Introduction

Everyone Can Work booklet cover

U.S. citizens are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which outlaws discrimination in the workplace against qualified persons with a disability.

Important details of the Act:

  • Employers covered by the ADA include those with 15 or more employees in the private sector, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions.

  • The law covers all aspects of the employment process including recruitment procedures, hiring, training, promotion, compensation and termination.

  • To be covered by the ADA, you must be considered "qualified" for the job.  "Qualified" applicants/employees are able to perform tasks essential to the job either with or without accommodations.

  • Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for your disability as long as the accommodations do not impose "undue hardships" (such as an unaffordable cost) on your employer.

  • To receive job accommodations or take legal action under the ADA, you must first disclose your disability to your employer and provide official documentation of your disability.

If you feel you are being discriminated against:

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Generally, the EEOC must be contacted within 180 days from when the alleged discrimination takes place. However, some states allow up to 300 days to file a complaint. To file a complaint, call the nearest EEOC office. To find an office, visit www.eeoc.gov/offices.

What are employment accommodations?

According to the Code of Federal Regulation on Reasonable Accommodation (Title 29, Section 1613.704), an employer should make reasonable accommodations for any physical or mental limitations of a qualified applicant or employee unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of its program.

Accomodations include:

  • Making facilities accessible to and usable by people with disabilities
  • Job restructuring
  • Part-time or modified work schedules
  • Acquiring or modifying of equipment or devices
  • Appropriately adjusting or modifying tests
  • Providing readers and interpreters

For more information, visit www.gsa.gov or call 800-333-4636.

West Virginia Advocates (WVA)

WVA's mission is to protect and advocate for the human and legal rights of persons with disabilities. The program's services are confidential and free of charge. Because of limited resources, WVA cannot help everyone who requests services; however, the program's Intake Department gives information and referral to anyone who calls. WVA's acceptance of direct advocacy and legal cases is determined by a variety of criteria.

West Virginia Advocates specialize in:

  • Abuse or neglect
  • Discrimination in housing, transportation or education
  • Denial of services, such as mental health, rehabilitation and support services, or, services of poor quality
  • Problems with Individual Education Plans (IEPs), Individual Plans for Employment (IPEs) or other legally mandated programs
  • Lack of accessibility to public facilities and polling places
  • Denial of assistive technology devices and services
  • Other violations of disability rights

For more information, visit www.wvadvocates.org or call 800-950-5250.

Client Assistance Program (CAP)

The Client Assistance Program (CAP) at West Virginia Advocates can assist you in seeking and receiving services from the Division of Rehabilitation Services or a Center for Independent Living. CAP provides information, advises on rights and responsibilities, teaches self-advocacy skills, investigates complaints, advocates the resolution of problems and helps you achieve your personal vocational and employment goals. CAP also trains groups who want to know more about their rights under the Rehabilitation Act. All services are free and confidential. For more information, call 304-346-0847.

West Virginia Human Rights Commission

The West Virginia Human Rights Commission is the state agency created by the West Virginia Human Rights Act and charged with the responsibility of working to eliminate discrimination in West Virginia. The Commission accepts and investigates claims of employment and public accommodation discrimination. For more information or to file a complaint with the Commission, visit www.wvf.state.wv.us or call 888-676-5546.

Federal Programs

Ability One

The AbilityOne Program (formerly Javits-Wagner-O'Day or JWOD) helps people who are blind or have other severe disabilities find employment.  The program coordinates its activities with nonprofit organizations across the country to employ these individuals and provide goods and services to the federal government at a fair price. For more information, call 703-603-7740 or visit www.abilityone.org.

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

JAN offers an employment fact sheet series containing information about employment and job accommodations. The fact sheets explore accommodations for a variety of disabilities including epilepsy, brain injury, cerebral palsy and many more. For more information, visit www.jan.wvu.edu or call 800-526-7234 (V) or 877-781-9403 (TTY).

Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)

The WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal employers with postsecondary students and recent graduates with disabilities who want summer or permanent jobs. WRP is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense with the participation of many other federal agencies. For more information, visit http://wrp.gov or e-mail wrp@dol.gov.

One-Stop Shops

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) created a new, comprehensive workforce investment system. The cornerstone of the workforce investment system is a One-Stop service delivery that combines training, education and employment programs into a single system in each community.

West Virginia has seven workforce regions. Each has a Workforce Investment Board that oversees the One-Stop operations and other workforce investment activities for that part of the state.

