This National Public Radio (NPR) article/blog highlights the personal aspects of disability, employment and economic well-being that still require attention 25 years following the passage of the ADA. It profiles the experience of 27-year-old Emeka Nnaka of Tulsa, Oklahoma who a semi-pro football player who was injured during a game and challenges he faces in reaching his goals. If you have a disability in the U.S., you're twice as likely to be poor as someone without a disability. You're also far more likely to be unemployed. And that gap has widened in the 25 years since the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted. The employment rate for working age people with disabilities is 14.4% compared to 71.2% for those without a disability and the poverty rate is 32.1% compared to 13% for those without a disability. Median household income is $30,600 compared to $58,400 for those without a disability. To view the full article and responses, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/07/23/424990474/why-disability-and-poverty-still-go-hand-in-hand-25-years-after-landmark-law
On July 23, 2015, the Department of Labor published the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity regulations to implement Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Under Section 188(e) of WIOA, Congress required the Department to issue regulations implementing Section 188 no later than one year after enactment of WIOA. The Department's publication of this final rule complies with the statutory mandate. This final rule creates a new part in the CFR, which mirrors the regulations published in the CFR in 1999 to implement Section 188 of WIA. The Department has made no substantive changes in this final rule; the changes are technical in nature. This final rule adopts the Department's regulatory scheme for Section 188 of WIA verbatim, with technical revisions to conform to WIOA. Specifically, the Department has: -- Replaced references to the ``Workforce Investment Act of 1998'' or ``WIA'' with ``Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act'' or ``WIOA'' to reflect the proper statutory authority; and -- updated section numbers in the text of the regulation to reflect its new location. To access the Federal Register Notice on Section 188, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-23/pdf/2015-17637.pdf
The LEAD Center has drafted a summary of the Workforce Innnovations and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) from a disability perspective. This policy brief outlines key provisions pertaining to workforce development activities of particular applicability to individuals with disabilities and individuals with a barrier to employment (which by definition includes individuals with disabilities). The summary description is not intended to be comprehensive. Key disability-related policies are underlined. To access the full summary, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.leadcenter.org/system/files/resource/downloadable_version/wioa_title_I_disability_perspective.pdf
The LEAD Center has produced a Summary Description of Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (i.e., State Vocational Rehabilitation Program) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). This information brief expounds on the implementation of new guidelines as proposed for State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services programs and State Supported Employment Services programs under Title IV of WIOA. To access the summary, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.leadcenter.org/resource-center/publication/summary-description-title-iv-workforce-innovation-and-opportunity-act-state-vocational-rehabilitation-program-notice
In February 2015, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a partner of the Employer Technical Assistance (TA) Center, drafted and disseminated a brief outlining policies states can use to encourage and support the hiring, retention and promotion of people with disabilities. The publication identifies states that have successfully implemented such policies and is part of the Employer TA Center's collaborative efforts to encourage states to become model employers of individuals with disabilities. To view the NCSL brief, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.askearn.org/docs/Employment%20for%20People%20with%20Disabilities%20Reed.PDF
On April 13, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of $15 million for the sixth round of Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) grants. Grants will be awarded to state workforce agencies to develop flexible and innovative strategies to increase the participation of people with disabilities in federally funded education and training programs. DEI is a a joint program of the Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Since 2010, the department has awarded grants worth more than $95 million through the DEI to 37 state workforce agencies in 26 states to improve education, training, and employment outcomes of youth and adults with disabilities. The funds are used to refine and expand workforce strategies proven to be successful, and enhance inclusive service delivery through the public workforce system. Improvements include: increasing the accessibility of American Job Centers; training front-line AJC and partner staff; and increasing partnerships and collaboration across numerous systems that are critical for assisting youth and adults with disabilities in securing meaningful employment. The closing date for application submission is June 11, 2015. To access the press release that includes links to the Announcement of Funding Opportunity (OFA) is available by clicking View Page Now or going to: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/ETA20150627.htm
The Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration has developed a document to provides basic information on American Job Centers (AJCs), also known as One-Stop Career Centers To access the Overvie, please click on View Page Now.
"As the overall job market improves, more Americans with disabilities are finding employment for the second month in a row, according to today's National Trends in Disability Employment – Monthly Update (nTIDE), issued by Kessler Foundation and University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD). Disability job training and employment initiatives continue to create and expand jobs for people with disabilities. In the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Jobs Report released Friday, December 5, the employment-to-population ratio increased from 26.5 percent in November 2013 to 26.9 percent in November 2014 (up 1.4 percent; 0.4 percentage points) for working-age people with disabilities. The employment-to-population ratio, a key indicator, reflects the percentage of people who are working relative to the total population (the number of people working divided by the number of people in the total population multiplied by 100). The labor force participation rate, however, decreased from 30.7 percent in November 2013 to 30.4 percent in November 2014 (down 0.8 percent; 0.3 percentage points) for working-age people with disabilities. The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the population that is working or actively looking for work. To access the full report, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.researchondisability.org/news-features/2014/12/05/ntide-jobs-report-positive-jobs-picture-brightens-outlook-for-people-with-disabilities
The Disability and Employment Community of Practice (CoP) is focusing on the importance and relevance of the pubic workforce system and its engagement with the Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work (TTW) program. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has worked with SSA over a number of years to promote the use of One-Stop Centers, now American Job Centers, to serve Ticket Holders and being an Employment Network or involved with Partnership Plus and state vocational rehabilitation agencies. In November 2014 ETA hosted a webinar on this topic which is an excellent introduction to the effectiveness state or local workforce systems becoming Employment Networks (ENs) entitled "Disability Employment Initiative Workforce Employment Networks: Lessons Learned on Serving Ticketholders in the American Job Centers" This webinar will provided Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) grantees and workforce development professionals with key lessons learned from the DEI Workforce Employment Networks that resulted in positive employment outcomes for job seekers receiving Social Security disability benefits. Participants attending the webinar learned about: -- Key developments and practices of DEI workforce Employments Networks for successful outcomes; -- The challenges of operating a Workforce Employment Network and pitfalls to avoid; -- Performance trends of workforce Employment Networks and how to experience success at the local AJC level; and -- About two real case stories of customers who accessed AJC services and their successful employment outcomes. To access this webinar, please click on View Page Now which will bring you to the Workforce 3 One video archive, or go to: https://www.workforce3one.org/view/5001424737638913998/info
The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA)is hosting a webinar on November 4, 2014, 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Eastern Time. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) emphasizes sector partnership strategies as key elements of a successful workforce system. ETA will be providing a webinar series to showcase the opportunities ahead. Join the series to learn from states and local areas who are leaders in the use of sector strategies to improve their local economies and deliver for job seekers and employers. This November 4th webinar features Kentucky’s work with economic development, workforce development and education partners in this first of the Building Sector Strategies webinar series. To register for this webinar, please click on View Page Now or go to: https://www.workforce3one.org/view/5001428739480318011/info
On October 15, 2014, the White House issued this fact sheet to past and current actions providing assistance in getting long-term unemployed Americans back to work. In January, President Obama issued a three-part call to action – to employers, to communities across the country, and to federal agencies – to help Americans who are ready to work find jobs, and to help more of the long-term unemployed get back to work. It includes an update on progress since January 2014 and additional steps—taken in conjunction with businesses, non-profit leaders, governors and mayors and federal agencies—to help ensure that Americans still looking for work have a fair shot, and American businesses benefit as a result. Since December, the long-term unemployment rate has fallen from 2.5 percent to 1.9 percent. The number of long-term unemployed – those unemployed more than 6 months – has fallen by 900,000. This decline accounts for around 90 percent of the total drop in unemployment in the past 10 months. But there is still work left to do. It also includes the announcement of $170 million in grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor to support partnerships to connect long-term unemployed to employment opportunities, a new handbook to assist business and individuals in hiring practices, and ensuring Federal hiring includes those who have been out of the labor force for an extended period. To access the full text of the White House Fact Sheet, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/10/15/fact-sheet-getting-long-term-unemployed-americans-back-work
60 Minutes featured WorkPlace, Inc. and their program, Platform to Employment (P2E,) which is putting the long term unemployed back to work. The program was aired in February 2012 with Scott Pelley and an interview with Joe Carbone, Executive Director of WorkPlace, Inc. 60 Minutes explores the challenges facing the long term unemployed, also known as 99ers and followed participants through the P2E program. The WorkPlace developed P2E to help the long term unemployed return to work and provide a vehicle for employers to recruit skilled workers. The program allows employers a risk-free opportunity to evaluate and consider hiring participants during an eight-week internship. The WorkPlace raised more than $500,000 in private resources to support the program. With a 70% placement rate, this initiative demonstrates how private investment along with a caring community can enhance employment opportunities for the long term unemployed who are truly the victims of the 2008 recession. The WorkPlace also received a $200,000 grant from the AARP Foundation to address the specific needs of 99ers over the age of 50. To view the full 60 Minute piece, please click on View Page Now.
