Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Career Resources for People with Disablities

According to the CareerCast Disability Network, Best Jobs for People with Disabilities 2014, changes in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that took effect in March of 2015 should result in a stronger market for job seekers with disabilities.
Job Seekers with Disabilities - courtesy Monster.com
Job seekers with disabilities - courtesy Monster.com

The “Final Rule,”  amendments set a goal for many U.S. companies to expand their workforces so that 7% of their employees are disabled. It's an amendment to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act meant to promote the hiring of applicants with disabilities by government contractors and subcontractors. The net result of this change should be a huge increase in the hiring of disabled candidates, says Janet Fiore, the Philadelphia-based CEO of the Sierra Group and President of RecruitDisability.org.

How can you ensure that job seekers with disabilities in your community are aware of job opportunities?

If you or your staff have had limited experience serving people with disabilities you can access great basic information on the DPI website at: Serving Special Populations

Ticket to Work is a Federally-funded employment program designed to provide Social Security disability beneficiaries (i.e., individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplement Security Income benefits based on disability) the choices, opportunities, and support they need to enter the workforce and maintain employment with the goal of becoming economically self-supporting over time.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management provides important data on employment policies relating to people with disabilities. The OPM site also links to organizations seeking to hire people with disabilities. Learn more at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/disability-employment/

Disabilty.gov is the U.S. federal website for comprehensive information about disability-related programs, services, policies, laws, and regulations.  One great feature is the Disability Blog, a wonderful platform for learning from others in the community.

Reading Braille - Courtesy NOC
Reading Braille - Courtesy NOD
The National Organization on Disability (NOD) has been a leader in advancing opportunities for people with all kinds of disabilities for over 30 years. The NOD website offers some valuable resources on employment issues.

The Great Lakes ADA Center website offers valuable information on a broad spectrum of issues of concern to persons with disabilities, family members, and community organizations working to serve their needs.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development offers resources targeting job seekers with disabilities at https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dvr/.

The Job Center of Wisconsin offers a Disability Toolbox designed to help job seekers prepare for, secure, retain or regain employment that is consistent with the job seeker’s individual strengths, resources, capabilities, interests.

Next month I'll share sites of interest to job seekers with disabilities.

Written by:
Martha Farley Berninger, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning