Professional Development & Continuing Education
These resources are meant for people looking for work who need training, information, benefits, and support. If you are looking for job openings, see our Job Search Links.
How to use these links:
These resources are designed to promote the employment of people with disabilities via information, education, benefits, and empowerment. These resources are for job seekers and include information about how to look for work, how to get job training, how to choose a career, how to run your own business, assistive technologies, and more. You can also check out our Job Search Links for lists of specific jobs. If you are a student, you should look through our Internship Opportunities.
Because disclosure is intentionally releasing personal and often highly sensitive information about oneself to others for a specific purpose, it is important for the individual to carefully consider what information he or she needs to share with whom and for what purposes. It is not essential that a person with a disability divulge all personal information about his or her disability. Some information is best kept private. Therefore, the individual needs to determine what information to share. This can be downloaded in both text and audio versions.
Disability.gov provides a single place where people with disabilities, service providers, and advocacy organizations can find links to information about federal disability-related programs and services, including those related to employment. The topics covered include employment, education, housing, transportation, health, income support, technology, community life, and civil rights.
The Office of Disability Employment Policy within the U.S. Department of Labor has this web site that discusses disability and employment policy.
The Office of Personnel Management's web site provides people with disabilities with information on federal job opportunities, accommodation issues, benefits, and telecommuting.
The US Department of Labor's Division of the Employment Training Administration offers a general information page with links to various federal programs and agencies that deal with employment issues including the Ticket to Work Program and the Work Incentives Improvement Act, the New Freedom Initiative, The Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy, and the Department of Labor Office of Civil Rights and the Welfare to Work Program. Internal to the site, are various pages containing a disability library, answers to FAQ regarding employment, success stories of persons with disabilities who have found employment, and information on the One-Stop career network.
The US Department of Justice now offers a list of telephone numbers, addresses, and websites for assistance in understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act and Equal Employment Opportunity Laws. Included in this list is a toll-free information line about the ADA.
Choose Work through the Ticket to Work program, offering people with disabilities a shot at achieving financial independence by enabling more choice in employment-related support services, and access to meaningful work. Choosework.net helps people with disabilities find local employment networks and jobs.
As of April 2002, over 900 tickets have been assigned to people using Social Security Services in the first 13 states to be part of the program. Over 23,000 people have called the Ticket to Work information hotline (1-866-968-7842) since it opened. Go to their web site to find out more about this program to get people with disabilities employment.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has a free training program called Money Smart, geared to teach adults outside the financial mainstream how to enhance money and backing skills. The program consists of 10 instructor-led modules on basic financial topics and presents an interesting opportunity for organizations interested in training persons with disabilities. Out of the 49 million Americans with disabilities, one in three persons lives at or below the poverty level.
This is a basic introduction to US Equal Employment Opportunity Laws, job discrimination etc. It also includes information specific to people with disabilities. There is also a simple factsheet about these issues for teens that includes contact information. Download it in English or Spanish.
The home page of the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides links to information about SSA services. If you are currently receiving SSA benefits, you can receive advice on how to return to work. Individuals interested in working at the SSA itself can receive information on the different possible career paths into this agency; bilingual people and people with disabilities are both encouraged to apply for employment at the SSA. Some of SSA's information is provided in Spanish.
This website provides updated and accurate information on employment, health coverage and benefits. It aids people with disabilities to make good financial and employment choices and will also serve as a much-needed tool for benefits planners and service providers. DB101 features detailed descriptions of state, federal and private benefit programs and how they interact with employment. Other features include: articles featuring sample life situations, guides to health coverage and benefit programs, plain language descriptions and complete accessibility for screen readers, access to local and other resources, and glossary.
A plan for achieving self-support, or PASS, allows people with disabilities who want to work, or start their own business, to plan for their future. A PASS lets you set aside money and/or other things you own to help you reach your goal. For example, you could set aside money to start a business, go to school or get training for a job. Your goal must be a job that will produce sufficient earnings to reduce your dependency on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. A PASS is meant to help you acquire those items, services or skills you need so that you can compete with other persons for an entry-level job in a professional, business or trade environment. If you have graduated from college or a trade/technical school, you are usually considered capable of obtaining such a position without the assistance of a PASS.
Lift, Inc. qualifies, trains, hires and places information technology (IT) professionals who have physical disabilities through contacts with major corporations. This non-profit organization acts both as educational institution and job placement agency. Individuals searching for IT careers can go to Lift for full-time training, one-year of employment with one of Lift's corporate clients and prospective long term employment. Corporate clients get a source of talented, highly motivated professionals, disability awareness training and worksite evaluation. Best of all the services are all free of charge.
The Training and Technical Assistance for Providers (*T-TAP*) project has a new online seminar about job negotiation and customized employment. The customized employment process is based on a match between the unique strengths, needs, and interests of the job candidate with a disability, and the identified business needs of the employer or self-employment business chosen by the candidate. The result is a job that benefits the job seeker and company alike. You can also purchase a series of eight webcasts on customized employment from the website.
Worksupport.com's Brown Bag Series includes an informational session about telecommuting for people with disabilities. It includes a 35-minute video moderated by Debra Ruh, C.E.O. of TecAccess _ a company at which 75 percent people with disabilities, and successfully practices telecommuting.
The Research and Training Center on Rural Rehabilitation Services offers a web resource on information about self-employment for people with disabilities. The website contains fact sheets on self employment, a guide and tools to becoming self-employed, and information on how vocational rehabilitation agencies can help customers become self-employed or start up small businesses. It also has links to additional websites and guides to self-employment in addition to providing ordering information for published books and manuals on self-employment.
The AgrAbility Project promotes independence in agricultural production and rural living to farmers and ranchers in 24 states. In participating states, project staff provide training, site visits, on-farm assessments, technical assistance, and other information to farmers and ranchers with disabilities. AgrAbility staff often show farmers how to use and adapt farm equipment and tools, modify farm operations, develop peer support networks, teach preventative education, and more.
NOND is an open membership, cross-disability, professional organization that works to promote equity for people with disabilities and chronic health conditions in nursing through education and advocacy by: promoting best practices in education and employment; providing resources to individuals, nursing and disability organizations, and educational and healthcare institutions; influencing the provision of culturally responsive nursing practice; and creating systemic improvements.
Mobility International has many publications available, including "Preparing for an International Career: Pathways for People with Disabilities," which encourages young adults with international interests to explore careers in the international affairs, exchange and development fields. This downloadable booklet highlights different types of international occupations, job prospects, tips to prepare for an international career, insights from role models and emerging leaders with disabilities in these fields, and the international exchange and fellowship programs they participated in to get them where they are today.
The Epilepsy Foundation's website provides some answers to employment-related questions for people with epilepsy. The website is designed for people who are ready to take a step towards finding, getting and keeping a job.
The UCP web resource offers links to employment information for persons with disabilities, including job search tips, legislation information, as well as jobsite accommodations. The organization offers help to high school, college, and graduate students in finding employment, resume writing etc.
The GCF Global Learning website now allows you to take a free online computer class. Classes offered include MS Office 1997 or 2000, MS Word 2000, MS Power Point 2000, and MS Excel 2000. You can take a class with an instructor or simply take a class at your own pace without a teacher. Both types of classes are Internet-based and available in both Spanish and English. Check their website to see when each particular class is offered. The website also provides links to register for the classes. Registration is free but necessary in order to participate. This website is available in English and in Spanish.