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Proyecto Visión:
Frequently Asked Questions



General/Proyecto Visión

  1. What is the Proyecto Visión strategy and why?
Benefits
  1. What is an Individual Development Account (IDA)?
  2. What is a CIL?
  3. What is Vocational Rehabilitation and what can it do for me?
  4. I became disabled and I can't perform my previous job anymore. I would like to go back to school but I don't have money to pay for my books and tuition. Is there any program or agency that can assist me?
  5. I would like to work but I don't have transportation to go to work. Is there any transportation available to me since I can't use public transportation (fixed route bus)?
Employment
  1. What options are available to me to work from home?
  2. What employment opportunities are available for bilingual (English-Spanish) Latinos with disabilities?
  3. What is assistive technology (AT)?
  4. On a job application, what should I answer when I am asked if I have a disability?
  5. If I have a workers compensation case open, do I have to accept the vocational rehabilitation offered to me?
  6. I was injured on the job and I am not a legal resident. Am I entitled workers compensation benefits?
  7. I have a personal attendant (PA) that needs to assist me during certain hours of the day. If I become employed, can I request from my employer that my PA come to my job site during my working hours to assist me?
  8. I don't know how to speak English. Are there any job opportunities for me now that I am a person with a disability?

General/Proyecto Visión

What is the Proyecto Visión strategy and why?

Proyecto Visión is the first National Technical Assistance Center established to connect Latinos with disabilities to pathways to employment.

Below is a summary outlining the project's three main objectives, and the strategy used to accomplish each objective.

  1. Objective - connect disabled Latinos with employment services and related resources

    Strategy: provide bilingual (Spanish-English) technical assistance to consumers via:
    Web site: www.proyectovision.net
    Newsletter: Boletín Visión
    Annual employment-centered conference and trainings

  2. Objective - work with government agencies and private organizations focusing on employment, education and technology, to increase their outreach to disabled Latinos

    Strategy: attract organizations focusing on employment, education and technology to attend and participate in annual employment-centered conference and leadership development activities; partner with organizations across the United States to increase outreach to disabled Latinos

  3. Objective - help Latino organizations to better serve their disabled community members

    Strategy: partner with organizations including the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Spanish-language media and the National Council on La Raza (NCLR) to provide disability awareness training and technical assistance to help them better serve their consumers

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Benefits

What is an Individual Development Account (IDA)?

It may sound too good to be true. A savings program helping people to buy a home, start a business or, go back to school. With each deposit an additional amount is added that is from one to three times the original deposit. Throw in financial literacy training, support from a community-based organization, and peer support, and you have an IDA program. Participants only need to meet the general requirement of being within 200 percent of poverty and have some source of earned income. The entire program is free of charge. It is available and nationwide. There is no catch. And, IDAs are proven effective. Not only do IDAs help people become self-sufficient; they also build optimism. According to the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, as many as 93 percent of current IDA participants reported they feel more confident about their futures and 85 percent said they felt more in control of their lives. With self-empowerment as its cornerstone, it is easy to see the marriage between IDAs and the independent living philosophy. The program is a natural fit with the disability community.

IDA programs are fairly new. Across the nation there are only roughly 20,000 accounts in about 400 programs. The Corporation for Enterprise Development lists IDA providers and others who work in the asset development field at idanetwork.com; you can find the resource list by clicking on the "state" pages. Contact the IDA program nearest you and ask if they are currently recruiting participants and what their specific requirements for participation are.

For research on IDAs and the asset development movement in general go to www.idanetwork.com.

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What is a CIL?

A Center for Independent Living is defined by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, as a consumer controlled, community based, cross-disability, nonresidential, private nonprofit agency that is designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities, and provides an array of independent living services. In the Rehabilitation Act, Congress authorized Centers for Independent Living to provide specific "core services" including systems advocacy (efforts to promote systemic change to improve access and opportunities for people with disabilities). Most CILs provide services in the areas of employment, financial benefits counciling, housing, legal clinic, Independent Living skills, peer support, youth, deaf, blind and deaf/blind. Go to www.virtualcil.net/cils/ for a list of CILs across the United States.

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What is Vocational Rehabilitation and what can it do for me?

The following information was taken from the California Department of Rehabilitation. Services may vary from state to state.

The California Department of Rehabilitation works in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders to provide services and advocacy resulting in employment, independent living and equality for individuals with disabilities.

The Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) assists people with disabilities obtain and retain employment and maximize their ability to live independently in their communities. Working with individuals of every type and category of disability, DOR provides vocational rehabilitation services to eligible Californians. DOR also provides ADA technical assistance and training and funds Independent Living Centers, which offer information and referral services to assist individuals with disabilities live active, independent lives.

