Employment counsellors provide assistance, guidance, information and referrals to individuals on all aspects of finding a job and career planning. They also provide counsel and information to employers on human resources and employment issues.
Some employment cousellors have specific expertise in serving people with episodic disabilities and addressing their specific challenges. Employment counsellors can help you:
- With career exploration;
- Understand the labour market;
- With developing a job that is a good fit for you;
- Set up a resumé and cover letter;
- Anticipate and address difficult questions, such as gaps in your employment history; and
- Learn and apply good job search techniques.
Contact your local disability association for support with finding an employment counsellor.
Q - Do I have to pay to use the services of an employment counsellor?
A - Some employment counsellors charge a fee, while others are available free of charge. For employment counsellors who work for a fee, ask if a “sliding fee schedule” is available. A “sliding fee schedule” allows you to pay a lower amount based on your income. The amounts on the “sliding fee schedule” will vary from counsellor to counsellor.
Q - How do I choose the employment counsellor that’s right for me?
A - You can call an employment counsellor to ask questions about the type of work that they do and if there are requirements to participate. Find out:
- If they have any training specific to persons with episodic disabilities;
- What types of services and supports they offer;
- How long the services last; and
- If they can provide you with referrals from previous clients.
The links below provide information on national programs and services available across Canada. Note that some programs are only available to users who meet specific criteria. For more information on each program, please contact the program provider directly.
- Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D) Vocational Rehabilitation Program — designed to provide people who already receive a CPP-D benefit with vocational supports to assist with returning to work.
- Canadian Abilities Foundation (CAF) — forum for the exchange of information to promote an inclusive society and provide inspiration and opportunity for people with disabilities. CAF also has a website for job seekers to gain exposure to employers who are committed to diverse work places.
- Canadian Society for Social Development (CSSD) — provides employment and skills training to persons facing barriers to employment, including people with disabilities, and conducts research for the development of programs in the areas of entrepreneurship, leadership and distance learning. CSSD also has a website specifically for people with disabilities and chronic health issues who are looking at self-employment as a viable career option.
- HIV and the Workplace Information Sheets — fact sheets on a variety of topics related to HIV and employment. These fact sheets may be applicable to other episodic disability groups.
- Persons with Disabilities Online — Government of Canada website provides access to services and information for persons with disabilities, family members, caregivers and all Canadians.
- Service Canada: Employment — single point of access to a wide range of Government of Canada programs and services.
- WORKink — online career development and employment portal for Canadians with disabilities.