Employment, Training & Learning


Here are some resources to help with the process of finding meaningful employment, obtaining useful job training and learning meaningful life skills.

Disability Benefits 101

Disability Benefits 101 gives you tools and information on health coverage, benefits, and employment. You can plan ahead and learn how work and benefits go together.

Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL)

MCIL  is a Twin Cities Metro-based, non-profit dedicated to the full promotion of supporting individuals with disabilities in their personal efforts to pursue self-directed lives.  MCIL offers free classes and workshop on a variety of topics.  Most classes are held at their St. Paul offices which are on the bus line and are accessible. 

PASS (Plan to Achieve Self- Support)

PASS is an SSI provision to help individuals with disabilities return to work. PASS lets individuals with disabilities set aside money and/or things he or she owns to pay for items or services needed to achieve a specific work goal.

Pathways to Employment

Pathways to Employment brings together employers, businesses, government and services providers to help increase competitive employment opportunities for people with disabilities and to meet state workforce needs.

Project C3 (Connecting Youth to Communities and Careers)

Project C3 is a unique partnership between PACER Center, Pathways to Employment, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the Minnesota Department of Eduction, and other state and local organizations.  Activities include training parents and professionals on services available to youth and organizations on strategies to serve youth with disabilities.  Other activities include self-advocacy training, creating Communities of Practice, and recommending changes in public policy.

Project SEARCH

The Project SEARCH High School Transition Program is a unique, business-led, one-year, school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace.  Total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and relevant job-skills training through strategically designed internships.

The Campaign for Disability Employment

The Campaign for Disability Employment is a collaborative effort between several disability and business organizations. They seek to promote employment outcomes for people with disabilities by encouraging employers and others to recognize the value and talent they bring to the workplace, as well as the dividend to be realized by fully including people with disabilities at work.

Ticket to Work

The Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program is an employment program for people with disabilities who are interested in going to work. The goal of the Ticket to Work Program is to increase opportunities and choices for Social Security disability beneficiaries to obtain employment, vocational rehabilitation (VR), and other support services from public and private providers, employers, and other organizations.

Vocational Rehabiltation Services (VRS) Program

Vocational Rehabilitation Services is Minnesota's individualized employment service for persons with significant disabilities.  There is no charge for counseling, job placement, and many other VRS services.

Information for Prospective Employers

    There are three types of work programs for individuals with disabilities

    1– Day Training and Habilitation (DT&H)

    According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Day Training and Habilitation (DT&H) are licensed supports to help adults develop and maintain life skills, participate in community life, and engage in proactive and satisfying activities of their own choosing. Your child's county case manager (social worker) can assist with the application process.

    Eligibility for DT&H services is determined through a screening process. To be eligible for DT&H services a person must meet all of the following conditions:

    • Be 18 years of age or older and have a diagnosis of mental retardation or a related condition.
    • Receive a screening for home and community-based services or reside in an Intermediate Care Facility for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (ICF/DD)
    • Have their health and safety in the community addressed in their plan of care
    • Make an informed choice to receive DT&H as part of their Individual Service Plan (ISP)

    Services provided by a DT&H include:

    • Supervision, training and assistance in the areas of self-care, communication, socialization and behavior management
    • Supported employment and work-related activities
    • Community integrated activities, including the use of leisure and recreation time
    • Training in community survival skills, money management and therapeutic activities that increase the adaptive living skills of an individual
    • Non-medical transportation services to enable persons to participate in above listed services (DT&H sites have a separate transportation rate.)

    2 - Supported Employment Services (SES)

    Supported Employment is for individuals who want to work, but are unlikely to earn minimum wage in a competitive employment situation. The use of a job coach gives one-to- one support to teach job skills, provides supervision and long-term support, and communicates with the employer to provide paid employment in a community setting. Transportation is covered under SES.

    3 - Extended Employment Services

    Extended Employment Services works with individuals who can work semi-independently, and can be successful with a higher ratio of staff to employees, but have disabilities that make finding and keeping employment difficult. The program contracts with state-certified rehabilitation programs (CRPs) that provide ongoing support to maintain and advance in employment.

    For more information:  PACER's National Parent Center on Transition and Employment