The February theme for the Disability and Employment CoP is focused on Integrated Resource Team (IRT) strategies in American Job Centers. IRTs were initially used by the Disability Program Navigator grants and has been an essential component of the Disability Employment Initiative and represent partnership and collaboration to address the needs of a person with a disability or multiple challenges to employment. This resource is a demonstration video of a workforce center in Portland, OR, and their DPN bringing together different partners on behalf of an individual who is deaf. Although created in 2010, it is a timely representation of job center staff facilitating access to career pathway through mechanical training curriculum in a community college, and a moving example of the power of cross-agency collaboration. To view this video, please click on View Page Now or go to:. https://disability.workforce3one.org/view/4200927376315461065/info
The U. S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) announced the issuance by Social Dynamics, Inc., (SD) by the Third Year Interim Synthesis Evaluation Report of the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI). The Evaluation includes quantitative and qualitative analysis of Round 1 DEI grantees: Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Kansas, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia. The Evaluation highlights the success of implementing Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs) particularly at the state project level as well as other DEI strategies. To view the full PDF version of the Evaluation Report, please click on Download Now.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced on May 27, 2014 the availability of approximately $15 million in grants to state workforce agencies to develop flexible and innovative strategies to increase the participation of people with disabilities in existing career pathways programs in the public workforce system. These grants represent the fifth round of funding through the Disability Employment Initiative, a joint program of the Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration and the Office of Disability Employment Policy. The DEI intends to build the public workforce system's capacity to effectively serve youth and adults with disabilities. To date the department has awarded more than $81 million through four rounds of funding to 26 state workforce agencies with projects in local workforce investment areas. The department anticipates awarding eight grants, ranging from $1.5 to $2.5 million, to be spent over a 42-month period. Workforce agencies interested in applying for this funding (SGA/DFA PY 13-11) should visit http://www.grants.gov. The deadline to apply is July 8, 2014. FUNDING OPPORTUNITY The grant opportunity is available via Grants.gov.
The Computer/Electronic Accommodation Program (CAP) has issued a YouTube video on portable memory cueing devices include many built in tools to help people remember information, schedule their day, and manage their tasks. Learn how portable memory cueing devices can be used to assist people with cognitive limitations, including veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in this CAP assistive technology demonstration video, “Portable Memory Cueing Devices.” Portable memory cueing devices also include many options for customizing accessibility features for vision, hearing, dexterity and cognitive limitations. Be sure to check out CAP’s YouTube channel for more information on CAP services and assistive technology. This video can be viewed by clicking on Download or going to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfQNIpxH8es&list=PLCA9ADEBB1CD8FA1E
The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD has released a new summary fact sheet for the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative Fact Sheet #9, “Streamlined Marketplace Application Process”. To obtain Fact Sheet #9, click on Download or go to: http://www.nationaldisabilitynavigator.org/wp-content/uploads/Materials/Fact-Sheet-9-streamlined-application(Summary).pdf
The Computer/Electronic Accommodation Program (CAP) is a Federally funded program to assist Federal agencies and employees with disabilities. In addition, they have developed a large number of Assistive Technology (AT) Demonstration videos that can provide information about the different types of accommodations and how these solutions help job seekers with a diverse range of disabilities. CAP also has information about workplace ergonomics to help in decisions on workspaces that can help to prevent repetitive stress injuries. To access the CAP AT Demonstration videos, please click Download or go to the following link: :http://www.cap.mil/newsevents/Training/productMaterials.aspx
The National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC)has released a new Fact Sheet: “Rehabilitation and Habilitation Services and Devices.” This is the fourth Fact Sheet to be released by the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) for the NDNRC and is intended to help navigators and other enrollment specialists answer specific questions that people with disabilities might ask about a health plans’ coverage of rehabilitation and habilitation services and supports as well as devices including wheelchairs, prosthetics, low vision aids and augmentative communication devices. The fact sheet and a 2 page executive summary can be found here: http://www.nationaldisabilitynavigator.org/ndnrc-materials/fact-sheets/fact-sheet-4/.
