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Financial Capability, Asset Development, and Work and Tax Incentives Financial education and asset development are critical to improving the economic self-sufficiency of all workers, and may be especially important for people with disabilities. Learning how to stretch wages further, invest wisely, avoid debt and plan for retirement is essential to avoiding the poverty level income connected with most disability benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). Furthermore, several work and tax incentives exist to reduce disability- and work-related costs, such as medical expenses or reasonable job accommodations. Some work incentives can even be used to provide capital for people with disabilities interested in starting their own business.

To learn more check out the resources and information on the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy website.

• April is national Financial Capability month, what are you doing to ensure people have the resources to make informed decisions about their finances?
43 0 0  04/05/2016
05:52PM EST 
Do you "Ask EARN"? The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) is a resource for employers seeking to recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified employees with disabilities. EARN offers employers free individualized technical assistance including providing linkages to state and local community-based organizations serving job seekers with disabilities. Ask EARN a question!

• What is your go to resource to recruit, hire, and retain qualified individuals with disabilities?
139 0 0  03/17/2016
02:34PM EST 
Taking advantage of DOL Employment Services The US Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) programs, resources and online tools help workers in all stages of the job and career development. Available online resources include: Assessing Yourself, Deal with a Job Loss, Explore Career Options, Find a Job, Gain Experience and Credentials, Know Your Rights as a Worker, Resources for Veterans, and Youth.

• What employment services do you use: CareerOneStop, MyNextMove, Worker Reemployment Portal, Job Corps, Jobs for Veterans Act or others?
232 0 1  03/09/2016
02:09PM EST 
On-the-Job Training: a work-based training approach On-the-job (OJT), a federal program funded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), lets you hire and train skilled workers and get reimbursed for your efforts. The OJT Toolkit provides a number of templates and examples that are customizable to meet the needs of your state or local workforce area. Several agencies that administer OJT provided useful forms and samples for this Toolkit which you can then take and modify to meet your needs.

• What types of OJT and other work-based learning opportunities do you provide?
272 0 0  02/19/2016
04:50PM EST 
Apprenticeships – a work-based learning experience According to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), work-based learning experiences include apprenticeships. Registered Apprenticeships are innovative work-based learning and post-secondary earn-and- learn models that meet national standards for registration with the US Department of Labor (or federally recognized State Apprenticeship Agencies. ApprenticeshipUSA offers employers in every industry the tools to develop a highly skilled workforce to help grow their business. For workers, it offers opportunities to earn a salary while learning the skills necessary to succeed in high-demand careers.

• What types of diversified training opportunities do you offer?
273 0 0  02/08/2016
12:58PM EST 
Creating Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) coordinates national resources, offers technical assistance, and disseminates information related to secondary education and transition for youth with disabilities in order to create opportunities for youth to achieve successful futures. The State Contact and Resources page contains transition-related resources and education-related office contact information for states and territories in the United States.

• Check out information and resources that affect the lives of youth with disabilities in secondary education and transition.
224 0 0  01/25/2016
04:39PM EST 
Youth in Transition: Using Guideposts for Success The transition from youth to adulthood is challenging for almost every young person. This is particularly true for young people with disabilities. Yet, it is in those crucial transition-age years that a young person's future can be determined. The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD)/Youth has identified Guideposts for Success based on what research tells us that all youth need to transition to adulthood successfully.

After providing a detailed list within each Guidepost of what all youth need, the framework then describes additional specific needs pertaining to youth with disabilities. By addressing these specific needs policymakers, program administrators, youth service practitioners, parents, family members, and youth will have access to a foundation that will lead to work, further education, and independent community living.
• Tell us how you are applying the Guideposts to better serve youth in transition.
277 0 0  01/13/2016
03:52PM EST 
Free national technical assistance resources: Workplace Accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Did you know that the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues? Or, that the ADA National Network, through its ten regional centers provides information, guidance and training on the ADA tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, regional and national levels? Now, you are in the know.

