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									Effective Strategies and Resources for Working with
          Individuals who have Disabilities

              Technical Assistance Resources

                
                       Sponsored by:

                  U.S. Department of Labor


                Social Security Administration

                     ANNOTATED TABLE OF CONTENTS
DOL-SSA Disability Program Navigator Fact Sheet                                            3

Glossary of Terms                                                                           4
Includes a list of commonly used disability-related terms along with a brief definition for

Some Basic Disability Etiquette                                                        8
A one-page handout that includes some basic etiquette when meeting and talking with a person
who has a disability.

Communicating With and About People with Disabilities                                       9
More detailed information on using people first language and basic etiquette as it relates to
specific types of disabilities.

Examples of Reasonable Accommodations                                                       12
Although volunteers with similar disabilities may require different accommodations, it is useful
to be aware of the strategies for working with individuals who have various types of disabilities.
With this basic knowledge, you will be better prepared to ask individuals to clarify their needs
and to discuss accommodation requests. This handout provides some examples of reasonable
accommodations by disability.

Accessibility and Reasonable Accommodation Technical Assistance Resources                 15
Technical assistance resources that you can access to assist with questions and guidance around
making sites accessible and providing reasonable accommodations.

Recruiting and Hiring People with Disabilities                                            19
Represents a list of resources available on the Worksupport.com website relative to recruiting
and hiring people with disabilities.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Resources                                                21
An annotated list of national, state and community resources to help facilitate working with
individuals who have mental health and/or substance abuse issues.

Disability Laws and Regulations Information & Resources                                   25
Includes information on two federal disability civil rights laws including the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended
(Section 504).

                                                     Department of Labor
                                              Social Security Administration

                                                                FACT SHEET
                                                                 April, 2007
The Department of Labor (DOL) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) have
jointly established a new position, the Disability Program Navigator, within DOL’s
One-Stop Career Centers.

The Disability Program Navigator helps people with disabilities “navigate” through the enormous
challenges of seeking work. Complex rules surrounding entitlement programs, along with fear of
losing cash assistance and health benefits, can often discourage people with disabilities from
working. DOL and SSA have established the Disability Program Navigator (DPN) initiative to better
inform beneficiaries and other people with disabilities about the work support programs now
available at DOL-funded One-Stop Career Centers. These Centers provide information, training and
other employment-related services at a single customer-friendly location. This Initiative is
developing new/ongoing partnerships to achieve seamless, comprehensive, and integrated access to
services, creating systemic change, and expanding the workforce development system’s capacity to
serve customers with disabilities and employers. DOL’s Employment and Training Administration
and SSA’s Office of Program Development and Research signed an Interagency Agreement in
September 2002 to jointly fund, implement, pilot, and evaluate the Navigator initiative.

    Overview                                               The DPN Position

   DOL, with input from SSA, has entered into             The Navigators:
    cooperative agreements with the state level                Guide One-Stop staff in helping people with
    workforce system in 45 states, the District of              disabilities access and navigate the complex
    Columbia, and Puerto Rico.                                  provisions of various programs that impact
                                                                their ability to gain/retain employment.
   DOL and SSA are training the Navigators on SSA
    employment support programs, One-Stop                      Develop linkages and collaborate on an
    partner funded programs, and other programs                 ongoing basis with employers to facilitate
    that impact successful employment.                          employment for persons with disabilities.

   DOL and SSA are working together to conduct a              Develop partnerships to achieve integrated
    comprehensive evaluation of the Navigator pilot.            services, systemic change, and expand the
                                                                capacity to serve customers with disabilities.
   Disability Program Navigators are hired and
    employed by the state or local workforce                   Facilitate the transition of in- or out-of-
    system.                                                     school youth with disabilities to obtain
                                                                employment and economic self-sufficiency.
   Navigators are helping to meet the                         Conduct outreach to agencies/organizations
    demands of the 21st century workforce.                      that serve people with disabilities.

                                                               Serve as resources on SSA’s: work
                                                                incentives/employment support programs
                                                                through its Work Incentives, Planning, and
                                                                Assistance (WIPA) program; Protection and
For additional information contact: The Older                   Advocacy systems (P&As); and employment-
Worker/ Disability Unit, DOL, (202) 693-3844:                   related demonstration projects.
                                                               Serve as resources on programs that impact
                                                                the ability of persons with disabilities to
                                                                enter and remain in the workforce.

                                     Glossary of Terms

Access or Accessibility: Provision of a barrier-free environment, accommodations, or
changes in policies, procedures, or the built environment to ensure that all individuals
can benefit from, and participate in, all activities and events of a program.

Accommodations: Any device, technology, service, or change in programs, policies, or
the built environment that are provided to an individual with a disability to support them
in their service or participation.

Alternate (or Alternative) Formats: Different ways of providing information other than
standard print documents. Some examples of alternate formats are: text files on a
computer disk, large print, books on tape, Braille.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA): Provides civil rights protection to people
with disabilities and guarantees those covered by the law equal opportunity in
employment, state and local government services, transportation, places of public
accommodation, and telecommunications services.

Americans with Disabilities Act Architectural Access Guidelines (ADAAG): Technical
requirements under the ADA for accessibility to buildings and facilities by individuals
with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Assistive Listening Device: A device that makes sound clearer and louder, and in many
cases, blocks out environmental sound and interference. Most often persons with
hearing loss will use assistive listening devices.

