Employment

Employment is a critical part of community inclusion for both older adults and people with disabilities. When they don’t have opportunities to work, we all miss out. For youth with disabilities, a smooth transition from education to employment is essential. Securing and maintaining employment helps many people to achieve independence in their communities, but there are often barriers to accessing meaningful and integrated employment.

Employment in integrated settings at competitive wages offer a direct pathway to greater independence and self-sufficiency. Employers benefit from a larger and more diverse talent pool when hiring. And as a nation we benefit when people with disabilities and older adults have the chance to contribute as colleagues, business owners, and taxpayers.

At ACL, we are working with our partners across federal government, with states and communities, and with older adults and people with disabilities to create more opportunities for competitive, integrated employment.

ACL Employment Initiatives

ACL, and our federal partners, also work to support the use of volunteers in Older Americans Act programs and to provide expanded opportunities for older adults and others to get involved in their communities.

 

Employment Resources for People with Disabilities and Older Adults

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations to employers, as well as to employees, job seekers, family members and service providers. Beyond accommodations, JAN provides information and assistance to individuals with disabilities who may find that self-employment is their best career choice. It also provides easy-to-understand technical assistance and training to employers on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability employment-related laws and regulations. More than 8 million visitors use JAN’s comprehensive website, www.AskJAN.org, to access publications, tools, and online training on job accommodations and the ADA. JAN conducts the ongoing study, Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact, to demonstrate that the benefits employers receive from making workplace accommodations far outweigh the low costs of the accommodations. Finally, JAN continues to share information on best practices on accommodations and the ADA through its outreach campaigns.

Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) promotes the employment of people with disabilities through the development, adoption, and promotion of accessible technology policy. PEAT brings together employers, technology developers, accessibility thought leaders, government policymakers and consumers and provides a mix of resources, outreach and collaboration, to serve as a catalyst for innovation and policy development related to accessible technology in the workplace. To ensure new and existing technologies can be used by people with disabilities, PEAT connects with the world’s leading companies yielding tangible results. PEAT’s website (www.PEATworks.org) offers a central hub of online resources and opportunities for collaboration to employers and IT companies interested in adopting accessible technology as part of everyday business practices. 

The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities (WRP) is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.

American Job Centers are designed to provide a full range of assistance to job seekers under one roof. Established under the Workforce Investment Act, and reauthorized in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act of 2014, the centers offer training referrals, career counseling, job listings, and similar employment-related services. Customers can visit a center in person or connect to the center's information online or through kiosk remote access.

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a U.S. Department of Education funded program that provides these services in every state, territory, and many Indian Nations. Vocational Rehabilitation serves all disability groups, but some states have a separate program called State Services for the Blind that provides specialized services for individuals with legal blindness. Learn more.

The Ticket to Work Program (TTW) helps people who receive Social Security due to a disability find work and keep their health coverage.

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) may provide job coaching, training, and information on disability in the workplace to help people with disabilities maintain their independence. Find your nearest CIL.

The AARP Employer Pledge Program is a nationwide group of employers that stand with AARP in affirming the value of experienced workers and are committed to developing diverse organizations.

AARP Job Search Resources.

Resources for Employers

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) helps employers recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities. In addition to hosting webinars and other events, EARN also maintains a website, AskEARN.org, which provides information on: recruiting and hiring; retention and advancement; laws and regulations; creating an accessible and welcoming workplace; and federal contractor requirements. The website also offers a variety of resources to assist state and federal government agencies in making their workforces more inclusive and reflective of the citizens they serve. For regular updates, be sure to subscribe to EARN's bi-weekly newsletter and follow EARN on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations to employers, as well as to employees, job seekers, family members and service providers. It also provides easy-to-understand technical assistance and training to employers on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability employment-related laws and regulations. JAN annually responds to more than 40,000 individual requests for assistance via phone, email and/or chat services. Sixty percent of the requests are from employers. JAN also conducts nearly 100 trainings per year for employers, employer organizations, federal, state and local governments, and service providers in person, via webinar, and/or by teleconference. More than 8 million visitors use JAN’s comprehensive website, www.AskJAN.org, to access publications, tools, and online training on job accommodations and the ADA. JAN conducts the ongoing study, Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact, to demonstrate that the benefits employers receive from making workplace accommodations far outweigh the low costs of the accommodations. Finally, JAN continues to share information on best practices on accommodations and the ADA through its outreach campaigns.

Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) promotes the employment of people with disabilities through the development, adoption, and promotion of accessible technology policy. PEAT brings together employers, technology developers, accessibility thought leaders, government policymakers and consumers and provides a mix of resources, outreach and collaboration, to serve as a catalyst for innovation and policy development related to accessible technology in the workplace. To ensure new and existing technologies can be used by people with disabilities, PEAT connects with the world’s leading companies yielding tangible results. PEAT’s website (www.PEATworks.org) offers a central hub of online resources and opportunities for collaboration to employers and IT companies interested in adopting accessible technology as part of everyday business practices. PEAT also created TalentWorks, a robust online resource that helps employers and HR professionals make their eRecruiting technologies accessible to all jobseekers.

Workplace Initiative helps companies recruit, hire and retain the largest untapped source of employment talent in the country: people with disabilities. The Workplace Initiative strives to close the employment gap for people with disabilities by creating scalable solutions for disability employment and inclusion through partnerships and consulting services. It enables companies to amplify disability as a critical component of diversity. The Workplace Initiative also helps organizations learn how to recruit, hire, and retain talent with disabilities and strengthen the capacity of organizations to train and educate job seekers with disabilities. They help companies design, implement and sustain programs for hiring talent with disabilities. Their projects support all companies looking for talent with all types of disabilities—both visible and invisible, including all types of physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, mental health issues, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, visual and hearing impairment, and learning and attention issues—for all job types. In doing so, they help companies tap into a new source of talent, realize significant cost savings, and reach a customer base with more than $220 billion in spending power; they strengthen communities and the economy; and they help job seekers with disabilities realize their full potential.

Disability:IN is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Their network of more than 170 corporations expands opportunities for people with disabilities across enterprises. Their organization and 50 Affiliates raise a collective voice of positive change for people with disabilities in business. They also produce the Disability Equality Index ranking the best places to work for disability inclusion. Disability:IN promotes disability inclusion by heightening awareness, advising corporations and sharing proven strategies for including people with disabilities in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace. They expand opportunities for people with disabilities by helping companies invigorate their disability initiatives, explore best practices, incorporate culture changes, and realize positive business outcomes.

Cornell University’s BenchmarkABILITY® is a self-assessment tool for organizations. Learn more about leading practices to promote disability inclusive workplaces by taking any of six short checklists.

The AARP Employer Pledge Program is a nationwide group of employers that stand with AARP in affirming the value of experienced workers and are committed to developing diverse organizations.

Resources for States and Community-Based Organizations

Medicaid Buy-In Q&A (PDF) - ACL, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) have developed a "question and answer" document to help grantees, stakeholders, and self-advocates better understand the "Medicaid buy-in" program. Medicaid “buy-in” allows workers with disabilities access to Medicaid community-based services not available through other insurers. 

Webinars

Medical Professionals with Disabilities: October 24, 2018

According to the American Medical Association (AMA), nearly 20 percent of Americans have disabilities, yet professional students in key health fields and health care providers with disabilities still encounter serious barriers throughout their training and careers – barriers that reflect the challenges too many Americans with disabilities still face in accessing health care that others take for granted.

In observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), ACL hosted a webinar on October 24, 2018, at 3pm ET with medical professionals with disabilities who are flipping the script and working to enhance inclusion of people with disabilities by working to improve health care training curricula and increase the access to and quality of health care for people with disabilities. The webinar will include discussion of cultural competency, accessibility & inclusion in medical education, as well as the stigma that surrounds employment of medical professionals with disabilities.

Speakers include:

- Lisa I. Iezzoni, MD, MSC, Harvard Medical School Neera
- Jain, PhD Candidate, University of Auckland
-  Karen McCulloh, RN, Founder, National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities
-  Michael McKee, MD, MPH, University of Michigan


Last modified on 07/22/2019


Back to Top