Keys to Success

The following tips were taken from interviews with hundreds of persons with disabilities who have succeeded.

Understand Your Disability:

  • know how to describe your disability to teachers and to employers without relying on professional jargon
  • determine how and when you learn most effectively
  • identify accommodations that help you operate more efficiently at school and on the job
  • learn about when, where, and how to seek appropriate support
  • think about the strengths and assets you may have developed because of your disability (e.g. perseverance, creative problem solving, and determination)

Develop Helpful Life Skills:

  • practice creative and assertive ways to advocate for yourself
  • learn how to use helpful technological assists when necessary
  • write down specific goals to help keep you on track
  • develop the best time and stress management systems
  • learn to accept constructive criticism and don't permit negative feedback to deter you
  • remain flexible in exploring alternative learning strategies
  • nurture relationships with friends, family, or professionals to exchange support, encouragement, and important feedback

Plan Your Career:

  • don't let other people put a ceiling on your career goals
  • learn about how your skills, interests, and personality relate to career options
  • seek out opportunities for work shadowing, cooperative work terms, and volunteer experiences
  • participate in extracurricular activities and summer jobs that foster skills, confidence, career knowledge, and important contacts
  • research appropriate career information to make informed and timely choices
  • develop creative and effective job search skills
  • be informed about employment equity and human rights legislation
  • contact employment equity officers to discuss equity goals, policies, and procedures of specific companies

Remember:

  • maintain optimism and hope
  • work hard to achieve your goals and persevere over obstacles
  • don't be deterred if it takes longer to reach your objectives
  • many people don't understand the challenges that you face and they may jump to the wrong conclusions about your abilities
  • people withdisabilities are entitled to educational and job equity