Assistive Technology Device: Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether
acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase,
maintain, or improve functional capacities of individuals with disabilities (as defined in
the Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988).

Attitudinal Barriers: Attitudes, fears, and assumptions that prevent people with and
without disabilities from meaningfully interacting with one another.

Augmentative Communication Device: Alternative means of communication used by an
individual with a disability who has a severe speech or cognitive disability. An
augmentative communication device may have a keyboard that the individual types on a
computerized-voice output that relays the message. It might also be a sheet of paper
with photos or pictures that a person would point to.

Auxiliary Aids and Services: Under Titles II and III of the ADA, includes a wide range of
services and devices that promote effective communication or allows access to goods
and services. Examples of auxiliary aids and services for individuals who are deaf or
hard of hearing include qualified interpreters, notetakers, computer-aided transcription
services, written materials, telephone handset amplifiers, assistive listening systems,
telephones compatible with hearing aids, closed caption decoders, open and closed
captioning, telecommunications devices for deaf persons (TDDs), videotext displays,
and exchange of written notes. Examples for individuals with a vision disability include
qualified readers, taped texts, audio recordings, Brailled materials, large print materials,
and assistance in locating items. Examples for individuals with a speech disability
include TDDs, computer terminals, speech synthesizers, and communication boards.

Centers for Independent Living (also known as Independent Living Centers): Community
based, consumer controlled, not-for-profit centers governed by a board of directors of
whom at least 51% are people with disabilities. Services provided include: peer
counseling, information and referral, independent living skills training, and advocacy.

Disability, Person with a: Legally defined in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended;
and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as a person who has a physical or
mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such
individual; has a record of such a disability; or is regarded as having such a disability.

Disability Benefits: The Social Security Administration pays disability benefits under two
programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Supplemental Security
Income (SSI). The Work Incentives Program is one way that a participant may continue
to receive benefits while working.

Disability Organizations: Organizations of and/or for people with disabilities and
disability issues.

Essential Functions/Duties: The fundamental duties of a position the individual with a
disability holds or desires. A function may be considered essential because the reason
the position exists is to perform that function; because of the limited number of
individuals among whom the performance of that job function can be distributed; and/or
because the function is highly specialized and the individual was selected for his or her
expertise or ability to perform the particular function. It does not include the marginal
functions of the position.

Functional Limitations: Limitations to life activities that result from a disability.

Hidden Disability (also known as a non-visible disability): A disability that is not visible.
Hidden disabilities include mental and cognitive disabilities, some hearing and visual
disabilities, alcoholism and addiction, Epilepsy, Diabetes, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity

Inclusion: Active engagement of people with disabilities in all levels of society. The mere
presence of people with disabilities does not necessarily constitute inclusion. A program
is inclusive when people with disabilities are valued contributing members with a sense
of belonging.

Inclusive Environment: A program, site, or activity that actively engages individuals with
disabilities as valued and equal members of a team and is open and accessible to
individuals with disabilities.

Interpreter: A certified or trained individual who facilitates communication between
individuals who use sign language and individuals who do not. There are also "oral"
interpreters who repeat what is being said so that individuals who rely on speech
reading can communicate.

Life Activity: Functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking,
seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

Mobility Issues: When people have to negotiate physical barriers to get around within a
place or between places. Usually people with mobility issues have physical disabilities.

Outreach: proactive method of making connections and getting information to people.

People First Language: Language that puts the person first when speaking of someone
with a disability to remind us that they are people first. For example: "person with a
disability" instead of "disabled person"; "people with disabilities" instead of "the
disabled"; "she is a wheelchair user" instead of "she is wheelchair bound" or "she is in a

Physical Barriers: Physical obstacles that hinder people with physical disabilities from
gaining access.

Physical or Mental Disability: Any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic
disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more body systems, or any mental or
psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional
or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

Program Accessibility: Central requirement/standard under Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 , as amended as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act
of 1990 which requires that recipients of federal funds or contracts and /or state and
local government entities operate programs and activities so that “when viewed in its
entirety” such a program/activity is readily accessible to and usable by persons with

Qualified Individual with a Disability: A legal term defined under ADA and Section 504 of
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as “an individual with a disability who, with or without
reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment
position that such individual holds or desires.”

Real Time Captioning: Process where a captioner types, on a device and in shorthand,
words that are spoken and then the words are displayed on a computer monitor,
television screen, video or overhead projector, or other type of audiovisual device for
individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

Reasonable Accommodation: Legal term defined by ADA and Rehabilitation Acts as
“any modification or adjustment to a job or work environment that will enable a qualified
applicant or employee with a disability to perform essential job functions.” Examples
include: restructuring a job; modifying work schedules; acquiring or modifying work
equipment; and, providing qualified readers for persons who are blind or American Sign
Language (ASL) interpreters for individuals who are deaf.

Relay Service: A communications service found in all states that provides
Communication Assistants who act as intermediaries on the telephone between hearing
individuals and individuals who are Deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, and/or have
speech disabilities.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended: The federal statute that
ensures the rights and participation of individuals with disabilities in federally funded
programs. Section 504 states that “no qualified individual with a disability in the United
States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination
under” any program or activity that either receives Federal financial assistance or is
conducted by any Executive agency or the United States Postal Service.

SSDI: Social Security Disability Income: Available to individuals who have a work
history (or are the child or widow of insured) and due to disability are no longer able to

SSI: The Supplemental Security Income program is a nationwide federal assistance
program administered by the Social Security Administration that guarantees a minimum
level of income for adults and children with a disability who have no work history since

Substantially Limits: The inability to perform a major life activity that the average person
in the general population can perform; or significant restriction as to the condition,
manner, or duration under which an individual can perform a particular major life activity
as compared to the average person in the general population.

Voice Recognition: Assistive technology software that allows people to write and command
equipment using their voice rather than their hands. This technology has been used to
accommodate people with a variety of disabilities. Many oral historians who do not qualify for
reasonable accommodation are avidly awaiting the further development and improvement of this

Source: The glossary of terms draws from extensive literature in the field of disability.

                       Some Basic Disability Etiquette:

      When meeting and talking with a person who has a disability

 Speak directly to the person. If there is a companion or interpreter present,
  always direct your comments to the person with the disability.

 Any and all assistive devices (canes, wheelchairs, crutches, communication
  boards, etc.) should always be respected as personal property. Unless given
  specific and explicit permission, do not move, play with, or use them.

 Be considerate of the extra time it may take for a person with a disability to
  move around or complete a task.

 It is okay to use common expressions like see you soon or I had better be
  running along.

 Never assume that a person with a disability needs your assistance. It is
  always polite to offer your assistance, but once you have offered, wait for a
  reply before acting. If the person accepts your offer, wait to be directed.

 If you are uncertain about what to do, ask. Most people would rather answer
  a question about protocol than be in an uncomfortable situation.

These tips draw from extensive literature in the field of disability.

   Communicating With and About People with Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act, other laws and the efforts of many disability organizations
have made strides in improving accessibility in buildings, increasing access to education,
opening employment opportunities and developing realistic portrayals of persons with
disabilities in television programming and motion pictures. Where progress is still needed is in
communication and interaction with people with disabilities. Individuals are sometimes
concerned that they will say the wrong thing, so they say nothing at all—thus further segregating
people with disabilities. Review the following suggestions on how to relate to and communicate
with and about people with disabilities.

Positive language empowers. When writing or speaking about people with disabilities, it is
important to put the person first. Group designations such as "the blind," "the retarded" or "the
disabled" are inappropriate because they do not reflect the individuality, equality or dignity of
people with disabilities. Further, words like "normal person" imply that the person with a
disability isn't normal, whereas "person without a disability" is descriptive but not negative. The
accompanying chart shows examples of positive and negative phrases.
                  Affirmative Phrases                               Negative Phrases
        person with an intellectual, cognitive,          retarded; mentally defective
        developmental disability
       person who is blind, person who is                the blind
       visually impaired
       person with a disability                          the disabled; handicapped
       person who is deaf                                the deaf; deaf and dumb
       person who is hard of hearing                     suffers a hearing loss
       person who has multiple sclerosis                 afflicted by MS
       person with cerebral palsy                        CP victim
       person with epilepsy, person with                 epileptic
       seizure disorder
       person who uses a wheelchair                      confined or restricted to a wheelchair
       person who has muscular dystrophy                 stricken by MD
       person with a physical disability,
                                                         crippled; lame; deformed
       physically disabled
       unable to speak, uses synthetic speech            dumb; mute
       person with psychiatric disability                crazy; nuts
       person who is successful, productive              has overcome his/her disability; is
                                                         courageous (when it implies the person
                                                         has courage because of having a

Etiquette considered appropriate when interacting with people with disabilities is based primarily
on respect and courtesy. Outlined on the next several pages are tips to help you in
communicating with persons with disabilities.

General Tips for Communicating with People with Disabilities
 When introduced to a person with a disability, it is appropriate to offer to shake hands.
   People with limited hand use or who wear an artificial limb can usually shake hands.
   (Shaking hands with the left hand is an acceptable greeting.)
 If you offer assistance, wait until the offer is accepted. Then listen to or ask for instructions.
 Treat adults as adults. Address people who have disabilities by their first names only when
   extending the same familiarity to all others.
 Relax. Don't be embarrassed if you happen to use common expressions such as "See you
   later," or "Did you hear about that?" that seem to relate to a person's disability.
 Don't be afraid to ask questions when you're unsure of what to do.

Tips for Communicating with Individuals Who are Blind or Visually Impaired
 Speak to the individual when you approach him or her.
 State clearly who you are; speak in a normal tone of voice.
 When conversing in a group, remember to identify yourself and the person to whom you are
 Never touch or distract a service dog without first asking the owner.
 Tell the individual when you are leaving.
 Do not attempt to lead the individual without first asking; allow the person to hold your arm
 and control his or her own movements.
 Be descriptive when giving directions; verbally give the person information that is visually
   obvious to individuals who can see. For example, if you are approaching steps, mention how
   many steps.
 If you are offering a seat, gently place the individual's hand on the back or arm of the chair so
   that the person can locate the seat.

Tips for Communicating with Individuals Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
 Gain the person's attention before starting a conversation (i.e., tap the person gently on the
   shoulder or arm).
 Look directly at the individual, face the light, speak clearly, in a normal tone of voice, and
   keep your hands away from your face. Use short, simple sentences. Avoid smoking or
   chewing gum.
 If the individual uses a sign language interpreter, speak directly to the person, not the
 If you telephone an individual who is hard of hearing, let the phone ring longer than usual.
   Speak clearly and be prepared to repeat the reason for the call and who you are.
 If you do not have a Text Telephone (TTY), dial 711 to reach the national
   telecommunications relay service, which facilitates the call between you and an individual
   who uses a TTY.

