Melanie Whetzel is a Principal Consultant and Team Lead for the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), the leading national source of expert guidance on workplace accommodation and disability employment issues. With nearly 30 years of experience in the disability field, Melanie is a highly knowledgeable and valued consultant. Melanie began her career at JAN in February of 2008 as a consultant on the cognitive/neurological team and now leads that team.
Melanie enables adults with disabilities to become effective self-advocates, to understand their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and to be effective employees. She also assists employers in understanding their responsibilities under the ADA and how to accommodate employees with disabilities so they can continue to work productively. Melanie specializes in learning disabilities, mental health conditions, intellectual/developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and brain injuries.
Melanie is a respected and sought-after speaker who presents nationally on accommodation and ADA topics ranging from mental health conditions to conduct and performance issues, learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, brain injuries, and more. She has also authored numerous publications for JAN and outside sources.
Prior to her career with JAN, she taught and advocated for students with disabilities in the public-school system for fourteen years. Becoming a JAN Consultant was a perfect way to transition from teaching and advocating for students, assuring they had the modifications they needed to be successful in the classroom, to facilitating adults in their employment pursuits and helping them be successful in the workplace.
Melanie holds a Master of Arts degree in Special Education, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and has earned sixty hours above masters’ level. Her post-graduate work has been primarily focused on special education. She has completed a graduate certification in Career Planning and Placement for Youth in Transition and became a Certified Brain Injury Specialist in December 2014.