People with disabilities have often faced certain barriers to employment. Maryland provides programs that help overcome these barriers and provide individuals with disabilities with information and services to help going or returning to work.
Some people who are deaf or hard of hearing may need specialized services to help them prepare for work and independence. Several agencies in Maryland can assist deaf and hard of hearing people in fulfilling these goals. For example, rehabilitation counselors at the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) provide or arrange for services that may include career counseling, assistive technology, vocational training and/or job placement assistance. The Workforce & Technology Center (WTC) offers career assessment, skills training, job placement assistance, assistive technology services and other medical and support services that prepare people to work or remain independent.
The state also offers work incentives in order to encourage individuals with disabilities to enter the workforce. For example, if you are deaf or hard of hearing, but are worried that you will lose certain financial assistance by going to work, Maryland’s Employed Individuals with Disabilities (EID) Program can help. The EID allows people who meet Social Security disability rules and who are also working to purchase Medical Assistance (Medicaid) at a reduced rate. Recent rule changes have made the EID program open to more people.
Also, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers a program, Ticket to Work, for people who are receiving Social Security Disability benefits and who would like to work. If you are receiving SSDI or SSI benefits, SSA may send you information about this program, along with a “Ticket.” You can take this “ticket” to certain vocational rehabilitation agencies to obtain programs and services that you would need to go to work.
The Work Incentives Planning & Assistance (WIPA) program helps people who are receiving public benefits to return to work. These programs provide needed information about work incentives, Social Security benefits and the Ticket to Work program. WIPA provides personalized, confidential counseling and as well as information and referral services.
The Client Assistance Program (CAP) helps individuals who have concerns or difficulties when applying for or receiving rehabilitation services funded under the Rehabilitation Act. CAP can help individuals who are enrolled in DORS programs and services by:
- Explaining rights and responsibilities throughout the rehabilitation process.
- Helping consumers communicate concerns to DORS staff and helping staff to understand needs and requests of program participants.
- Giving information about rehabilitation programs and services.
- Explaining DORS policies and procedures.
- Providing advocacy when a service has been denied or if consumers are unhappy with a service provided.
- Arranging for legal services when necessary to represent consumers in a formal appeal.
- Providing information about employment rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Recruiting, Hiring, Retaining and Promoting People with Disabilities
Directory of Services: Employment
Employed Individuals with Disabilities (EID) Program
How the Client Assistance Program Can Help
HLAA Employment Toolkit
Hearing Loss Association of America: Employment
National Technical Institute for the Deaf: Tips for Finding a Job
“Ticket to Work”; About Ticket to Work
WIPA Program—Center for Independent Living
Workforce & Technology Center