Assessment & Accommodation Resources

Assessment & Accommodation Resources

Funding

Vocational Rehabilitation - Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) will pay for some accommodations. Specifically, VR provides services to people with a permanent physical or mental impairment which impedes their ability to work. The person must want to work and be capable of benefiting from VR services to “prepare for, enter into, engage in, regain, or retain gainful (paid) employment.” Priority is often given to people with the most severe disabilities. Since employers are only required to make accommodations for an employee’s job tasks and participation in the workplace, VR will often pay for other related expenses. These include training, personal equipment, and supports needed to help a person get to and from the job. VR will pay only for technology that will help a person achieve his or her employment goals. Certain majors may not be funded if they are not considered employable by the Department of Labor. To look up your Vocational Rehabilitation office, go by your permanent residence rather than your school’s location.

Vocational rehabilitation - Vocational rehabilitation (VR) will pay for some accommodations. Specifically, VR provides services to people with a permanent physical or mental impairment which impedes their ability to work. The person must want to work and be capable of benefiting from VR services to “prepare for, enter into, engage in, regain, or retain gainful (paid) employment.” Priority is often given to people with the most severe disabilities. Since employers are only required to make accommodations for an employee’s job tasks and participation in the workplace, VR will often pay for other related expenses. These include training, personal equipment, and supports needed to help a person get to and from the job. VR will pay only for technology that will help a person achieve his or her employment goals.

Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS) - PASS is a program for people on Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Normally, people can work while on SSI, but will start to lose benefits if they make more than $1000 per month. PASS lets employees set aside income for items needed to achieve a work goal, such as an accessible vehicle, computer, or work tools. Those costs are excluded from income calculations of whether person qualifies for SSI. The goal of the program is to help individuals ultimately get off SSI or reduce their benefits.

Assistive Technology Alternative Financing Programs - In several states, participating credit unions will provide low-interest loans for AT and home and vehicle modifications. The alternative financing program is not available in all states. It is funded under the Assistive Technology Act (1998). Loans can be obtained for personal equipment, home mods, or modified vehicles. However, the program provides loans, not grants. The person needs to have a plan on how to pay back the loan. Therefore, this resource might be best used by a person with a disability who is already employed or by the employed parent of a child with a disability.

Assessment Service Providers & Technical Assistance

Vocational Rehabilitation (and similar state agencies) - These agencies often have in-house or contractual professionals who can provide assessment services. Check with your state offices.

State Assistive Technology Projects - Services vary, but often include technology recycling programs and information about AT financing.

RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering & AT Society of North America) - List of credentialed AT Professionals (ATPs)

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

Resources for Researching Accommodations

assistivetech.net / ATWiki - Database of over 20,000 AT products and articles about different aspects of AT.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) - Free consulting service providing worksite accommodation solutions.

Rehab. Engineering Research Ctr. on Workplace Accommodations (Work RERC) - National center conducting R&D on workplace accommodation issues. Resources include: case study examples, past presentations on our research.

Disaboom - Online disability community.



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