Workforce West Virginia is the name for the Comprehensive One-Stop Centers across the state, including satellite and affiliate sites. For more information and to find the One-Stop near you, visit www.workforcewv.org or call 1-800-252-5627.

 

Randolph Sheppard Vending Facility Program

The Vending Facility Program authorized by the Randolph-Sheppard Act provides persons who are blind with paid employment and self-support through operating vending facilities on federal, state, county, municipal and private property. For more information, visit www.ed.gov/programs/rsarsp/ or call 202-245-7374.

Service Disabled Veterans' Business Association (SDVB)

The SDVB is a non-profit rehabilitation program. SDVB initiates managed employment opportunities for military service people with disabilities and prisoner of war veterans. For more information, visit www.asdv.org/index2.cfm or call 202-543-1942.

Social Security
A Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS)

A plan for your future that lets you use your income or things you own to help you reach your work goals is known as a PASS. To receive a PASS, you must want to work, receive or be eligible for SSI because you have a disability and have other income to use to get a job or start a business. For more information, call a Social Security representative at 800-772-1213 or 800-325-0778 (TTY).

Ticket to Work Program

The Ticket to Work Program is an employment program for people with disabilities who are interested in going to work. The goal of the Ticket Program is to increase opportunities and choices for Social Security disability beneficiaries to obtain employment, vocational rehabilitation (VR) and other support services from public and private providers, employers and other organizations.

Under the Program, the Social Security Administration provides disability beneficiaries with a Ticket they may use to obtain the services and jobs they need from Employment Networks (ENs). For more information, visit www.yourtickettowork.com or call 866-968-7842.

West Virginia State Programs

Center for Excellence in Disabilities (CED)

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Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG)

The MIG Program is developing a strategic plan to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The plan includes improving access to existing services, identifying supports and work incentives that promote competitive employment, increasing economic independence and improving the health of people with disabilities to maximize employment outcomes. For more information, call 304-293-4692.

Medicaid Work Incentives Network (M-WIN)

M-WIN allows for Medicaid's personal care services to be provided outside the home to help individuals with disabilities to go to work.

M-WIN can also prevent loss of health care benefits due to employment. M-WIN has provided affordable health insurance for more than 800 working West Virginians with disabilities in 48 counties. For more information, call 304-293-4692 ext. 1104 or visit mwin.cedwvu.org.

West Virginia AgrAbility

AgrAbility provides information and technical assistance about assistive technology and farm modifications to farmers with disabilities or chronic health conditions to enable them to maintain their self-employment. This project partners with West Virginia University Extension Service and Northern West Virginia Center for Independent Living. For more information, visit agrability.ext.wvu.edu or call 800-841-8436.

West Virginia Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA)

WIPA is a statewide program designed to assist people who receive Social Security benefits and would like to go back to work or increase their work activity. Program staff answers questions about how benefits may change with employment, what choices consumers have in making work and benefits decisions and what other benefits they may be able to receive. For more information, visit wipa.cedwvu.org or call 304-293-4692.

WV Division of Personnel

The West Virginia Division of Personnel is committed to a fair and open employment system, based on merit and free from political interference. The Division of Personnel web site provides links and information about all announced jobs and employment services. For more information or if you have any questions about job requirements, job announcements, posted jobs and the application process, visit www.state.wv.us/admin/personnel/jobs/ or call 304-558-3950.

Job Squad, Inc. (JSI)

JSI is a nonprofit company that provides employment opportunities, training and supports for people with physical, developmental or psychiatric disabilities. Whether the individual works on a government contract or at a community business, JSI provides the job training and supports. For more information, visit www.jobsquadinc.org or call 304-848-0850.

Mountain State Centers for Independent Living (MTSTCIL)

MTSTCIL offers a supported employment program for people with disabilities who need support on the job. A supported employment coordinator serves as a job developer and job coach for individuals seeking employment. The coordinator assists individuals in locating jobs that fit their needs and working with coworkers to help them work more efficiently together. For more information, visit www.mtstcil.org or call 866-687-8245.

 

WorkforceWV Employment Service

Employment service offers special placement techniques to match the physical and mental demands of a job to the capabilities of workers with disabilities. These services are given by Job Service in cooperation with other community agencies and include counseling and special placement assistance. For more information and to find the office for your region, visit www.wvworkforce.com or call 866-424-7271.

West Virginia Assistive Technology System

The West Virginia Assistive Technology System (WVATS) offers a variety of services for individuals who are transitioning into employment, higher education and community living options. WVATS provides information to individuals through a toll-free information and referral hotline, devices for individuals to 'try before they buy' in their new settings and demonstrations and evaluations of equipment that individuals may be able to use to make their transition easier. For more information, call 800-841-8436 or visit www.cedwvu.org/programs/wvats.

