As an individual with a disability, you have certain rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), particularly Title I. Title I offers employment rights to individuals with disabilities at every stage of the employment process, beginning with the job application stage and continuing through the interview process and while on the job. If you are looking for employment, there are also services and programs that are designed to help job seekers with disabilities to find work. Some useful resources are provided on this page.
To understand more about your rights under Title I, visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website on disability. The EEOC enforces Title I of the ADA and its website has information on the employment rights of individuals with disabilities, veteran's rights, and employers' responsibilities under Title I of the ADA. EEOC publications can be useful for ADA workplace questions about specific disabilities, reasonable accommodations, disability-related leave, and many other aspects related to the ADA and employment.
To learn more about your specific employment rights as an individual with a disability, visit eeoc.gov. You can also contact EEOC at either 1.800.669.4000 or through the Filing A Charge of Discrimination page to learn more about how to file an employment related disability discrimination complaint against an employer. Note that charges must be filed within 180 days of the alleged violation.
Employees who think they have a physical or mental disability that qualifies for protections under the ADA are encouraged to speak with their union representative or another neutral third party to receive guidance before disclosing to their employer. When requesting an accommodation in the workplace, the employer can request and the employee should provide medical information that will help identify a reasonable accommodation. The employer does not have a right to view any medical information unrelated to the need for an accommodation. If the employer threatens discharge or discipline because of a disability, the employee should contact the union immediately. Employees should involve their union representative in all situations regarding disability disclosure and discipline as it may have an impact on the collective bargaining unit and ensures the employer's obligation to uphold the standards under the ADA.
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.
Visit 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.
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 its own criteria for who is deemed eligible for VR services and employment supports.
To locate Vocational Rehabilitation Offices, visit askJan.org's list of Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies
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.
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.
The Virgin Islands Division of Disabilities and Rehabilitation Services does not have a website but the division can be contacted at the information below.
The Puerto Rico Vocational Rehabilitation Administration's (VRA) website is in Spanish.
P.O. Box 191118
San Juan, PR 00919-1118
Main Telephone | 1.787.729.0160
Fax | 1.787.728.8070
Administrator Email | firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrative Assistant | email@example.com
The Department of Labor (DOL) website has resources to assist individuals with disabilities to find a job or self-employment opportunity, as well as information on employment rights.
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.
This toolkit provides strategies and practices for job seeking and employment efforts.
Designed for family members of veterans with disabilities, this brief includes ten points family members need to know in order to support their loved one entering or re-entering the workforce.
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.
For additional information on disability in the employment setting, visit our Employment related Frequently Asked Questions.