The Texas Workforce Commission (Formally DARS) is a state agency that offers a variety of support and services for students with disabilities. They can start working with students starting at the age of 14 years old (younger if they are deaf/hard of hearing or blind). TWC can also work with students after graduation to help them gain the skills necessary for employment, including helping them access college, trade school, apprenticeships, or on the job training.
When students are in high school, TWC can also provide Pre-Employment Trainings for FREE for students and their parents. This includes helping students explore careers, gaining employment skills, or even getting a summer job or trying out a job during the school year! Click the link to see more of what TWC can do for students with disabilities:--> TWC Texas
Here are some of the programs they offer!
Pre-Employment Services: Individual trainings that cover a variety of topics that students need to know prior to employment. Topics include:
(1) job exploration counseling
(2) work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after-school opportunities, or experience outside the traditional school setting (including internships), that is provided in an integrated environment to the maximum extent possible;
(3) counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs at institutions of higher education;
(4) workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living; and
(5) instruction in self-advocacy (including instruction in person-centered planning), which may include peer mentoring (including peer mentoring from individuals with disabilities working in competitive integrated employment).
Summer Earn and Learn- Students can participate in a paid internship with local employers for 5 weeks during the summer. TWC pays the students' wages and local businesses agree to be worksites so that students can gain real-world experience. TWC can also provide job coaches if necessary.
Paid Work Experience- Year round program where students gain work experience and recieve a paycheck. Paid work experience can be from 6-12 weeks long and occurs anytime during the year.
Any employer can sign up to be a worksite! TWC provides the support, pays the wages for the student and covers all liability. Employers are just providing a place where students can learn about the various jobs at the businesses in their community and help the student become familiar with what it means to be an employee.
Vocation Rehabilitation Services: Provides support for students after graduation from high school with the goal of helping students become competitively employed. This can be either through job placement, support in college, or a variety of other options. TWC can help with accessing college programs, requesting accommodation, or job coaching. Students can enroll for these services in their senior year of high school to ensure that there is no lapse in support as they move to reach their post-secondary goals.
Contact for our TWC VR Counselor
Tabatha Reeves, TVRC
Texas Workforce Solutions
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
4308-B Garth Rd.
Baytown, TX 77521
Rehabilitation Assistant-Spanish speaking assistance
HCIL is a community-based, non-profit, independent living advocacy organization created by and for people with disabilities.
Their services include, but are not limited to: disability awareness, peer-to-peer counseling and support, individual and systems advocacy, information and referral, independent living skills training and relocation/transition community integration services and opportunities. People with any disability and any age can receive our services.
HCIL also provides assistance in inclusion in the workplace through their WIPA (Work Incentives Planning Assistance) program. This porgram allows a person to work and still keep their benefits!
HCIL can also assist in some low-tech accommodations or home modifications if it leads to independent lving.
click the link to find more information and contact info -->HCIL Home Page
There are several services and supports for life after high school, but it can be difficult to determine which services are best for your child. Click on the link below to compare each of the services and requirements to determine the best fit for your child.
click on comparison chart--> Comparison chart for state services