Employment: Funding for Employees
Funding is one of the main barriers in providing reasonable accommodations. One has to be savvy about how to find funding sources. Leaving it to just the employer is not enough. Below are four sources to obtain potential funding for ITY in the workplace.
1. Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, VESID
VESID provides services for individuals who are looking to enter the workforce. They provide services and funding related to individuals with disabilities to help them become more "employable."
- www.vesid.nysed.gov (scroll to the bottom of the page to find your local VESID office)
2. Medicaid Waiver Services
If you have a developmental disability or had a traumatic brain injury after the age of 18 and are in need of a communication device, you can seek financial assistance through a Medicaid waiver. These waivers pay for assistive technology, which can include an ITY. To initiate the process, contact your closest regional office.
3. Social Security Work Incentives
Social Security has set up incentives for individuals with disabilities who receive benefits and are going to work. Both programs provide an opportunity to get funding for an ITY. Speak to your SSA representative about either one of these programs. You may also want to work with an advocate at an independent living center to help you navigate these services.
4. Charitable Organizations
It may be a matter of piece mealing from a variety of funding sources, but whatever combination achieves the desired funding is appropriate. Such groups like Lions Club, Kiwanis, Rotary and Knights of Columbus may be able to give small pots of monies. Also, you may want to be in touch with your local independent living center. They have relationships with civic organizations and may be able to help advocate to get the money.