For the best possible outcomes, work with a mentor or coach or peer advisor - someone who cares, and who you can talk to. If you do not already have such a person, there are ways to find one. Use the following strategies.
As an individual with a disability, having a peer mentor, advisor or coach can be beneficial to you in so many ways. A mentor is able to help you examine barriers and assist in ways to overcome them. Mentors serve as role models, provide information and encouragement, model self-advocacy and self-reliance, answer questions, concerns and frustrations, build trust and help lead you to appropriate services and resources as needed.
One of the best ways to connect with peer advocate or mentor is through a youth peer support and advocacy organization.
Most post-secondary schools offer students the opportunity to connect with a peer mentor who understands some of the complexities of navigating the system of accommodations. Contact the disability services offices at your school for more information.
The NYS Department of Labor (DOL) has career centers located throughout New York State. These centers provide convenient no cost job search services to job-seekers. Services include: career counseling; skills assessment; resume development; career workshops (such as job search strategies, networking, interview skills, etc.); computer and internet access; computer workshops; Adult Basic Education/English as a Second Language; phones, faxes and copiers; career resource library; job search resources and job placement assistance; vocational classroom training for those that qualify; financial aid for training; online Talent Bank; access to qualified service providers; and referrals to other educational, training and social services. The department's career center website has a career center locator tool that uses zip codes to locate a center closest to where you live.Many career centers have disability resource coordinators. Contact information for all career centers and disability resource coordinators are available in our mapping tool.
Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) starts with the presumption that all individuals with disabilities can benefit from vocational rehabilitation services and should have opportunities to work in jobs integrated within their communities. Vocational rehabilitation counselors guide individuals through service programs they need to reach their employment goal.
The New York State Mentoring Program launched in the fall of 2015 as part of a comprehensive focus to counter unmet need for underserved children in our state.
This program was born from the remarkable vision of the Honorable Matilda Raffa Cuomo, who initially chaired the committee that established the nation’s first school-based, one-to-one mentoring program operating from 1987 until 1995. The program successfully screened and trained volunteers and matched them with children in local communities to improve high school graduation rates.
In 2015, Governor Cuomo reaffirmed the State’s commitment to mentoring by creating the New York Mentoring Program, chaired pro bono by Mrs. Cuomo. The program will connects private sector and nonprofit partners with schools that struggle to provide for underserved youth and that are focused on high need communities.