developing a successful program. You will have the opportunity to consider different types of careers,your job skills, chances for employment in your local area, potential earnings, family responsibilities,training, and other matters of importance to you and your family

Your counselor wants you to pick a career, one that you will still want and at which you will still be able to work years from now. Your IPE outlines the steps you will take to obtain a job and can be changed if your needs change. You and your counselor will work together to make any necessary changes.

What services are available to me?

Some services can help you overcome or lessen your disability; others can directly help you prepare for a career. The services you receive will be arranged to meet your individual needs. Not everyone will need every service.

  • Diagnostic Services include medical,psychological and audiological exams and tests used to better understand your disability and your needs for specific types of services.
  • Vocational Evaluation includes testing such as aptitude, interest, general ability, academic exams,work tolerance and “hands-on” job experience used to understand your vocational potential.
  • Counseling Services are offered to assist you find ways to better help yourself throughout the rehabilitation program from the first meeting with your counselor to your starting and maintaining a career. Counseling services help you to better understand your potential, rely on your abilities,set realistic vocational goals, change them when necessary, develop successful work habits and begin a satisfying career.
  • Restoration Services include many types of medical services and equipment such as physical and occupational therapy, wheelchairs, automobile hand controls and other types of rehabilitation technology that may be provided to enable you to pursue your career and achieve independence
  • Training Services include education to prepare you for a job including but not limited to basic academic, vocational/technical, college, on-the-job, independent living skills and personal and work adjustment training. It may be necessary for you to leave home to get the training you want and need.
  • Placement Services include counseling, job-seeking programs, job club and job development used to increase your ability to obtain a job. You will receive ideas, practice and advice on finding job leads, filling out applications, getting interviews for a job and how to interview. Your counselor may also give you job leads or explain to employers about tax credits they can receive when hiring you. The more contacts with employers you make, the better your chances are of starting your career.

Support services are provided if they are necessary for you to start your career. Services may include:

  • Room, board and transportation costs during your evaluation or while you are completing a rehabilitation program.
  • Occupational tools, licenses or equipment.• Home modifications, adaptive or special household equipment related to obtaining or maintaining a job.
  • Van or car modifications, including special driving devices or lifting devices to enable you to travel to your job.
  • Personal care assistance provided to help you with your daily needs in order to enable you to participate in a vocational rehabilitation program.
  • Job site modifications that will enable you to obtain and maintain a job.
  • Independent living training to provide the means for you to become more self-sufficient and thereby make it possible for you to participate fully in the vocational rehabilitation program.
  • Text Telephone (TTY), signaling devices, hearing aids and interpreter services may be provided to help you communicate if needed to participate in the vocational rehabilitation program.

How much will this cost me?

It does not cost you anything to apply for services.There is no charge for diagnostic services, vocational evaluation, counseling or job placement assistance. If you are eligible for services, your counselor may ask you to provide documents about your income and expenses. Depending upon your income, you may have to contribute to the cost of OVR services. OVR cannot pay for any services you received before you applied to OVR. Even after you apply, OVR can pay only for those services approved in advance by your counselor.

How long will it take me to start my career?

That depends on your abilities, the career for which you are preparing, and on your individual needs. Most important, it depends on how much responsibility you take for helping yourself to prepare for, start or maintain a career. You can help things move along as quickly as possible if you:

  • Help your counselor get the needed information.
  • Keep all appointments or call if you can’t be there.
  • Stay in touch with your counselor (if your counselor cannot find you, things are bound to slow down).
  • Tell your counselor if you feel things are going too slowly.

What happens if I have questions or complaints?

This is your rehabilitation program. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about anything. You are entitled to the best service OVR can give you. Your comments,suggestions and criticisms are important.

If you are an applicant or a customer of OVR and are dissatisfied with a determination or service OVR is providing, please contact your counselor or your counselor’s supervisor to discuss your concerns. You may request a hearing before an impartial Hearing Officer. A written request for a hearing must be made within thirty (30) days. This request must be mailed to or filed with the Director, Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (BVRS), Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, 1521 North Sixth Street, Harrisburg, PA17102. An impartial Hearing Officer will be assigned to hear and decide your case. You will be given the opportunity for an informal administrative review prior to the impartial hearing. At any time during your program you may contact the Client Assistance Program for help.

What is the client assistance program?

The Client Assistance Program (CAP) works with you and your counselor to:

  • Act as an advocate for your rights;
  • Answer your questions about rehabilitation;
  • Explain rules, regulations and procedures;
  • Assist you through the appeal process; and
  • Help you to establish and maintain open communication.

Any applicant for OVR services who wants general information or who would like CAP’s involvement during their rehabilitation program can contact CAP for assistance. If your case is about to be or already has been closed by OVR, you may ask CAP to review the case to ensure that you have received maximum benefits from OVR. To contact CAP, call this toll-free number 888-745-2357 Voice/TTY.