Tips for Communicating with Individuals with a Mobility Disability
 If possible, put yourself at the wheelchair user's eye level.
 Do not lean on a wheelchair or any other assistive device.
 Never patronize people who use wheelchairs by patting them on the head or shoulder.
 Do not assume the individual wants to be pushed —ask first.
 Offer assistance if the individual appears to be having difficulty opening a door.
 If you telephone the individual, allow the phone to ring longer than usual to allow extra time
   for the person to reach the telephone.

Tips for Communicating with Individuals with a Speech Disability
 If you do not understand something the individual says, do not pretend that you do. Ask the
   individual to repeat what he or she said and then repeat it back.
 Be patient. Take as much time as necessary.
 Try to ask questions which require only short answers or a nod of the head.
 Concentrate on what the individual is saying.
 Do not speak for the individual or attempt to finish her or his sentences.
 If you are having difficulty understanding the individual, consider writing as an alternative
   means of communicating, but first ask the individual if this is acceptable.

Tips for Communicating with Individuals with Cognitive Disabilities
 If you are in a public area with many distractions, consider moving to a quiet or private
 Be prepared to repeat what you say, orally or in writing.
 Offer assistance completing forms or understanding written instructions and provide extra
   time for decision-making. Wait for the individual to accept the offer of assistance; do not
   "over-assist" or be patronizing.
 Be patient, flexible and supportive. Take time to understand the individual and make sure the
   individual understands you.

Information for this fact sheet came from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy; the
Media Project, Research and Training Center on Independent Living, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS; and the
National Center for Access Unlimited, Chicago, IL. October 1995 (Updated 2002)

              Examples of Reasonable Accommodations
A disability may or may not affect the participation of an individual in an employment
opportunity. The individual with the disability is the best source of information regarding their
special needs. They are responsible for requesting reasonable accommodations.

Flexibility and effective communication is key in approaching accommodations. Although
individuals with similar disabilities may require different accommodations, it is useful to be
aware of the strategies for working with individuals who have various types of disabilities. With
this basic knowledge, you will be better prepared to ask individuals to clarify their needs and to
discuss accommodation requests. Some examples are listed below with links to resources for
more detailed information.

A.     Learning Disabilities
       According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (2006), learning
       disabilities are disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written
       language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements, or direct attention.
       Examples of accommodations for individuals with learning disabilities include:
           Assistance with Reading:
                Tape-recorded directives, messages, and materials.
                Screen reading software for computer use.

           Assistance with Writing:
               Voice output software that highlights and reads (via a speech synthesizer)
                  what is keyed into the computer.
               Speech recognition software that recognizes the user's voice and changes it to
                  text on the computer screen.

           Assistance with Organizational Skills, Memory, and Time Management:
               Electronic organizers/schedulers.
               Use of electronic mail (e-mail) for memory deficits.

       For more detailed information, access the Job Accommodation Network Fact Sheet
       Series: Job Accommodations for People with Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit
       Disorder: http://www.jan.wvu.edu/media/employmentldaddfact.doc.

       Searchable online accommodation resource: http://www.jan.wvu.edu/soar/LD.html.

B.   Mobility Disabilities
     Mobility disabilities may make walking, sitting, bending, carrying, or using fingers,
     hands or arms difficult or impossible. Mobility disabilities result from many causes
     including amputation, polio, club foot, scoliosis, spinal cord injury, and cerebral palsy.
     Examples of accommodations for individuals with a mobility disability include:
          Accessible workstation, copier, fax.
          Access to needed supplies and materials.
          Voice activated speaker phone, large button phone, automatic dialing system,
            voice mail system, and/or headset, depending on the person's limitations and
          Writing aids for a person who cannot grip a writing tool.
          Alternative access for computers such as speech recognition, Morse code entry,
            trackballs, keyguards, alternative keyboards, and/or mouthsticks, depending on
            the person's limitations and preferences.
          Flexible scheduling so a person who cannot drive can access public transportation

     For more detailed information, access the Job Accommodation Network Fact Sheet
     Series: Job Accommodations for People who Use Wheelchairs:

     Searchable online accommodation resource:

C.   Psychiatric Disabilities
     Psychiatric disabilities include mental health and psychiatric disorders that affect daily
     living. According to the National Mental Health Association
     (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/), a mental illness is a disease that causes mild to severe
     disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s
     ordinary demands and routines. Examples of accommodations for individuals with a
     psychiatric disability include:
          Flexible scheduling.
          Allow longer or more frequent work breaks.
          A non-distracting, quiet work environment setting.
          Make daily TO-DO lists and check items off as they are completed.
          Remind employee of important deadlines.
          Provide written job instructions.

     For more detailed information, access the Job Accommodation Network Fact Sheet
     Series: Job Accommodations for People who Mental Illness:

     Searchable online accommodation resource: http://www.jan.wvu.edu/soar/psych.html.

D.     Hearing Disabilities
       According to the National Association of the Deaf, the term ―deaf‖ refers to individuals
       who are not able to hear well enough to rely on hearing as a means for processing
       information. The term ―hard of hearing‖ refers to individuals who have some hearing
       loss but are able to use hearing to communicate. Examples of accommodations for
       individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing include:
            Use written notes and instructions.
            Paper and pen for brief communication.
            Use computer technology, i.e., e-mail and instant messaging for discussions.
            Auxiliary aids and services such as assistive listening devices, interpreters, and

       For more detailed information, access the Job Accommodation Network Fact Sheet
       Series: Job Accommodations for People with Hearing Disabilities:

       Searchable online accommodation resource: http://www.jan.wvu.edu/soar/hear.html.

