Before you start looking for a job, make sure that you are ready for employment. Start early: there are some things which may take several months or even years to put in place.
This section gives a summary of these issues and provides links to more information.
Before you start looking for a job, become familiar with different services that can help you find the right job for you. For example, the Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) provides services to help people with disabilities find a job, such as vocational assessment, employment planning, counseling, and job placement.
You can find more information on the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation on its website: http://dvr.delawareworks.com/publications.php or by visiting one of its office locations: http://dvr.delawareworks.com/office-locations.php.
Your educational provider (school) is also a great source of employment planning services. Many schools have Career Cruising, a school to work transition tool, to provide information on different types of jobs, the training necessary for such jobs, and how much they pay. Your school may be able to provide links to job shadowing and volunteer opportunities that can help you narrow down your job choices.
You may also consult other public agencies to inquire about their employment training and other job services. Many of these agencies also provide supported work environments or transition services. For more information on supported work environments, see the section on “Finding a Job.”
DDDS 24-Hour TOLL FREE Contact Number: 1-866-552-5758
Quick Reference Guide for DDDS assistance: http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/ddds/go_to.html
(302) 255-939 or see DSAMH website for more contact information: http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dsamh/contact.html
As you prepare to find a job, you will want to consider your particular living situation. There are several organizations that can help you understand different housing options. Many of these organizations also offer employment services. Here are just a few:
For more information, call (302)736-6140 or visit http://www.thearcofdelaware.org.
Link to more housing information: http://www.thearcofdelaware.org/homes/other-housing-help/helpful-housing-links/
If you believe that a housing provider is illegally discriminating against you because you have disabilities, you may be able to file a complaint, by contacting the Delaware Division of Human Relations: http://statehumanrelations.delaware.gov/index.shtml.
It’s also important that you have a reliable way to get to and from your job. There are several sources of information to help you understand different transportation options available to you, such as public transportation or paratransit. Some options to consider are:
There are two types of public buses available in Delaware through DART:
Travel Training – If you would like to take public transportation but want to learn more about how to use it, DART also offers travel training. This will teach you everything you need to know about using DART’s public transportation, such as how to read a bus schedule, pay the fare, board a bus using a wheelchair lift, and plan your trip.
To learn more, call DART’s Travel Trainers at 302-760-2858.
If you have a visual impairment, the Delaware Division of the Visually Impaired also offers programs to help you take public transportation. For more information, call the Division at 302-255-9800 (Voice) or 302-255-9854 (TDD), or visit http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dvi/.
There is an application that you must complete, with the assistance of your doctor, in order to qualify for this program. If you are approved, you will receive a special ID card that you can use for this service.
If you have questions, call the DART First State Eligibility Section at 1-800-652-3278, Option 3. Or, visit the website for more information: http://www.dartfirststate.com/information/programs/scat/
→ Some employers may offer transportation to and from your job site. If you are interested, ask your employer about what types of transportation may be available.
→ There are several other sources of information and services that may be useful for your particular needs. Here are some examples:
Office of Independent Living, http://dvr.delawareworks.com/independent-living.php
Independent Resources, Inc. http://www.iri-de.org/mainsite.html
Freedom Center for Independent Living, http://www.fcilde.org
If you have been arrested for a crime as an adult, but the case was disposed of in your favor, you may be able to get the arrest record expunged. If you have been convicted of a crime as a young adult and have already served time for that crime, you may apply for a pardon and an expungement. For juvenile records, please see the section on juveniles, below.
What’s the difference between an expungement and a pardon?
An expungement allows a person charged with a crime but not convicted to petition to have the arrest removed from the public record. Convictions may only be expunged after a pardon has been granted for that conviction.
A pardon completely eliminates all consequences of a conviction. It removes any further punishment. However, a pardon does not remove the record of conviction. It simply adds to the criminal record that a pardon has been granted.
To apply for an expungement:
To apply for a pardon:
Generally, you may apply for a pardon after 3-5 years from the time the last sentence was completed. However, the Board of Pardons may consider applications if there are special circumstances such as needing to get a pardon for employment purposes.
If your application for a pardon is denied, you may re-apply, but you must wait a certain period of time before re-applying.
For more information about the pardon application process, you may contact the Delaware Board of Pardons, at 302-739-4111 or http://pardons.delaware.gov/.
If you have a juvenile delinquency record, you might be able to apply for an expungement.
Petition for Expungement of Juvenile Record asks the Court to erase a juvenile delinquency record. If the petition is granted, the Court will order the State Bureau of Identification (SBI) to delete all records of the arrest. Once your record has been expunged, you are legally entitled to report that you have never been arrested or convicted for the expunged charge(s).
To qualify for a juvenile expungement, you must not have any pending criminal or delinquency charges in any court. Also, it’s important to know that not all delinquency records or charges qualify for an expungement. The law explains specific circumstances and charges that may be expunged.
For more information, follow this link to “A Guide to Expungement of Juvenile Records in the Family Court,” which explains the juvenile expungement process: http://courts.delaware.gov/forms/download.aspx?ID=60948.
The APEX Program in Delaware helps people with criminal histories through the pardons and expungement process. For more information on the APEX program, please contact Program Coordinator, at 302-333-7605 or visit http://apex.delawareworks.com/about.php.
 See 11 Del. Code 4371 et seq (adults); See 10 Del. C. §1014-1020 (juveniles).