What are important things to remember if I'm disatisfied?

  • Try to solve the problem with your counselor first.
  • Your counselor will help you with an appeal if you ask for help.
  • You will not be penalized for making an appeal.
  • You may bring someone with you to help you at the appeal.

When do I leave OVR?

A perfect ending is when you have started your career. Even though you are working and your case is closed, it is possible that help can be provided if you begin to have problems with your employment or with your disability. If this happens, please contact your counselor. You may choose to end your involvement with OVR at any time, but you should let your counselor know if you make such a decision. If you do not follow through with the steps you helped to plan; are uncooperative; cannot be located; or if OVR cannot help you reach a vocational goal, your counselor may find it necessary to close your case

Can I start over again?

Yes. You may reapply at any time.

What are my rights?

  • You may not be discriminated against by reason of religion, race, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, ancestry, HIV/AIDS status or disability.
  • You are entitled to a thorough evaluation to find out if you are eligible for rehabilitation.
  • All information that is given to your counselor or obtained about you will be used only for your rehabilitation.
  • You have a right to ask to change counselors.
  • You have a right to continuing service if you should move to an area serviced by a different district office within PA. Discuss your move with your counselor.

How will I be treated?

You will be treated in a manner consistent with the principles of:

  • Individual dignity, personal responsibility, self-determination and pursuit of a meaningful career based on informed choices that you make
  • Respect for your privacy, rights and equal access as an individual
  • Inclusion, integration and full participation as an individual
  • Support for the involvement of a parent, family member, guardian, advocate or authorized representative if you request, desire or need such assistance
  • Support for individual advocacy and community involvement

What are my responsibilities?

You are in charge of your rehabilitation program and must be willing to help yourself. You must participate actively in setting your vocational goals and work hard to achieve them. It is very important that you talk to your counselor about your needs, your deadlines and anything else that could speed up, slow down or stop you from starting and maintaining a career.Rehabilitation will work better if you:

  • Keep all appointments, or call if you can’t be there
  • Ask questions if you do not understand something
  • Are honest about your needs and feelings
  • Help yourself

What are my counselors responsibilities?

Your counselor understands how disabilities can get in the way of a career. It is your counselor’s responsibility to help you understand your strengths and the steps needed to overcome your substantial impediment to employment. Your counselor will help you decide on a career that builds on your strengths; give you information,provide guidance and support; and arrange for you to receive the services you need to prepare for, start and maintain a career. We hope that the information in this brochure will help you understand OVR and that it marks the beginning of a successful partnership. If you have any further questions, please ask your counselor.

Please note

When OVR does not have enough money to provide services to all eligible individuals, it is required to provide services according to an Order of Selection.Under an Order of Selection, a certain group (or groups)of individuals receive services while others are placed on an indefinite waiting list for when sufficient funds become available. OVR’s Order of Selection places all eligible individuals into one of three groups as follows:

  • Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities
  • Individuals with Significant Disabilities
  • All remaining eligible individuals

Should you be eligible for OVR services, your counselor will inform you if OVR is on an Order of Selection and whether you will be provided services or placed on a waiting list.

OVR's nondiscriminatory policy

OVR prohibits discrimination on the basis of race,color and national origin, sex, disability, religion, sexual orientation, ancestry, HIV/AIDS status and age. Any applicant or customer of OVR who believes he or she is being discriminated against may contact OVR at the following address:Office of Vocational Rehabilitation1521 North Sixth Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102 Telephone 717-787-5244 (Voice), 717-787-4885 (TTY),800-442-6351* (Voice), 866-830-7327* (TTY)BBVS 717-787-6176 (Voice), 800-622-2842* (Voice)

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation: Jobs for All Initiative

Overview

The Jobs for All On-the-Job Training, or OJT, initiative provides opportunities for qualified OVR youth customers, age 25 and under, to enter into employment. OVR recognizes there are costs associated with training an employee to learn a new job. The Jobs for All OJT provides reimbursement of a percentage of an OVR customer’s wages to absorb some of these training costs. The Jobs for All OJT allows a reimbursement of employee wages for internships and other non-permanent employment, either full-time or part-time. This may include summer youth employment, seasonal and temporary positions. Permanent employment positions are also eligible for Jobs for All OJT reimbursements for OVR youth customers.

On the job training program

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, or OVR, provides vocational rehabilitation services to help eligible people with disabilities prepare for, obtain or maintain employment.

The Jobs for All On-the-Job Training, or OJT, initiative provides opportunities for qualified OVR youth customers, age 25 and under, to enter into employment. OVR recognizes there are costs associated with training an employee to learn a new job. The Jobs for All OJT provides reimbursement of a percentage of an OVR customer’s wages to absorb some of these training costs.