E.     Vision Disabilities
       The term visual disability includes conditions ranging from the presence of good usable
       vision, low vision, or to the absence of any sight at all – total blindness. Examples of
       accommodations for individuals who are blind or visually impaired include:
            Adaptive software (i.e., screen reader, voice-input).
            Alternate format for written materials (audio taped, CD-ROM).
            Provide information in large print.
            Provide a hand/stand magnifier.

       For more detailed information, access the Job Accommodation Network Fact Sheet
       Series: Job Accommodations for People with Vision Disabilities:
       http://www.jan.wvu.edu/media/employmentvisionfact.doc. .

       Searchable online accommodation resource: http://www.jan.wvu.edu/soar/vision.html.

In addition to the different types of disabilities listed above, the Job Accommodation Network
includes accommodation information by disability, accessible at:
http://www.jan.wvu.edu/media/atoz.htm. You can also access the Job Accommodation
Network’s Searchable Online Accommodation Resource system to explore various
accommodation options for people with disabilities, accessible at:

           Accessibility and Reasonable Accommodation
                 Technical Assistance Resources
This document includes information on two resources that organizations can access to assist with
questions and guidance around making sites accessible and providing reasonable

A.     ADA & IT Technical Assistance Centers
       The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) has
       established ten regional centers to provide information, training, and technical assistance
       to employers, people with disabilities, and other entities with responsibilities under the
       Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The centers act as a "one-stop" central,
       comprehensive resource on ADA issues in employment, public services, public
       accommodations, and communications. Each center works closely with local business,
       disability, governmental, rehabilitation, and other professional networks to provide ADA
       information and assistance. Programs vary in each region, but all centers provide the

              Technical Assistance
              Education and Training
              Materials Dissemination
              Information and Referral
              Public Awareness
              Local Capacity Building

       In addition to ADA services the centers assist individuals and entities in better
       understanding related disability legislation which may impact their rights or
       responsibilities. Information on the Rehabilitation Act, the Family Medical Leave Act,
       Workforce Investment Act and others can typically be provided by a Center.

       Call the toll-free number: (800) 949-4232 (V/TTY) for information, materials, technical
       assistance, or training on the ADA. This number will automatically route your call to the
       Center in your region. The contact information for the ten ADA&IT Technical
       Assistance Centers is also listed below:

           Region 1 (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT)
           New England ADA Center
           Adaptive Environments Center, Inc.
           180-200 Portland Street, First floor
           Boston, Massachusetts
           Phone: (617) 695-1225 (V/TTY)
           E-mail: adainfo@newenglandada.org
           Web site: http://adaptiveenvironments.org/neada/site/home

Region 2 (NJ, NY, PR, VI)
Northeast ADA Center
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
Phone: (607) 255-8660 / Phone: (607) 255-6686 (TTY)
E-mail: dbtacnortheast@cornell.edu
Web site: www.dbtacnortheast.org

Region 3 (DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV)
Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
TransCen, Inc.
Rockville, MD
Phone: (301) 217-0124 (V/TTY)
E-mail: adainfo@transcen.org
Web-site: http://www.adainfo.org

Region 4 (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN)
Southeast ADA Center
Project of the Burton Blatt Institute - Syracuse University
Atlanta, GA
Phone: (404) 541-9001 (V/TTY)
E-mail: sedbtacproject@law.syr.edu
Web site: www.sedbtac.org

Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI)
Great Lakes ADA Center
University of Illinois/Chicago
Department on Disability & Human Development
Chicago, IL
Phone: (312) 413-1407 (V/TTY)
E-mail: gldbtac@uic.edu
Web site: www.adagreatlakes.org

Region 6 (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX)
Southwest ADA Center
Independent Living Research Utilization
Houston, TX
Phone: (713) 520-0232 (V/TTY)
E-mail: dlrp@ilru.org
Web site: www.dlrp.org

Region 7 (IA, KS, MO, NE)
Great Plains ADA Center
University of Missouri/Columbia
Columbia, MO
Phone: (573) 882-3600 (V/TTY)

        E-mail: ada@missouri.edu
        Web site: www.adaproject.org

        Region 8 (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY)
        Rocky Mountain ADA Center
        Meeting the Challenge, Inc.
        Colorado Springs, CO
        Phone: (719) 444-0268 (V/TTY)
        E-mail: technicalassistance@mtc-inc.com
        Web site: www.adainformation.org

        Region 9 (AZ, CA, HI, NV, Pacific Basin)
        Pacific ADA Center
        Oakland, CA
        Phone: (510) 285-5600 (V/TTY)
        E-mail: adatech@adapacific.org
        Web site: www.adapacific.org

        Region 10 (AK, ID, OR, WA)
        Northwest ADA Center
        Western Washington University
        Mountlake Terrace, WA
        Phone: (425) 248-2480 (V)
        E-mail: dbtacnw@wwu.edu
        Web site: www.dbtacnorthwest.org

B.   Job Accommodation Network: Searchable Online Accommodation Resource
     The Job Accommodation Network's Searchable Online Accommodation Resource
     (SOAR) system is designed to let users explore various accommodation options for
     people with disabilities in work and educational settings. These accommodation ideas are
     not all inclusive. JAN receives thousands of accommodation-related inquiries per year.
     The SOAR system allows users to obtain accommodation ideas. JAN consultants compile
     these accommodation ideas and post them to SOAR.

