Disability Employment 101: Resources

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Examples of General Resources

American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) —
AAPD, the largest national nonprofit cross-disability member organization in the United States, is dedicated to ensuring economic self-sufficiency and political empowerment for Americans with disabilities. AAPD works in coalition with other disability organizations for the full implementation and enforcement of disability nondiscrimination laws, particularly the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Center for Workforce Preparation (CWP) —
An affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, CWP assists state and local chambers to build their capacity as leaders in workforce development. CWP helps chambers recognize the value and importance of this leadership role and provides information, resources, promising practices and opportunities for chambers to learn from one another.

Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation —
Founded in 1940 to provide input into the State-Federal Rehabilitation Program, the council is the only national organization whose sole purpose and function is to advocate for the Public Vocational Rehabilitation Program. CSAVR's mission is to maintain and enhance a strong, effective and efficient national program of public vocational rehabilitation services, which empowers individuals with disabilities to achieve employment, economic self-sufficiency, independence and inclusion and integration into our communities. It is composed of the chief administrators of the public rehabilitation agencies serving individuals with physical and mental disabilities in the states, the District of Columbia and the territories. These agencies constitute the state partners in the state-federal program of rehabilitation services provided under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The council's members supervise the rehabilitation of some 1.2 million persons with disabilities.

Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers (DBTACs) —
DBTACs provide information, training and technical assistance to employers and consumers with respect to rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

Employer Assistance Referral Network (EARN) —
EARN is a nationwide, cost-free referral and technical assistance service for employers. EARN connects employers who have job vacancies to employment service providers who have direct access to job-ready individuals with disabilities. EARN provides technical assistance to assist employers in locating appropriate organizations and information as they seek to hire qualified candidates with disabilities.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) —
JAN is a free consulting service that provides information about job accommodations, ADA and the employability of people with disabilities.

National Organization on Disability (NOD) —
NOD promotes the full and equal participation and contribution of America's 54 million men, women and children with disabilities in all aspects of life.

National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) —
NCIL is a membership organization that advances the self-empowerment philosophy and advocates for the human rights of, and services for, people with disabilities to further their full integration and participation in society. NCIL represents over 700 organizations and individuals including:

  • Centers for Independent Living (CILs);
  • Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs);
  • individuals with disabilities; and
  • other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Employment Policy for Persons with Disabilities —
Cornell University's coordinated research, training and dissemination activities deepen the understanding of policymakers and other stakeholders about how the economy, public policies and other socio-political factors affect the employment and economic self-sufficiency of people with disabilities.

U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) —
The U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) is the only national employer-led organization that provides a corporate perspective to businesses regarding hiring people with disabilities and marketing to customers with disabilities. With chapters in 31 states and the District of Columbia, the USBLN is the nationally recognized disability voice for the business community because it makes the inclusion of people with disabilities a business imperative. A nonprofit trade association, the USBLN provides a best practices strategies, specific industry perspectives, tool kits and resources to employers and its 43 BLN chapters seeking to diversify their workforces by including people with disabilities.

Virginia Commonwealth University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Workplace Supports —
The RRTC on Workplace Supports identifies factors that enhance or inhibit businesses from tapping into a pool of potential employees with disabilities. It collects data and resources related to employment supports, a particularly useful employment strategy for individuals with severe disabilities. The center's Web site contains valuable information on return-to-work strategies, effective disability management programs and financial tax credits to encourage hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities.

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Federal Resources

The Access Board —
The Access Board is an independent federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities. It operates with approximately 30 staff members and a governing board of representatives from federal departments and public members appointed by the president. Key responsibilities of the board include developing and maintaining accessibility requirements for the physical environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, electronic and information technology; technical assistance and training on these guidelines and standards; and enforcing accessibility standards for federally-funded facilities.

