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Employment

FAQs

 

Employment Resources


 

Q. Are there laws that protect people with disabilities against employment discrimination?


A. Yes, the main ones follow: 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide qualified individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from the full range of employment-related opportunities available to others. It prohibits discrimination in many different areas of employment and restricts questions that can be asked about an applicant's disability before a job offer is made. It also requires that employers make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities, unless it results in undue hardship. 

Title II prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by state and local governments regardless of their size. Title II also prohibits discrimination by public transportation services.

Title III covers entities that provide public accommodation (e.g., restaurants, movie theaters, hotels, etc.).

Title IV covers telephone and television communication which includes a Relay service in each state.


The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (As Amended)

The Rehab Act prohibits employment discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the federal sector, programs conducted by federal agencies, programs that receive funding from the federal government, and employment practices of federal contractors. 


The Ticket to Work & Work Incentive Improvement Act 

This Act modernizes the employment services system for people with disabilities so they do not have to choose between working and having health care. This legislation created the Ticket to Work Program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).


There may be more laws enacted by the state in which you live. ECNV suggests that you contact your local Center for Independent Living (CIL, find yours at www.ilru.org/html/publications/directory/index.html) or your state’s rehabilitation agency for more information about your state. 

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Q. How does the ADA affect people with disabilities in the employment process?


A. The ADA protects you from discrimination in all employment practices, including: job application procedures, hiring, firing, training, pay, promotion, benefits, and leave. You also have a right to be free from harassment because of your disability, and you have a right to request a reasonable accommodation for the hiring process and on the job. Both applicants for employment and employees are protected under the ADA.  An employer may not fire or discipline you for asserting your rights under the ADA.
 

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Q. What if I need some accommodations in the workplace in order to do my job?


A. An employer must make reasonable accommodations for you according to the ADA. A reasonable accommodation is a modification of a job, job site or way in which a job is done that allows a person with a disability to have equal access to all aspects of work. Reasonable accommodation also assures that a qualified individual with a disability has the same rights and privileges in employment as employees without disabilities.

Accommodations can be high-tech (e.g., voice dictation software), low-tech (e.g., a simple switch or button to allow an employee to use a computer mouse), or no-tech (e.g., a pencil grip). Accommodations do not always have to involve technology. An accommodation can be something as simple as rearranging the furniture in an office. Examples of some accommodations are (this, in no way, is meant to be an all-encompassing list):

  • Physical changes, such as installing a ramp or modifying a workspace or restroom.
  • Sign language interpreters for people who are deaf 
  • Readers for people who are blind.
  • Providing a quieter workspace or making other changes to reduce noisy distractions for someone with a mental disability
  • Providing written materials in an accessible format, such as in Braille, on audiotape, or on computer disk for non-print readers 
  • TTY/telephone use with people who are deaf which will include the deaf employee’s supervisor having full time access to a TTY
  • Speech output software for use by blind persons required to access a computer
  • Software, which magnifies computer screen output for use by persons with low vision required to use a computer 
  • Voice recognition software facilitating computer use by persons who cannot use their hands for keyboarding
  • Time off for someone who needs treatment for a disability.
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Q. I am receiving SSI/SSDI. Will employment affect the amount of money I get from Social Security?


A. It might. In most cases your SSI/SSDI check will be reduced following employment. But the amount it goes down by will depend on how much you are earning in your new job.

SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income and SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance.

If you are receiving SSI/SSDI and you go to work, the amount your check goes down depends on the state in which you live and whether or not you are married. You will need to check with your local independent living center or with your local social security office for details on working while receiving SSI benefits. There are special rules called Work Incentives that allow people with disabilities to go back to work and continue to receive SSI.

Social Security and Work Incentives are complicated issue and it helps to get assistance in understanding your benefits. ECNV suggests you contact your local CIL (find yours at www.ilru.org/html/publications/directory/index.html) and ask to speak with the person in charge of Benefits Planning Assistance and Outreach (BPAO) or Social Security issues.

SSI/SSDI Resources

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Q. How can I apply for a job with the government?


