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It is not unusual for individuals with spinal cord injuries to wonder how they will maintain financial independence and security. The resources provided here offer guidance on finding a job, returning to work, and pursuing further education to broaden career opportunities.

Connecting with Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services is particularly beneficial, as VR counselors can assist in creating a plan and developing strategies for entering the job market. They help with tasks such as updating resumes, crafting effective online profiles, and exploring career options tailored to education, experience, and interests. Moreover, VR counselors aid in targeting job searches to companies actively seeking to hire individuals with disabilities.

This section also highlights disability resource centers that support transitions back to school at all education levels, from elementary to post-graduate. These centers assist in developing Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that accommodate each student's unique learning and physical needs. Compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ensures inclusion with non-disabled peers in educational settings.

Understanding the concept of "reasonable accommodation" and effectively communicating this definition to educators and prospective employers can enhance success. Explore resources and accommodation ideas specific to various health conditions through the Job Accommodations Network (JAN). These accommodations may include adaptable workstations, speech recognition software, adjustable schedules, and job-sharing options.

Furthermore, learn about access to employment and education under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the return-to-work provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Additionally, discover work incentive programs under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that allow for continued employment without forfeiting medical benefits.

The AbilityLinks mission is to increase employment of qualified persons with disabilities. By joining the AbilityLinks Consortium, non-profits, businesses and government agencies gain access to disability employment networking opportunities. Organizations can find qualified candidates with disabilities; job seekers can post resumes and apply for jobs online. The Find Jobs section directs you on how to post your resume, apply for jobs, and get information about employment opportunities in your area.