Innovation Projects

Over the last decade NOD has completed numerous Innovation Projects—multi-year initiatives that build scalable solutions to emerging issues in disability employment. In 2024, NOD launched two new projects focused on digital accessibility and mental health.

Graduates throwing caps in the air. A blue dotted line connects the image to a graphic of a briefcase.

Our Current Projects

of employees report effects of work-related stress, including inattention, desire to quit, and/or anger towards coworkers.

Mental Health

NOD will find and test a variety of interventions to create a data-driven model for employers to mitigate, modify, and/or remove workplace risks to mental health.

of the internet is accessible to people with disabilities

Digital Accessibility

NOD will identify, test, and share a proven set of policies and products for employers to locate and address inaccessibility in their digital recruitment, onboarding, and employment processes.

Each Innovation Project follows a rigorous set of procedures to generate solutions, here's how it works:




Conduct interviews and focus groups to understand the challenges facing individuals with disabilities and the organizations addressing them.



Sift through data to identify gaps, determine best practices addressing gaps, uncover impediments to practice adoption, and design a strategy to remove those impediments.



Bring together relevant stakeholders to implement the strategy with measurable steps in one or more locations.



Work with a reputable research institution to provide qualitative and quantitative analysis that reveals the project’s successes, challenges, and scalability.




Create and disseminate a comprehensive, replicable model to scale the data-driven practices of the project.

Past Projects

Campus to Careers

NOD’s most recent Innovation Project connected over 800 students from ten universities with six employers to create a comprehensive model for recruiting college students and recent graduates with disabilities.

Learn More >

Wounded Warriors Careers

In 2007, the US Army asked NOD to design a program that addresses the career needs of the most severely injured soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Over seven years, NOD created and piloted a scalable career support model, reported the results, and helped nearly 300 veterans and their families successfully reintegrate into their communities.

Want to learn more? Download the report.

Start on Success

Since 1994, the Start on Success (SOS) program – developed and seeded by NOD in a dozen cities – has been changing the odds dramatically for students with disabilities. SOS student interns split their day between paid positions at major community businesses and classroom instruction leading to a diploma. Interns are matched to jobs that take full advantage of their skills, interests, and longer-term career goals, with worksite supervisors providing regular guidance and mentorship.

Results have been impressive for the 4,000+ students served. Once students are introduced to the world of work through SOS, they go on to postsecondary education or employment at a rate of 75 to 85 percent – nearly triple the rate for all students with disabilities.

Learn More>

Interested in sponsoring an NOD innovation project? Fill out the contact form to get connected!

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