WVATS Assistive Technology Loans

West Virginia Assistive Technology System (WVATS) operates a short-term loan program that can be useful to individuals who need assistive technology for an employment accommodation. Individuals with disabilities and employers can borrow the devices for 30 days to try them out before buying them. The loan library has several devices that can be used to maintain or gain employment including augmentative communication devices, computer peripherals and cognitive aids.

West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)

Job Seeking Skills: DRS provides small group or individualized training in preparing resumes, completing job applications, networking to find jobs, interviewing and developing other skills necessary in your job search. Your counselor and/or employment specialist will help you become job ready.

Job Development: DRS offers job placement services to match you with the right job. Employment specialists will work with you to develop a job or use programs such as on-the-job training to develop marketable skills while working.

Employment Attendant Care: This program is designed to assist persons with significant disabilities to enter or continue in the workforce. This service will continue as long as needed while the individual is employed.

Supported Employment: DRS can coordinate intensive job-site training and support to help you perform your job duties. These activities will be provided until you are established in your job, know your tasks and can perform them with little or no assistance.

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State Selective Placement Program: The West Virginia Division of Personnel, in cooperation with DRS, has established a special position specific assessment and certification procedure for applicants with significant disabilities. Employment specialists can help you review job qualifications, assess your ability to perform the essential functions of the job and prepare you for the job interview.

Services for People who are Blind or have Low Vision:

Field Services: Individuals who want to work in an integrated job setting meet with a rehabilitation counselor who is specifically trained to provide services for their needs. Services may vary from vocational assessments, pre-vocational training, counseling and guidance, vocational guidance, job training, adaptive technology, job analysis and modifications, job placement, services to employers and much more.

Life Skills for the Blind: The Life Skills Unit for the Blind provides individualized training in a variety of pre-vocational and vocational areas. Training includes orientation and mobility, adaptive communication, domestic arts, adaptive activities of daily living, computer training with accessible technology and braille. Program content is customized to meet the specific needs of each student.

Services for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late Deafened and Deaf-Blind:

A wide range of services for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened or deaf-blind are available. Rehabilitation counselors for the deaf are experienced sign language users and have extensive knowledge of deaf culture, hearing loss in general and needs that are specific to individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.

These specialized counselors assist clients with significant hearing losses with rehabilitation services such as counseling and guidance, vocational guidance, and assessment and training. They also provide community education and technical assistance to organizations involved with job training, job placement and employment of persons who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Education Program: Transition services assist students to move from school to the world of work and adult life. DRS works with students, families, schools and community agencies to provide services to support a successful transition from school to work. Your DRS counselor will work with you, your family and your teachers as you develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). The IPE identifies what steps you need to take to reach your goals for meaningful employment, responsible adult life and maximum independence after completing school.

Selecting the right kind of career that matches your interest and disability can be challenging. Your DRS counselor may assist you with specialized training, adaptive equipment, job-place modifications, and/or overcoming other obstacles to employment.

For more information about these programs, visit www.wvdrs.org or call 800-642-8207.

Client Assistance Program (CAP)

The Client Assistance Program (CAP) at West Virginia Advocates can assist you in seeking and receiving services from the Division of Rehabilitation Services or a Center for Independent Living. CAP provides information, advises on rights and responsibilities, teaches self-advocacy skills, investigates complaints, advocates the resolution of problems and helps you achieve your personal vocational and employment goals. CAP also trains groups who want to know more about their rights under the Rehabilitation Act. All services are free and confidential. For more information, call 304-346-0847.

Online Resources

a photo of a mom and her little girl looking up information on the computer. the mom is using a wheelchair

ABILITYjobs

This site enables people with disabilities to enhance their professional lives by providing a system for finding employment. For more information, visit www.abilityjobs.com.

About.com-Resources for People with Disabilities

Resources for people with disabilities include disability insurance, workers compensation and career and employment information. For more information, visit jobsearch.about.com/od/disabilities.

America's Career InfoNet

InfoNet provides links to occupational requirements and trends, labor market conditions, employer contacts nationwide and a career resource library. For more information, visit www.acinet.org.

America's Job Bank

The Job Bank offers job seekers a place to post a resume or search for job openings and a place for employers to post job listings. For more information, visit www.ajb.dni.us.

Bookshare.org

Bookshare.org provides digital books, including the Employment and Career Development Collection from Lighthouse International to United States citizens who have visual or other print disabilities that prevent reading standard print. The site offers individual and school subscriptions. For more information, visit www.bookshare.org.

Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (COSD)

COSD focuses on employing college graduates with disabilities through a consortium of universities, employers and federal government agencies. For more information, visit www.cosdonline.org.

Career, technical and vocational education

This web site provides links to general information about vocational education, career and technical education and workforce preparation. For more information, visit www.khake.com/page50.

Career Voyages

This web site provides links for students, parents, career changers and career advisors to explore career options. For more information, visit www.careervoyages.gov.

Disability and the workplace

This web site includes links to information on workplace issues such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, disability listservs, job hunting, law and legislation, organizations and statistics. For more information, visit www.ilr.cornell.edu/library/subjectGuides/disabilityAndTheWorkplace.html.

Disability.gov

This web site offers a comprehensive online resource designed to provide people with disabilities with quick and easy access to the information they need. With just a few clicks, the site provides access to disability-related information and programs available across the government on numerous subjects, including employment. For more information, visit www.disability.gov and click on employment.

Disability statistics

This web site provides demographic and employment statistics on people with disabilities in the United States and links to international sources for this information in foreign countries. For more information, visit www.ilr.cornell.edu/ped/DisabilityStatistics/index.cfm.

Diversity World Disability Network Newsletter (D-NET)

D-NET features resources and articles that promote employment for individuals with disabilities. Sign up for the newsletter at www.diversityworld.com/Disability/newsletter.

The Employer Assistance & Recruiting Network (EARN)

EARN is a free service that connects employers looking for quality employees with skilled job candidates. Visit EARN's Job Source to find job openings based on your location and desired occupation. More tips and tools for job seekers are also available through EARN's Web site. For more information, visit www.earnworks.com.

eSight Careers Network

This web site provides information on disability employment issues and lists job postings. For more information, visit www.esight.org/index.cfm.

Family Village: Employment Resources for People with Disabilities

Family Village provides links to employment-related organizations and publications. For more information, visit www.familyvillage.wisc.edu/general/employmt.htm.

Family Village: Transition and the Internet

This Family Village web page includes links to general transition information, career-interest inventories, health and legal information and support for youth and young adults. For more information, visit www.familyvillage.wisc.edu/sp/trans.html.

Federal Employment for People with Disabilities

This web site contains information for potential applicants on how to get a federal job, how positions are filled, how reasonable accommodations are made and includes resources that can help you with a wide range of issues that pertain to the Federal employment of adults with disabilities. For more information, visit www.opm.gov/disability/appempl.asp.

Healthy and Ready to Work

This network of advanced home employment has a home employment database. For more information, visit www.hrtw.org.

JobAccess

This web site provides a free service for people with disabilities to search for jobs online and to post resumes for companies to browse. For more information, visit www.jobaccess.org.

National Telecommuting Institute (NTI)

NTI is an educational/job-matching organization that provides telework jobs for Americans with disabilities. NTI brings together employers who have agreed to "go virtual" and vocational rehabilitation agencies to enable individuals with disabilities to work on-line.

NTI prepares qualified individuals with disabilities primarily for work as customer service representatives, but also as technical support agents and medical transcriptionists. For more information, visit www.nticentral.org.

PACER Center: Employment Strategies for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities

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PACER offers links to topics such as preparing for employment, vocational rehabilitation and other publications. For more information, visit www.pacer.org.

RecruitABILITY

This site offers resume posting, job posting and resume searching free of charge to individuals and corporations. For more information, visit www.disabledperson.com.

USA.gov Jobs, Education and Volunteerism

The Jobs, Education and Volunteerism section of USA.gov has information on education and training, finding a job, government jobs, public service and volunteer opportunities and workplace issues.

  • Education and Training

    Education and training resources on the web site include information on primary, secondary and higher education; adult, vocational and special education; financial aid; and job training and literacy resources. For more information about education and training, visit www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Education_Training/Education.shtml

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  • Finding a Job

    This part of the site has several resources to help you find a job including choosing a career, building a resume, applying for jobs and becoming self-employed. This site also has links to federal, state, local, military and volunteer opportunities available from the U.S. Government. For more information about finding a job, visit www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Education_Training/Finding_Jobs.shtml

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  • Public Service and Volunteer Resources

    Public service and volunteer resources are available on the USA.gov web site. The site allows you to learn more about government and public service; donate goods and money; and give blood or volunteer your time. For more information about public service and volunteer resources, visit www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/PublicService.shtml

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  • Workplace Issues

    The workplace issue section of USA.gov provides resources including laws, regulations and information related to employment. Some topics addressed include family and medical leave, labor relations, the minimum wage, workers' compensation and workplace safety. For more information about workplace issues, visit www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Education_Training/Workplace.shtml.

