About My Ability

Helping Businesses and Job Seekers with Disabilities Find Each Other

Whether through mentoring, internships or job shadowing, work experiences enable businesses and organizations throughout Florida to interact with individuals with disabilities and learn first-hand their capabilities.

These experiences, which may lead to a job offer, break down the misperceptions of persons with disabilities and reveal the reality that people with disabilities have the desire, education, training, and skills to be successful in the workplace.

Led by The Able Trust, corporations, organizations, and local businesses from across the state have come together to advocate for employment opportunities for Floridians with disabilities, knowing the value of these types of hiring practices.

Providing Internships

Internships provide opportunities for on-the-job training to the benefit of both employers and job seekers: Companies explore the existing talent pool and strengthen their future workforce, while interns apply unique knowledge and skills to business challenges.

Direct benefits to businesses employing interns with disabilities include:

  • Increased organizational diversity at a company
  • An effective employee recruitment and retention tool
  • Ability to screen potential employees prior to making a full-time commitment
  • Reduction of turnover and training costs
  • Improvement of a company’s bottom line by meeting labor demands
  • Increase in brand awareness by reinforcing an organization’s commitment to education and workforce development
  • Access to an energetic, enthusiastic and work-ready candidate pool with a fresh perspective
  • Ability for staff to share professional knowledge to enrich, encourage, and support future employees

Although interns are usually college students, they can also be high school students or post-graduate adults. Internships can last anywhere from two weeks to several months and can be paid or unpaid.

For more information about providing internship opportunities for workers with a disability, visit the Employer Toolkit. For assistance hiring an intern with a disability, contact The Able Trust at 850.224.4493 or info@abletrust.org.

Participating in a Mentoring Experience

Mentoring is a personnel enhancement strategy wherein a current employee pairs with a new colleague or potential employee to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and skills.

Mentoring experiences provide job seekers with disabilities the opportunity to get a glimpse of a company’s work environment while helping them to gain and practice skills that are useful in professional settings and prepare for life in the workplace. Mentoring can offer not only academic and career guidance to mentees, but also can cultivate role models for leadership, interpersonal and problem-solving skills at a business.

Through mentoring employees or job seekers with disabilities, employers benefit by gaining:

  • Increased organizational diversity at a company
  • An effective employee recruitment and retention tool
  • Creation of a welcoming and inclusive workplace culture
  • Transfer of organizational knowledge and promotion of professional development within a business
  • Increased preparedness for workforce turnover, especially in senior-level positions, and reduction thereof
  • Improved supervisory skills, productivity and satisfaction among your employees

To offer a mentoring experience for a job seeker with a disability, contact The Able Trust at 850.224.4493 or info@abletrust.org.

Offering a Job Shadowing Experience

One-on-one job shadowing provides a short-term opportunity for a job seeker with a disability to learn what it is like to be a part of a company’s workplace. A business professional is matched individually with a student or job seeker with a disability so that the employee can share information about a typical workday at the company and provide insight about how to prepare for a particular career field.

Direct benefits to businesses offering job shadowing experiences to students or job seekers with disabilities include:

  • A simple yet effective employee recruitment tool
  • Creation of a welcoming and inclusive workplace culture
  • Ability for staff to share professional knowledge to enrich, encourage, and support potential employees
  • Increased brand awareness via reinforcement of an organization's commitment to education and workforce development

Job shadowing experiences usually last one work day or a half-day and can lead to internships or mentoring experiences.

To provide a job shadowing experience to a job seeker with a disability, contact The Able Trust at 850.224.4493 or info@abletrust.org.

Recruiting People with Disabilities for Open Positions

Finding qualified and dependable employees is one of the greatest challenges a business leader may face. People with disabilities have the talents, skills and abilities that businesses need. They are dependable, enthusiastic and some of the most loyal employees an employer will find.

Effective outreach and recruitment strategies will ensure that a company’s workforce attracts qualified job seekers with disabilities. To build a pipeline of qualified applicants with disabilities, a business will need to develop relationships with recruitment sources. In Florida, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Workforce Florida and other organizations provide access to:

  • Pre-screened, qualified applicants
  • Technical assistance and advice on accommodations
  • On-site disability awareness training
  • Reimbursement for on-the-job training costs

By recruiting applicants with disabilities through a Service Provider, a company can secure access to talent that it otherwise may have overlooked while gaining assistance to effectively integrate job candidates with disabilities into the workplace.

To access recruitment services for hiring job seekers with disabilities, contact your a office of the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation or Workforce Florida by visiting the Provider Directory.