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Aaron Roberts, MRC

Aaron Roberts, MRC

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Aaron Roberts, MRC

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  1. Breaking Barriers: Working With Individuals with Disabilities, Criminal Records and Financial Need Aaron Roberts, MRC

  2. About Me Master of Rehabilitation Counseling (USU) Career Counselor at Weber State University Worked at the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation Internships at Employability Clinic (USU), Deseret Industries, USU Career Services

  3. 3 Tough Barriers to Employment “Work is the most important indicator of quality of life” Snyder, C R, et al. “Positive Psychology: The Scientific and Practical Explorations of Human Strengths.” Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc., 2011 Disabilities Criminal Records Financial Need (for training/education)

  4. Impact of Unemployment • Higher mortality • Poorer general health • Long-standing illness • Poorer mental health • Psychological distress • Minor psychological/psychiatric morbidity • Higher medication consumption • Higher admission rates Wadell, Gordon, and A Kim Burton. “Is Work Good for Your Health and Well-Being?” Cardinal Management, 2006. “There is a correlation between working and more positive outcomes in symptom levels, self-esteem, quality of life and social functioning…” Schneider J, et al. Occupational outcomes: from evidence to implementation.. Centre for Applied Social Studies, University of Durham, Durham. 2002

  5. Individuals with Disabilities “Moving off benefits and (re-)entering work is generally associated with improved psychological health and quality of life……Claimants who move off benefits and (re-)enter work generally have increased income.” Wadell, Gordon, and A Kim Burton. “Is Work Good for Your Health and Well-Being?” Cardinal Management, 2006. “Work is important in promoting mental health and recovery from mental health problems and that losing one’s job is detrimental.” Thomas, T, et al. Job Retention and Mental Health: a Review of the Literature. . King's College London, 2002. "We found that continuing to work while experiencing a depressive illness may offer employees certain health benefits, while depression-related absence from work offers no significant improvement in employee health outcomes or quality of life”. University of Melbourne. “Working during Depression Can Offer Health Benefits to Employees.” ScienceDaily, 2014.

  6. Disabilities: Schedule A Hiring Authority Self-Identification of Disability Form Found here: The Federal Government hires each person using a hiring authority (the term comes from the Federal regulation that describes it). Federal agencies can use a Schedule A Hiring Authority to provide a quicker way to hire an individual with a disability and offers an exception to competitive hiring process. • If you are a person with severe physical disability, a psychiatric disability or an intellectual disability. • Have the necessary competencies and relevant experience to perform the job.

  7. Disabilities: Schedule A Letter Provide "proof of a disability" documentation to obtain a Schedule A Letter: • From your doctor, • Licensed Medical Professional, • Licensed Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor • Or federal, state or local agency that issues disability benefits 1. Identify the position 2. Prepare the application: Resume, Cover Letter, Schedule A Letter 3. Apply for the job: ( or directly with agency. Found here:

  8. Story of Joe…. ...He visited Career Services several times: • 8 months unemployed • Bachelor's degree in History • Taken assessments • Employment counseling • Mock interviews • Resume reviews …THEN he disclosed he had a disability. • I contacted Vocational Rehabilitation • He obtained a Schedule A Letter • Applied to Federal Jobs with Schedule A Letter • Obtained a job!

  9. Federal Contractors Must show they are trying to employ at least 7% individuals with disabilities. Self-identify on a job application or by pre-employment inquiry to satisfy the section 503 affirmative action requirements. Federal contractors have to file a EEO - 1 Report (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Audited from OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs). Found here:

  10. Finding Federal Contractors ONET Onet: DWS Enter: PWDNET into the “keywords” search field at

  11. What About Individuals with Criminal Records? “Nothing stops a bullet like a job” “Students who were randomly assigned to participate in the (8 week) program had 43 percent fewer violent-crime arrests over 16 months, compared to students in the control group.” Heller, Sara B. “Summer Jobs Reduce Violence among Disadvantaged Youth.” Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 5 Dec. 2014, “NIJ (National Institute of Justice) funded a national study, conducted by the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section, which has catalogued more than 38,000 statutes that impose collateral consequences on people convicted of crimes, creating barriers to jobs…” Ingmire, Jann. Chicago Summer Jobs Program for High School Students Dramatically Reduces Youth Violence. Chicago News, 2014. Also See: American Bar Association, "Adult Collateral Consequences Project," July 2011. NIJ Journal 263: 10–17.