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USAJOBS.gov

The official site for current federal jobs, USAJOBS is provided at no cost and offers information on thousands of U.S. Government job opportunities worldwide. Users can post resumes or search for federal jobs. To find a job, visit www.usajobs.gov.

US Business Leadership Network (USBLN)

The USBLN supports the development and expansion of Business Leadership Networks across the country to promote best practices in hiring, retaining and marketing to people with disabilities. For more information, visit www.usbln.com.

National Organizations

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American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

AAPD administers an academic internship program through the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars as well as summer congressional and information technology internships for college students with disabilities.

AAPD manages an annual Disability Mentoring Day to promote career development for students and job-seekers with disabilities though job shadowing and hands-on career exploration.

Principal Publication: "AAPD News," quarterly. For more information, call 800-840-8844 or visit www.aapd-dc.org.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

This organization places students with disabilities in paid summer internships in private industry and government agencies in science, engineering, mathematics, computer science and some fields of business. For more information, call 202-326-6649 voice TTY 202-371-9849 or visit www.entrypoint.org.

American Council of the Blind (ACB)

The ACB lists nationwide job announcements in the on-line ACB Job Bank and presents an on-line "eSight Disability Employment Resource of the Day" that offers articles on employment issues. ACB has special-interest organization affiliations, including ACB Government Employees, Blind Information Technology Specialists and Independent Visually-Impaired Enterprisers.

ACB publishes "Journeys to Prosperity: Guidance for Prospective Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs" in braille, large print and on audiocassette.

Principal Publication: "Braille Forum," 10 issues/year. For more information, call 800-424-8666 or visit www.acb.org/acbjobs/index.html.

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

AFB maintains a database of career information searchable by job titles, occupational categories or interest areas. AFB offers MentorMatch, an on-line service that pairs people searching for a career with a mentor who is blind or visually impaired and working in the desired field of employment.

Principal Publications: "Access World," bi-monthly, on-line, and "Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness," monthly. For more information, call 212-502-7600 or visit www.afb.org/careerconnect.

Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)

ACTE works to advance education that prepares youth and adults for careers. ACTE maintains an on-line Career Center for students and parents to explore careers and search the job bank. ACTE provides an on-line Resource Center for members to submit lesson plans and information requests and to share on electronic discussion boards and sponsors the annual observance of Career and Technical Education Week.

Principal Publication: "Techniques," 8 issues/year. For more information, call 800-826-9972 or visit www.acteonline.org.

Association for Persons in Supported Employment (APSE)

The Association for Persons in Supported Employment is a membership organization that improves and expands integrated employment opportunities, services and outcomes for persons with disabilities.

APSE provides advocacy and education to individuals in supported employment, their families and the professionals who work with them. It also promotes national, state and local policy development that enhances inclusion and empowerment of people with severe disabilities.

Principal Publication: "The Advance," quarterly. For more information, call 804-278-9187 or visit www.apse.org.

Disabled Businesspersons Association

The Disabled Businesspersons Association is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to assisting enterprising individuals with disabilities maximize their potential in the business world. It works with vocational rehabilitation, government and business to encourage the participation and enhance the performance of people with disabilities in the workforce. For more information, visit www.disabledbusiness.com.

Goodwill Industries International, Inc.

Goodwill serves people with workplace disadvantages and disabilities. Goodwill provides job training and employment services, job placement opportunities and post-employment support.

Principal Publication: "Working!," in print and on-line. For more information, call 301-530-6500 or visit www.goodwill.org.

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET)

The NCSET provides technical assistance and disseminates information for youth with disabilities and their families that focuses on making a successful transition from the secondary education curriculum to meaningful employment and independent living.

NCSET fosters development of partnerships at the national and state level with a National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth).

Principal Publication: "E-News," bi-monthly, via e-mail. For more information, call 612-624-2097 or visit www.ncset.org.

National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

The NFB maintains America's Jobline for individuals who are blind. They can access America's Job Bank (www.ajb.org) with a touch-tone telephone. NFB provides this free service in 25 states, 24 hours a day. Users are prompted to create a password, job profile and resume that can be sent to an employer via the telephone.

The NFB offers employment seminars and networking opportunities through divisions such as Human Services Division, National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs and National Association of Blind Merchants.

The National Center for Mentoring Excellence is a five-year demonstration project to develop a model mentoring program for youth, ages 16 to 26, who are blind or visually impaired.