In today’s job market, it is becoming more difficult for young people to obtain and acquire needed skills to compete in the 21st century job market. The Jobs for All OJT can assist employers in hiring and providing employment opportunities for OVR youth customers and in turn assist youth in building their skill sets. The key to the success of the Jobs for All OJT is flexibility with business and industry in meeting the unique needs of these youth.

The Jobs for All OJT allows a reimbursement of employee wages for internships and other non-permanent employment, either full-time or part-time. This may include summer youth employment, seasonal and temporary positions. Permanent employment positions are also eligible for Jobs for All OJT reimbursements for OVR youth customers.

OVR staff are available at no cost to provide support and resources to facilitate a successful outcome for both the business and the OVR youth customer. For permanent employment positions, OVR can provide technical support and certification of additional tax credits when employers hire qualified, job-ready OVR youth customers.

Questions and answers

WHICH EMPLOYERS ARE ELIGIBLE?

Any employer that is able to provide on-the-job training and is in good standing with local, state and federal laws is eligible

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO EMPLOYERS?

The benefits to employers include the opportunity to interview and select from pre-screened, qualified, OVR youth customers and reimbursement of an OVR customer’s wages for the duration of the agreed-upon training period. Also, the employer is providing a young person an opportunity to enrich their employ ability skills and aid them in their preparation for future employment.

WHO QUALIFIES?

Any youth customer, age 25 and younger, referred by OVR qualifies.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF THE ON-THE-JOB TRAINING PERIOD?

For OVR youth customers involved in non-permanent employment, the customer will return to their current educational program enriched with new employ ability skills. For permanent employment, if performance standards are met, the OVR youth customer will be retained as a permanent employee with the employer taking over 100 percent of wages

HOW MUCH PAPERWORK?

An OJT contract and invoices for the wage reimbursement must be signed.

WHAT IS THE DURATION OF THE TRAINING PERIOD?

The training period is agreed upon by the employer and OVR.

Commonwealth Workforce Development System

Job Gateway

CWDS links businesses and individuals to Pennsylvania’s workforce development and independent living services offered through the Department of Labor & Industry, PA CareerLink®, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), and Center for Workforce Information & Analysis (CWIA).

https://www.cwds.pa.gov

What to Know About Bank Accounts

Overview

Bank accounts help individuals save money and pay for goods and services. Having and managing a bank account is an important step to becoming more independent. This information sheet provides general tips and information about bank accounts.

What is a bank?

Banks are places to put your money and keep it safe. They offer different services including checking and savings accounts, debit and credit cards, loans, check cashing, and more.

Bank or Credit Union?

A credit union is another place you can put your money and offers the same services as a bank. While anyone can open an account at a bank, to open an account at a credit union, you need to be part of a group that is allowed to join that credit union.

Before opening an account, visit different banks and credit unions to see what they offer. Check for fees you may have to pay and choose the bank and account that will best fit your needs.

Checking Account

A checking account lets you keep your money safe and still be able to spend it. Checking accounts let you pay for things without using cash, instead you can pay with a check or debit card.

Opening a checking account allows you to keep money safe while still being able to spend it. Checking accounts allow you to pay using debit cards or checks, get cash from automated teller machines (ATM), pay bills online, get access to loans, or cash checks from other people.

Savings Account

A savings account is for money you want to save. Savings accounts keep the money you are saving separate from the money you need to spend now.

Savings accounts help you save money for emergencies or financial goals, keep your money safe, keep money separate from the money you spend, and earn extra money through savings accounts that offer interest.

Moving Money

Putting money into an account is called a “deposit.” You deposit money into an account by:

  • Going to the bank or credit union or using an ATM
  • Having money directly deposited through your job or government benefits
  • Transfer money from one account into another
  • Some banks also offer online or mobile deposits

Bank Account Fees

Some banks charge fees for certain services or types of accounts. It’s important to know the rules for different accounts, and what you need to do in order to avoid fees. Most banks require a minimum balance and if it goes below, you will pay a fee. You may also have to pay a fee if you spend more money than you have in your account. If you use another bank’s ATM to get money you may also have to pay a fee.

How to Create a Resume

What goes on a good resume?

 

  • Contact information: name, address, telephone number, and email
  • Summary statement about why you are interested in the job
  • Special skills and abilities that are related to the job
  • Educational history: high school and/or college, year of graduation and Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • Work history: where you worked, how long you worked there, and job responsibilities
  • Volunteer work history
  • Other skills: computer skills/programs, foreign languages spoken
  • References

 

How should a resume look?