Some reasons to access JAN include if you have questions related to interviewing, hiring and/or accommodating applicants/employees with disabilities or if you need information on accommodation options/ideas. Some reasons to access your ADA regional center include if you need answers to frequently asked questions, practical tips for compliance, popular publications, and web-based resources. You can access both for information about the ADA and how it applies to a workplace.
• What are your go to resources for workplace accommodations and ADA compliance?
235 0 0  12/14/2015
04:39PM EST 
Transportation Strategies Joblinks, an employment transportation project of the Community Transportation Association of America, connects workforce development agencies, transportation providers and other stakeholders with transportation-to-work solutions that are affordable, reliable and accessible.

Joblinks continually researches the best innovations and solutions for workforce development and transit professionals to help you maximize your time and meet your goals.

• Share some of your effective transportation-to-work strategies?
1663 0 3  12/05/2015
04:11AM EST 
Free National Technical Resources: Supporting the inclusion of people with disabilities To develop and influence disability employment-related policies and practices, the US Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy sponsors research and technical assistance resources. One of these is the National Employer Technical Assistance Center, a collaborative that researches, influences and develops inclusive employer practices and policies and — through the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) — helps employers hire and retain workers with disabilities.

The Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) promotes the employment, retention, and career advancement of people with disabilities through the development, adoption, and promotion of accessible technology.
• Tell us how EARN and/or PEAT have helped you support the inclusion of people with disabilities?
293 0 0  12/03/2015
08:23AM EST 
Hiring Veterans: A Step-by-Step Toolkit for Employers Are you working with employers on how they can include transitioning service members, veterans, and wounded warriors in their recruitment and hiring initiatives? America’s Heroes at Work has designed has designed a toolkit that describes six steps for hiring: 1) Design a strategy for your veterans hiring program; 2) Create a welcoming and educated workplace for veterans; 3) Actively recruit veterans, wounded warriors, and military spouses; 4) Hire qualified veterans and learn how to accommodate wounded warriors; 5) Promote an inclusive workplace to retain your veteran employees; 6) Keep helpful tools and resources at your fingertips.

• Share some ways you are working with employers to include veterans as part of their recruitment and hiring initiatives.
289 0 0  11/12/2015
05:06PM EST 
Where do you go if you have a question about workplace accommodations? I hope your answer—or at least one of your top answers—is the Job Accommodation Network also known as JAN! If not, then you will have a whole new support opened up to you. JAN is the leading source of “free”, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues; it represents the most comprehensive job accommodation resource available.. JAN’s consultants offer one-on-one guidance on workplace accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related legislation, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities.

• Share your experiences around providing workplace accommodations.
281 0 2  11/04/2015
09:41AM EST 
Supporting Wounded Warriors and Veterans who have a Compensation Rating of 100% Permanent and Total The effect of military service can be profound and lasting. There are a number of financial, social, and health issues that result from military service. Some Wounded Warriors and Veterans Who Have a Compensation Rating of 100% permanent and total (P&T) are unaware that Social Security may expedite the processing of their disability claims.

The Social Security Administration has information that Wounded Warriors and Veterans Who Have a Compensation Rating of 100% P&T should know about. This site provides information about Social Security, why it is important, and some of the services we provide.
• Share some ways that you are supporting disabled Veterans?
275 0 0  11/04/2015
09:36AM EST 
Employment and Disability 30-Second Training Series As part of ongoing technical assistance, the DOL Employment and Training Administration's DEI Technical Assistance Team created the Employment and Disability 30-Second Training Series and complementary Business Resource Guide with a business focus designed to educate businesses, hiring managers and supervisors about proven strategies and easy-to-use resources that can assist in retaining and accommodating existing employees who experience onset of a disability. These tools (e.g. 30-Second Trainings and Resource Guide) will also provide valuable information and sources of support to business in hiring qualified employees who experience a disability, including strategies and resources that can assist in effectively accommodating all employees in achieving their maximum potential and productivity level.

Employment and Disability 30-Second Training Series Categories:
• Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Basics
• Compliance Benefits
• Employment Basics
• Recruitment and Hiring Strategies
• Section 503 Final Rule

If you have never experienced a 30-second training, then you are in for a treat!
460 0 0  10/02/2015
06:55PM EST 
How do you celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities? The US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy includes myriad ideas to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) for employers, educators and youth service professionals, associations and unions, disability related organizations and federal agencies. To get started, the website includes a “31 days of NDEAM” slideshow.