Principal Publication: "Braille Monitor," 11 issues/year. For more information, call 800-414-5748 or visit www.nfb.org/jobline/enter.htm.

United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Center for Veterans Enterprise

This site serves as the federal web portal for veterans in business and provides links to sites that give information on veteran-owned businesses, starting a business, funding, marketing and mentoring. For more information, visit www.vetbiz.gov or call your local Veteran's Affairs Office.

Self Employment & Small Business

Entrepreneurship is an exciting opportunity for people with disabilities to realize their full potential while becoming financially self-supporting. Some of the benefits of self-employment or small business ownership include working at home, controlling your work schedule and the independence that comes from making your own decisions.

For individuals with disabilities, self-employment often means that work can take place in a disability- friendly environment and with flexible hours. However, starting a business is not for everyone. It requires a significant commitment of time, energy and resources. In addition, the individual must have some marketable skills or a product or service with a demonstrated market demand.

Any person pursuing business ownership must be prepared to make personal sacrifices and must be willing to learn the "how to's" of starting and successfully managing a business enterprise. To learn more about what starting a business entails, check out the resources in the following pages.

General Resources for Self-Employment

The Abilities Fund

The Abilities Fund is the first and only nationwide community developer and financial institution targeted exclusively to advancing entrepreneurial opportunities for Americans with disabilities. For more information, call 866-720-3863 or visit www.abilitiesfund.org.

Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)

Self Employment Services
New opportunities are available for people with disabilities to start small businesses. Clients must develop and receive approval of a business plan to receive self-employment assistance from DRS.

Self Employment Options Randolph Sheppard Program
Provides self employment opportunities for individuals who are legally blind in food service venues on federal, state and private property.

For more information about these programs, visit www.wvdrs.org or call 800-642-8207.

Service Disabled Veterans' Business Association (SDVB)

The SDVB is a certified non-profit rehabilitation program. It utilizes federal government procurement requirements to initiate managed employment (ME) opportunities for service disabled and prisoner of war veterans (SDV). For more information, visit www.asdv.org/index2.cfm.

The Small Business and Self Employment Center (SBSES)

The SBSES is a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the U.S. Department of Labor that provides information, counseling and referrals about self-employment and small business ownership opportunities for people with disabilities. SBSES, located at the Job Accommodation Network, is available through JAN's toll-free number at 800-526-7234 (V) or 877-781-9403 (TTY) or by visiting http://janweb.icdi.wvu.edu/sbses/.

A Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS)

A plan for your future that lets you use your income or things you own to help you reach your work goals. To receive a PASS, you must want to work, receive or be eligible for SSI because you have a disability and have other income to use to start a business. For more information, call a Social Security representative at 800-772-1213 or 800-325-0778 (TTY).

Resources on How to Start a Business

Business.gov

Business.gov is the U.S. Government's official web site for small businesses. Business.gov provides access to federal, state and local information that helps business owners successfully start and operate while staying compliant with laws and regulations.

Business.gov saves small businesses time and money by providing access to federal, state and local resources from a single web site, making government more transparent and accessible. Small business owners no longer need to visit multiple web sites to find government programs, forms, contacts and guidance with laws and regulations. For more information, visit www.business.gov.

Business Plan Resources

The Job Accommodations Network (JAN) provides resources on how to develop a business plan to work through all the factors that will have an impact on business development. JAN resources focus on the successful start-up, operation and management of a business. For more information, visit www.jan.wvu.edu/entre/busplan.htm or call 800-526-7234.

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

The Catalog is a government-wide guide of federal programs, projects, services and activities that provide assistance or benefits to the public. The catalog contains financial and non-financial assistance programs administered by departments and establishments of the federal government. For more information, call 800-669-8331 or visit www.cfda.gov.

Center for Economic Options, Inc.

The Center is a non-profit, statewide, community-based organization that promotes opportunities to develop the economic capacity of West Virginia's rural citizens, particularly women and communities. For more information, call 304-345-1298 or visit www.centerforeconomicoptions.org.

Chamber of Commerce for Individuals with DisAbilities (CCID)

The Chamber is a national consumer volunteer organization that uses business principles to improve the economic status of individuals with disabilities, who are disadvantaged or who are unemployed.

CCID's 'Social Entrepreneurial' Business Model is not offering a "hand-out," but simply a "hand-up" by enabling disAbled, disadvantaged and unemployed individual members who one day may want to operate their own home-based Internet business. For more information, Visit www.chamber4us.org.