     The SOAR index includes the following topic areas. Once you select a topic area, it will
     take you to another screen in which you will learn more about the topic and then be able
     to select the limitation that corresponds with the individual needing an accommodation.
     Next it will take you to a screen in which you will be able to select the job function for
     the selected limitation, which will take you to a final screen that allows you to view and
     select an accommodation.
                  Arthritis
                  Back Conditions
                  Cancer
                  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

             Cumulative Trauma Disorders (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome and
             Deaf or Hard of Hearing
              Product listing for Deaf/Hard of Hearing Disabilities
             Heart Conditions
             Learning Disabilities
             Lupus
             Mental Retardation or Other Developmental Disabilities
             Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
             Multiple Sclerosis
             Psychiatric Disabilities
             Vision Disabilities
              Product listing for Vision Disabilities
             Wheelchair Use

Accommodations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If you need additional
information or would like to discuss the information presented here, contact JAN at 1-
800-526-7234 (V/TTY). SOAR is brought to you by the Job Accommodation Network, a
service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor.


           Recruiting and Hiring People with Disabilities
The purpose of the Virginia Commonwealth University RRTC on Workplace Supports and Job
Retention is to study those supports that are most effective for assisting individuals with
disabilities maintain employment and advance their careers. The primary stakeholders for this
project are persons with disabilities, with an emphasis on those who are unemployed,
underemployed or at risk of losing employment. The RRTC on Workplace Supports specifically
targets those individuals from traditionally underrepresented populations with diverse racial and
ethnic backgrounds, since this group is most at risk in America. The secondary stakeholders
include rehabilitation professionals, families, and persons working in business and industry.

The following is a list of some of the resources of interest available on the Worksupport.com
website relative to Recruiting and Hiring People with Disabilities. Many of the resources listed
below are fact sheets that can be shared with job seekers, employers, and community partners.
         Factors that Influence Employer Decisions in Hiring and Retaining an Employee with
           a Disability
         Factors Associated with Employment Among Persons Who Have a Vision Disability:
           A Follow-Up of Vocational Placement Referrals
         Helping Employers Hire: Value-Added Employment Services
         Recruiting Qualified People with Disabilities
         Recruiting Workers with Disabilities
         Think Ability & Employment Through Telecommuting
         Workplace Accommodations: Inexpensive & Effective
         Employing People with Disabilities
         The Assessment of Attitudes toward Individuals with Disabilities in the Workplace
         Helping Individuals with Disabilities in Employment Through Workplace Supports
         What is Your Reaction Towards Hiring A Worker with a Disability?
         Identifying and Selecting Job-Site Supports
         Increase Recruiting Efforts for People with Disabilities
         WORKFORCE DIVERSITY: Hiring and Recruiting
         Hire the person, not the preconception
         Is Your Company Looking for Qualified People with Disabilities?
         Your Business Can Qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) When
           You Hire Certain Workers
         Evidence-Based Practices that Promote Employment of People with Disabilities
         Human Resource Professionals and the Employment of People with Disabilities: A
           Business Perspective
         Employers' Attitudes Toward People with Disabilities in the Workforce: Myths or
         Employers' Knowledge and Utilization of Accommodations
         Workplace Supports: A View from Employers Who Have Hired Supported
         Business Making a Difference Newsletter Fact Sheet
         Disclosure Fact Sheet

   Employers Turning to Recruiting from Nontraditional Sources of Labor Fact Sheet
   Fast Facts on Recruiting from Nontraditional Sources of Labor Fact Sheet
   Fast Facts: Business Tax Credits and Deductions for Employment of People with
    Disabilities Fact Sheet
   Fast Facts On. When The Job Candidate Has A Disability Fact Sheet
   The Realities of Hiring People with Disabilities Fact Sheet
   Welcoming Workers With Disabilities Into the Workforce Fact Sheet
   Employers' Views of Workplace Supports: VCU Charter Business Roundtable's
    National Study of Employers' Experiences with Workers with Disabilities Monograph

          Mental Health and Substance Abuse Resources


SAMHSA’s National Mental Health Information Center -
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Mental
Health Information Center provides information about mental health via a toll-free telephone
number (800-789-2647), this website, and more than 600 publications. It was developed for
users of mental health services and their families, the general public, policy makers, providers,
and the media. The website contains a lot of valuable resources including:
 Mental Health Services Locator: http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/databases/
   This Locator provides you with comprehensive information about mental health services and
   resources and is useful for professionals, consumers and their families, and the public.
 Mental Health FAQs: http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/resources/faqs.aspx
   Answers to some frequently asked questions.
 Mental Health Links: http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/links/
   Links to other related resources on mental health.
 Mental Health Topic: Work and Community Support:

Mental Health Organizations by State - http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/state_orgs.htm
These links provide information on mental health agencies and private organizations in each
state. This information is made available to CDC courtesy of the Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration's Center for Mental Health Services, Mental Health Services

Fast Facts on Psychiatric Disabilities -
In spite of the presence of symptoms, many people with mental illness work every day or attend
school. Many successful individuals in government, arts, theater, law, education, entertainment,
and medicine have some form of mental illness. This document, available in both Text and PDF
formats, includes some facts and information on employment concerns, accommodation
considerations, employment scenarios and additional resources.