  1. Look professional and be easy to read
  2. Print on white, off-white, or ivory paper. No bright colors
  3. Use a professional font, such as Times New Roman or Arial
  4. Keep the font size between 10 and 12 points
  5. Use single spacing
  6. Keep margins to ½ to 1 inch around the page

Other useful tips

  1. Look for examples of resumes online so you can see different structures and layouts
  2. Remember to proofread it and have someone else proofread it, if possible

Applying for a Job

Important Steps

  1. Decide what type of job you want.  (This could be full-time, part-time, or seasonal work)
  2. Know the different ways to apply.  (These include online, in person, or on paper)
  3. Look for jobs that interest you.  (You can look for jobs online, on social media, through friends, in newspapers, or in person)
  4. Research the job and make sure you are good at it and qualified.
  5. Write a resume and cover letter if needed.
  6. Download a sample application and practice filling it out.
  7. Complete the job application.
  8. Double check your application for mistakes.
  9. Contact the employer after one week if you have not been contacted for an interview.

Gather information you will need to fill out an application:

Personal Information

  • Name
  • Address, city, state, zip code
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Social security number
  • If you are eligible to work in the US
  • If you have been convicted of a felony

Education and Experience

  • Schools you have attended,degrees, and graduation date
  • Skills and qualifications

Employment History

  • Past and current employer
  • Address, phone, email
  • Supervisor’s name
  • Your job title and responsibilities
  • Starting and ending dates of employment
  • Reason for leaving

References

  • Name
  • Job title
  • Company
  • Address, phone, email

Availability

  • Days and hours available
  • Date you are available to start work

Ten Tips for a Successful Job Interview

Tips and Resources

Job interviews can be intimidating. This video provides tips on ways to handle your nerves during the interview and how to have a successful outcome.

https://paautism.wistia.com/medias/t3jaj0rxle

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Adjusting to New Situations Change is part of everyday life. The ability to change is central to our growth as individuals. For people with autism, who often rely on predictability and routine to feel calm and safe, change can affect them differently. Adjusting to new situations may be met with anxiety, fear, or resistance. Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to ease adjustment to new situations. pdf Download file: Adjusting to New Situations
Getting Feedback at Work In every job, you will be given feedback about your performance, both positive and negative. The reason for feedback at work is to help you learn what you are doing well at your job, as well as what areas you need to improve. It can be stressful to hear feedback about yourself, especially the negatives, but it is important in learning about yourself as a worker. This resource provides some tips to help you deal with negative feedback at work. pdf Download file: Getting Feedback at Work
Workplace Relationships While you may be thinking that the only important part of a job is doing the job itself, the relationships you have with coworkers are also very important. You will likely spend a lot of time with coworkers, so understanding how to interact with them is a necessary skill to learn. Below are some questions and answers you may have about workplace relationships. pdf Download file: Workplace Relationships
Employment Resources for People with Disabilities This resource from the Public Interest Law Center Of Philadelphia (PILCOP) provides a list of employment resources for Pennsylvanians with disabilities. pdf Download file: Employment Resources for People with Disabilities
OVR Early Reach Program Early Reach is an outreach initiative intended to promote successful outcomes for youth with disabilities by increasing awareness of OVR services and the benefits of early career planning. The Early Reach Coordinator will reach out to youth with disabilities, their parents, local schools and community agencies that serve youth. pdf Download file: OVR Early Reach Program
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Handbook The Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, or OVR, provides vocational rehabilitation services to help persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment. OVR provides services to eligible individuals with disabilities, both directly and through a network of approved vendors. Services are provided on an individualized basis. This guide from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry explains the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the services it provides. pdf Download file: Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Handbook
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Jobs For All The Jobs for All On-the-Job Training, or OJT, initiative provides opportunities for qualified OVR youth customers, age 25 and under, to enter into employment. OVR recognizes there are costs associated with training an employee to learn a new job. The Jobs for All OJT provides reimbursement of a percentage of an OVR customer’s wages to absorb some of these training costs. The Jobs for All OJT allows a reimbursement of employee wages for internships and other non-permanent employment, either full-time or part-time. This may include summer youth employment, seasonal and temporary positions. Permanent employment positions are also eligible for Jobs for All OJT reimbursements for OVR youth customers. pdf Download file: Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Jobs For All
What to Know About Bank Accounts Bank accounts help individuals save money and pay for goods and services. Having and managing a bank account is an important step to becoming more independent. This information sheet provides general tips and information about bank accounts. pdf Download file: What to Know About Bank Accounts
How to Create a Resume A resume is a document used by job seekers to highlight their skills, accomplishments, education and work experiences. It is given to potential employers and is the first impression you make. This resource provides tips and information on how to create a resume. pdf Download file: How to Create a Resume
Applying For a Job This resource, developed by ASERT for ASDNext, provides tips and suggestions to prepare for the job application process. pdf Download file: Applying For a Job

This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.