Resources on How to Start a Business

Business.gov

Business.gov is the U.S. Government's official web site for small businesses. Business.gov provides access to federal, state and local information that helps business owners successfully start and operate while staying compliant with laws and regulations.

Business.gov saves small businesses time and money by providing access to federal, state and local resources from a single web site, making government more transparent and accessible. Small business owners no longer need to visit multiple web sites to find government programs, forms, contacts and guidance with laws and regulations. For more information, visit www.business.gov.

Business Plan Resources

The Job Accommodations Network (JAN) provides resources on how to develop a business plan to work through all the factors that will have an impact on business development. JAN resources focus on the successful start-up, operation and management of a business. For more information, visit www.jan.wvu.edu/entre/busplan.htm or call 800-526-7234.

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

The Catalog is a government-wide guide of federal programs, projects, services and activities that provide assistance or benefits to the public. The catalog contains financial and non-financial assistance programs administered by departments and establishments of the federal government. For more information, call 800-669-8331 or visit www.cfda.gov.

Center for Economic Options, Inc.

The Center is a non-profit, statewide, community-based organization that promotes opportunities to develop the economic capacity of West Virginia's rural citizens, particularly women and communities. For more information, call 304-345-1298 or visit www.centerforeconomicoptions.org.

Chamber of Commerce for Individuals with DisAbilities (CCID)

The Chamber is a national consumer volunteer organization that uses business principles to improve the economic status of individuals with disabilities, who are disadvantaged or who are unemployed.

CCID's 'Social Entrepreneurial' Business Model is not offering a "hand-out," but simply a "hand-up" by enabling disAbled, disadvantaged and unemployed individual members who one day may want to operate their own home-based Internet business. For more information, Visit www.chamber4us.org.

Disability and Self-Employment: A Formula for Success

This employment brief provides resources and information regarding self-employment for individuals with disabilities. For more information, visit www.ntac.hawaii.edu/products/briefs/.

Entrepreneurship: Federal Government Resources

This site provided by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) features a list of contact information for federal government resources that provide assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs. For more information, visit www.jan.wvu.edu or call 800-526-7234.

Minority Business Development Agency

The U.S. Department of Commerce Office provides business development services to minority entrepreneurs. The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and is the only federal agency created specifically to foster the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses in America. For more information, visit www.mbda.gov or call 888-324-1551.

Patriot Express Pilot Loan

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the SBA's Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative for veterans and members of the military community wanting to establish or expand small businesses. Eligible military community members include:

  • Veterans
  • Service-disabled veterans
  • Active-duty service members eligible for the military's Transition Assistance Program
  • Reservists and National Guard members
  • Current spouses of any of the above
  • The widowed spouse of a service member or veteran who died during service or of a service-connected disability

For more information or to take a self-assessment to see if you qualify, visit www.sba.gov or call 800-827-5722.

SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business"

SCORE offers free and confidential small business advice to entrepreneurs. SCORE is a nonprofit organization that partners with the U.S. Small Business Association to offer small business advice and training. For more information, visit www.score.org.

Self-Employment E-group Discussion

A Diversity World networking forum promotes the development of more self-employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Entrepreneurs with disabilities, and individuals or organizations that are interested or have a role in self-employment, can post comments and questions and promote related events, publications, organizations and similar resources. Visit the e-group at groups.yahoo.com/group/pwd_self-employment.

Self-Employment, Telecommuting & Establishing a Small Business as Employment Outcomes

This resource provides technical assistance information from the U.S. Department of Education regarding small business development and entrepreneurship for people with disabilities. For more information, visit www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guide/rsa/tac-2000.html.

West Virginia Department of Economic Development

The Department of Economic Development provides information on West Virginia's demographics, an on-line database with a complete listing of available locations and buildings available for businesses and an on-line business registration process. For more information, call 800-982-3386 or visit www.wvdo.org.

West Virginia Purchasing Bulletin

In the Bulletin, you will find a list of competitive bidding opportunities for registered vendors. The list is updated weekly and is the fastest way to find out about the latest Request For Quotations and Request For Proposals that are estimated to exceed $25,000. For more information, visit www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/ or call 304-558-2538 ext 213.

West Virginia Secretary of State
Starting a Business in West Virginia

The West Virginia Secretary of State web site has a "Start a New Business" feature that allows you to register on-line, choose a business type, reserve a name, download forms and find additional licensing requirements. For more information, visit www.wvsos.com/common/startbusiness.htm.

