Shirley Ryan AbilityLab visible within the Chicago skyline during sunset.


Welcome to your guide to employment resources for people with physical disabilities! As a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, we are pleased to provide a helpline for more information and to answer your questions about employment. 


For a consult or more information about employment for people with physical disabilities, contact us at: 

Technical Assistance Highlights and FAQs



Below is a list of national, state, and local employment resources for people with disabilities.

National Agencies


Access Board

The Access Board is an independent Federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities.  Created in 1973 to ensure access to federally funded facilities, the Board is now a leading source of information on accessible design. If you are concerned about access to a facility that may have been federally funded, you can file a complaint about it with the Access Board under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA).  Find out more at the website above (look under the “Enforcement” tab) or by contacting the Board via its toll-free voice and TTY lines.

Accessible Community Transportation in Our Nation (Project ACTION)

Project ACTION promotes universal access to transportation for people with disabilities under federal law and beyond by partnering with transportation providers, the disability community, and others through the provision of training, technical assistance, applied research, outreach and communication.

ADA National Network

The ADA has empowered people with disabilities by banning discrimination on the basis of their disability and by making it possible for them to participate more inclusively in their communities. ADA specialists in each of the ten Regional ADA Centers provide information and guidance to anyone requesting ADA information through 1-800 calls, emails, and in-person consultations.

Americans with Disabilities Act National Network (ADANN)

Information, guidance, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Administration for Community Living

The Administration for Community Living was created around the fundamental principle that older adults and people of all ages with disabilities should be able to live where they choose, with the people they choose, and with the ability to participate fully in their communities.

Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board

To enforce Federal laws requiring accessibility for persons with disabilities in certain federally funded buildings and facilities throughout the Nation; set guidelines and requirements for accessibility standards prescribed by Federal agencies. Provide technical assistance and training on its design guidelines and standards to organizations, agencies, and individuals; and to conduct research to determine appropriate specifications for accessibility.

Career OneStop Business Center

Your source for help hiring, training and retaining a strong workforce.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Disability and Health

The mission of the CDC Disability and Health Branch is to promote the health and full participation in society by people with disabilities across the lifespan.

Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation (CANAR)

The Mission of CANAR is to serve as a vehicle for collaboration and cooperation between administrators of Native American Rehabilitation Projects to increase and enhance the quality of service, resulting in positive outcomes for Native Americans with disabilities.

Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)

Vocational Rehabilitation is a nationwide federal-state program for assisting eligible people with disabilities to define a suitable employment goal and become employed. Each state capital has a central VR agency, and there are local offices in most states. VR provides medical, therapeutic, counseling, education, training, and other services needed to prepare people with disabilities for work. VR is an excellent place for a youth or adult with a disability to begin exploring available training and support service options.

Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)

Our mission — to provide leadership and resources to assist state and other agencies in providing vocational rehabilitation (VR) and other services to individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment, independence and integration into the community and the competitive labor market.

Department of Justice, Disability of Rights Section  

The Disability Rights Section works to achieve equal opportunity for people with disabilities in the United States by implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

To develop and influence disability employment-related policies and practices, ODEP sponsors the following three policy development and technical assistance resources.

Department of Veteran Affairs, Veterans' Employment & Training Service

We prepare America's veterans, service members and their spouses, for meaningful careers, provide them with employment resources and expertise, protect their employment rights and promote their employment opportunities.

Department of Veteran Affairs, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VR&E)

You may receive Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) services to help with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job seeking skills coaching.

Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC)

The DBTACs act as “one-stop” central sources of information, direct technical assistance, training, and referral on ADA issues, and provide individualized responses to information requests, referrals to local sources of expertise, and training on ADA provisions and disability awareness.


Disability:IN promotes disability inclusion by heightening awareness, advising corporations and sharing proven strategies for including people with disabilities in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace.

Employer Assistance and Research Network (EARN)

EARN is the initiative’s online hub, serving as a centralized source of employer-focused tools, resources and publications on disability inclusion.

Employment Network’s (ENs)

An Employment Network (EN) is an entity that enters into an agreement with the Social Security Administration (Social Security) to either provide or coordinate the delivery of services to Social Security disability beneficiaries.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

Institute for Human Centered Design - (formerly Adaptive Environments)

Founded in 1978 to address the environmental issues that confront people with disabilities and elderly people, the Institute for Human Centered Design (formerly Adaptive Environments) promotes accessibility as well as universal design through education programs, technical assistance, training, consulting, publications and design advocacy. Its mission is to promote, facilitate, and advocate for international adoption of policies and designs that enable every individual, regardless of disability or age, to participate fully in all aspects of society.

Job Accommodation Network

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.

