Pathways to Employment Mentoring Program

With Support From

Craig H. Neilson

— Partner Employers

CVS Health
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
American Airlines
Pratt & Whitney
NTI, Inc.


United Spinal Association’s Pathways to Employment (PTE) Program is designed to support the pursuit of job opportunities for people with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D). PTE provides access to resources for people who want to return to work, including information about benefits, transitioning to employment, how-to guides, and guidance on removing barriers to employment and access to mentors who have successfully returned to work after injury or diagnosis. The Pathways to Employment program also supports employers interested in ensuring that people with disabilities are represented in their workforce by providing guidance and resources in recruitment, onboarding and accommodations through trainings and distributing job opportunities to our national network of members and 50 chapters.

Job Seeker Resources

If you are a person living with SCI/D who would like to return to work, we can help you! After SCI/D there is so much to think about. Everyone wants to participate in their lives as much as they can and regain their independence. But some of the challenges of living with SCI/D can seem insurmountable. This includes returning to work.

The Pathways to Employment program will give you the opportunity to:

  • Interact with someone who has successfully adjusted to working with a disability
  • Gain practical information on resources, benefits, and work incentive programs
  • Develop an employment plan
  • Prepare for job interviews
  • Learn self-advocacy skills
  • Acquire reasonable accommodations

United Spinal will pair you with a trained peer mentor to work with. Your peer mentor is a person with SCI/D who is or was recently employed, and has experienced many of the things you will go through on your pathway to employment.

Request Assistance With Your Pathway to Employment

Employer Resources

Are you interested in hiring people with SCI/D?

Employers can submit job descriptions to the PTE Program Director, and we will work on a match with our program participants. If jobs are not located in the pilot states, the PTE program will forward the job descriptions to United Spinal’s chapters and support groups in the area where the position is available.

Employers who partner with the PTE program will:

  • Acquire a source and a plan for hiring people with disabilities to help meet requirements of the Rehab Act
  • Find potential employees with disabilities to hire who want to work, are prepared to work, and have support from a mentor
  • Gain practical information on resources, benefits, and available work incentive programs.


The Pathways to Employment program offers a training presentation and curriculum designed for hiring managers, recruiters, human resources and executive leadership that provides guidance and resources related to the recruitment and onboarding processes to ensure staff is aware of legal considerations, helpful information on interacting with people with disabilities, tips for successful interviews and accommodation request assistance.

In-person or virtual trainings available.

Session time is 2 hours. Additional elements can be added to expand curriculum if your company is looking for a more intense, interactive session.

Expected Outcomes
• Identify potential barriers in current recruitment and onboarding processes
• Describe practical elements of successful interviews with people with disabilities
• Discuss approaches to accommodation requests


Interview Tips for Employers


Disability Employment Podcast Episode

If you are an employer interested in learning about training opportunities, please contact:

Abby Ross
718-803-3782 ext. 7207