Webinar Archive - Employment

The Accessibility and Disability Policy Webinars are free, real-time captioned sessions held on a monthly basis that cover a variety of topics regarding people with disabilities in ten issue areas. Topics of interest can benefit employers, governmental entities, service providers and individuals with disabilities.

Go back to the main Webinar Archive page.

Social Security Disability Benefits 101 

Presented on March 29, 2023

When a person experiences a disability that makes it difficult to work or get supported by family members, our federal government offers a safety net program that helps with financial and medical benefits through the Social Security Administration.

If you have applied for Social Security disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, you probably found the application to be challenging. You’re not the only one! According to the Social Security Administration, the award rates for disability benefits have been decreasing annually due to non-medical reasons. This means most applications are denied or have their decisions delayed because of common errors during the application process. The Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities is committed to help qualified people with disabilities and their families understand how to access their Social Security benefits.

Matt Dickens, the Accessibility and Disability Rights Coordinator, presented a Social Security Disability Benefits 101 webinar on March 29th at 2 p.m.  Come join us to learn more about:

  • Types of available Social Security benefits
  • How to check your eligibility for benefits
  • Common pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • Resources for advanced problem solving

Improve your chances of getting Social Security benefits and maximize your benefit payment!

Presented by Matt Dickens, GCPD Accessibility and Disability Rights Coordinator.

Captioning and ASL Interpreting available on this webinar.

Slides for Social Security Disability Benefits 101 Webinar

Transcript for Social Security Disability Benefits 101 Webinar

Vocational Rehabilitation: Helping Students with Disabilities Prepare for the Future 

Presented on September 21, 2022

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act protects the rights of students with all disabilities. However, the transition planning process for students receiving 504 services in schools differs from those receiving Special Education services. You may be missing out on state services that can help you transition from high school to college or the workforce.

Join the Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities and the Texas Workforce Commission for a webinar on Wednesday, September 21 3:45 PM where we will highlight Texas Workforce Solution's Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services, including an overview of Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS), how to connect with a VR counselor, what info is needed to apply for services, and more. This session is intended for high school students with disabilities (ages 14-22) and their parents. If you plan to attend college, or are looking to explore careers, gain hands-on work experience, and develop a vocational goal for your future, this webinar is for you!

Presenters: Alyssa Kee & Kevin Markel, with Texas Workforce Commission, Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

Art Works!: Careers in the Visual Arts and People with Disabilities

Presented on April 28, 2021
The Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (GCPD) is dedicated to furthering the cause of inclusion in every aspect of life—and the arts are no exception. GCPD is proud to present a panel of professional artists with disabilities and provide their insight into what’s needed to make a career in the visual arts. In this 1.5 hour session panelists will share their path towards commercial success and their creative and acclaimed art with our audience. The webinar will close with our statewide call for artists for the 2021 National Disability Employment Awareness Month poster competition.

Traveling Towards a Level Playing Field: Tips for Pursuing Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certification

Presented on December 14, 2020
Is your company disability-owned, or does it hire primarily people with disabilities? If so, you may be eligible to pursue Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) contracts with government entities. Designed to help small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals have a fair opportunity to compete for federally funded transportation contracts, the DBE program is an important tool for making sure all businesses have an opportunity to thrive. Maurice Bridges of VIA Metropolitan Transit, Michael Bryant of Texas Department of Transportation, and Kelly Spillane of the Office of the Governor and will walk attendees through the accreditation process.

WorkInTexas.com – A Powerful, Accessible Tool to Match Texas Employers with Job Seekers

Presented on October 28, 2020
WorkInTexas.com is the state's premier job-matching system. The newly-enhanced site has connected thousands of job seekers with hundreds of employers since relaunching in 2019. Chock full of accessibility and other features, WorkInTexas.Com offers unparalleled job matching support. Unlike other job search websites, users receive one-on-one support from teams of workforce professionals in 28 regions across the state. Join us as we hear from Michelle Castrow, Workforce Solutions Gulf Coast, and the Houston-area workforce team as they explain how they are connecting job seekers with disabilities to employment opportunities. This session will run 90 minutes, including Q&A.

Hiring, Retention and Advancement of People with Disabilities

Presented on October 27, 2020
Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and disability rights champions like Lex Frieden, employers around the world are realizing the benefits of including people with disabilities. Join Velissa R. Chapa, employment law attorney and Legal Counsel to TWC Employer Commissioner Aaron Demerson, as she addresses key employer questions about the ADA. She will also present frequently asked employer questions on the hiring, retention, and advancement of people with disabilities. Finally, Ms. Chapa will highlight the importance of career development for employees with disabilities in all workplaces. This session will run 60 minutes, including Q&A.

Putting Texas Back to Work

Presented on October 20, 2020
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to the Texas workforce. The Texas Workforce Commission, the statewide network of Workforce Development Boards, and a wide array of industry and education organizations continue to work to assist workers dislocated due to the pandemic. TWC’s Office of Employer Initiatives is leading the response with several training initiatives aimed at helping the Texas workforce acquire new skills. Join us for this webinar as we cover current projects and explain how people with disabilities can benefit from these programs. Attendees will hear firsthand how local workforce boards have partnered with Vocational Rehabilitation and training centers to put funding into action to help local communities! This session will run for 60 minutes, including Q&A.

How Vocational Rehabilitation Helped Me Stay Employed

Presented on October 19, 2020
One in four Americans identifies as having a disability. It is not uncommon for people to acquire a disability later in life, often after having established a career. This can make continuing work challenging, but luckily there are many resources available to help people with disabilities obtain, maintain, and advance in their employment! This webinar will cover the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program and how it can help you keep your career moving. Attendees will hear about available services as well as success stories from VR customers. This session will run for 60 minutes, including Q&A.

