AbleData (Web Site)
AbleData provides objective information about assistive technology products and rehabilitation equipment. There are almost 40,000 product listings in 20 categories.
Government Benefits (Web site)
The government now has available a Web site to help people find government benefits they may be eligible to receive. Its screening instrument is free and confidential.
National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
NCIL is the national membership association of local nonprofit corporations known as Centers for Independent Living (CIL). Visit the address below to find your nearby SIL or the Statewide Independent Living Council for your state.
National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC)
NARIC serves as an online gateway to an abundance of disability- and rehabilitation-oriented information organized in a variety of formats designed to make it easy for users to find and use. This includes resources for employment, advocacy, benefits and financial assistance, education, technology, and more.
Research and Training Center on Independent Living
The Center’s goal is to develop and disseminate practical techniques that enable people with severe disabilities to live more independently. Consumers and service providers identify their critical needs and then work closely with center staff to develop research and products that address these needs throughout project research and development phases. Check out RTCIL’s products page, at:
Social Security Administration (SSA)
(800) 772-1213 (Voice) | (800) 325-0778 (TTY)
The Social Security Administration provides cash benefits (SSI and/or SSDI) to persons with a physical or mental disability that prevents them from working and which is expected to last at least a year or be terminal. Eligibility for SSI or SSDI may mean eligibility for other services, such as Medicaid, food stamps, or other social services. The amount of money and services received varies in each state. The program also includes work incentives that make it possible for individuals to work without an immediate loss of benefits. Read about SSA’s benefits at the link above. To identify your local SSA office, use SSA’s the Social Security Online Office Locator at: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/FOLO/fo001.jsp
Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
AHEAD is an international, multicultural organization of professionals committed to full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities. AHEAD offers numerous training programs, workshops, publications, and conferences to promote this mission.
Division of Adult Education and Literacy
Office of Vocational and Adult Education
U.S. Department of Education
The Division of Adult Education and Literacy promotes programs that help adults get the basic skills they need to be productive workers, family members, and citizens. The major areas of support are Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education, and English Language Acquisition. These programs emphasize basic skills such as reading, writing, math, English language competency, and problem-solving. The link above takes you to the Adult Education and People with Disabilities webpage of the division, where you can connect with a network of federal and state programs and initiatives for those with disabilities.
HEATH Resource Center
HEATH is the online clearinghouse on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities. Come here if you’re looking for information about educational support services, policies, procedures, adaptations, and opportunities at American campuses, vocational-technical schools, and other postsecondary training entities for adults with disabilities.
Colleges, Career Colleges, Tech Colleges and Schools by State
Pick your state (or another!) and see what’s available.
DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) works to increase the participation of individuals with disabilities in challenging academic programs and careers. DO-IT Scholars is especially for college-capable high school students with disabilities.
Your portal to degree programs, career information, school reviews, and education news
PEPNet is a network of four regional centers working to advance educational options for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) |
To identify the VR office in your vicinity, consult your local telephone directory or visit: http://askjan.org/cgi-win/TypeQuery.exe?902
Vocational Rehabilitation is a nationwide federal-state program for assisting eligible people with disabilities to define a suitable employment goal and become employed. Each state capital has a central VR agency, and there are local offices in most states. VR provides medical, therapeutic, counseling, education, training, and other services needed to prepare people with disabilities for work. VR is an excellent place for a youth or adult with a disability to begin exploring available training and support service options.
Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
1.800.526.7234 (Voice) | 1.877.781.9403 (TTY)
Spanish spoken; Spanish materials available
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.
ADA National Network
For information on legislation, rights, and resources, visit:
Or call: 1.800.949.4232 (Voice/TTY)
The ADA National Network provides information, guidance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, regional and national levels. The ADA National Network consists of ten regional ADA National Network Centers located throughout the United States that provides personalized, local assistance to ensure that the ADA is implemented wherever possible. This is not an enforcement or regulatory agency, but a helpful resource supporting the ADA’s mission to “make it possible for everyone with a disability to live a life of freedom and equality.” (Formerly known as the DBTACs, the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers.)