National Brain Injury Association of America

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is a national health organization dedicated to brain injury prevention, research, education and advocacy. the BIAA provides information, assistance, and a variety of programs and services to people with brain injuries and their families, healthcare professionals, and the general public. The BIAA has a network of 26 state affilliates throughout the US.

National Center on Workforce and Disability/Adult (NCWD)

The National Center on Workforce and Disability/Adult (NCWD) provides training, technical assistance, policy analysis, and information to improve access for all in the workforce development system. Areas of expertise include: accommodations and assistive technology, relationships with employers, helping clients with disabilities find jobs, and advising employers as to how to provide job-related supports.

National Counsel on Disability (NCD)

NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities.

National Organization on Disability

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that promotes the full participation and contributions of America’s 57 million people with disabilities in all aspects of life. NOD focuses on increasing employment opportunities for the 80-percent of working-age Americans with disabilities

National Parkinson’s Association

The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience and passion of our global Parkinson’s community.

Office of Disability Employment, Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) 
The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities (WRP) is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.

Office of Personal Management, Disability Employment

As the Nation's largest employer, the Federal Government has a special responsibility to lead by example in including people with disabilities in the workforce. This website contains important information for federal agencies to use in recruiting, hiring, and retaining individuals with disabilities and targeted disabilities.

Social Security Administration, the Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program

The ticket to Work program is a free and voluntary program that can help Social Security beneficiaries go to work, get a good job that may lead to a career, and become financially independent, all while they keep their Medicare or Medicaid. Individuals who receive Social Security benefits because of a disability and are age 18 through 64 probably already qualify for the program.

Social Security Administration, the Red Book (A Guide to Work Incentives)

The Red Book serves as a general reference source about the employment-related provisions of Social Security Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income Programs for educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals, and counselors who serve people with disabilities.

The NET, Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation

To create a coordinated approach to serving business customers through a national VR team that specialized in employer development, business consulting and corporate relations.

United Spinal Association

United Spinal Association is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D).

Online Resources


Accessibility 101: Introduction to disability and accessibility with Microsoft Video 

A YouTube video by Microsoft.  This accessibility training video provides an introduction to all things accessibility. 

Business Programs and Resources for Entrepreneurs or Graduates with a Disability

A resource guide for a business degree or becoming an entrepreneur and you have a disability. This resource provides information about accessing school, loans and financial aid, as well as helpful ideas for getting started as a business person.

College Guide for Students with Physical Disabilities

A resource guide for people with physical disabilities that are transitioning on to higher education. 

College Resources for Students with Disabilities

Provides support, advocacy and assistive technology to facilitate the transition to higher education.


Disabilities-R-Us is the premier online community created by and for people with physical disabilities. For over 22 years we have been providing a friendly place where you can make online friends from all over the world.

National Rehabilitation Information Center

The National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) is the library of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). We collect, catalog, and disseminate the articles, reports, curricula, guides, and other publications and products of the research projects funded by NIDILRR. NIDILRR funds more than 250 projects each year that conduct research on a wide range of issues including technology, health and function, independent living, and capacity building.

Rehabilitation Measures Database

The Rehabilitation Measures Database (RMD) provides access to over 430 evidence-based benchmarks and outcomes. 

Resources for Integrated Care (RIC)

Resource for Integrated Care (RIC) works with providers, health plans, advocates, and other subject matter experts to identify and disseminate promising practices and actionable tools to integrate and coordinate care for beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Integrating and coordinating care is particularly important for dually eligible beneficiaries because they are more likely than others to have chronic physical and behavioral health conditions.

World Institute on Disability (E3)

WID E3 offers online resources and technical assistance designed to improve competitive employment outcomes for both youth and adults with disabilities. WID E3 fills the gap between where people might be and where other programs usually start. It’s a bridge. It’s basic training.

State Agencies (Illinois)


Brain Injury Association of Illinois

The Brain Injury Association of Illinois (BIA of IL) is a not-for-profit, statewide membership organization comprised of people with brain injuries, family members, friends and professionals.

Disabled Workers Program

The Central Management Services Division of Examining and Counseling administers several programs and services for people with disabilities through the Disabled Workers Program.

Great Lakes ADA Center

The Great Lakes ADA Center's mission is to increase awareness and knowledge with the ultimate goal of achieving voluntary compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Illinois Assistive Technology Program

IATP’s mission is to increase access to and the acquisition of Assistive Technology (AT) devices and services for individuals of all ages with disabilities. IATP provides AT information and services in the areas of education, employment, community living, and IT/telecommunications. Our goal is to improve the quality of life of all Illinoisans with disabilities and enable them through greater access to assistive technology devices to fully participate in all aspects of life.

Illinois Department of Human Services - Home Service Program (HSP)

The Home Services Program (HSP) provides services to individuals with severe disabilities so they can remain in their homes and be as independent as possible.