U.S. Department of Labor’s, Office of Disability Employment Policy’s (ODEP) Fact Sheet,
Maximizing Productivity: Accommodations for Employees with Psychiatric Disabilities
This fact sheet provides information on workplace accommodations to assist individuals with
mental illness perform the essential functions of their jobs.

Businesses Materials for a Mental Health-Friendly Workplace: Workplaces That Thrive: A
Resource for Creating Mental Health-Friendly Work Environments
This publication is designed to help human resources personnel look at the benefits of a Mental
Health-Friendly Workplace. Section I is a brief introduction to the status of mental health in the

U.S. workplace, including the challenge of overcoming stigma and discrimination toward
persons with mental illnesses. Section V provides ready-to-use resources for communicating
with employees about mental health in the workplace. Section VI provides materials for basic
supervisory training in some mental health essentials for working with employees who
experience mental illnesses.

Resources from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) on Mental Health
 Fact Sheet: Job Accommodations for People with Mental Illness
 Work-Site Accommodation Ideas for Persons with Psychiatric Disabilities
  http://www.jan.wvu.edu/media/Psychiatric.html and http://www.jan.wvu.edu/soar/psych.html.

Mental Health America - http://www.nmha.org/index.cfm
Information is offered on the following topics: Mental Health FAQs, Crisis/Mental Health
Emergencies, Fact Sheets on wide variety of Mental Illnesses, Prevention, Public Awareness
Programs, and Advocacy Tools

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill - http://www.nami.org/
NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health
organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with serious mental illness and
their families. The NAMI organization operates at the local, state and national levels. Each level
of the organization provides support, education, information and referral and advocacy to support
the fifteen million Americans who live with serious mental illness today and their families.
Local affiliates and state organizations identify and work on issues most important to their
community and state.
 Local and State affiliates: NAMI has a state organization in all 50 states as well as in Puerto
   Rico and the District of Columbia. There are also more than 1,200 local affiliates spanning all
   50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico. To find your state and local NAMI, access:

Resources from the National Center on Workforce and Disability/Adult (NCWD/Adult) on
Mental Health
 Basic Etiquette: People with Mental Illness
   Information and resources on mental illness so that One-Stop staff can develop a basic
   understanding of these disabilities.
 Employment Issues for People with Mental Illness
   A piece that addresses specific issues concerning job development and placement for people
   with mental health issues
 Mental Illness Resources
   Listing of organizations that provide education, research, advocacy, information and services
   pertaining to individuals with mental illness.

 Fact Sheet: Mental Illness
  Basic information and resources on mental illness and psychiatric disabilities.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse & Mental Health
Services Administration, National Clearinghouse on Alcohol & Drug Information (NCADI)
NCADI serves as ―the Nation's one-stop resource for the most current and comprehensive
information about substance abuse prevention and treatment.‖ NCADI is one of the largest
Federal clearinghouses, offering more than 500 items to the public, many of which are free of

U.S. Department of Labor, Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace
Working Partners provides information designed to help employers understand the benefits of a
comprehensive drug-free workplace and the tools to help build a program tailored to their
business. Working Partners also includes additional information intended to help workforce
professionals understand the value of employing people in recovery.

Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator
This searchable directory of drug and alcohol treatment programs shows the location of facilities
around the country that treat alcoholism, alcohol abuse and drug abuse problems. The Locator
includes more than 11,000 addiction treatment programs, including residential treatment centers,
outpatient treatment programs, and hospital inpatient programs for drug addiction and
alcoholism. Listings include treatment programs for marijuana, cocaine, and heroin addiction, as
well as drug and alcohol treatment programs for adolescents, and adults.

National Association of State Alcohol, Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD)
The National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc. (NASADAD) is a
private, not-for-profit educational, scientific, and informational organization. The Association
was originally incorporated in 1971 to serve State Drug Agency Directors, and then in 1978 the
membership was expanded to include State Alcoholism Agency Directors. NASADAD's basic
purpose is to foster and support the development of effective alcohol and other drug abuse
prevention and treatment programs throughout every State.

To find a NASADAD member in your state, access the following website and scroll down to the
member of the page to find the link to your state:

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)

In 1992 the President's Drug Advisory Council (PDAC), under the leadership of Jim Burke, the
former Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson and the current Chairman of the Partnership
for a Drug-Free America, encouraged the formation of CADCA to respond to the dramatic
growth in the number of substance abuse coalitions and their need to share ideas, problems, and
solutions. The organization was officially launched in October 1992 under the leadership of
Alvah Chapman, the Director and retired Chairman and CEO of Knight Ridder, Inc. who became
CADCA's first chairman. With their guidance, the organization has evolved to become the
principal national substance abuse prevention organization working with community-based
coalitions and representing their interests at the national level.