Accessible Community Transportation in Our Nation (Project ACTION)
For information on transportation legislation, customer rights, and information about accessible transportation, visit:
1.800.659.6428; (202) 347-7385 (TDD)
Project ACTION promotes universal access to transportation for people with disabilities under federal law and beyond by partnering with transportation providers, the disability community, and others through the provision of training, technical assistance, applied research, outreach and communication.
Career One-Stop (Web site)
This website is a publicly funded resource for job-seekers (including those with disabilities) and businesses. Job-seekers can search for jobs—from entry level to technical to professional to CEO—locate public workforce services in their area, explore alternative career paths, compare salary data for different occupations, learn which careers are hot, get resume writing tips and job interview strategies, and much more. Employers can identify job-ready workers with the right skills. Disability resources in particular can be found at:
Goodwill Industries International
Goodwill’s network of 165 independent, community-based Goodwills in the United States and Canada offers customized job training, employment placement, and other services to people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges. Enter your zipcode on its website, and find Goodwill training centers in your area.
JobAccess and ABILITYJobs
The goal of ABILITYJobs and JobAccess is to enable people with disabilities to enhance their professional lives by providing a dedicated system for finding employment. By posting job opportunities, or searching resumes, employers can find qualified persons with disabilities as well as demonstrate their affirmative action and open door policies.
National Center on Workforce and Disability/Adult (NCWD)
The National Center on Workforce and Disability/Adult (NCWD) provides training, technical assistance, policy analysis, and information to improve access for all in the workforce development system. Areas of expertise include: accommodations and assistive technology, relationships with employers, helping clients with disabilities find jobs, and advising employers as to how to provide job-related supports.
NISH is a national nonprofit agency whose mission is to create employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities by securing federal contracts through the AbilityOne Program for its network of community-based, nonprofit agencies. Providing employment opportunities to more than 45,000 people, the AbilityOne Program is the largest single source of employment for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities in the United States.
Office of Disability Employment Policy
U.S. Department of Labor
1.866.633.7365 (Voice) | 1.877.889.5627 (TTY)
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) provides national leadership on disability employment policy by developing and influencing the use of evidence-based disability employment policies and practices, building collaborative partnerships, and delivering authoritative and credible data on employment of people with disabilities. Find a wealth of employment-related information on ODEP’s website.
EARN | The Employer Assistance and Resource Network
The Employer Assistance & Resource Network (EARN) provides federal and private employers with free consulting services and resources to support the recruitment, hiring, and retention of people with disabilities. EARN connects employers with national networks of available job seekers and also provides high quality up-to-date online information and technical assistance to promote the inclusion of employees with disabilities in the workplace. Job-seekers can use EARN’s online tools and resources to find employment opportunities, and be connected with local employment service providers. EARN Employment Specialists are also available to answer job-seekers’ questions (at the telephone number listed above).
Social Security Administration (SSA)
The Social Security Administration’s Work Site provides clarity on matters affecting the employment of Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities. Its Ticket to Work Program provides most beneficiaries with more choices for receiving employment services. Under this program SSA issues ticket to eligible beneficiaries who, in turn, may choose to assign those tickets to an Employment Network (EN) of their choice to obtain employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services necessary to achieve a vocational (work) goal. The EN, if they accept the ticket, will coordinate and provide appropriate services to help the beneficiary find and maintain employment.
START-UP/USA stands for Self-Employment Technical Assistance, Resources, & Training. This is a project funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor. It provides technical assistance and disseminates resources nationally to individuals with disabilities interested in pursuing self-employment. This includes live web cast series with successful entrepreneurs who share their secrets for success.
If you are employed and are experiencing difficulty on the job due to your disability, you might consider contacting the following organizations.
1.800.872.2253 (Voice) | 1.800.993.2822 (TTY)
The Access Board is an independent Federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities. Created in 1973 to ensure access to federally funded facilities, the Board is now a leading source of information on accessible design. If you are concerned about access to a facility that may have been federally funded, you can file a complaint about it with the Access Board under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA). Find out more at the website above (look under the “Enforcement” tab) or by contacting the Board via its toll-free voice and TTY lines.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
1.800.669.4000 (Voice) | 1.800.669.6820 (TTY)
The EEOC is a government agency that handles discrimination complaints about employment based on age, sex, race, ethnicity, and disability. The 800 number will connect callers with their local EEOC office, which can discuss complaints.