Employment Resources

Finding a job can be an intimidating thought, especially when you are not sure where to start. Rhode Island has several programs available to help Rhode Islanders with disabilities get back to the workplace. Options range from the Vocational Rehabilitation Program offered by the RI Office of Rehabilitation Services to the Veterans' Recruitment Appointment, to the Rhode Island Business Leadership Network. There are also several Federal programs and credits available, that allow you to get back to work without losing your benefits. Below are only some of the options available. For more information regarding these programs, please contact Elisabeth Hubbard at 401-462-0110

The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program is a public state and federally funded program that assists individuals with disabilities to choose, prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment. Employment being the successful outcome of services provided through the public vocational rehabilitation program. It is expected that individuals with disabilities who apply for services are interested in becoming employed and understand that this is the focus of the VR program.
To be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, you must - 1) have a physical, intellectual or emotional impairment which is a substantial barrier to employment, and 2) require vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment, and 3) be able to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of an employment outcome. If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your vocational rehabilitation office will presume that you are eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.

Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired provides eligible individuals with visual impairments the opportunities and support that will enable them to become independent, active, self-sustaining members of their community.
To be eligible for services, you must be visually impaired, with acuity of 20/60 or less in the better eye with correction, or a field loss of twenty degrees or less in the better eye.

Disabled American Veterans-RI is the National Service Office that assists veterans and their families in filing claims for VA disability compensation and pension, vocational rehabilitation, and employment. Their job search program works to protect and promote veterans’ employment through legislative efforts.

Accommodation Information by Disability: A-Z provides information on impairments, as well as accommodation ideas and organizations that you can contact.

Searchable Online Accommodations Resources (SOAR) designed to let users explore various accommodation options for people with disabilities in work and educational settings. These accommodation ideas are not all inclusive. If you do not find answers to your questions, please contact JAN directly. The staff of experienced consultants is happy to discuss specific accommodation needs in a confidential manner.

Hire Disability Solutions provides comprehensive career services to facilitate employment for people with disabilities, veterans, their family members, and others who face challenges in their lives.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides free consulting services for individuals with physical or intellectual limitations that affect employment. Services include one-on-one consultation about job accommodation ideas, requesting and negotiating accommodations, and rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related laws. Although JAN does not help individuals find employment, JAN does provide information for job seekers.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws (20 employees in age discrimination cases). Most labor unions and employment agencies are also covered. The laws apply to all types of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits.

Human Rights Commission enforces the Rhode Island antidiscrimination laws in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodation, and delivery of services. Through impartial investigation, formal and informal resolution efforts, predetermination conferences and administrative hearings, the Commission seeks to ensure due process for both complainants (charging parties) and respondents (those against whom charges are filed), to provide redress for victims of discrimination, and to properly dismiss cases against businesses and individual respondents when charges of discrimination lack evidentiary support. 

Disability:IN is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Our network of over 400 corporations expands opportunities for people with disabilities across enterprises. Our central office and 25 Affiliates serve as the collective voice to effect change for people with disabilities in business.

The Sherlock Center, founded at Rhode Island College in 1993, is a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). UCEDDs are evidence driven and designed to advance policies, practices and research that improve the health, education, social and economic well-being of people with disabilities, their families, and their communities. The Sherlock Center is also a LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) Program.

Disability Rights Rhode Island

CLIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (CAP)

CAP provides advocacy to individuals with disabilities applying for or receiving services from vocational rehabilitation, independent living, and services for the blind and visually impaired. DRRI can advocate for the employment rights (Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act) of vocational rehabilitation clients.

PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY FOR BENEFICIARIES OF SOCIAL SECURITY (PABSS) PROGRAM

PABSS provides advocacy to individuals receiving Social Security disability benefits who are seeking to secure, maintain, or regain employment.  In addition to helping beneficiaries seeking to use Social Security Administration (SSA) work incentives, DRRI can also assist with a wide array of legal issues that may constitute a barrier to employment.

RI Governor's Workforce Board

Work Immersion is an internship support program available to Rhode Island employers. It was established pursuant to Rhode Island General Law § 42-102-11 and is designed to boost the employment prospects of new and returning workers (i.e., eligible students and unemployed or underemployed adults) through meaningful paid work experiences. It provides a 50% or 75% reimbursement for wages paid to eligible participants. All Rhode Island employers who meet the eligibility requirements outlined in the program guide may apply. See below links for more information.

https://gwb.ri.gov/sites/g/files/xkgbur746/files/2022-03/2022-work-immersion-program-guide.pdf

Work Immersion Program Information- https://gwb.ri.gov/programs-services/work-immersion