Job discrimination against people with disabilities is still rampant. While the general employment rate is 70%, only 29% of people with disabilities are employed full or part-time. The employment gap is greater in New York City than it is at the State or national level. Moreover, people with disabilities are largely segregated into low-wage occupations.
There are several State programs that help train and prepare people with disabilities to be ready for employment.
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- Adult and Career and Continuing Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) assists individuals with disabilities to achieve and maintain employment and to support independent living through training, education, rehabilitation, and career development.
- Another State program is the New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB). It provides vocational rehabilitation and other direct services to legally blind New York State residents, including children, adults, and elderly persons. One of NYSCB’s primary objectives is to assist participants in achieving economic self-sufficiency and full integration into society. NYSCB offers these services from seven district offices across the state.
- The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is focused on a simple yet incredibly important mission: helping people with developmental disabilities live richer lives. OPWDD’s vision includes supporting individuals with developmental disabilities to fully participate in their communities through employment. They value the abilities and talents each person has to contribute, and they offer a variety of supports and resources which assist individuals to achieve their employment goals.
- Although the New York State Office of Mental Health doesn’t train provide vocational rehabilitation services to assist with employment, it is an Equal Opportunity Employer. OMH is committed to providing equal employment opportunity, and reasonable accommodations and/or modifications as necessary, for qualified people with disabilities. Visit the New York State Workers with Disabilities Program for more information on specialized programs designed to help place individuals with disabilities in State jobs.
- Throughout the City, there are employment centers known as Workforce1 Career Centers. They prepare and help all New Yorkers find jobs by helping write resumes and having interviewing workshops, training local residents to acquire skills in growing fields, and connecting job seekers to employers with open positions. Although Workforce1 doesn’t specify that it serves people with disabilities, you have a choice whether you want to seek assistance from ACCES-VR or Workforce1 Career Centers or both.