To locate a CADCA state member access the following website and link to your state:

NAADAC: The Association for Addiction Professionals
NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, is the largest membership organization
serving addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused health care professionals,
who specialize in addiction prevention, treatment and education. Founded in 1972 as the
National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors, NAADAC was created to
represent the interests and concerns of substance abuse counselors. Since then, NAADAC has
evolved as a professional membership organization. NAADAC's new name - NAADAC, the
Association for Addiction Professionals - reflects the increasing number of tobacco, gambling
and other addiction professionals who are active in prevention, intervention, treatment and

To locate a NAADAC State Affiliate, access the following website and select your state:

                       Disability Laws and Regulations
                          Information & Resources

Rehabilitation Act
The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted
by Federal agencies, in programs receiving Federal financial assistance, in Federal employment,
and in the employment practices of Federal contractors. The standards for determining
employment discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act are the same as those used in title I of
the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Section 504: Section 504 states that ―no qualified individual with a disability in the United
States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under‖
any program or activity that either receives Federal financial assistance or is conducted by any
Executive agency or the United States Postal Service. Each Federal agency has its own set of
section 504 regulations that apply to its own programs. Agencies that provide Federal financial
assistance also have section 504 regulations covering entities that receive Federal aid.
Requirements common to these regulations include reasonable accommodation for employees
with disabilities; program accessibility; effective communication with people who have hearing
or vision disabilities; and accessible new construction and alterations. Each agency is responsible
for enforcing its own regulations. Section 504 may also be enforced through private lawsuits.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local
government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and
telecommunications. It also applies to the United States Congress.

To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability or have a relationship or association
with an individual with a disability. An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a
person who has a physical or mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life
activities, a person who has a history or record of such a disability, or a person who is perceived
by others as having such a disability. The ADA does not specifically name all of the disabilities
that are covered.

ADA Title I: Employment: Title I requires employers with 15 or more employees to
provide qualified individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from the full range
of employment-related opportunities available to others. For example, it prohibits discrimination
in recruitment, hiring, promotions, training, pay, social activities, and other privileges of
employment. It restricts questions that can be asked about an applicant’s disability before a job
offer is made, and it requires that employers make reasonable accommodation to the known
physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities, unless it results
in undue hardship. Religious entities with 15 or more employees are covered under title I.

ADA Title II: State and Local Government Activities: Title II covers all activities of
State and local governments regardless of the government entity’s size or receipt of Federal
funding. Title II requires that State and local governments give people with disabilities an equal
opportunity to benefit from all of their programs, services, and activities (e.g. public education,
employment, transportation, recreation, health care, social services, courts, voting, and town
meetings). State and local governments are required to follow specific architectural standards in
the new construction and alteration of their buildings. They also must relocate programs or
otherwise provide access in inaccessible older buildings, and communicate effectively with
people who have hearing, vision, or speech disabilities. Public entities are not required to take
actions that would result in undue financial and administrative burdens. They are required to
make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures where necessary to avoid
discrimination, unless they can demonstrate that doing so would fundamentally alter the nature
of the service, program, or activity being provided.

ADA Title II: Public Transportation: The transportation provisions of title II cover
public transportation services, such as city buses and public rail transit (e.g. subways, commuter
rails, Amtrak). Public transportation authorities may not discriminate against people with
disabilities in the provision of their services. They must comply with requirements for
accessibility in newly purchased vehicles, make good faith efforts to purchase or lease accessible
used buses, remanufacture buses in an accessible manner, and, unless it would result in an undue
burden, provide paratransit where they operate fixed-route bus or rail systems. Paratransit is a
service where individuals who are unable to use the regular transit system independently
(because of a physical or mental disability) are picked up and dropped off at their destinations.

ADA Title III: Public Accommodations: Title III covers businesses and nonprofit service
providers that are public accommodations, privately operated entities offering certain types of
courses and examinations, privately operated transportation, and commercial facilities. Public
accommodations are private entities who own, lease, lease to, or operate facilities such as
restaurants, retail stores, hotels, movie theaters, private schools, convention centers, doctors’
offices, homeless shelters, transportation depots, zoos, funeral homes, day care centers, and
recreation facilities including sports stadiums and fitness clubs. Transportation services provided
by private entities are also covered by title III. Public accommodations must comply with basic
nondiscrimination requirements that prohibit exclusion, segregation, and unequal treatment.
They also must comply with specific requirements related to architectural standards for new and
altered buildings; reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures; effective
communication with people with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities; and other access
requirements. Additionally, public accommodations must remove barriers in existing buildings
where it is easy to do so without much difficulty or expense, given the public accommodation’s

ADA Title IV: Telecommunications Relay Services: Title IV addresses telephone and
television access for people with hearing and speech disabilities. It requires common carriers
(telephone companies) to establish interstate and intrastate telecommunications relay services
(TRS) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TRS enables callers with hearing and speech disabilities
who use telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDDs), which are also known as
teletypewriters (TTYs), and callers who use voice telephones to communicate with each other
through a third party communications assistant.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG)
Issued by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, ADAAG serves as a
guide for identifying the various kinds of measures that can be taken to remove barriers and as a
guide for how best to remove them. ADAAG contains the technical requirements for
accessibility to buildings and facilities by individuals with disabilities under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. These requirements are to be applied during the design,
construction, and alteration of buildings and facilities covered by ADA.

General Sources of Disability Rights Information

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Disability Rights Section - NYAV
Washington, D.C. 20530
(800) 514-0301 (voice)
(800) 514-0383 (TTY)

ADA Information Line
(800) 514-0301 (voice)
(800) 514-0383 (TTY)

Regional ADA and IT
Technical Assistance Centers
(800) 949-4232 (voice/TTY)

For information on how to accommodate a specific individual with a disability, contact the Job
Accommodation Network at: (800) 526-7234 (voice/TTY) www.jan.wvu.edu


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