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What Kind of Jobs Can I Get?

Arizona Employment First believes that people with disabilities should have control over the kinds of work they want to do. There are many different ways to work.

Competitive Integrated Employment

This type of work means:

  • You are hired and paid directly by their employer (not by a job agency or state program)
  • You work in your community
  • You work and interact with people with and without disabilities
  • The amount of time you work each week is based on your choices, wants, and needs
  • You are paid the same and work the same number of hours as workers without disabilities doing the same job.
  • You receive at least minimum wage and have the same access to benefits as workers without disabilities doing the same job
  • If you are self-employed, you make the same amount of money someone without a disability would be making doing the same work.


Work can look different for different people.

You can be:

  • Self-Employed: You have your own business and decide your own hours and job tasks
  • Employed by Others: You work for someone else, and your boss decides your hours and job tasks


You can also decide how much you would like to work.

Options include:

  • Full-time: Working full time means working about 40 hours a week. This usually means working 8 hours per day. These jobs often have benefits and perks that other jobs do not, such as health insurance and paid vacation.
  • Part-time: Working part time means working less than 35 hours per week. These kinds of jobs often do not have as many perks or benefits as full-time jobs.
  • If you are Self-Employed, you can decide how much you work. Working less means you will make less money.


Am I Working or In Training?

Sometimes, people who have disabilities take part in training programs before working. These programs can take place in the community or in segregated centers. They can be paid or unpaid. As a trainee, you learn work-related skills to prepare you for employment. Group-supported employment (enclaves) and centered-based employment (sheltered workshops) are examples of training. Training is not a permanent job. Training exists to help you prepare for work.

Employment is a job in your community. These jobs can be full-time or part-time. People who have disabilities and people who do not have disabilities:

  • Work together,
  • Get paid the same for doing the same job,
  • Get the same benefits.

Note: This information comes from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)



Powerpoint slide with DES logo and image of grand canyon

TRAINING: Employment First, Informed Choice, Center Based Employment (CBE) & Career Preparation and Readiness (CPR)

Resource Description
This presentation, originally shared by the Arizona DDD Employment Services and Supports team in October 2018, provides an overview of Employment First, Informed Choice, Center Based Employment (CBE) & Career Preparation and Readiness (CPR). Supplemental Resources Available HERE: PowerPoint - Employment First Informed Choice CBE CPR Career Preparation and Readiness Service Specification – DDD
Text reading Arizona @ Work Innovative Workforce solutions with an outline of Arizona in the center.

Arizona@Work

Resource Description
Arizona@Work connects job seekers to employers around the state through an online platform, job fairs, and trainings and apprenticeships. They also can help with your resume and to learn more about different careers. Visit their website for more information.
Powerpoint Slide reading "Oh Yes I Can Work!"

TRAINING: Oh Yes I Can Work! Making the Case for Competitive Integrated Employment

Resource Description
In March 2019, Sara Murphy presented on sharing effective strategies for talking about competitive integrated employment, building acceptance for new ideas, developing action plans, and engaging stakeholders. Sara Murphy is a Senior Associate at TransCen, Inc., and the Director of WorkLink, TransCen’s San Francisco-based direct service program. She has extensive experience in program development,
Screenshot of Presentation. Powerpoint slide says "Integrated Employment: Moving from "Can" to "How"

WEBINAR: Oh Yes, I CAN Work! Competitive Employment for People with Significant Disabilities

Resource Description
In September 2018, Dr. Laura Owens, CESP presented on supporting people who have disabilities employed in competitive settings ” to VR counselors, DDD support coordinators, special education teachers , transition staff, and employment service providers from across Arizona. Laura A. Owens, Ph.D., CESP, has more than 30 years of experience as an international leader , speaker, and publisher in the

2017 Executive Order Establishes Arizona as an Employment First State

Resource Description
In 2017, Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order establishing Arizona as an Employment First state. This Executive Order directs state agencies providing services to job seekers and students with disabilities to implement Employment First strategies to improve employment outcomes. Read the Governor's comments in our Success Stories . The full PDF with the Executive Order is available for
Councilmembers Jennifer Adams, and Robin Arredondo-Savage and HR Department Representatives receiving the proclamation from the Mayor Mark Mitchell.

Employment First Tempe Proclamation

Resource Description
Councilmembers Jennifer Adams, and Robin Arredondo-Savage and HR Department Representatives receiving the proclamation from the Mayor Mark Mitchell. On March 26, 2019, the City of Tempe became the first Employment First City in the state of Arizona. By becoming an Employment First city, Tempe becomes a model for city-wide initiatives promoting competitive, integrated outcomes for individuals who
Image of Arizona Employment First Policy Document

Arizona Employment First Policy Statement

Resource Description
This resource outlines the Arizona Employment First policy framework. It shows how AZ EF plans to achieve its goals by changing policy and practice. Click the link to download the PDF.
Image of What Employment First Means to Me Infographic

What Employment First Means to Me Infographic Handout

Resource Description
Available for download as PDF Handout, High Contrast, Spanish and Plain Text Document Disponible en Español To learn more about what Employment First means to a variety of stakeholders, follow this link! Plain Text: Employment First Means... Job Seeker: I have the information and support I need to make my own decisions about working. High Schooler: I have support to plan my future, like job
Image of VR Eligibility Infographic

Vocational Rehabilitation Eligibility, Referral, and Roadmap

Resource Description
This VR Eligibility and Referral Infographic is available for download as a PDF, High Contrast, Spanish, and Plain Text Document. Disponible en Español VR Eligibility and Referral Plain Text: Vocational Rehabilitation helps people with disabilities get ready to work, find a job, and keep their jobs. It is sometimes called VR or Voc Rehab. To get help from VR, you MUST: Have a disability Have
Screenshot from Self-Advocacy Online homepage

Self-Advocacy Online

Resource Description
The Self-Advocacy Online website helps people with disabilities learn about self-advocacy. On the website, you can View short video interviews with self-advocates from around the country, Explore lessons on self-advocacy, Read easy-to-understand presentations about research in self-advocacy. The Center's YouTube channel also has videos about Employment First, remaining active, and making friends