Finding a job

You will want to find a job that is a good match with your skills, interests, and capabilities. Remember that employers ultimately decide who to hire.  There are several state agencies that offer services to help you through this process.

This section provides an overview of the main state agencies – Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Delaware Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS), and Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). It also provides links to other organizations that you may contact for more information.

First, consider your abilities and what type of work environment is best suited for you.  There are many different types of work environments in which a person with a disability can succeed. This includes various forms of supported employment, subsidized work programs, and competitive work environments.

  • In a subsidized work program, the employer receives public funds that cover some or all of an employee’s wages.  Subsidized programs may be appropriate for a person with a significant work barrier. The goal of a subsidized work program usually is to help an employee transition into non-subsidized, full-time employment.
  • A supported work environment offers on-the-job support services to help persons with significant disabilities maintain employment. These support services may include job assessments and on-the-job coaching, just to name a few.


Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)

DVR assists people with disabilities to prepare for, get, and keep jobs.  It offers various services, such as assessment, counseling and guidance, information and referral, physical/mental restoration services, rehabilitation technology, skill training, job placement assistance, interpreter services, and supported employment services.  You can be referred to DVR through your school, or you can contact them directly.

If you are eligible, a DVR counselor will work with you to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment. This plan identifies your job or employment goals  and explains what DVR services can help you reach those goals.

DVR also offers Transition Services and Supported Employment services.  The DVR Transition Services program assists students transitioning from high school to adult life.

It is implemented in all 19 public school districts in Delaware. It also is implemented at alternative and private high schools in the state.

The program assists transitioning students by providing links to adult services and employment.

Services include post-secondary education, vocational training, employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living and community participation.

Supported employment helps individuals with the most significant disabilities  who require ongoing support in the workplace to obtain and maintain employment.  An employment specialist or job coach provides individual support to the employee at the job site. In addition, employees receive ongoing support services to help them stay employed.

DVR offers three supported employment programs:

→    Supported Employment for Individuals with Cognitive Disabilities

→    Early Start to Supported Employment (ESSE)

→    Supported Employment for Individuals with Mental Health Disabilities

If you are ready to job hunt, there are many online services available. A great resource through the state is the Delaware Joblink,   Word of mouth is another great way of getting leads for jobs.  Networking is a great way of finding a job.

For more information:

  • Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation:
  • DVR Transition Services:
  • DVR Supported Employment:

DVR Rights

If you apply for DVR services or receive DVR services, you have certain rights under the law. You have the right to:

  • Choose your employment goals, services, and service providers;
  • Have a representative present any time you meet with DVR staff;
  • Challenge a decision affecting your eligibility or services and seek an impartial review;
  • Administrative review within 30 days of your request;
  • Mediate your dispute before an impartial mediator;
  • Fair Hearing before an impartial hearing officer regarding a decision affecting your eligibility or receipt of services.[1]

If you are dissatisfied with services provided by DVR or wish to challenge a decision, you may file a complaint or request a review of a decision.  Complete and submit this form to your DVR counselor:

The Client Assistance Program (CAP) is a disability rights program for individuals with disabilities who are served by DVR and other rehabilitation programs.   CAP provides representatives who can act as your advocate.  Call 1-800-640-9336 to speak with a CAP representative.


Delaware Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS)

The Delaware Division of Development Disabilities provides information and services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The division is part of the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS).  For more information:


Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH)

The Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) provides publicly-funded behavioral health services to adults, aged 18 and older. Its mission is to promote health and recovery by ensuring that Delawareans have access to quality prevention and treatment for mental health, substance use, and gambling conditions.

DSAMH offers some supported employment and rehabilitation services for eligible individuals.  For more information:

Recently, DSAMH entered into an agreement with the U.S. government to help people stay out of the hospital and institutional settings.  This agreement includes programs for individuals who had recent stays at a mental health hospital, who have criminal records, and also includes supported employment and vocational services.  You can learn more at and

[1] The requirement that states establish procedures for mediation and fair hearings is found in 29 USC § 722(c)(1).  Regulations about impartial hearing rights are at 34 CFR § 361.57(b)(3).