The CareerACCESS team has set goals for 2017, and we’re working to accomplish them.

2017 CareerACCESS Goals:

Overarching Goal: Ensure the start of CareerACCESS Project Pilots in two states by mid-2018.

Objective 1: Develop a detailed description of the CareerACCESS Policy Initiative to support pilot implementation

  • Define CareerACCESS in relationship to Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income
  • Define CareerACCESS Participant Procedures
  • Define CareerACCESS Career Coach Roles and Responsibilities
  • Define CareerACCESS Individualized Career Plans

Objective 2: Obtain commitments from at least two states to pilot CareerACCESS

  • Identify CareerACCESS Champions in Vermont, Michigan and Massachusetts
  • Form state advisory committees that includes people from disability, business, economic development communities and all affected agencies
  • Develop and executive state-focused outreach and marketing plans
  • Obtain legislative and funding support
  • Educate agencies active in economic development as to why they should include people with disabilities in their central mission

Objective 3: Expand CareerACCESS Support

  • Increase the number of young adults with disabilities advocating for CareerACCESS
  • Produce and share testimonies of young adults describing their systemic and personal barriers to employment
  • Grow the number of agencies partnering with CareerACCESS
  • Expand participation and function of the CareerACCESS National Advisory Committee
  • Obtain support, and when required waivers, from the Social Security Administration, the Administration on Community Living, the Office of Disability Employment Policy and other affected federal agencies
  • Launch new media campaign to increase CareerACCESS awareness

Objective 4: Develop a Detailed Description of the CareerACCESS National Operations Center

  • Create a detailed description of the purpose, roles and responsibilities
  • Develop a funding proposal for the staffing, software, marketing, and evaluation requirements

Objective 5: Obtain Pilot Funding Commitments

  • Complete national cost benefit analysis and return on investment projection
  • Obtain funding for state pilot projects

Learn more about CareerACCESS:


CareerACCESS has been designed based on existing, innovative practices, to challenge and reverse these trends by increasing employment success for young adults with disabilities. When funded, CareerACCESS will be piloted in up to 5 states for 12 years, CAP will serve young adults who are eligible for SSI and offer them the following benefits:

  • Elimination of the “incapacity to work” test that will aid in removing the stigma regarding disability and employment and encourage more young adults with disabilities to seek employment and reach their full potential. Instead, establish new eligibility requirements. Applicants under the age of 28 will be auto-enrolled in an alternate benefit program if they who meet the current SSI income and resource rules. Eligible applicants must meet or equal the current Social Security Listing of Impairments, excluding the test for work incapacity.
  • An “Individualized Career Plan” that will assist individuals in establishing a career plan and goals focused on competitive career-path employment.
  • “Career coaching” to assist them in making the best possible decisions regarding their “Individual Career Plan” and explore career options. Services include: counseling and guidance on navigating systems, benefits planning, asset development, health care access, as well as career planning and coaching.
  • Benefits Planning/Asset Building that supports financial independence and continued workforce participation.
  • The ability for participants to retain their SSI benefits as an offset to the high cost of living with a disability.
  • Employment support services.

The goal of the 12-year pilot projects is to markedly increase employment rates for young adults with disabilities and provide a more effective alternative to current SSI rules by 2027.

For more detailed info, visit the resources page.



Why is the CareerACCESS initiative important?

Based on current Social Security disability programs, young adults with disabilities are required to prove their inability to work to be eligible for program benefits that include SSI (Supplemental Security Income). As a result, those who receive SSI benefits face the challenge of balancing their need for financial assistance, healthcare access, personal attendant care and accommodation requirements with their desire to work and reach their full potential in the workforce.  Additionally, they often face low expectations of their abilities, a lack of employment experience, and an extremely challenging job market as well as the challenge of their disability. 

The Social Security disability rolls grow annually while the employment rates of people with disabilities stay the same.

CareerACCESS has been designed to counter these trends and pave the way for young adults with disabilities to be able to live independently and strive in their careers. CareerACCESS will provide adult coaching, counseling, and employment support services to achieve this goal.

“Any of us can acquire a disability at any time, and all of us have a stake in making equal employment opportunity the rule rather than the exception.” -Senator Tom Harkin

Learn more about CareerACCESS by visiting these pages:

  • About
  • Summary
  • Goals
  • Resources