• Throughout the month, we hope that you will share some of the ways that you celebrate America’s workers with disabilities!
475 0 0  09/22/2015
09:35AM EST 
“Who I Am” Outreach Toolkit Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a time to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. The theme for this year — which marks 70 years since the first observance — is "My Disability is One Part of Who I Am."

This online toolkit features a range of integrated materials to help you or your organization support the message of the “Who I Am” PSA. The discussion guide can be used to facilitate staff training and education efforts around the issues of disability employment and workforce diversity. The posters can be used to create workplace diversity displays or freshen up bulletin boards, waiting areas and break rooms. A Spanish-language poster is also available, as is a Spanish-language version of the PSA.

• Share some of your planned NDEAM outreach strategies?
542 0 0  08/28/2015
12:40PM EST 
Information, Guidance, and Training on the ADA The ADA National Network provides information, guidance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, regional and national levels. It serves as a supportive resource, not an enforcement agency. Access this resource when:
• You want the latest news and resources for business owners to facilitate ADA compliance.
• You need answers to frequently asked questions, practical tips for compliance, popular publications, and web-based resources.
• You need guidance on establishing a fully accessible and accommodating place of business for customers and place of employment for your partners, staff and vendors that meets ADA guidelines.
563 0 0  08/12/2015
10:04AM EST 
Section 188 Disability Reference Guide The United States Department of Labor developed this Reference Guide to assist American Job Centers by providing promising practices that correlate with specific nondiscrimination requirements in Section 188 and the current Section 188 regulations.

• What are some ways this guide can help you ensure universal access and equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in the workforce development system?
598 0 2  08/03/2015
05:07PM EST 
Do you know how the ADA applies to the Workforce? Last month, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation and all public and private places that are open to the general public.

The ADA offers an opportune time to encourage businesses to educate the workforce about the ADA and disability employment issues. Informing employees, beyond simply posting an equal opportunity poster, can benefit businesses by creating a more knowledgeable and inclusive workforce, reducing the likelihood of discrimination through awareness, and improving productivity by recognizing value in providing reasonable accommodations. In its latest edition of E-news, the Job Accommodation Network provides several strategies to educate the workforce about the ADA and reasonable accommodation.

• How are you addressing the ADA and disability employment issues?
585 0 0  08/03/2015
04:54PM EST 
Section 188, the Nondiscrimination Provisions of WIOA The Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity provisions in Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) are the same as the Workforce Investment Act. However, did you know new provisions in Title 1 of WIOA increases individuals with disabilities’ access to high quality workforce services and prepares them for competitive integrated employment.

AJCs/One-Stop Centers will provide physical and programmatic accessibility to employment and training services for individuals with disabilities and implement new Section 188 (non-discrimination) requirements related to:
? functions of the local boards.
? local plan content.
? certification, at least every three years, of the One-Stop career centers to include an assessment of physical and programmatic accessibility in accordance with Section 188.
747 0 0  07/02/2015
05:51PM EST 
Hot off the presses: Labor Force Characteristics 2014? The data on persons with a disability are collected as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 households that provides statistics on employment and unemployment in the United States and is sponsored by the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy. Check out the labor force characteristics just released for 2014 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

• What is your favorite disability statistics go to resource?
712 0 0  06/23/2015
03:34PM EST 
It's all about the numbers! Did you know that each year, the U.S. Census Bureau puts out a Fact for Features to commemorate the Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)!!! To commemorate the 25th anniversary, this edition of the Facts for Features provides a demographic snapshot of the U.S. population with a disability and examines various services available to them. The statistics come from various Census Bureau censuses and surveys, covering differing periods of time.

• Can you name some creative ways to use this great resource to raise awareness about the ADA and people with disabilities?
656 0 0  06/06/2015
07:42PM EST 
Options for Workforce Employment Networks The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has initiated several efforts to expand the capacity of the public workforce system to serve persons with disabilities, including those receiving Social Security disability benefits, and to promote the employment of persons with disabilities. Per the Ticket to Work regulations, workforce development systems are automatically assumed to be qualified as Employment Networks (EN), although they must still complete the application process. Learn more about options for public workforce system participation.