  12. Expungement vs Record Sealing How we think of Expungement: • Criminal file removed from public record entirely • Deletion of any record that an arrest or criminal charge ever occured • Less common See: U.C.A. 77-40-102(8) Record Sealing (most common) • A sealed record still “exists” but court restricts public access • Even information about the existence of the case is not publicly available • Court staff must respond as if the case does not exist • Can be “unsealed” by court order

  13. Doing Expungement Yourself • Determine if you are eligible: • Apply for a certificate of eligibility from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation here: (finger printed, application fee $65) • Receive your certificate for eligibility ($56) • Petition for expungement: • File petition to court - where criminal prosecution took place ($135 filing fee) • Send the prosecutor's office with the required paperwork: Copy of Petition to Expunge Criminal Records, Copy of Certificate of Eligibility, Originals of documents: Acceptance of Service, Consent and Waiver of Hearing, Victims Statement

  14. Doing Expungement Yourself 7. If the prosecutor files an objection, you would need to respond 8. If the court schedules a hearing, attend the hearing 9. Request that the court issue an Order of Expungement 10. If court grants the expungement/sealing, get enough certified copies of the order for all law enforcement agencies that have records related to the case • Court clerk usually keeps the main criminal file, but records may also be in the police department, sheriff's office, jail or probation office, etc UTCOURTS offers free help!

  15. Other Ways To Go... • Background check found criminal record • Write a personal statement. Has responsibility been accepted? What were the circumstances? • Sometimes request letters of character reference • Consider talking to Department of Workforce Services

  16. Financial Need (for training and education) Work Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA) • Federal law that Obama signed into law on July 22, 2014 • Intended to strengthen our nation’s workforce system by helping individuals access employment, education and training • Help those who experience barriers obtain quality jobs/careers • To accelerate achievement of diplomas and credentials • Also to help employers hire skilled workers and retain skilled workers

  17. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Federally funded program Provides training/education to eligible individuals Administered by DWS, Voc Rehab and Adult Education Adults - age 18 to 72, citizens or eligible non-citizens and low income. Dislocated Workers - dislocated from employment, citizens or eligible non-citizens. Youth - age 14–24, citizens or eligible non-citizens and low income.

  18. WIOA Adult & Youth Program WIOA Adult Program • Occupational skills training (usually two years or less) • Certificate training • GED/HS Diploma assistance • Income eligible • You were laid off • U.S. citizen/eligible to work WIOA Youth Program • Can help obtain a bachelor’s degree • Be between the ages of 14 -24 • Can verify citizenship or eligible to work in U.S. • Meet income guidelines • Take basic skill assessment • Willing to work and succeed

  19. Apply for Training Services To Apply: • Sign in to “my Job Search” or create a new job search account at • Click on “Apply for Training Services” and view the orientation: • Complete the application for training • Once completed, a representative will call within 3 days to schedule an appointment.

  20. Assisting Individuals to Obtain Funding Building the case: • Does client/student have the abilities? • Does client/student have interest in that area? • What is the employment outlook for that area? • Lead to gainful employment? • Is student decided (not wishy-washy)?

  21. Preparing Individuals Found here:

  22. Disability Resources • Federal Jobs: • Information on using Schedule A with • Using a Schedule A Letter: • USOR Order of Selection Overview: • USOR staff contact: • Pre-employment Inquiries information:

  23. Expunging Criminal Records/Resources • Follow step-by-step: • Forms to fill out located here: • Offers free help! • Determining eligibility: • Expungement Flow Chart: • Locating correct prosecutor's office:

  24. Financial Need (for training) Resources • Department of Workforce Services: • Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act: • Youth program: • Adult program: