Getting Help at Work After a Cancer Diagnosis

If you have a disability, or know someone who does, you may be familiar with the challenges that come with finding accommodating employment opportunities, living services, skills development, and more, to improve your quality of life.

State Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) Support Services

One valuable resource is your state’s DOR Support Services. Each state has a Department of Rehabilitation that provides a variety of support services. California’s DOR for example, “…works in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders to provide services and advocacy resulting in employment, independent living, and equality for individuals with disabilities.”

What kind of services and programs does the DOR offer?

California’s DOR independent living services include things like peer support, skill development, systems advocacy, referrals, assistive technology services, transition services, housing assistance, and personal assistance services.

On the California DOR website, various programs offeredinclude:

  • Assistive Technology
  • Assistive Technology Supplier Directory (Cal-ATSD)
  • Blind Field Services
  • Business Enterprises Program
  • Career Counseling & Information and Referral Services
  • Cooperative Programs
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
  • Disability Access Services
  • Independent Living
  • Older Individuals Who Are Blind
  • Orientation Center for the Blind
  • Student Services
  • Supported Employment Program
  • Talent Acquisition
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Why is this useful for the cancer community?

After experiencing a cancer diagnosis, individuals are often left to cope with the challenge of getting back into the work force, especially if they are still coping with side effects from treatment. California’s DOR offers helpful programs such as the Support Employment Program, which matches individuals with a job coach to help them perform better at their job, learn new skills, and keep up-to-date with the job force. 

AYA Resources

Adolescents and young adults might be interested in California’s DOR Student Servicesprogram. To participate in their program, you must currently be an enrolled student between the ages of 16-21 and you must either have a 504 plan or be eligible for one, have an IEP, have a disability, or others think you have a disability.

California’s DOR isn’t the only state agency that offers valuable programs. Arizona’s Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), for example, “Oversees several programs which are designed to assist eligible individuals who have disabilities to achieve employment outcomes and enhanced independence by offering comprehensive services and supports.”

  • Vocational Rehabilitation Program
  • Business Enterprise Program
  • Older Individuals who are Blind Program

Try visiting Triage Cancer’s State Resources pageto find your state’s DOR, which may have  Support Services and other programs that are helpful to you.

If you have other questions about disabilities or employment, you can also visit Triage Cancer’s Employment Resources page.

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