Finding a Path to Employment
What if my family member wants a career that requires further education or training?
Career changes are not uncommon in our society since the economy is ever-changing and educational opportunities are more accessible. In some areas there are supported education programs that help individuals with mental health conditions to choose, get and keep an educational goal and to obtain necessary supports. Most colleges and universities have Disability Support services to assist student through the program, help obtain accommodations and make referrals to other services when needed. They do not generally provide the services to choose a vocational goal, but might assist with selecting an educational program.
Some areas have a Supported Education program which provides help with choosing the goal and choosing the educational program as well as other supports (JAN). State vocational rehabilitation agencies can provide or arrange education or training that is directly linked to the vocational goal. The choosing process, when it involves education or training, may need to also involve figuring out costs and resources to pay for tuition, books, fees, transportation, supplies etc. Grants, loans, scholarships and tuition waivers all have different criteria for getting and for maintaining the financial supports.
The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) offers a comprehensive range of workforce development activities through state and local organizations. Here you can search by state to find a WIOA eligible training provider.
Grants and scholarships help pay for college or vocational schools. Some foundations help individuals to obtain scholarships and educational institutions may offer aid for students based on income, certain achievements, programs of study and other variables. Families and students often spend considerable time researching possible types of support in conjunction with the school’s financial aid office and Employment Specialists.