As employers, you have the opportunity to make your workplace more inclusive of employees with disabilities. You also have certain responsibilities under Title I of the ADA to ensure that your policies and practices, including recruitment, management, and retention efforts, do not discriminate, either intentionally or unintentionally, against applicants and employees with disabilities. The Northeast ADA Center has numerous resources, trainings, and materials available to assist employers, human resource professionals, supervisors, managers, and coworkers to better understand both their ADA related responsibilities, and how to make the workplace more welcoming and inclusive of talent with disabilities.


Training for Employers

The Northeast ADA Center offers a wide variety of training to meet your needs. Options include customizable trainings (either in person or via distance) that are offered for a fee or free webinar offerings.


Reaching Managers and Supervisors

If you need to reach managers and supervisors within your organization, consider our Leading in a Disability Inclusive Workforce: The Just-in-Time Program. Using both intensive training and a website customized to your organization, the Just-in-Time Program enables employers to engage face-to-face leaders in developing effective and legally compliant management practices for workers with disabilities


Have a question?

To receive free, confidential information or resources for an employment and disability related situation you are dealing with, please contact our Technical Assistance team and they will be happy to assist you.

Employer Responsibilities Under the ADA

Title I of the ADA: Employment

Employers with 15 or more employees are expected to comply with the employment provisions of the ADA which are described in Title I. To learn more about your responsibilities under Title I, visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website on disability. The EEOC enforces Title I of the ADA. Its website provides additional information about how employers can avoid discriminating against qualified people with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. EEOC publications can be useful for workplace questions about the ADA including how it impacts people with specific disabilities, reasonable accommodations, disability-related leave, and many other aspects related to the ADA and employment.

Disability & HR:
Tips for Human Resource Professionals

Web | http://www.HRTips.org

This site provides articles, checklists, a glossary, and links to useful disability resources to help Human Resource (HR) professionals to understand the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related issues regarding accommodating employees with disabilities. Both Spanish and English translations are available. Access the HR Tips website.

ADA in Unionized Workplaces:
Tips for Front-line Managers

PDF (236kb) | Front-line Manager Tips, PDF format
HTML | Front-line Manager Tips, HTML format


Front-line managers who interact directly with employees are key in ensuring an organization's compliance with the ADA and inclusion of workers with disabilities. It is helpful for front-line managers to recognize that the ADA covers both obvious and non-visible disabilities and it is likely that there are more people with disabilities in the workplace than they realize. Also, front-line managers must be aware that employers cannot lawfully require an applicant to disclose a disability and should not make medical inquiries or medical examinations before making a job offer. Under the ADA, employees can request reasonable accommodations that modify a job or work environment to make it possible for that employee to perform the essential functions of the job. The employer must maintain confidentiality of medical documents, and can deny a reasonable an accommodation which presents an undue hardship; but must consider cost-effective alternatives. Identifying a reasonable accommodation is an interactive process between the employer and employee.

Unions and the ADA: Tips for Union Representatives

PDF (292kb) | Union Representatives Tips, PDF format
HTML | Union Representatives Tips, HTML format


Labor unions have a strong influence over health and safety initiatives of a company as well as legal compliance with the ADA. Unions can respond to the needs of members or other workers with disabilities by determining if their situation is being adversely affected by a disability and helping workers understand their legal rights and responsibilities under the ADA. The union can also advise the employee of the two conditions under which an employer may lawfully deny a specific accommodation request: when it presents an "undue hardship," or significant difficulty or expense; and when the individual poses a "direct threat," in which case the employer must look for a way to minimize the potential risk before refusing. If a worker has already been terminated because of a disability, unions should look for just cause and consult the collective bargaining agreement promptly.

Making Work Happen General Employment Online Toolkit

Web | http://www.makingworkhappen.org/Employers/index.cfm

People with disabilities bring a great deal to our workforce: Education, skills, adaptability, resilience and commitment. The Making Work Happen online tutorials aim to enhance the employment of people with disabilities by providing users with free, self-paced, on-demand learning experiences based on real-life issues and challenges around disability inclusiveness in the workplace. Each tutorial provides several learning options: General overviews, points from relevant research, self-assessments, true/false quizzes, print-n-go checklists and links for further resources.

Veterans with Disabilities

The Northeast ADA Center has done several research projects related to veterans with disabilities in the workforce and has translated the findings of these projects into briefs and presentations intended for a variety of audiences.

Veterans with Disabilities
Making Work Happen Online Toolkit

Designed in a similar fashion to the Making Work Happen General Employment Online toolkit, the Veterans with Disabilities Making Work Happen online toolkit is specifically about reintegrating veterans with disabilities into our civilian workforce. This toolkit provides strategies and practices for recruiting, supervising, retaining, and supporting veterans with disabilities as our employees.

Ten Points for Employers to Consider

PDF | Employers Ten Points Brief
HTML | Employers Ten Points Brief

Designed for employers, this brief includes ten points for employers to consider.

