Barriers to employment exist, but for someone with a disability, these barriers may seem insurmountable. However, with a job accommodation, a person with a disability can perform the essential functions of their job efficiently and productively.
Job accommodations are adjustments to a job or work environment that makes it possible for an individual with a disability to perform their job duties. Job accommodations can vary depending on an individual’s needs. Some may need special equipment in order to use a computer, while others may require extra breaks or a change in routine processes, related to the disability. ADEN Members provide individualized counseling on how to request these types of accommodations.
When a beneficiary assigns their Ticket to the American Dream Employment Network (ADEN), they are signing up for expertise, advocacy and support. This support doesn’t stop after someone starts their job. When a Ticket Holder chooses to assign his/her Ticket to Work to ADEN, they can stay connected to ADEN through the Ticket program for up to five to seven years to ensure a smooth transition to work, continued advisement about Social Security disability benefits, work incentives and job accommodations.
John Glass of Hollywood, Florida assigned his Ticket to ADEN with ADEN affiliate, ARC Broward, in 2018. John worked with Jody Ellis, a Certified Work Incentive Practitioner, and got a job soon after his Ticket was first assigned and worked as an engineer in a warehouse successfully for many years, resulting in his SSA disability benefits check stopped. However, as the demands of his job changed, John realized he needed to find a job that was not detrimental to his health. Luckily, Jody was able to get John’s SSA benefits check reinstated while he spent time looking for a new job. John knew, with his next job, he would need some accommodations from his employer. John succeeded and was hired on as a Maintenance Supervisor for a food service distributor. Jody says that John “learned to have a direct, open and honest conversation about his limitations, yet assured his employer that he could perform the essential job functions.” This key strategy allowed John to work successfully while also granting him the ability to sit, rest, limit heavy lifting, including team lift assists – all necessary to address his health condition. With accommodations in place for John’s medical condition, he is now able to perform his job while meeting his employer’s expectations.
Another accommodation example is Chris Mercado of Canton, Michigan. Chris receives services from Amy Tait, an employment/benefits advisor from SignIFICANT LLC. SignIFICANT is an ADEN Member from Michigan who specifically works to break barriers and build communities for the deaf/hard of hearing. Chris began working in April 2021 and would often connect with Amy for support on the job. During these conversations, Chris mentioned that he was struggling to understand some of the processes for his job, since he is deaf and English is not his first language. Amy recommended using Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) as an option for Chris. Amy worked directly with Chris’s employer to assist and coach them with getting VRI set up. The employer was receptive and supportive of taking this action to accommodate Chris’ disability. Amy says Chris “is inspiring because he never gives up. He communicates openly about his needs and concerns and accepts advice and feedback. He has shown great strength in his ability to set goals and work together as a team with SignIFICANT and his employer to help him achieve his goals.”
To learn more about job accommodations, visit the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) website. JAN provides free consulting services for all employees, regardless of the medical condition. Services include one-on-one consultation about all aspects of job accommodations, including the accommodations process, accommodation ideas, product vendors, referrals to other resources and ADA compliance assistance. These services are available to job seekers, employers or support professionals.
The American Dream Employment Network is available to support individuals who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits through employment services and benefits advisement. For more information on how you can assign your Ticket to Work to ADEN, please call 844-687-2336.
Job seekers who want to seek employment and have a Ticket to Work can access one of the 60+ ADEN service providers across the country. Visit the ADEN website to find a list of ADEN Members. These professionals provide effective virtual services or in-person services, like those described about ARC Broward and
SignIFICANT. ARC Broward has been an ADEN Member since 2015; SignIFICANT LLC since 2018.