How to Become a Disability Job Coach

What is a Job Coach?

A job coach is a person who works with individuals with disabilities to help them learn skills necessary to be productive in the workplace. Job coaches teach people with disabilities how to do everything from clocking in, to carrying out their job description at their place of employment. Once the job skills are mastered, the job coach usually remains with the client throughout the workday as a liaison and support system. The goal is to work closely with the newly trained employee until he can perform the job accurately and with little or no assistance.

Who Uses the Services of a Job Coach?
Many people who have disabilities are eager to work, and capable of doing so. Employers don’t always have the staff to provide the special, adaptive training necessary to prepare the person with a disability for the job. Job coaches work with individuals to assure the relationship between employer and employee will be successful.

The well-trained job coach can work with people who have cognitive disorders, learning disabilities, autism, ADHD, and developmental disabilities. Sometimes people with psychological disorders such as bi-polar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder can start a new career path with the help of a dedicated job coach.

How Do I Find Out About Job Coaching?
Job coaching is a fulfilling and indispensable profession. Without job coaches, people with disabilities would not be able to experience the joy of being in the workforce, gaining independence, and receiving monetary compensation for their work.
Many agencies serving individuals with disabilities have in-house training programs for job coaches. You can contact your state’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for information. Most agencies prefer that job coach applicants have prior experience working with people with disabilities.

You can find on-line courses for job coaches that offer certifications. Certifications are not always necessary for job coaching positions, but the classes will help you understand developmental disabilities, and the specific challenges of living with disabilities.

Depending on the diagnosis, people with disabilities have varying needs and capabilities when they are seeking employment. The ideal job coach is patient, encouraging, and able to understand the needs of the individual they are instructing. Praise and encouragement are essential when teaching job skills.

People with disabilities thrive when they feel confident and in charge of their own lives. As a job coach, you can help them achieve their goal and enhance their self-esteem. Job coaching may not be the most lucrative job you will find, but the smiles on the faces of the people who excel in the workplace because of your commitment as a job coach is a reward that money can't buy.

Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "How to Become a Disability Job Coach," in PsychologyDictionary.org, January 26, 2016, https://psychologydictionary.org/article/how-to-become-a-disability-job-coach/ (accessed August 18, 2019).
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