Census Bureau Disability Statistics —
The Census Bureau provides data on disability based on three primary sources: the Survey of Income and Program Participation, the Decennial Census of Population, and the Current Population Survey. — is the result of a collaborative effort across multiple federal agencies in conjunction with the president's New Freedom Initiative. It contains information on civil rights, education, employment, housing, health care, technology and transportation, among other subjects. The Web site is designed to be a one-stop source of government information relevant to people with disabilities, their families, employers and service providers. Employers can specifically learn about sources for job candidates with disabilities at, and about tax credits to offset the cost of accommodations, assistive technologies and more at,,id=96151,00.html.

Social Security Administration, Ticket to Work Program —
The Ticket to Work Program is a nationwide initiative administered by the Social Security Administration designed to increase job training and employment choices for individuals with disabilities. Employers that offer (or arrange for) job training, vocational rehabilitation (VR), support, retention or other types of job-related services and assistance for individuals with disabilities can become Employment Networks and are eligible for compensation for services. Employers can directly provide, or arrange for, appropriate employment services including job readiness, placement, VR, training and support or retention services for individuals with disabilities.

U.S. Department of Education —
The Department administers federal laws, including the No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act; ensures equal access to education; and promotes educational excellence for all Americans. Among the resources offered on is the Education Resource Organizations Directory (EROD), which provides contact lists for state education agencies, VR agencies and other organizations useful to employers. The contacts are organized by state and territory and by type of organization. EROD is accessible at

The following Department of Education offices address the needs of people with disabilities:

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) —

OSERS is committed to improving results and outcomes for people with disabilities of all ages. OSERS provides a wide array of supports to parents and individuals, school districts and states in three main areas-special education, vocational rehabilitation and research-through its component offices as described below:

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) —
OSEP is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youths with disabilities, from birth through age 21, by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) authorizes formula grants to states, and discretionary grants to institutions of higher education and other nonprofit organizations to support research, demonstrations, technical assistance and dissemination, technology and personnel development and parent-training and information centers.

Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) —
RSA oversees formula and discretionary grant programs that help individuals with disabilities obtain employment and live more independently through the provision of such supports as counseling, job training and other individualized services.

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) —
NIDRR provides leadership and support for a comprehensive program of research related to the community integration and employment of individuals with disabilities.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) —
The Department of Homeland Security has created the Ready Business Web site, on which is featured the Plan to Stay in Business, a series of emergency planning guidelines for employees. The site, accessible at, offers guidance for addressing the needs of people with disabilities in emergency planning, evacuation and recovery.

U.S. Department of Justice, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Home Page —
This Department of Justice Web site provides information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities and transportation.

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) —
ODEP provides national leadership to increase employment opportunities for adults and youths with disabilities while striving to eliminate barriers to employment. Employers can find examples of best practices and guidance on how to account for the needs of people with disabilities in the workplace, including their safe evacuation from the workplace during emergencies.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) —
EEOC enforces Title I and Title V of the ADA, prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of disability in the private sector and state and local governments. The EEOC conducted a series of workshops for small businesses on the ADA in 2002 and 2003. These workshops included information on tax incentives and community resources.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) —
The SBA's ADA Web page ( supports the ADA, which guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunications. SBA also has published a 15-page illustrated guide, ADA Guide for Small Businesses, available at (HTML) or (PDF), that presents an overview of some basic ADA requirements for small businesses that provide goods and services to the public. It offers guidance on how to make services accessible and how tax credits and deductions may be used to offset specific costs incurred in accommodations. In addition, the SBA has launched at, a resource to help businesses navigate government rules and regulations and get access to information on the employment of people with disabilities.

The White House —
The White House's comprehensive Web site supports the president's policies, agenda and activities, and serves as a portal to the U.S. government.

New Freedom Initiative —
This Web site features President George W. Bush's New Freedom Initiative (NFI), announced by the president during his first month in office, as well as annual progress reports. The NFI is dedicated to increasing access to assistive and universally designed technologies, expanding educational opportunities and promoting full access to community life for Americans with disabilities.

Workforce Recruitment Program —
Coordinated by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Defense, the Workforce Recruitment Program provides summer work experience, and in some cases full-time employment, for students with disabilities. The program develops partnerships with other federal agencies and businesses. Each year, recruiters develop a database of approximately 1,500 qualified students that employers can use to recruit interns.

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Last Modified: 11/29/2007