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Community and Internet Resources

Employment: Government Agencies and Programs

State Listings:   CA / IL / MI / NJ / WI    (Official USPS State Abbreviations)


National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability (NCWD) offers information about employment laws, services and programs for youth with disabilities. Their website provides information for parents and families, youth with disabilities and the professionals who work with them. NCWD Youth is is based at the Institute for Educational Leadership. It is supported by a grant (E-9-4-1-0070) from the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP The Guideposts represent what research and practice has identified as key educational and career development interventions that make a positive difference in the lives of all youth, including youth with disabilities.

National Industries for the Severely Handicapped's mission is to create employment opportunities for people with Severe Disabilities by securing Federal contracts through the Ability One program. It formerly went by Javits-Wagner-O'Day (JWOD) as its network of community-based nonprofit agencies. The Ability One Program is the largest single provider of employment for people who are blind or have other severe disabilities—currently employing more than 42,000 individuals with severe disabilities, at more than 600 community-based nonprofit agencies across the country. Employment opportunities made possible through the Ability One Program equip people who are blind or have other severe disabilities with the job skills and training necessary to receive good wages and benefits and gain greater independence and quality of life. To get more information, contact Source America, 8401 Old Courthouse Rd. Vienna, VA 22182, call (888) 411-8424, or send e-mail through the form on their website.

JAN (for Individuals) provides free consulting services for individuals with physical or intellectual limitations that affect employment. Services include one-on-one consultation about job accommodation ideas, requesting and negotiating accommodations, and rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related laws. Although JAN does not help individuals find employment, JAN does provide information for job seekers.

Office of Disability Employment Policy from the U.S. Department of Labor provides information to individuals and employers about employment including many topics, accommodations, recruitment and retention, diversity and inclusion, personal assistance services, green jobs and much more.

United States Office of Personnel Management offers many helpful on-line resources for federal employers and potential employees. They offer a number of guides to help Federal employers and human resource personnel understand issues and programs aimed at improving the employment of people with disabilities. This website also provides links to job listings and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

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State Listings


City of Pasadena Human Services, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department offers Life After High School, a summer employment preparation program for teens and young adults (ages 13-22) with disabilities. The program focuses on such issues as completing an application for employment, dressing for success, interviewing, and employment searches. The program also focuses on developing social and relationship skills. For more information, call (626) 744-7257.

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Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, via their Bureau of Business Development, administers a wide array of programs and services designed to help Illinois businesses thrive in todays economy. They offer expansion incentives, technology support services, access to capital, global marketing expertise, and job training and education for workers. They also place a strong emphasis on programs designed to provide small businesses -- particularly minority entrepreneurs -- with the resources they need to succeed and grow their business opportunities. For more information, call (877) 221-4403 (Voice), (800) 875-6055 (TDD).


Michigan Talent Investment Agency -Workforce Development (TIA-WD) vision is to promote a flexible, innovative, and effective workforce system within the State of Michigan. To accomplish this, the TIA-WD supports a demand driven workforce system, assists the structurally unemployed with financial independence, advocates for the integration of workforce development into the K-12 school system, and supports the alignment of workforce development with economic development efforts.

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New Jersey

New Jersey Vocational Rehabilitation: Services for Individuals with Disabilitiesfrom the Department of Labor and Workforce Development includes eligibility, services and the forms to apply to vocational rehabilitation services.

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New Sign Project SEARCH for transitioning students to work. Project SEARCH is a business led collaboration that enables young adults with disabilities to gain and maintain employment through training and career exploration. A 9-12 month program, Project SEARCH provides total immersion in a large community business. Students with disabilities are offered a workforce alternative for their last year of high school. All participants must be eligible for services with the Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). At some sites, young adults who have completed high school may be eligible to participate in Project SEARCH. The Project SEARCH partnership includes a local high status business, a school, DVR, a vocational services agency and a disability services agency, such as a managed care organization. The business provides an on-site training classroom, business liaison and rotational internships for on the job training. The school provides an instructor. DVR works with a local vocational services agency to supply job coaches who support students in their internships as needed and assist with final job placement. The disability services agency provides follow along services for any eligible student who is hired at the business site or in the community.

Wisconsin Disability Navigators roster which includes all of the Navigators state-wide. Wisconsin is one of 14 states to receive funding to establish a Disability Navigator Program within the state's One Stop Job Centers. Staff within the Job Center will be designated as a Disability Program Navigator and will serve as a vehicle for job seekers with disabilities to further connect with products and services that will support them in meeting their career objectives. The Navigator will work directly with customers with disabilities to access, facilitate and 'navigate' the complex provisions under various programs that impact their ability to gain, returt to, or retain employment. Navigators train One Stop staff on available resources under One Stop programs, Social Security Administration employment support programs and other programs to individuals with disabilities who want to work."

Wisconsin Employment Initiatives, programs of the Department of Health and Family Services and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, has been designed to eliminate barriers to employment by providing assurance of existing government benefits for those who wish to seek permanent employment opportunities. For more information either visit the website or call (414) 243-5600 or (414) 243-5601 (TTY).

Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has a website that offers information on programs, office locations and services and personnel. Also, it provides listings of the counties served by each DVR office, directions and maps, e-mail address and links to offices with websites. Information on services for persons with disabilities, services for employers, and training opportunities are available through this site. DVR works together with persons with disabilities to provide an array of employment-related services statewide.

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[Updated November 30, 2017]
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