Vocational Rehabilitation services are designed to get individuals with disabilities prepared for employment and can include training, education, transportation and job placement. Specifically, the California DOR provides services for the blind, deaf and hard of hearing, vocational rehabilitation, the business enterprises program (BEP), developmental disability services, assistive technology, transportation and independent living. Visit their web site at www.rehab.cahwnet.gov for more information.

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I became disabled and I can't perform my previous job anymore. I would like to go back to school but I don't have money to pay for my books and tuition. Is there any program or agency that can assist me?

Yes, there is. You can apply with the Department of Rehabilitation, for scholarships or to vocational programs (e.g. Center for Employment Training) that will pay you a minimum amount during the duration of the training.

Go to www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/RSA/Resources/State/index.html for a list of vocational rehabilitation offices in your state.

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I would like to work but I don't have transportation to go to work. Is there any transportation available to me since I can't use public transportation (fixed route bus)?

Yes, there is. The American with Disabilities Act mandates that complementary transportation to the fixed route be available to people with disabilities, wherever there is fixed route service available. This transportation is called Paratransit.

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Employment

What options are available to me to work from home?

There are many jobs and careers individuals can do from home. Increasingly, companies and organizations are recognizing the benefits of tele-commuting. Today people in many industries work from home. Here are some examples of jobs/careers you can do in the comfort of your own home:

Personal Property Appraiser, Translator, Scrapbooking, Personal Chef, Pet Sitter, Professional Organizer, Virtual Office Services, Event Planner, Gift Basket Making, Greeting Card Designer, Wedding Planner, Accountant/Bookkeeper, Advertising/Marketing Consultant, Executive Recruiter/Headhunter, Financial Planner, Medical Billing, Medical Transcription, Publicist, Word Processor, Copy Writer, Computer Trainer/Tutor, Online Researcher, Proofreader/Copy Editor, Web Designer, Website Creator/Editor

Use 'tele-commute' when doing a keyword job search to identify work at home opportunities.

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What employment opportunities are available for bilingual (English-Spanish) Latinos with disabilities?

Many bilingual Latinos with disabilities do not realize the marketability of their linguistic knowledge. There are many Spanish-speaking people in the United States who know little or no English. Bilingual Latinos with disabilities can get jobs and make careers out of helping bridge the language gap in this segment of the population. This includes providing oral and written translation services for the government/companies/organizations; working with companies/organizations to do outreach, education or marketing to Spanish-speakers in the United States; teaching bilingual education in public/private schools, providing tutoring sessions for students learning Spanish; working in the community at Centers for Independent Living, restaurants, stores, and other establishments that provide services to Spanish-speaking consumers.

Use the keyword 'Spanish' when doing a job search to pull up listings for bilingual individuals.

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What is assistive technology (AT)?

Assistive or Adaptive Technology commonly refers to "...products, devices or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that are used to maintain, increase or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities..." (Assistive Technology Act of 1998)

Assistive Technology products can enable people with disabilities to accomplish daily living tasks, assist in communication, education, and work or recreation activities.

They also can help improve physical functioning such as overcoming an impairment, preventing the worsening of a condition, allowing a person with a physical weakness to have more strength, or improving a person's capacity to learn.

Some examples of AT include: alternative and adaptive keyboards, head-operated pointing devices, voice recognition/voice command software, dictation software, Braille display/output devices, Braille embosser/printers, screen reading software, screen magnification/enlargement software, large print monitor, speech synthesizers, text-to-speech software and hardware, head wands, light pointers, mouth sticks, signal systems, telephony equipment, etc. www.rehabtool.com

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On a job application, what should I answer when I am asked if I have a disability?

Do not answer. It is illegal for an employer to ask if an applicant has a disability, unless the employer is offering the job to the applicant.

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If I have a workers compensation case open, do I have to accept the vocational rehabilitation offered to me?

No, you don't have to. However, if you don't accept it, you will loose the money allocated for this purpose.

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I was injured on the job and I am not a legal resident. Am I entitled workers compensation benefits?

Yes, you are. You do not need to be legally documented to be entitled workers compensation benefits.

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I have a personal attendant (PA) that needs to assist me during certain hours of the day. If I become employed, can I request from my employer that my PA come to my job site during my working hours to assist me?

Employers are not required to pay for "personal care" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They are, however, required to pay for a reasonable accommodation. It is possible that the employee may require a PA to "accommodate" him/her on the job, but "technically," the ADA is very specific about providing "personal care."

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I don't know how to speak English. Are there any job opportunities for me now that I am a person with a disability?

There may be jobs available that do not require you to speak English. However, you might want to take classes to learn how to speak English so you can be more marketable.

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