December not only marks a time of joy and celebration, but also serves as a reminder to embrace the spirit of inclusion. Here, we can celebrate the strength of the amputee community and acknowledge the diverse talents and abilities of individuals with limb differences. Below, we list nearly two dozen programs and services for amputee job seekers that will inspire those aiming to start a new life — or just a new chapter — in 2024.
As Diana Theobald observes in “How to Be an Amputee With a Job” (appearing in our September/October issue), it’s nice that the federal government sets October aside as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). But when you’re in the job market with a disability, one month barely scratches the surface. “I’ve been acutely aware of disability employment for more than 100 months in a row,” she writes. “The streak began immediately after my amputation. Would I be able to keep moving forward on my chosen career path? How does one do that on one leg?”
NDEAM is meant to focus attention on programs and services that help employers and disabled job candidates find each other. But you can get year-round access to many of those resources in our Amputee Community Resource Directory. With NDEAM just getting started, this seems like an opportune time to highlight some of the programs in our database.
While the Resource Directory doesn’t have a stand-alone “job programs” category, you can easily find relevant information by conducting a keyword search. We plugged in terms such as “job training,” “careers,” “employment,” and “work,” and came up with 22 distinct entries that support amputee job seekers. They include federal programs, state-by-state networks, independent nonprofits, and corporate initiatives.
We’ve summarized some of them below. While it’s a pretty robust list, there are almost surely other programs that escaped our notice. If you know of anything we missed, send us a note (email@example.com) and we’ll update the Amputee Resource Directory.
Job Boards for Amputees and People With Disabilities
If you know what you’re looking for, your resume’s up to date, and you’re prepared to get out there and start doing interviews, there are a number of online job-posting sites that are specifically aimed at applicants with disabilities. Here’s what we found in our Resource Directory:
Jobs Ability: This innovative portal was developed by quadruple-amputee John Robinson in partnership with Microsoft and other high-tech partners. Jobs Ability lists hundreds of jobs from industry-leading employers, using AI to match you with the job openings that best fit your skills and career objectives. jobsability.com.
Disability: IN Inclusion Works. Many of the world’s largest corporations use Inclusion Works to recruit talented people with disabilities. When we checked this morning, there were active listings from global leaders such as Google, Pfizer, Bloomberg, Walgreen’s, Qualcomm, CVS, and Expedia. disabilityin.org/what-we-do/inclusion-works/company-opportunities.
USA Jobs. The federal government’s official hiring portal includes employment opportunities specifically tailored for people with disabilities. Federal agencies are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. Follow the link and scroll down to the “Search Jobs” box. usajobs.gov.
Ability Jobs. Ability Jobs has thousands of positions posted by employers who are preapproved and committed to hiring amputees and other people with disabilities. More than 6,000 companies are registered, including small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and nonprofits. abilityjobs.com.
Recruit Disability. This nonprofit, open-source employment initiative shares information for job seekers with limb difference and other disabilities. This morning’s “Who’s Hiring” list includes major brands like Best Buy and Target, dozens of universities and government agencies, and disability-focused nonprofits such as the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. recruitdisability.org.
Career Advising and Workforce Development Services
Need to do a little homework before you start hunting for jobs in earnest? Here are some programs that can help you do the prep work you need, from assessing your skills to writing your resume, focusing your job search, polishing your interview skills, and negotiating workplace adaptations and accommodations.
Vocational Rehab Agencies, State-by-State Listing. As featured in our current print issue, Voc Rehab offices provide amputees with all sorts of employment support. Nearly every county in the US has an office. The best way to find the Voc Rehab agency in your area is to start with your state’s VR website. Find yours at rsa.ed.gov/about/states.
American Job Centers. American Job Centers provide free help to job seekers of all kinds, including people with disabilities. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and located throughout the United States, AJCs offer amputees and other job seekers with disabilities a range of services, including access to job banks, computers, resume writing tools and printers, networking groups, workshops, and more. careeronestop.org/ResourcesFor/WorkersWithDisabilities/
AgrAbility. This nationwide nonprofit aims to enhance quality of life for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities. Support programs cover many aspects of rural life, including gainful employment in the agriculture industry, and education/retraining to support career transitions. agrability.org.
Amputee Coalition Workforce Development Program. The Workforce Development Program helps participants (including teenagers, adults, and veterans) explore career options, transition back into the workforce, or start their journey into the workforce. Services include one-on-one career development meetings, resume writing assistance, fact sheets, webinars, and more. amputee-coalition.org/limb-loss-resource-center/workforce-development-program/.
Other Workforce Programs for Amputees
Centers for Independent Living. CILs are community-based nonprofits led by and for people with disabilities. There are roughly 350 CILs across the country, and all provide some form of employment support. Specific programs vary from location to location, but may include referral services, skills training, counseling, mobility support, transition assistance, and more. ilru.org/projects/cil-net/cil-center-and-association-directory.
AbilityCorps. AbilityCorps sponsors a wide variety of programs for amputee job seekers, including disability job fairs (both online and in person) and volunteer opportunities. abilitycorps.org.
Job Accommodation Network. JAN is the leading source of free, expert, confidential guidance on job accommodations and employment issues for amputees and people with disabilities. JAN offers practical, one-on-one guidance and technical assistance on job accommodation solutions, including self-employment and entrepreneurship options. askjan.org.
Ticket to Work. If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income benefits based on disability, Ticket to Work provides you with the choices, opportunities, and support you need to enter the workforce and maintain employment, with the goal of becoming economically self-supporting over time. yourtickettowork.ssa.gov.
Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship. PIA collaborates with employers and intermediaries to design inclusive apprenticeship programs that enable people with disabilities to gain credentials and skills to succeed in growing industries. inclusiveapprenticeship.org.
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