Career Development

Determining a career path and gaining the skills necessary to perform a certain job can be like a job itself. But we’re here to help with Career Exploration and Development, designed to help adults with mild to severe disabilities, such as autism or cerebral palsy, across Chicagoland, get ready to look for a job and get to work in an inclusive workplace in the community, versus a sheltered workshop environment.

Career Exploration

Creating a career path takes a sense of focus, direction, meaning and purpose. To get prepared, we will assist adults with disabilities, ages 18 and up, with:

Self-Awareness is designed to increase personal development and improve one’s abilities to express and apply their best gifts and talents.

Community Exploration/Volunteerism provides the opportunity to experience career options by job shadowing or volunteering in a field of choice.

Coping Skills and Interpersonal Communication works on building and enhancing a variety of skills needed to adapt to and perform well in a professional, working environment.

We will also present participants with training within these industries:

  • Culinary
  • Hospitality
  • Office Support
  • Sub-Contract, Hands-On Work

Job Readiness

Job Readiness offers services and support to adults who have completed high school and who are looking to find a job that meets their interests, strengths and career goals.

Because Aspire is recognized as a respected leader in workforce development both locally and nationally, adults with disabilities have access to an outstanding network of business partners.

Sometimes the biggest step is the first one, so we’ll be there to assist participants in developing a clear vision of their future employment. Our Career Development Team will help adults with disabilities choose from many options such as:

Job Development assesses job skills and preferences and covers how to understand workplace dynamics and meet goals.

Resume Development helps create a resume that highlights skills, strengths and experience.

Employment Applications assists with completing an application that is on paper or online.

Appearance and Behavior provides guidance about professional attire and behavior for interviews and when on the job.

Barrier Identification and Planning helps identify potential barriers such as transportation, physical barriers at the workplace and attitudinal barriers, and then develops a plan to overcome them.

Interview Techniques covers everything from fully understanding the job for which a candidate would be interviewing, to being prepared to ask and answer questions.

Job Placement is about securing a job that is a good match between a candidate’s skills and goals, and the needs of the employer.

Starting a new job is exciting, but it can also be very stressful. Participants may want to consider having the support of an Aspire Job Coach for the first few months. A Job Coach helps new employees do their best by offering support and guidance as they become comfortable with work tasks, surroundings, co-workers and supervisors. We also help employers learn to support new hires in a way that is best for them and their business. Ongoing follow-up consulting and assistance may also be available.