A Business to Business Conversation about Recruiting, Hiring, Accommodating and building Inclusion for Employees with Disabilities

Presented on July 29, 2020
Disability:IN™ is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide helping companies invigorate disability initiatives, explore best practices, incorporate culture changes, and realize positive business outcomes in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace. The presentation featured an exchange of ideas on diversity and opportunity to share successes and challenges in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace that work in a local market.

ADA30: Employment Opportunities and Vocational Rehabilitation

Presented on July 17, 2020 at 10am
Title I of the ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against a qualified applicant with a disability. Texas Workforce Commission - Vocational Rehabilitation Services (TWC-VRS) assists individuals with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, retain and advance in employment. VRS can also assist employers with information about how to create an inclusive workplace and can make referrals to employers of qualified individuals with disabilities. This webinar provides an overview of how VRS aligns with the ADA by assisting individuals in achieving their employment goals and employers in building a strong talent pipeline.

Disclosing Disability: When, Why and How?

Presented on July 15, 2020
Deciding whether to disclose your disability can be a nerve-wracking decision. Some people choose to disclose because they will need accommodations for an interview or to train for the job. Others choose not to out of fear an interview may never be offered or that their disability will become the focus of the interview. This session focused on the factors to consider when deciding whether to disclose your disability to a potential employer.

Substance Abuse, the Workplace, and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Presented on June 12, 2020
This webinar will focus on substance abuse issues that may arise in the workplace. In particular, we will examine how employers can best approach and support employees who may be struggling with addiction. This session will also explore the rights conferred to employees with substance abuse issues under Title I of the ADA as well as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Presenter: George Powers, JD, Legal Specialist at the Southwest ADA Center.

Job Accommodations for Mental Health Impairments

Presented on May 5, 2020
Job accommodations can be vital for the successful employment of individuals with mental health impairments. Knowing how, when, and why it might be necessary to disclose a disability is the first and often most difficult part of the accommodation process. This session will provide information on the disclosure of mental health impairments in the workplace, the limitations associated with these impairments, and the accommodations that might be needed. Real-life accommodation situations and solutions will be interspersed throughout the session. A question and answer session will be included at the end.

Presented by Melanie Whetzel, M.A., CBIS; Job Accommodation Network, Lead Consultant, Cognitive / Neurological Team

Title I of the ADA and Reasonable Accommodation Requests: What’s Happening to the ADA now that it’s turned 29: EEOC Case Law specific to ADAAA TITLE I

Presented on October 23, 2019
The Interactive Process: Sounds Easy, Why is it so Hard? ADA Reasonable Accommodation is not new, yet questions persist in how to navigate the interactive process. This webinar will explore the requirement to provide reasonable accommodation, explore resources, discuss the guidance on reasonable accommodation and the emerging issues in reasonable accommodation. Sometimes hearing about legal blunders others have made can help you from making the same mistake. Title I of the ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. Failure to provide an accommodation is a form of disability discrimination. Handling ADA accommodation requests is tricky. But having a good ADA policy, making sure employees acknowledge receipt of the policy, and properly instructing managers how to deal with requests are essential tools to help prevent unforeseen disability discrimination claims. We will take you through what is current in accommodations in the workplace. Presented by Aaron McCulloug, Attorney.

Empowerment: Building Success with Employees with Autism

Presented on April 29, 2019
Presenters will offer expert advice on common workplace challenges such as sensory, social, and thinking and processing. Jennifer Allen with Aspergers101 will offer insight into the most common workplace challenges experienced by people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and offer specific suggestions for accommodations. Take this opportunity to hear more about how Vocational Rehabilitation and local workforce boards, public universities, and private employers have discovered how to successfully balance the needs of the business’ bottom line with the employment goals of people with Autism. Finally, the Director of Recruiting at H-E-B will share best practices and how they are attracting talented people on the Autism spectrum for jobs across the organization—from bagger to software developer. 

Making Employment a Reality

Presented on April 20, 2019
The thought of preparing your child for a career and helping them find a job can be overwhelming—especially for parents of children with disabilities. On-the-job success requires developing a broad skill set that goes beyond basic vocational skills.

Lori Doucet, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst at Including Kids in Humble, Texas, will discuss the crucial, sometimes overlooked skills your child or young adult needs to help obtain, maintain, and be successful at their job.

Top Tips for Tip Top Transition

Presented on March 9, 2019
This is the session for you if:

  • your child is in elementary or middle school and you want to know more about transition planning in the IEP; 
  • you’re in the midst of transition and feel overwhelmed; or 
  • you’re a seasoned veteran and looking for more resources to help your family or your friends as they move toward graduation and adult life!

Elizabeth Danner will review the key elements of transition planning, help families and students understand what they can expect, and share resources that can help you move with confidence to the Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) meeting where transition will be discussed, and to the Good Life that awaits beyond graduation!

Career Readiness and Hiring Programs for Texas Veterans

Presented on November 6, 2018
Learn from a Texas veteran how different state programs can help transitioning veterans. Webinar featuring Bob Gear Jr., Director of Texas Veterans Leadership Program with the Texas Workforce Commission. 

You will learn:

  • The value of employing Texas veterans
  • Tools to help translate military skills to civilian skills
  • Skills training grant opportunities for employers
  • Value of collaboration with local, regional and state partners
  • Importance of integration with Military Transition Centers

Business Partnerships for Disability Inclusion

Presented on October 30, 2018
Join us for a webinar to learn from other Texas businesses about how disability inclusion is helping their bottom line. You will learn why businesses want to hire people with disabilities; how technology changes are creating new opportunities and barriers for employees with disabilities; how to develop an inclusive supply chain; and identifying qualified applicants and how to retain employees with disabilities.