What is WorkAbility III?

WorkAbility III programs are cooperative partnerships between the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) and participating community colleges within the state of California. WorkAbility III programs are intended to provide vocational services to clients of the California Department of Rehabilitation who are also students attending specific California community colleges.

WorkAbility III helps students obtain employment during and after completion of their education and vocational training in accordance with their Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

Who is eligible?

Applicants must be eligible to be clients of the California Department of Rehabilitation. Participants must be clients of the California Department of Rehabilitation. Applicants must be attending school in the San Diego Community College District. They can take classes at either a college or continuing education site (or both).

College sites: City College • Miramar College • Mesa College

Continuing Education Sites: Centre City • West City • ECC • North City • Mid City • CE @ Mesa • Cesar Chavez

How can I apply?

You may contact your DOR counselor if you are a client, speak to your DSPS counselor, or get in touch with the WorkAbility III coordinator directly.

Students can be referred three ways:
  • DOR: Students may be referred by their Department of Rehabilitation Counselor (DOR) to WorkAbility III.
  • DSPS: Students may also be referred by their Disability Support Programs and Services (DSPS) counselor located at SDCCD college and continuing education sites.
  • Self-Referral: Individuals interested in SDCCD’s WorkAbility III program may also contact the WorkAbility III coordinator directly.

What happens after I get referred?

Once the referral has been received, an intake will be scheduled. Usually, the intake is conducted by the program coordinator. The intake usually lasts between 60-90 minutes. Various topics are covered, ranging from work and educational history to information about the student’s disability. The student will be assigned a vocational specialist to work with them throughout the course of their participation with WorkAbility III.

Intake discussion topics: current employment • financial needs • work history • interests • skills and abilities • interview experience • education • resume development • volunteer experience • transportation • vocational goal (IPE) established with DOR counselor • assistive technology • disability

How do you support students?

  • Professional vocational services designed to help students to obtain employment as established in the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE)
  • Support throughout the job search process and during the beginning stages of employment
  • Consistent communication and timely responses to questions
  • Vocational services include: vocational counseling • career exploration • work experience/internships • job search resources • job seeking skills training • worksite monitoring • on-the-job accommodations
WorkAbility III vocational counselors take part in networking efforts with employers in the community to benefit our students. Vocational counselors utilize the professional relationships they develop to create opportunities for our students.

What is the length of the program?

The length of time depends upon a student’s academic progress, short vs. long term employment needs, level of participation, motivation, and labor market competition depending upon the vocational field.

do you focus on the student’s disability?

WorkAbility III takes into account the individual’s disability and considers appropriate accommodations that would be needed to maximize student success in the work environment. WorkAbility staff emphasize the abilities of individuals and match the abilities of individuals to specific jobs or fields.

What types of disabilities do you have experience with?

SDCCD’s WorkAbility III program has existed since 1989. During this time, staff have assisted thousands of students with many types of disabilities at various stages of the rehabilitation process.

What types of jobs will i be able to get?

This depends upon the student’s vocational goal. The types of jobs students have acquired through our services are as unique as the individuals we have assisted.

will you work with my DOR counselor?

WorkAbility III staff communicate with DOR counselors on a regular basis. In this way, both DOR and WorkAbility III provide a consistent level of support to maximize the possibility for student success.


WorkAbility III | Shawn Fiala, Acting Program Coordinator | sfiala@sdccd.edu
(619) 388-6984 (office)