On January 30, 2014, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum to Secretaries of the Departments of Labor, Commerce and Education directing them to take action to address job-driven training for America's workers. He states: "It is critical that the Federal Government ensure that its policies and programs in the workforce and training system are designed to equip the Nation's workers with skills matching the needs of employers looking to hire. As part of the overall review process led by Vice President Biden, the memorandum directs that within 180 days, the Office of the Vice President, the National Economic Council, the Domestic Policy Council, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Office of Management and Budget, the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce, and Education (Secretaries), in consultation with other executive departments and agencies as appropriate, shall develop a specific action plan, to be provided to me through the Vice President, to make the workforce and training system more job-driven, integrated, and effective. To view this Presidential Memorandum, please go to: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/30/presidential-memorandum-job-driven-training-workers
The National Council on Disability (NCD) issued a letter of support to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, on their efforts against segregated segregated day and employment activities, including sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs. DOJ's work was demonstrated by the recent investigation of Rhode Island’s Birch Vocational School where workers with disabilities performed manual labor for scant wages between $.50 and $2 per hour. As a result of DOJ’s efforts, the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals has recently announced their intention to phase out the use of sheltered workshop settings over the course of the next three years. NCD commends this as an exceptionally positive development. For a full text of the NCD letter and information on the DOJ report, please go to: http://www.realeconomicimpact.org/Resources/Webinars.aspx
The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) issued the firstfact sheet for the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC). “Comparing Health Plans’ Benefits and Coverage Summaries” is designed to inform navigators and other enrollment specialists about what people with disabilities need to look for in the Summary of Benefits and Coverage. The NDNRC is an initiative aimed at providing cross-disability information and support to Navigators and other enrollment specialists thereby ensuring people with disabilities receive accurate information when selecting and enrolling in insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces. Recently, the NDNRC website published the “Guide to Disability for Healthcare Insurance Marketplace Navigators” which provides information on special considerations people with disabilities face as they shop for healthcare coverage. The NDNRC is funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The fact sheet is available at: http://www.nationaldisabilitynavigator.org/ndnrc-materials/fact-sheets/fact-sheet-1/. The entire list of upcoming fact sheets is also available at: http://www.nationaldisabilitynavigator.org/ndnrc-materials/fact-sheets/.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded nearly $57 million in grants to help residents receiving housing assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher Program to gain access to education, job training and employment. HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency Program (HCV-FSS) helps public housing authorities across the country to hire or retain more than one thousand service coordinators who will work directly with families to connect them to the supportive services that meet their individual needs and to become gainfully employed. The service coordinators retained or hired through these programs work directly with residents to connect them with local organizations that provide education and job training and placement opportunities; as well as childcare, counseling, transportation and computer and financial literacy services available in their community. The program encourages innovative strategies that link Housing Choice Voucher assistance with other resources to enable participating families to find employment; increase earned income; reduce or eliminate the need for rental and/or welfare assistance; and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency. Participants sign a five-year contract that requires the head of the household to obtain employment and no longer receive welfare assistance at the end of the five-year term. As the family’s income rises, a portion of that increased income is deposited in an interest-bearing escrow account. If the family successfully completes its FSS contract, the family receives the escrow funds that it can use for any purpose, including paying educational expenses, starting a business or paying debts. The following link provides access to the list awards to state or local housing authorities: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2013/HUDNo.13-194
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. just issued a paper entitled,"The Earnings Consequences of the Americans with Disabilities Act on People with Disabilities." (November 2013). To improve labor market outcomes of people with disabilities, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. Immediately following enactment, the wages of people with disabilities decreased, but longer-term wage consequences have not been studied. Using data from the March Current Population Survey for 1988-2010, this working paper shows that the ADA led to a longer-term increase in the weekly wages of those with disabilities. Furthermore, the wage effect of the ADA varies according to level of education.
The Virginia Workforce Network issued a report, "A Better Bottom Line: Employing Virginians with Disabilities." This Report was the outcome from an event, September-December 2013, sponsored by Virginia's Disabilty Employment Initiative (DEI). This Report provides useful business resources.