On September 12, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a Federal Register Notice soliciting nominations for the Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for People with Disabilities. The Committee is established under the new Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Nominations for individuals to serve on the Committee must be received by October 14, 2014. The purpose of the Committee is to study and prepare findings, conclusions and recommendations for the Secretary of Labor on (1) ways to increase employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities or other individuals with significant disabilities in competitive, integrated employment; (2) the use of the certificate program carried out under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 214(c)); and (3) ways to improve oversight of the use of such certificates. To access the Federal Register Notice, please click on View Page Now or go to: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/09/12/2014-21834/advisory-committee-on-increasing-competitive-integrated-employment-for-individuals-with-disabilities
The National Disability Institute (NDI) is holding its 4th Annual My American Dream - Voices of Americans with Disabilities Video Contest. Individuals with disabilities are invited to submit videos sharing their stories and the steps they are taking toward their American dream. Videos may be up to three minutes long and must be submitted by September 9th. Previous finalists' videos are available to view. To learn more about NDI's My American Dream Video Contest please click on View Page Now or go to: http://dream.realeconomicimpact.org
The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and it's partners established the National Volunteer Transportation Center in early 2014 in response to the outpouring of interest in volunteerism related to the delivery of transportation services to many population groups including children, work force participants and older adults. Each of the founders have extensive experience in studying, supporting, and delivering volunteer transportation and are aware of the positive experience of those who volunteer to provide services as well as the many benefits accorded to those who receive the services. The founders are: Community Transportation Association of Washington, D.C.; the Beverly Foundation of Albuquerque, N.M.; Ride Connection of Portland, Ore.; CIMA Volunteers Insurance of Woodbridge, Va.; and AlterNetWays of San Francisco, Calif. To learn more about the National Volunteer Transportation Center, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://web1.ctaa.org/webmodules/webarticles/anmviewer.asp?a=3767&z=132
United States Interagency Counsel on Homelessness (USICH) and federal partners are teaming up with communities all across the country to accelerate and align existing efforts toward ending Veteran and chronic homelessness and to do this in a way that lays the foundation for ending all homelessness. They consider effective Partnerships as critical to the work of ending homelessness. Whether through the Mayors Challenge to End Homelessness, to solidify partnerships and secure commitments to end Veteran homelessness from mayors across the country... Or the 25 Cities effort to build and strengthen the elements of a coordinated entry system in communities for identifying, assessing, and matching people experiencing homelessness to the most appropriate housing support interventions. For more information on the USICH activities and progress, please go to their recent news release at: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=4e6358ba-bb52-49e7-a159-ad64fdeca1ab&c=0e4efc10-321b-11e3-b334-90b11c3522c5&ch=0f29cbb0-321b-11e3-b431-90b11c3522c5
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) has published an online edition of “That All May Worship,” which the organization describes as “an interfaith guide to transforming any congregation into a place that values, includes, and enjoys children and adults with all types of disabilities.” According to the AAPD website, “Over 70 thousand printed copies of this guide have been sold since the first edition was published 20 years ago. We are proud to now offer a free updated electronic edition of this popular guide.” The guide is available at http://www.aapd.com/what-we-do/interfaith/that-all-may-worship/that-all-may-worship-cover.html
he AmeriCorps Partnerships Challenge is a call to action to the private sector, nonprofits, philanthropies, and public agencies at every level. As part of the Task Force on Expanding National Service, AmeriCorps is requesting proposals to expand AmeriCorps service opportunities to meet critical national and local needs. AmeriCorps is dedicating up to $30 million in education scholarships to support this challenge. This amount of Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards is enough to support more than 8,000 new AmeriCorps members. To learn more about this request, please go to http://www.nationalservice.gov/special-initiatives/task-force-expanding-national-service/americorps-partnerships-challenge
National Council on Disability released their new report on “Effective Communication for People with Disabilities Before, During, and After Emergencies Evaluated” on May 27. The report examines successful practices and barriers to effective emergency communications for people with disabilities. The report examines the current state of affairs concerning the accessibility of emergency-related communications; reviews the enforcement of disability laws and regulations as they pertain to effective communications before, during, and after emergencies. Information on the experiences and perceptions of people with disabilities as they relate to emergency-related communications is also provided. Based on the findings of the report, NCD has put forth a series of recommendations for policy makers, federal partners, and emergency managers. To view a synopsis of the report and access a PDF version of the full report, please go to: http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2014/05272014/
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/.
Mitsubishi Electric American Foundation (MEAF) announced the launch of the M>PWR initiative focused on empowering youth and veterans with disabilities to obtain competitive employment. Over the course of the next three years in lead up to the Foundation's 25th anniversary, MEAF will bring together a network of: students, colleagues from local non-profits identified by Mitsubishi Electric Employee Volunteers, representatives from our National grantee projects, as well as local employers and community leaders to participate in regional M>PWR Summits to share best practices for securing inclusive employment. For more information on the M-PWR initiative, go to: http://www.meaf.org/what_we_do/mpwr_initiative/
The Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990 provides immediate crisis counseling to people affected by the winter storms in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern states The Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990 can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the damage caused by the winter storms in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern states. The Helpline is a 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week resource that responds to people who need crisis counseling after experiencing a natural or man-made disaster or tragedy. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Helpline immediately connects callers to trained and caring professionals from the closest crisis counseling center in the nationwide network of centers. The Helpline staff will provide confidential counseling, referrals and other needed support services. The Disaster Distress Helpline is a national hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis counseling. The toll-free Helpline is confidential and multilingual and available for those who are experiencing psychological distress as a result of natural or man-made disasters, incidents of mass violence or any other tragedy affecting America's communities The helpline can also be accessed at http://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/ and TTY for deaf and hearing impaired: 1-800-846-8517.