• Are you a workforce EN through the Disability Employment Initiative?
508 0 0  05/23/2015
03:34PM EST 
Lessons Learned on Serving Ticketholders in the American Job Centers Under the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) , operating as an Employment Network by the state workforce agency or local Workforce Investment Board implementing sites is a required component. To date, DOL has funded five rounds of projects under the DEI and a sixth round will be awarded by October 1st.

Key lessons have been learned from DEI Workforce Employment Networks that have resulted in positive employment outcomes for job seekers receiving Social Security disability benefits.
• Share your experiences serving Ticketholders as a Workforce EN.
526 0 1  05/15/2015
11:00AM EST 
Ticket to Work/Employment Network (EN) Resources Since 2000, DOL has issued Training and Employment Notices and provided technical assistance to inform the public workforce system about the Ticket Program and how it can complement and enhance the services and supports available to customers with disabilities that access the system. Workforce ENs are showing that Job Centers can become successful ENs by- assigning Tickets and generating revenue.

The Social Security Administration offers a wealth of resources for EN Service Providers.
• Have you considering becoming an EN?
527 0 0  04/23/2015
06:46PM EST 
The WIOA Resources Page The U.S. Department of Labor, in coordination with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, is working diligently to ensure that states, local areas, other grantees, and stakeholders are prepared for implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The WIOA Resource Page provides information and resources for States, local areas, non-profits and other grantees, and other stakeholders to assist with implementation of the Act. This page will be updated to reflect newly developed materials, including responses to frequently asked questions.

• How are you preparing your system to implement WIOA?
438 0 0  04/07/2015
12:45PM EST 
Preparing for the Implementation of WIOA The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed into law on July 22, 2014, is the first legislative reform of the public workforce system in 15 years. There are a myriad of technical assistance tools and resources to help the public workforce system on all levels prepare for WIOA implementation.

• How are you preparing your workforce system to implement WIOA?
492 0 0  03/30/2015
04:36PM EST 
WIOA from a Disability Perspective Signed into law July 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) maintains a primary focus on assisting job seekers and workers with and without disabilities to succeed in the labor market and matching employers with skilled workers who may benefit from education, skills training, and career services. Learn more about WIOA from a Disability Perspective by accessing a webinar archive and policy brief.

• How do your workforce policies and practices integrate and include youth and adults with disabilities?
467 0 0  03/12/2015
09:35AM EST 
Architect of the Disability and Employment Community of Practice As part of her tireless efforts to “integrate” disability into the public workforce system, in 2009, in connection with National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Randee Chafkin was instrumental in Workforce3 One unveiling a new Disability and Employment Community of Practice page to provide disability employment-related resources for the workforce system.

Since Workforce3 One was designed as an interactive communications and learning platform to build the capacity of the public workforce system, it was significant to have a section dedicated to disability and employment topics.

• How are you integrating and including disability in your workforce efforts?
592 0 0  03/03/2015
06:34PM EST 
Disability and Employment Statistics What is your go to resource(s) to find reliable and current statistics on individuals with disabilities? 868 0 3  02/27/2015
02:14AM EST 
Partnerships and Collaboration: State and Local Level Examples In order to integrate resources and services, blend and braid funds, and leverage resources across multiple service delivery systems through an approach like the Integrated Resource Team, you need to have partnerships and collaboration. This promising practice highlights examples of effective systems level and individual level partnerships and collaboration.

• What effective partnership and collaboration strategies do you use?
448 0 0  02/13/2015
04:07PM EST 
Do you use the Integrated Resource Team Approach The use of Integrated Resource Teams (IRT) began under the Disability Program Navigator (DPN) initiative and is included as one of seven practices / strategies to increase education and employment outcomes of persons with disabilities under the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI). The IRT approach is used to integrate resources and services, blend and braid funds, and leverage resources across multiple service delivery systems.

A DEI Case Scenario video vignette actively models how to organize and implement an IRT meeting.

• IRTs can lead to improved communication and coordination of services for those impacted by multiple systems and variables. Do you use the IRT approach?
370 0 0  02/02/2015
04:25PM EST 
Credits and Deductions for Individual and Business Taxpayers The Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child and Dependent Care Credit help millions of families every year. There are also a number of credits for small and large businesses. Access the IRS website section on credits and deductions for more information.

