Potential and Current Workers

Thinking About Work


What does “supports for work” mean?

Supports are the people, places, things, and activities that boost your confidence to participate in meaningful activities such as work (Farkas, et.al., 2000).


People supports for work might be the people who help you find work, such as vocational counselors, employment specialists, job coaches, or vocational peer specialists. Typically, professional people supports for work may:

  • Help you assess your strengths, interests and limitations.
  • Help you to determine what type of work or work setting would be a match for you.
  • Help decide if education or training is needed to reach the intended goal. (Leonard)
  • Help determine what, if any, impact wages will have on their benefits and what to do about benefits.
  • Help you maintain wellness, stay healthy while working. (Dixon, et al., 2001)
  • Match you to jobs in the community.
  • Help you to gather specific job-related resources such as uniforms, bus passes, or car repairs.
  • Teach the person skills and help find resources to maintain employment and manage money.
  • Help in overcoming specific barriers to employment either in the individual or in the community. (Boston University)
  • Help in determining what resources are available and accessible to pursue your family member’s goal. (Mental Health America)

The supports for work might also include a professional peer. This person can help with inspiration, motivation or information. (Temple University)

“People supports” might also be people at work if you’re already working, such as coworkers or a supervisor. People supports can include people outside of work who support you as you consider, choose, get, and keep work.

Return to List of Questions


Where am I in my employment journey?

Thinking About Work
Choosing Work
Getting Work
Keeping Work

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