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ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy

Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic

Employment and Living with HIV/AIDS Toolkit

Individuals Living with HIV/AIDS

Action: Implementing the Plan to Achieve the Employment Goal

The key message at this stage is to proceed with your plan using the resources you have identified during contemplation and preparation to make progress toward achieving your employment goals. As with all four stages of considering work (in addition to contemplation, these stages include contemplation, preparation and resolution), this message needs to be considered in the context of four key factors:   


Medical

Questions to ask

  • Am I able to maintain my medical and mental health care while changing my life to pursue my job goal?
  • Are any changes needed
  • Do I need to see a dentist?

Whom to ask

Counselors/case managers, health care providers, registered dietitians, nutritionists

Decision-making required

Consider, for example:

  • Treatment adherence
  • Consistent medical and mental health appointments
  • Regular lab work
  • Self-care
  • Good nutrition
  • Appropriate exercise
  • Adequate rest
  • Stress management

Resources  to assist

 

Legal/Financial

Questions to ask

  • How will I manage any changes that working will have on my benefits?
  • Where do I go for help if I think I'm being discriminated against on the job?
  • Where do I go for help if I need a reasonable accommodation?
  • Have I learned what I need to make decisions about confidentiality and disclosure at work?

Whom to ask

Legal advocates, benefits counselors, community work incentives coordinators, counselors/case managers, vocational and career counselors

Decision-making required

Be sure to get accurate information for your benefits and your employment by connecting with appropriate resources and counselors.

Work with a specialist to deal with any tax, criminal justice, credit/debt and/or immigration issues.

Learn about your legal rights and responsibilities and strategies to prevent or address discrimination. Topics to explore include reasonable accommodation, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other legal protections that may apply to you. As part of this exploration, consider confidentiality and disclosure issues.

Resources  to assist

 

Psychosocial

Questions to ask

  • How does making changes in my life make me feel?
  • Does making changes in my life bring up fears and anxieties?
  • Do I have the support I need to handle the demands of new activities?
  • What can I do to manage the stress of change in my life?
  • What support do I need to keep my momentum toward my job goal?

Whom to ask

Family, friends, therapists, counselors/case managers, spiritual advisors, support groups, 12-step program sponsors, vocational and career counselors

Decision-making required

Develop and strengthen your support network:

  • Family and friends
  • Peer, support, and/or 12-step program sponsors and network members
  • Counselors, therapists, service providers
  • Spiritual community
  • Career associates and former co-workers and colleagues

Resources  to assist

  • HIV/AIDS Service Locator and Health Services Directory
  • Ask if your employer has an Employee Assistance Program for links to psychosocial support
  • Ask if your employer has Employee Resource Groups for links to social and professional development networks

 

Vocational

Questions to ask

  • Do I have the training and employment preparation resources and support I need to achieve my job goal?
  • What are barriers to my success in training and employment preparation?
  • Are there strategies that could help me be more successful in my training and employment preparation?
  • What am I learning about my energy, stamina, concentration, and emotional readiness?
  • Am I ready, or are there things I can do to make it work better?

Whom to ask

Family, friends, vocational and career counselors, counselors/case managers, therapists, financial aid specialists, child care providers

Decision-making required

For example, consider:

  • Registering for classes
  • Meeting with a vocational counselor
  • Applying for financial aid
  • Finding time for homework
  • Arranging childcare
  • Attending workshops and job search skills training
  • Preparing for interviews
  • Developing resumes
  • Doing research online
  • Launching the job search
  • Negotiating starting the job
  • Beginning work

Resources  to assist