A. There are many types of governments (federal, state and local) and many types of jobs available. The following are resources you can use to apply for employment in a government agency or department:

USAJobs – the official job site of the United States federal government
www.usajobs.com 

Virginia Employment Commission (VEC)
www.vec.virginia.gov
(804) 786-1485 (Voice)
800-828-1140 (Toll- free V)
(804) 371-8050 (TTY)
800-828-1120 (Toll-free TTY)

Alexandria Office
703-813-1300 (V/Relay)
703-813-1380 (Fax)
alexandria@vec.state.va.us 

City of Alexandria

Department of Personnel Services
alexandriava.gov/Jobs
703-746-3777 (Voice)
703-838-5035 (TTY)
703-838-3850 (Fax) 

Arlington County 

Human Resources Department
agency.governmentjobs.com/arlington/default.cfm 
703-228-3500 (Voice)
703-228-4613 (TTY)
703-228-3265 (Fax)

Fairfax County 

Department of Human Resources
www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hr 
703-222-5872 (Voice)
703-222-7314 (TTY)
24-Hour Jobline: 703-324-5627 (V)

All applications (unless otherwise noted) must be submitted through the Applicant Information Management System (AIMS).

Loudoun County 

Division of Human Resources
www.loudoun.gov/index.aspx?NID=1098
703-777-0213 (V/TTY)

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Q: What is Schedule A?

A. As defined by the EEOC: "The Schedule A Hiring Authority for people with disabilities (Schedule A) is an exception to the traditional hiring process in the Federal Government. Schedule A streamlines the hiring process for persons with disabilities and, in some instances, hiring officials may select solely from a list of qualified Schedule A applicants.

You can apply using Schedule A if you are a person with an intellectual disability, a severe physical disability, or a psychiatric disability. In order to be selected you will need to show that you meet the qualifications of the job (with or without reasonable accommodation).

To apply using Schedule A, you must submit a letter giving proof of your disability from:

  • Your doctor;
  • A licensed medical professional;
  • A licensed rehabilitation professional; or
  • Any federal, state, District of Columbia, or US territory agency that issues or provides disability benefits."
For more information on Schedule A, please go to www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/abc_applicants_with_disabilities.cfm
 
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Q. What organizations can I contact if I have a discrimination or advocacy complaint?


A. State and federal governments have offices dedicated to serving people with complaints. 

Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy (VOPA): VOPA is the state protection and advocacy agency for persons with disabilities in Virginia and it operates the Client Assistance Program (CAP) which is intended to assist individuals who have problems, complaints or concerns regarding vocational rehabilitation services provided by DRS, CILs or other programs funded under the Rehabilitation Act. You may pursue a complaint under the CAP, the ADA, or under the Virginians with Disabilities Act.

www.vopa.state.va.us 
(804)-225-2042 (V/TTY)
800-552-3962 (Toll-Free in Virginia)
(804)-662-7057 (Fax)
general.vopa@dsa.state.va.us 

ADA Information Center for the Mid-Atlantic Region: The ADA Information Center provides information and technical assistance regarding your employment rights and reasonable accommodations under the ADA.
www.adainfo.org 
(301) 217-0124 (V/TTY)
800-949-4232 (Toll-free V/TTY)
(301) 217-0754 (Fax)

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
www.eeoc.gov 
800-669-4000 (V)
800-669-6820 (TTY)
(202) 419-0740
info@eeoc.gov 

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
www.usdoj.gov 
(202) 514-2000 (V/Relay)
AskDOJ@usdoj.gov 

Information specifically for people with disabilities can be found at www.ada.gov. This includes information about how to file a complaint and toll-free phone numbers for the Americans with Disabilities Act Information Line.

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Employment Resources

ECNV Resources 

The EXCEL! Employment Networking Group: For job seekers with disabilities, this group is led by Robert Rudney. Different topics are discussed each month from Schedule A to interviewing techniques. The group meets the third Thursday of every month. 

Peer Mentoring: ECNV Peer Mentors can help individuals with disabilities with formatting resumes, cover letters, interviewing techniques, and other aspects of the job search on a one-on-one basis. Contact Alexa Mavroidis at alexam@ecnv.org or Tracee Garner at traceeg@ecnv.org or call (703) 525-3268.


Job Boards and Recruitment Programs



Reasonable Accommodations in the Workplace

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

www.askjan.org 
(800) 526-7234 (Voice)
(877) 781-9403 (TTY)
(304) 293-5407 (Fax)
jan@askjan.org 


Informational Videos

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has helpful videos to help individuals with disabilities be strong candidates in the job search. The videos cover topics such as building effective resumes, disclosing your disability, informational interviews, stress management and more. 

