Work can provide a sense of purpose, personal accomplishment, financial strength and self-determination. But for individuals with physical or developmental disabilities, mental illness or addiction disorders, finding an occupation can be difficult. National statistics show that about one in five people have a disability, an estimated 1.7 million residents, in New Jersey. Statistics also show that the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is about 14%.
Last year, as partner agencies, the Department of Human Services and Labor and Workforce Development supported programs operated by the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Divisions of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Disability Services, Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health and Addiction Services that found jobs for nearly 5,000 people. These new employees continue to receive specialized training, counseling, guidance and assistive technology that supports their ability to stay employed.
The Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DLWD) hosts listings for job fairs, and employment opportunities. If you need help, join the Jersey Job Club or visit a local One Stop Career Center.
Many of DHS’ Divisions provide employment services:
- The Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired provides job training, counseling, guidance and assistive technology to maintain employment.
- Through contracts, the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services helps nearly 600 consumers a year obtain competitive employment.
- The Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, in partnership with DLWD provides consumers and employers with information and resources about assistive technology.
- The Division of Developmental Disabilities provides funding for consumers’ early phases of employment including job match, job training and post-employment supports.
If you have a disability and need information and referral services, call the Division of Disability Services at 1-888-285-3036.