In recent decades the United States has witnessed the expansion of business owners' efforts to make the workplace more accommodating to disabled employees. At the same time, numerous entities have emerged that are dedicated to helping disabled individuals become more self-sufficient through employment. Several government organizations have contributed to these efforts and offer an array of employment opportunities for individuals interested in aiding job seekers with physical and mental disabilities.
Office of Disability Employment Policy
The U.S. Department of Labor maintains an Office of Disability Employment Policy that is dedicated to helping disabled job seekers find employment. Key administrative roles in this office include secretarial and managerial positions in the Office of the Assistant Secretary and Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary, as well as in the Division of Administrative Systems and Financial Services. This sector also offers opportunities for researchers interested in disability policy planning, research and development, as well as for individuals specializing in communications and outreach.
Selective Placement Program Coordinator
The majority of federal agencies employ a Selective Placement Program Coordinator who is responsible for aiding in the recruitment, hiring and accommodation of employees with disabilities. The SPPC works closely with both the job applicant and her future manager to identify and mitigate potential job barriers, ensuring that the new hire can perform her essential duties. The SPPC also participates in the development of broader selective placement program efforts to improve program efficacy.
Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration runs Ticket to Work, a program dedicated to helping individuals who receive disability-based SSI or SSDI benefits find employment. Individuals interested in working directly for this agency can apply for relevant positions within the SSA, which values job candidates possessing excellent oral and written communication skills and analytical abilities. Business owners can also participate in this program by forming approved "Employment Networks" that receive SSA compensation in exchange for helping disabled job seekers reach certain milestones on their journeys toward self-supporting employment.
Department of Justice
The Department of Justice maintains the Disability Rights Section, which is designed to ensure the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act in workplaces across the United States. As of 2014, this section impacts 6 million businesses and non-profit agencies and 49 million individuals with disabilities across the country. The DOJ offers many options to specialists in disability and mental health law. These positions are available to law students, entry-level lawyers and experienced attorneys alike. DOJ positions range from short-term contract jobs and renewable appointments to long-term career paths.