The Departmant of Health and Human Services (HHS) is providing materials and resources promoting Tuesday, February 15, 2014, as Youth Enrollment Day. Nearly one in four young adults in the United States doesn’t have health insurance. The Family and Youth Services Bureau within HHS supports the many national, state, and local organizations that are uniting to spread the word about health coverage options for young adults through National Youth Enrollment Day on February 15. HHS is encouraging Public agencies, grantees and non-profits to host an event, a town hall, or an enrollment fair and get on the radio, TV, Facebook, and Twitter to inform young people about their health options under the Affordable Care Act before the deadline to get enrolled, March 31. HHS has developed materials to assist in hosting events featuring Youth Enrollment Day on their website at: http://nationalyouthenrollmentday.org
The Commission on Election Administration is a bi-partisan commission established by President Obabms. The bi-partisan commission issed a report of their findings and recommendations to improve the voting process and streamline the voter experience after the 2012 election was plagued by long lines and other difficulties. Among other recommendations, the panel is urging election officials nationwide to pay greater attention to people with disabilities and other groups that are often disproportionately impacted by problems at the polls. Many enhancements — like widespread use of online voter registration — would be particularly advantageous to those with disabilities, the commission said. Checklists for each polling place should be used during every election cycle to ensure full accessibility and the panel is recommending that routine audits be conducted to verify compliance. Poll workers also need to be fully trained on how to interact with voters who have special needs and how to assist them with equipment. A PDF version of the full report is available at: https://www.supportthevoter.gov/files/2014/01/Amer-Voting-Exper-final-draft-01-09-14-508.pdf
The Institute for Communicy Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts - Boston, has established a website - Real People, Real Jobs -featuring employment success stories. The site highlights individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities working in paid jobs in their communities through the use of innovative front-line strategies. The objective is to show what's possible for people with disabilities, their families, and front-line employment-support professionals. This month Real People, Real Jobs profiles Eric and Francesca, who turned volunteer opportunities into paid positions. Read how Corey developed a business that met a need in his community, and how Anna and Jackson's complementary skills turned into a business partnership. You can also learn how a job developer's networking skills contributed to Zachary finding the ideal work opportunity in web design. The website is at: http://www.realworkstories.org/
Youth with Disabilities Find Path to Employment Through National Service The job market for young job seekers is always challenging but especially so in a recovering economy. A letter from the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) outlines several of the avenues -- including service-learning and volunteering -- that can be used to release the untapped potential of all youth, including those with disabilities. By opening doors to employment through volunteer and national service programs, youth and youth with disabilities will gain access to valuable job experiences and develop a network of contacts that can lead to employment later. CNCS research has found connections between volunteering and employment, including a 27 percent higher likelihood for volunteers finding work than non-volunteers. Guidance in the memo from the Department of Labor also addresses concerns about participation in CNCS programs such as AmeriCorps that provide a stipend, which may ease fears that national service would adversely affect those who receive Social Security benefits and their families. Learn more about how youth with disabilities can improve their employment prospects by reading the full text of the memo and viewing helpful resources here. For more information go to: http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/pathway-to-employment
Mathematica Policy Research issued the Money Follows the Person 2012 Annual Evaluation Report on October 15, 2013. The Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program represents a major federal initiative to give people needing long-term services and supports more choice about where they live and receive care, and to increase the capacity of state long-term care systems to serve people in community settings. Calendar year 2012 marked the fifth year of implementation of the national MFP demonstration. Cumulative MFP enrollment climbed to 30,000 transitions by the end of December 2012, a 50 percent growth over the total number at the same point in 2011. In early 2012, three more states received planning grants bringing the total number of states to have received MFP grants to 47 (46 states plus the District of Columbia). At the end of 2012 the total number of operating programs stood at 37, which included the four states that launched their transition programs during the year and began serving their first MFP participants: Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, and Vermont. Oregon’s program was still suspended as the state conducted a review of its program’s overall design and 5 states were in various stages of planning. During the year, New Mexico and Florida formally withdrew from the grant program. The full report is at: http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/PDFs/health/MFP_2012_Annual.pdf?spMailingID=7380945&spUserID=Njc2ODkyNzQ1MTcS1&spJobID=98147638&spReportId=OTgxNDc2MzgS1
NextSTEP: National Service to Employment Project https://www.facebook.com/service2employ The National Service to Employment Project (NextSTEP) conducts research, provides technical assistance, and creates demonstration projects focusing on people with disabilities in volunteer and community-service roles. NextSTEP promotes service as a way to contribute to the community, gain valuable skills, explore career paths, and develop social networks that can lead to meaningful employment.