Illinois Department of Public Health, Disability and Health

The goal of the program is to promote and maximize health, prevent chronic disease, improve emergency preparedness and increase quality of life among people with disabilities.

Spinal Cord Injury Association of Illinois
The Spinal cord Injury Association of Illinois (SCIA)The Spinal Cord Injury Association of Illinois (a chapter of the United Spinal Association) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing information and support resources for people paralyzed by trauma and medical conditions, family members, and health care and related professionals that serve the SCI community.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Disability Resources & Educational Services (DRES)

DRES has helped thousands of students with disabilities earn college degrees and has made the Urbana-Champaign campus a leader in the area of post-secondary education for persons with disabilities.

Local Agencies (Greater Chicagoland Area)


Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago

Access Living is a change agent committed to fostering an inclusive society that enables Chicagoans with disabilities to live fully–engaged and self–directed lives.

Center for Disability and Elder Law (CDEL)

The Center for Disability & Elder Law (CDEL) was founded to provide legal services to low income residents of Cook County, Illinois who are either elderly or who have permanent disabilities.

Disability:IN Chicagoland

Disability:IN Chicagoland helps businesses in the greater Chicagoland area drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace.

City of Chicago, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD)

 The Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) works to make Chicago the most accessible city in the nation on behalf of residents and visitors with disabilities.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Chicago District Office

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

Equip for Equality

We are an independent agency and our primary goal is to protect the civil and human rights of people with disabilities.  We accomplish this through five strategies: (1) Self-advocacy assistance, (2) Legal services, (3) Public policy, (4) Monitoring, (5)Training

ILC of Illinois, Chicago (Access Living)

ILC Chicago is a change agent committed to fostering an inclusive society that enables Chicagoans with disabilities to live fully–engaged and self–directed lives. Nationally recognized as a leading force in the disability advocacy community, Access Living challenges stereotypes, protects civil rights and champions social reform.

ILC of Illinois, Joliet

The Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living strives for equality and empowerment of persons with disabilities in the Will and Grundy County areas. We inform persons with disabilities of their rights, educate them about their responsibilities, provide support services, promote advocacy, and raise community awareness about disability issues.

State Agencies (Washington)


Brain Injury Alliance of Washington

BIAWA is a statewide resource for individuals with brain injury, managing the Washington State Brain Injury Resource Center and offering intensive resource management in most counties. The BIAWA is proud to serve 10,000+ individuals a year through free classes, support groups, information and referral services, and social opportunities.

Northwest ADA Center

The Northwest ADA Center is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), and is part of the ADA National Network. The ADA National Network Centers are a national platform of ten centers comprised of ADA professionals and experts charged with assisting businesses, state and local governments, and people with disabilities as they manage the process of changing our culture to be user friendly to disability and the effect the variety of health conditions can have on society.

Technology for Independence

The mission of Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP) is to provide a comprehensive continuum of services and resources to help Washingtonians with disabilities of all ages to make informed decisions about assistive technology (AT), and to provide alternative means of acquiring the AT they need.

Washington State Client Assistance Program

Washington State Client Assistance program provides information about the  (DVR), the (DSB), Independent Living Programs (ILP’s) and Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Programs. It also provides services such as explaing your rights and responsibilities as an applicant or client of these rehabilitation agencies, working to solve problems through negotiation, and offers information about the (ADA).

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services- Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Provides individualized employment services, counseling, and technical assistance and training to employers about the employment of people with disabilities

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services- Disability Support

The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) is committed to making  Information and Communication Technologies accessible to individuals with disabilities by meeting or exceeding federal and state requirements. We strive to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to and use of information and data comparable to the access and use afforded to individuals without disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency.

Local Agencies (Seattle)


Commission for People with disAbilities

The Seattle Commission for People with disAbilities advises the Mayor, City Council, and City departments about issues of importance to people with disabilities, recommends policies, practices, and legislation to the City in matters affecting the concerns of people with disabilities, and encourages understanding among people with various disabilities as well as between people with disabilities and the larger Seattle community.


The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through technology and education. It promotes awareness and accessibility—in both the classroom and the workplace—to maximize the potential of individuals with disabilities and make our communities more vibrant, diverse, and inclusive.

Northwest Universal Design Counsil

Universal Design (UD) considers all aspects of the built environment—homes, mobility routes, landscapes, commercial developments, products and life space, including equipment and architecture—with the goal of making them accessible to every person, regardless of age or ability.

Puget Sound Personnel, INC.

Puget Sound Personnel, Inc. (PSP) provides no-fee employment services and support for people with disabilities and the employers who hire them. Since 1983, we've helped those with cognitive, physical, mental or sensory disabilities find and keep rewarding jobs in the community.

Seattle University- Center for Change in Transition services (CCTS)

CCTS envisions a world where all individuals live with independence and self-sufficiency. Our mission is to improve post-school outcomes for students with disabilities.


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