Beyond Yellow Ribbons: Creating Inclusive Workplaces for Veterans with Disabilities
(HR Executive article)

PDF | Beyond Yellow Ribbons

Originally appearing in the publication HR Executive, this article provides an overview of the Northeast ADA Center Research on employers' knowledge, beliefs and practices around employing veterans with disabilities.

Beyond Yellow Ribbons: How Prepared are Veterans with Disabilities and Employers to Participate in a Disability Inclusive Workforce?

Powerpoint | Beyond Yellow Ribbons

Text | Beyond Yellow Ribbons

This powerpoint presentation gives an overview of two key studies carried out by the Northeast ADA Center in collaboration with other organizations. The first study focuses on the knowledge, beliefs and practices of human resource professionals related to employing veterans with disabilities and was conducted in partnership with the National ADA Center Network and the National SHRM organization. The second study focuses on the knowledge, beliefs and behaviors of veterans with disabilities related to job seeking and employment and was conducted in collaboration with the Kessler Foundation. The Powerpoint presentation contains an overview and findings of both studies.

Archived Employment Related Webinars:

The Northeast ADA Center has designed and implemented numerous webinars on employment related issues. These webinar archives are offered at no cost and include slides, audio and visual presentation, and transcripts.

Additional Assistance with Recruiting, Retaining, and Supporting Employees with Disabilities

Employee Assistance and Recruiting Network (EARN)

EARN offers information, services, and resources to employers to aid in their efforts to recruit and retain qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. They offer a toll-free technical assistance phone line and email as well as no or low cost consultations and trainings.

Job Accommodation Network

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) strives to increase the recruitment and retention of employees with a disability by providing resources and support to employers, individuals with disabilities, and service providers. JAN offers employers a free consulting service on the accommodation process. JAN assists employees and job seekers by providing tips on the job search and application/hiring process and resources on reasonable accommodations such as a sample accommodation request form. JAN's website also has, among other resources, a "Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR)" which is searchable by disability type.

American Job Centers

American Job Centers assist job seekers with and without disabilities in finding employment through job banks, publications, and other resources. They provide job search assistance, access to computers, and help with resume development. Formerly known as "One Stop Career Centers", American Job Centers often have staff onsite who can help people with disabilities locate services and supports, and obtain information on the effect earned income might have on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Medicaid benefits.

Click on the link below to access the American Job Center's Service Locator. Simply enter your zip code to find the addresses and phone numbers of job centers in your area.
Locate American Job Centers

Vocational Rehabilitation Organizations

Vocational rehabilitation (VR) organizations are state agencies that provide support to individuals with disabilities who are interested in working. They can provide assistance with finding, training for, and keeping a job. Depending on the individual's disability, the VR agency might also provide a job coach to offer onsite assistance at the workplace. Use the link below to find the contact information for your state VR agency. When you contact the state agency, they will be able to refer you to a local VR office. Note that each state has criteria for who is deemed eligible for VR services and employment supports.

Locate Vocational Rehabilitation Offices

New York, Adult Career and Continuing Education Services- Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR)

ACCES-VR offers access to a full range of employment and independent living services that may be needed by persons with disabilities through their lives. Through its administration of vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs, VR coordinates policy and services relating to school to adult transition services for students with disabilities; vocational rehabilitation services for working age individuals with disabilities; independent living services for people with disabilities of all ages; and business services for hiring a qualified diverse workforce.

New Jersey, Department of Labor and Workforce Development: Vocational Rehabilitation

The New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services offers services to individuals with disabilities, employers, and vendors to facilitate the recruitment and retention of individuals with disabilities.

Virgin Islands, Division of Disabilities and Rehabilitation Services, State Department of Human Services

The Virgin Islands Division of Disabilities and Rehabilitation Services does not have a website but the division can be contacted at the information below. Felicia Blyden
Knud Hansen Complex, Building A
1303 Hospital Ground
St. Thomas, USVI 00802
Phone | 1.340.774.0930 x4190
Fax | 1.340.774.7773
TTY | 1.340.776.2043
Email | fblyden@hotmail.com

Puerto Rico, Vocational Rehabilitation Administration, Department of Labor and Human Resources

The Puerto Rico Vocational Rehabilitation Administration's (VRA) website is in Spanish. P.O. Box 191118
San Juan, PR 00919-1118
Administrator Office Phone | 1.787.727.0445
Main Phone | 1.787.729.0160
Fax | (787) 728-8070
Administrator Email | nydiacolon@vra.pr.gov
Administrative Assistant Email | vilma@vra.pr.gov

Additional Resources

Department of Labor

The Department of Labor (DOL) website, and its Office of Disability Employment Policy website and publications, have advice for employers on recruiting, retaining, and developing employees with disabilities.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management website is designed to assist federal agencies in recruiting and retaining candidates with a disability. The website provides information about disability laws and executive orders and Agency Selective Placement Program Coordinators who consult on effectively recruiting and making reasonable accommodations for candidates with a disability. For people with a disability seeking a federal job, there is a section about employment opportunities.

Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)

SHRM produces information about disability as it relates to HR policies. This information can only be accessed by SHRM members.

For additional information on disability in the employment setting, visit our Employment related Frequently Asked Questions.