Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning


Employment Information Pertaining to Job Seekers with Disabilities - Resources for Businesses


Welcome: Businesses need workforce options. It is predicted that by 2010, the American economy will support 168 million new jobs, yet there will only be 158 million workers to fill them. In addition to this shortfall, consider the increasing need for technology skills and the millions of baby boomers who are reaching retirement age.

A Solution: Diversify Your Workforce: Consider your workforce; take a look at each individual's distinct experiences, qualities, skills, personality and background. With these measures alone, your workforce represents a collection of unique individuals. Your diverse workforce represents a powerful force; a force that values, respects and appreciates individual differences; a force that represents buying power from all walks of life; a force that works with you to achieve your business goals.

Untapped Pool: Job Seekers with Disabilities: Job seekers with disabilities represent a large source of qualified workers. Approximately 54 million Americans have a disability and over 65 percent of working-age adults with disabilities are unemployed. Studies show that:

  • Employees with disabilities are dependable, dedicated, hardworking and productive.
  • Many businesses that have hired job seekers with disabilities report that the experience has increased employee morale and productivity.
  • Employees with disabilities represent a customer base and can provide businesses an inside advantage as to how to market to that customer base.

Diversifying your workforce by hiring job seekers with disabilities makes good business sense, as the return on investment is invaluable:

  • Assists with business diversity initiatives, building a strong workforce
  • Helps business to develop products and services, expanding customer bases
  • Enables business to reach out to entire communities

State and National Resources for Businesses: Interested in learning more about hiring individuals with disabilities? Would you like to tap into a pool of job seekers that will assist in fulfilling and growing your workforce? The highlighted listing of resources below will get you started:

  • Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC): Mid-Atlantic ADA Center - Provides training, information, and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to businesses, consumers, schools, and government agencies within the Mid-Atlantic Region (PA, DE, MD, VA, WV, and DC).
  • earnworks.com - The Employer Assistance & Recruiting Network (EARN) is a free service that connects employers looking for quality employees with skilled job candidates.
  • Job Accommodation Network (JAN) - Facilitates the employment and retention of workers with disabilities by providing employers, employment providers, people with disabilities, their family members and other interested parties with information on job accommodations, self-employment and small business opportunities.
  • Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD) - Create a diverse working environment by learning about the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities, creative and innovative workforce solutions, strategies about how to replicate these solutions, hiring resources and access to several other helpful tools and materials to get started.
  • Maryland State Department of Education - Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) - Assists Maryland businesses with recruiting and retaining qualified, valuable employees. DORS can match qualified applicants with job openings, provide funding for on-the-job training, provide worksite consultation, identify technologies that increase workplace productivity and success, coordinate services for workplace disability issues and provide employment consultation.
  • Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE) - Manage your entire hiring process at no cost at a local Maryland One-Stop Career Center or "24/7" via the Internet. Use MWE to reach today's top talent to staff your job or business, gain maximum exposure for your job openings and get quick access to current economic and local job market data.
  • U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) - A national organization that recognizes and promotes best practices in hiring, retaining, and marketing to people with disabilities. It is the only national disability organization led by business for business. The BLN uses a "business to business" approach to educate, promoting the business imperative of including people with disabilities in the workforce.

Disabled Veterans:

  • The Recovery and Employment Assistance Lifelines (REALifelines) - The Recovery and Employment Assistance Lifelines (REALifelines) Advisor provides veterans and transitioning service members wounded and injured as a result of the War on Terrorism, and their family members, with the resources they need to successfully transition to a rewarding career. Developed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), the REALifelines Advisor provides valuable information and access to contact information for one-on-one employment assistance and online resources to assist wounded and injured transitioning service members and veterans in their reintegration into the civilian workforce. While this site is intended for use by wounded and injured transitioning service members, it offers extensive information and resources that can benefit all veterans.
  • Disabled Transition Assistance Program (DTAP) - Service members leaving the military with a service-connected disability are offered the Disabled Transition Assistance Program (DTAP). DTAP includes the normal three-day TAP workshop plus additional hours of individual instruction to help determine job readiness and address the special needs of disabled veterans.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) - The Department of Veterans Affair's Veterans Benefits Administration's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) service is vested with delivering timely, effective vocational rehabilitation services to veterans with service-connected disabilities. Enabling our injured soldiers, sailors, airmen, and other veterans with disabilities for a seamless transition from military service to a successful rehabilitation and on to suitable employment after service to our Nation. For some severely disabled veterans, this success will be to live independently, achieving the highest quality of life possible with a realized hope for employment given future advances in medical science and technology. The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment service strives to exceed the service delivery expectations of veterans and their families.

Materials in alternate formats and reasonable accommodations are provided upon request (advance notice may be required). Please check with the local One-Stop Career Centers for specific accommodations request deadlines.