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working again




Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

A World In Which People With Disabilities Have Unlimited Employment Opportunities. All of the latest news relating to work opportunities for people with disabilities and what the Department of Labor is doing.

There is a free newsletter to sign up for the latest news and updates from ODEP.  Enter your email address or bookmark the site so you can go back to read new additions.




The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 became effective on January 1, 2009. Although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has not yet completed the regulations for the new legislation, ODEP’s Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has developed both a publication and a resource page regarding the Act.

The new publication is JAN's Accommodation and Compliance Series: The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 and will be periodically updated as additional information is made public.




As a professional recruiter with over 22 years of experience, it saddens me to see people so discouraged by the mindless prejudice of prospective employers.
My specialty has been computer systems for professionals in banking and securities. In my career I have had the privilege of working with people with disabilities. I have been amazed by how many can "more than compensate" for their disabilities, primarily because of their self-confidence in their skills and experience, as well as their positive attitude towards their work. Professionally speaking, some have been among the best people I have worked with.

I think that you should consider first, that finding a job is tough for everyone who is unemployed, not just for people with disabilities. I offer, however, a few tips that might be of help. The best way to find a job is through ones own personal network, especially people with whom you have worked in the past. They are very likely to know of any openings where you might fit into in their current company and would serve as an excellent "in-house" reference that any hiring manager would welcome.

Considering that most people you speak with will not know of any openings, be prepared to ask if they know anyone else who might know of a job opening. Build your network by getting the name of another person to call.

Try to maintain contact on a 60 - 90 day basis. Do some research on companies that might have one or more jobs that may be a good fit for you including competitors, clients or suppliers to your former employers. As you identify prospective employers try to find the person to whom you would report if hired and mail your resume directly to them. If you don't hear from them in a week, call them. I do not think mailing or e-mailing your resume to human resources will get you anywhere as they are already deluged with solicited and unsolicited resumes every week. Nor do I think posting ones resume on the job boards - one among tens of thousands - will yield much success. But if you have nothing else to do, post it with no expectations.

Above all, don't give up, as slim as the chances might be. If you give up there will be no chance. When you get an interview focus on one thing, that you can get the job done. That is all that counts. If you can convince a prospective employer that you can get the job done, you will be hired.

John Russell, WW Member




My former employer, Naval Air Systems Command, was very accommodating. I had a lot of sick leave saved up, so a month off when I had my surgery was no problem. After the surgery I went right back to work after a month off, two weeks for the in hospital recovery and two weeks at home recovering. I worked another 2 years and, having the years of service and age, I retired.

I lived in Maryland then. I moved back to California. I was bored so I started looking on line for employment. I found this web site titled National Older workers Career Center, that employs older workers at the Environmental Protection Agency. It turns out that they had a job at the San Francisco office that I could do. I also had a phone interview. I speak with an electrolarynx and it went OK. I have been working at the EPA for 3 yrs now, and they say they have enough funding to keep me another year.

Yes, age and breathing through a hole in your neck are negatives but I found there are websites online oriented towards older workers getting employed. The folks here at the EPA have been very nice to me, even though I am old and speak with my EL.

I don't make the pay I did as a GS-13 employee, but I don't work that hard either. And one of the benefits I now have is two medical insurances and a dental insurance plan. That has reduced my out of pocket expenses.

Some of the websites I have found in my search: (lists employers recognized for exceptional practices regarding older workers and national employers that abide by age-neutral policies. Its foundation also sponsors a worker information network to help older workers manage their job search.) (lists jobs for people over 50 and offers “age-friendly certification” to employers) (a large independent job and information resource for boomers, retirees and people planning their retirement) employers connect with the over 50 talent pool) (employment and career change resources for people over 50) network of veteran scientists and engineers provide companies with fast, flexible and secure access to recently retired experts) (an online community for those 50 and older and the companies that want to recruit them)

Good luck and Good Hunting

Scott Sysum


success stories













WW Member Dennis Leo, born in 1949, lives in Kurri Kurri, New South Wales, Australia. Dennis was working as a radio announcer when diagnosed with larynx cancer in 2004. Non-

surgical treatments ultimately failed, so Dennis underwent a laryngectomy in October of 2004 and acquired an indwelling TEP/prosthesis two weeks later. Encouraged by his ENT, Dennis returned to broadcasting in early 2005 on CHRFM 96.5 in Hunter Valley, NSW, starting a new program called "Sunday by Request" on February 6, 2005 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. This is a talkback, request-type show that attracts a lot of callers. Dennis has also augmented his TEP/prosthesis with a Blom-Singer HandsFree device. WW has managed to obtain a short (1 1/2 minute) audio file from this show so that you can listen to Dennis "on air"both his "old" and his "new" voices!! This is a 4 MB .wav file .. (it takes a while to load, but is worth it).





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