PACER’s National Parent Center on Transition and Employment
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It is not unusual for individuals with spinal cord injuries to wonder how they will maintain financial independence and security. Resources here offer information about finding a job, returning to a job, and obtaining further education to expand career options. It’s especially helpful to connect with a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) service to create a plan and develop strategies for getting into the job market. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors help with updating resumes and creating an effective online profile. They also assist in exploring career options based on education, experience, and interests. VR Counselors can help target job searches to companies that are looking to hire people with disabilities.
This section also identifies disability resource centers that support transitions back to school at all levels of education - elementary, high school, college, and post-graduate. This also includes developing an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that supports and aligns with each student’s unique learning and physical needs. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires inclusion with non-disabled students in schools.
Understanding what constitutes a “reasonable accommodation” and explaining the definition to educators and potential employers can promote success. Discover resources and accommodation ideas specific to various health conditions through the Job Accommodations Network (JAN). These can range from physical accommodations such as an adaptable workstation, speech recognition software, an adaptable keyboard or mouse to adjustable work schedules and part-time or job-sharing options.
Learn about access to employment and education under the Americans with Disability Act and the return- to- work details of the Family Medical Leave Act. This section also identifies work incentive programs under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that enable continued employment without sacrificing medical benefits.