The Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor (DOL) are jointly funding approximately 250 DPN positions in 17 States. DPNs operate in DOL's One-Stop Career Centers and provide employment services to individuals seeking to enter the workforce. DPNs also provide an important link to Workforce Investment Boards* and facilitate access to programs and services that support the efforts of individuals with disabilities seeking employment.

What States/Locations are involved?

Navigators are in the following States:

Arizona Mississippi
California New Mexico
Colorado New York
Delaware Oklahoma
Florida Oregon
Illinois South Carolina
Iowa Vermont
Maryland Wisconsin

In June 2006, the Navigator program was expanded to include the District of Columbia and an additional 13 States. They include: Alaska, Hawaii, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

How does it work?

DPNs who are located in One-Stop Centers are able to assist individuals with disabilities and the One-Stop staff with a variety of employment related services. The DPN (1) develops linkages and collaborates on an ongoing basis with employers to facilitate job placements for persons with disabilities; (2) facilitates the transition of youth with disabilities to secure employment and economic self-sufficiency; (3) serves as a resource on SSA’s work incentive and employment support programs; and (4)serves as a resource to the workforce investment community. Technical assistance, training and evaluation is being provided by DOL’s contractor, the Law, Health Policy and Disability Center of the University of Iowa School of Law.

What Are SSA's Expectations?

DPNs will provide employment services that will complement other programs or services for which individuals with disabilities may be eligible. These services and supports will help individuals with disabilities to achieve financial independence and self-sufficiency through employment.

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* Workforce Investment Boards provide many services, including developing workforce strategy plans (at the State level) and formulating an information infrastructure to connect individuals with potential employers in the local market.