Check them out at www.dol.gov/odep/wrp/Videos.htm



SSI/SSDI

The U.S. Social Security Administration
www.ssa.gov 
(800) 772-1213 (Voice)
(800) 325-0778 (TTY)

Ticket to Work Program
www.yourtickettowork.com 
(866) 968-7842 (Voice)
(866) TDD-2WORK (TTY)

vaACCSES
www.vaaccses.org 
703-461-8747 (V/Relay)
(877) 877-2777 (Toll-free V/Relay, outside of NoVa)
703-569-3932 (Fax)
ktefelski@vaaccses.org 


Vocational Rehabilitation

Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS): The Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (DARS) is a government organization that provides services to eligible Virginians with disabilities. DARS generally provides short-term services to Virginia residents but may also purchase long-term vocational services from other organizations. Such services may include job search assistance, job coaching, supported employment, and assistive technology.
www.vadrs.org 

Main Office
8004 Franklin Farms Drive 
Richmond, VA 23229 
(804) 662-7000 (Voice)
(804) 662-9040 (TTY)
(800) 464-9950 (Toll Free TTY)
(804) 662-9532 (Fax)
James.Rothrock@drs.virginia.gov 

Alexandria Office
5904 Old Richmond Highway, Suite 410 
Alexandria, VA 22303 
703-960-3411 (Voice)
703-317-3525 (TTY)
703-960-8950 (Fax)

Fairfax Office 
Main Office for Northern Virginia
11150 Main Street, Suite 300 
Fairfax, VA 22030 
703-359-1124 (Voice)
703-359-1126 (TTY)
703-277-3528 (Fax)

Leesburg Office
722 East Market Street, Suite 105 
Leesburg, VA 20176 
703-771-4775 (V/Relay)
703-771-4746 (Fax)

Persons who are deaf and hard of hearing may also contact: 

Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH)
www.vddhh.org 
1602 Rolling Hills Drive, Suite 203 
Richmond, Virginia 23229-5012 
(804) 662-9502 (V/TTY) 
(800) 552-7917 (Toll-free V/TTY)
frontdsk@vddhh.virginia.gov 

Persons who are blind or have low vision should contact:

Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI)
www.vdbvi.org 
397 Azalea Avenue 
Richmond, VA 23227-3623 
(804) 371-3140 (V/TTY)
(800) 622-2155 (Toll-free in Virginia V/TTY)

Fairfax office 
11150 Fairfax Blvd., Suite 502 
Fairfax, VA 22030 
703-359-1100 (V/TTY)
703-359-1111 (Fax)
timothy.brown@dbvi.virginia.gov 


Employment Resources for Specific Disabilities

Persons who are blind or have low vision

Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI)
www.vdbvi.org 
397 Azalea Avenue 
Richmond, VA 23227-3623 
(804) 371-3140 (V/TTY)
(800) 622-2155 (Toll-free in Virginia V/TTY)

Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind
www.clb.org 
1825 K Street, NW, Suite 110 
Washington, DC 20006 
(202) 454-6400 (V/Relay)
(202) 454-6401 (Fax)
info@clb.org 

American Council of the Blind
www.acb.org 
2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 650 
Arlington, VA 22201 
(800) 424-8666 (V/Relay)
(703) 465-5085 (Fax)
(Please note the Virginia affiliate is www.odcbvi.org

National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
www.nfb.org
200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230 
(410) 659-9314 (V/Relay)
(410) 685-5653 (Fax)
pmaurer@nfb.org 
(Please note the Virginia affiliate is www.nfbv.org)

Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing

Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH)
www.vddhh.org 
1602 Rolling Hills Drive, Suite 203 
Richmond, Virginia 23229-5012 
(804) 662-9502 (V/TTY) 
(800) 552-7917 (Toll-free V/TTY)
(804) 662-9718 (Fax)
frontdsk@vddhh.virginia.gov 

Northern VA Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC )
www.nvrc.org 
3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130 
Fairfax, VA 22030 
703-352-9055 (V)
703-352-9056 (TTY)
703-352-9058 (FAX)
info@nvrc.org 

Persons who have a psychiatric disability

Laurie Mitchell Employment Center 
www.lmec.org 
6295 Edsall Road, Suite 175 
Alexandria, VA 22312 
703-461-3886 (V/Relay)
703-461-8088 (Fax)
info@lmec.org 

Clarendon House
3141 North 10th Street 
Arlington, VA 22201 
703-228-5236 (V/Relay)
rwrigh@arlingtonva.us 


For more resources for specific disabilities, we suggest that you contact your local CIL. Find your local CIL (find yours at www.ilru.org/html/publications/directory/index.html)

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For any questions about the information provided, please contact Alexa Mavroidis at alexam@ecnv.org or Tracee Garner at traceeg@ecnv.org or call us at (703) 525-3268.