West Virginia Small Business Development Center (WVSBDC)

The WVSBDC promotes economic development and offers many free services that assist entrepreneurs in West Virginia. WVSBDC provides financial help and consulting. For more information, call 888-982-7232 or visit www.sbdcwv.org.

"Going into Business in West Virginia":

"Going into Business in West Virginia" is a document published by the West Virginia Small Business Development Center to help get your business up and running. This document is available in PDF format at www.sbdcwv.org.

Disability and Self-Employment: A Formula for Success

This employment brief provides resources and information regarding self-employment for individuals with disabilities. For more information, visit www.ntac.hawaii.edu/products/briefs/.

Entrepreneurship: Federal Government Resources

This site provided by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) features a list of contact information for federal government resources that provide assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs. For more information, visit www.jan.wvu.edu or call 800-526-7234.

Minority Business Development Agency

The U.S. Department of Commerce Office provides business development services to minority entrepreneurs. The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and is the only federal agency created specifically to foster the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses in America. For more information, visit www.mbda.gov or call 888-324-1551.

Patriot Express Pilot Loan

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the SBA's Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative for veterans and members of the military community wanting to establish or expand small businesses. Eligible military community members include:

  • Veterans
  • Service-disabled veterans
  • Active-duty service members eligible for the military's Transition Assistance Program
  • Reservists and National Guard members
  • Current spouses of any of the above
  • The widowed spouse of a service member or veteran who died during service or of a service-connected disability

For more information or to take a self-assessment to see if you qualify, visit www.sba.gov or call 800-827-5722.

SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business"

SCORE offers free and confidential small business advice to entrepreneurs. SCORE is a nonprofit organization that partners with the U.S. Small Business Association to offer small business advice and training. For more information, visit www.score.org.

Self-Employment E-group Discussion

A Diversity World networking forum promotes the development of more self-employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Entrepreneurs with disabilities, and individuals or organizations that are interested or have a role in self-employment, can post comments and questions and promote related events, publications, organizations and similar resources. Visit the e-group at groups.yahoo.com/group/pwd_self-employment.

Self-Employment, Telecommuting & Establishing a Small Business as Employment Outcomes

This resource provides technical assistance information from the U.S. Department of Education regarding small business development and entrepreneurship for people with disabilities. For more information, visit www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guide/rsa/tac-2000.html.

West Virginia Department of Economic Development

The Department of Economic Development provides information on West Virginia's demographics, an on-line database with a complete listing of available locations and buildings available for businesses and an on-line business registration process. For more information, call 800-982-3386 or visit www.wvdo.org.

West Virginia Purchasing Bulletin

In the Bulletin, you will find a list of competitive bidding opportunities for registered vendors. The list is updated weekly and is the fastest way to find out about the latest Request For Quotations and Request For Proposals that are estimated to exceed $25,000. For more information, visit www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/ or call 304-558-2538 ext 213.

West Virginia Secretary of State
Starting a Business in West Virginia

The West Virginia Secretary of State web site has a "Start a New Business" feature that allows you to register on-line, choose a business type, reserve a name, download forms and find additional licensing requirements. For more information, visit www.wvsos.com/common/startbusiness.htm.

West Virginia Small Business Development Center (WVSBDC)

The WVSBDC promotes economic development and offers many free services that assist entrepreneurs in West Virginia. WVSBDC provides financial help and consulting. For more information, call 888-982-7232 or visit www.sbdcwv.org.

"Going into Business in West Virginia":

"Going into Business in West Virginia" is a document published by the West Virginia Small Business Development Center to help get your business up and running. This document is available in PDF format at www.sbdcwv.org.

Resources for Small Businesses

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  Primer for Small Businesses

stock photo of paper

This primer provides an overview of the basic requirements of Title I of the ADA and information about tax incentives for hiring and retaining qualified individuals with disabilities. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to all businesses with 15 or more employees, this handbook is intended primarily for businesses with 15 to 100 employees and smaller businesses expecting to expand to have at least 15 employees in the near future. This handout provides an easy-to-read, overview of the basic employment provisions of the ADA as they relate to employees and job applicants. To access the primer, visit www.eeoc.gov/ada/adahandbook.html.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  Tax Incentives Packet

This packet contains information from the U.S. Department of Justice to help small businesses understand and take advantage of the tax credits and deductions available for complying with the ADA and making businesses more accessible. To access the packet, visit www.ada.gov/taxpack.htm.

Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)

AEO provides members with a forum, information and a voice to promote enterprise opportunity for people and communities with limited access to economic resources. For more information, visit www.microenterpriseworks.org or call 703-841-7760.