Iowa Workforce Development have developed and implemented an integrated policy model for job seekers with disabilities that has improved services for all workforce customers in Iowa. They developed their integrated policy, in part, through Iowa's Disability Employment Initiative Grant.. ? The Iowa policy provides guidance to local workforce regions in being responsive to job seekers who disclose a disability in Iowa?s Integrated Service Delivery Model which supports the objective of full and effective inclusion of Iowans with disabilities in the employment service system and in the industry of their communities. To view the Iowa Integrated Policies, please click on View Page Now.
The Center for Post-Secondary and Economic Success (CLASP) has released their review and summary of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA is the first update to the nation’s core workforce training programs in the 16 years since passage of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). A lot has changed since 1998—and our workforce system hasn’t kept up. Low-skilled and low-income workers face more barriers than ever to securing an education and getting a good job. The new law recognizes the need for a new playbook and reauthorizes the nation’s employment, training, adult education, and vocational rehabilitation programs created under WIA. WIOA improves connections to employment and training opportunities that lead to economic prosperity for workers and their families. The new law: 1. Increases the focus on serving the most vulnerable workers—low-income adults and youth who have limited skills, lack work experience, and face other barriers to economic success; 2. Expands education and training options to help participants access good jobs and advance in their careers; 3. Helps disadvantaged and unemployed adults and youth earn while they learn through support services and effective employment-based activities; and 4. Aligns planning and accountability policies across core programs to support more unified approaches to serving low-income, low-skilled individuals. To view the full report, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.clasp.org/resources-and-publications/publication-1/KeyProvisionsofWIOA-Final.pdf
The U.S. Department of Labor is hosting two webinars Part 1 is scheduled for September 25, 2014, at 2:00 pm, EST, and Part 2 is scheduled for October 9, 2014, at 2:00 pm, EST. The American Apprenticeship Initiative was launched to help more workers participate in Registered Apprenticeship and to advance collaboration between apprenticeship, the public workforce system, and other critical partners. Registered Apprenticeship is an “earn and learn” model that offers the public workforce system a proven strategy for meeting the needs of business and increasing workers’ skills and earnings. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, with a focus on services to employers, work-based learning, and connections to apprenticeship, offers further opportunities to advance Registered Apprenticeship and workforce system partnerships. As part of the American Apprenticeship Initiative, the U.S. Department of Labor will launch a $100 million grant competition for the public workforce system, and other stakeholders. These grant awards will invest in partnerships that launch new apprenticeship models in high-growth fields, align apprenticeships with pathways for career advancement, and scale innovative apprenticeship models. To register for the Part 1 Apprenticeship webinar, please click on View Page Now or go to: https://www.workforce3one.org/view/5001423143986500443/info
The U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) held the following Webinar on August 26, 2014: WIOA Stakeholder Consultation: Consultation with Consumers, Advocacy Groups, and Direct Service Providers on Services for Individuals with Disabilities. The webinar report from this webinar is now available on an Excel spreadsheet. The report notes that 87.27% of 110 respondents said that they would recommend this webinar to a colleague. Totaling the numbers from Tab 1 & 2, there were approximately 620 attendees (597 logins out of 1047 registrants and approximately 23 grouped participants). The Excel spreadsheet has the following information: Tab 1: Registrants & Attendance - Lists everyone who registered for the webinar and attended the webinar through a Workforce3 One account (Yellow “Yes” cells signify logins) Tab 2: User Submitted Attendee Info - Contains attendee submitted user information (name, organization, other attendees at that location, etc…) Tab 3: Polling - Contains responses from polling conducted during the content portion of the webinar Tabs 4: 17 - Contains chat logs from each of the questions posed to stakeholders. Tab 18 provides feedback from the attendees. To access this webinar report, please click on Download Now or go to:
On behalf of the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services, you are invited to participate in the National Dialogue on Career Pathways to be held on September 23, 2014. This important event will bring national attention to the critical role career pathways systems play in creating a strong economy where workers can gain the skills needed for good jobs and employers can hire workers with the skills they need. The meeting will be available via live stream broadcast at http://prg.mediasite.com/mediasite/Play/f1574e1999094289ab581d5b834de4d91d. The meeting will feature messages from our federal agency leaders on the importance of career pathways as a job driven training strategy. During the day’s meeting, you will also hear presentations and panel discussions from some of the nation’s leading state and local area career pathways practitioners providing insight into their experiences and promising practices, ranging from cross-agency partnership building to innovative strategies to help students, workers, and businesses. In addition, there will also be thought-provoking discussions with leading policy experts, business leaders, and philanthropists on the future of career pathways. To view the National Dialogue on Career Pathways Agenda please click on View Page Now or go to: NDM Agenda 9-4-14.pdf
In late July 2014, Achieve, the nonprofit organization “dedicated to working with states to raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability,” released the policy brief “The Imperative for State Leadership,” the most recent publication in its Advancing Competency-Based Pathways To College and Career Readiness Series. The report maintains that the implementation of competency-based pathways (CBP) holds “great promise” for achieving the primary aims of the standards-based reform movement: Ensuring that “all students meet or exceed specific outcomes by high school graduation and … have equitable access and exposure to rich instruction and strong support to learn and demonstrate their learning.” According to the report, in order to make sure that students are prepared to succeed in college and in their chosen occupations, states must move beyond providing students with a foundation of “minimal proficiency on basic academic standards,” and instead promote a “mastery of content and skills toward and beyond college and career readiness.” This new focus is essential, the report argues, because the current education system has “perpetuated learning gaps” that grow larger over time. As a result of this, many students never achieve the necessary resources to succeed in college or a career. The report maintains that strong state leadership is critical to advancing CBP learning. Leaders must insist on “rigor throughout graduation requirements, assessment and accountability policies and implementation.” Simultaneously, they must avoid a one-size-fits-all approach because CBPs and states’ transitions to them will differ based on “state priorities and context.” To access this report, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.achieve.org/imperative-state-leadership
With the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) in late July, The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) has produced a four page brief which takes a look at the law from a disability perspective. You can find this publication on the ICI website. ICI identifies the major highlights impacting people with disabilities associated related to WIOA include: - A much larger role for public vocational rehabilitation (VR) as people with disabilities make the transition from school to adult life. - Efforts intended to limit the use of sub-minimum wage. - Required agreements between state VR systems and state Medicaid systems, and state intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) agencies. x A definition of “customized employment” in federal statute, and an updated definition of “supported employment” that includes customized employment. - A definition for “competitive integrated employment” as an optimal outcome. - Enhanced roles and requirements for the general workforce system and One-Stop Career Centers in meeting the needs of people with disabilities. x A number of disability agencies moving from the Department of Education (DOE) to the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Independent Living Program. - Changes in performance measures, with potentially major implications for VR. To access the ICI Brief on WIOA please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.communityinclusion.org/article.php?article_id=382
This booklet on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been published by the ADA National Network and has been adapted from “The Americans with Disabilities Act Questions and Answers” document produced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, October 2008 version. This publication was produced as a collaborative project by the ADA National Network, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. The booklet is designed to provide answers to some of the most often asked questions about the ADA. To access a PDF version of the booklet, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://adata.org/sites/adata.org/files/files/ADANN_FAQbooklet_2-19.pdf