• Does your Job Center provide information on tax credits and deductions?
3581 0 0  01/20/2015
12:55PM EST 
Access to free federal and state tax preparation and filing assistance It is that time of year again, i.e., tax time! MyFreeTaxes.com provides 100 percent free online federal and state tax preparation and filing assistance to employees with household incomes of $60,000 or less. For employees that would prefer to file in person, free tax preparation sites - through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program - are available around the country for individuals and households with an income of $53,000 or less. Click here to find a site in your area.

• Does your Job Center serve as a free tax preparation site?
823 0 0  01/06/2015
05:32PM EST 
Workforce EN Tools and Resources Becoming an active workforce Employment Network is a required component of grant activities under the U.S. Department of Labor’s Disability Employment Initiative. DOL’s technical assistance and training contractor has developed tools and resources to help support the Ticket to Work program for workforce ENs. Click here to lean more.

• Share some of your go to resources for operating an effective workforce EN.
1968 0 0  12/17/2014
09:39AM EST 
Are you a Workforce Employment Network? The comprehensive nature of the American Job Center (AJC) Network makes it a natural service provider as an Employment Network (EN) under the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program. AJCs are experienced employment support providers that can help disability beneficiaries return to work.

Since 2000, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued Training and Employment Notices and provided technical assistance (via webinars, tools, best practices) to inform the public workforce system about the Ticket Program and how it can complement and enhance the services and supports available to customers with disabilities that access the system.

• Share your experiences assigning Tickets and generating revenue.
1728 0 1  12/02/2014
10:58AM EST 
Transportation Business Solutions According to the Community Transportation Association of America’s Business Solutions businesses benefit directly when they become invested in transportation solutions. Business service representatives can help business customers understand their return on investment and the benefit to their profit line due to participation in transportation-to-work solutions..

• How do you address the transportation needs of job seekers?
2480 0 0  11/04/2014
11:28AM EST 
Building Career Pathways Partnerships The Career Pathways Community of Practice helps workforce development leaders, practitioners, and policymakers expand state and local career pathways efforts currently underway or being planned. This Community of Practice will enhance your knowledge, skills, and expertise in building effective career pathways systems.

• Partnerships are essential to the success of building career pathways. As a workforce partner, what strategies are you using to connect with partners such as community colleges and technical institutions and the business community?
2028 0 0  10/18/2014
01:22PM EST 
Career Pathways: Supporting job-driven approaches Career pathways are a series of connected education and training strategies and support services that enable individuals to secure industry relevant certifications and obtain employment within an occupational area and to advance to higher levels of future education and employment in that area.

• Are you connected to a career pathways system and/or program?
1320 0 0  10/06/2014
03:20PM EST 
Tools to educate business in 30 Seconds Do you want a fun way to provide valuable information and sources of support to business in hiring qualified employees who experience a disability, including strategies and resources that can assist in effectively accommodating all employees in achieving their maximum potential and productivity level? Then check out the Employment and Disability 30-Second Training Series and complementary Business Resource Guide developed by the Employment and Training Administration's DEI Technical Assistance Team.

• What strategies are you using to help business“Expect, Employ and Empower” next month?
1225 0 0  09/15/2014
03:13PM EST 
WIOA -- I want to learn more The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration has devoted a section of its comprehensive website to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The website contains links to WIOA technical assistance tools and resources plus includes a list of stakeholder input and engagement opportunities taking place in August and September.

• What are you interested in relative to this new legislation?
• Are you planning to participate in a stakeholder engagement webinar?
910 0 5  08/29/2014
02:00PM EST 
Where can you find information and resources to celebrate NDEAM? October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. The theme for 2014 is "Expect. Employ. Empower." Access the NDEAM 2014 Resource Toolkit to find links to posters, articles, sample proclamations, press releases, media content, etc.

• What plans do you have for NDEAM?
961 0 0  08/29/2014
12:50PM EST 
WIOA—What do these four letters mean to the Workforce System? The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is landmark legislation designed to strengthen and improve our nation’s pubic workforce system and help put American’s back to work. The provisions are designed to help workers, including those with barriers to employment, access employment, education, job-driven training, and support services; enhance program coordination, streamline service delivery, and increase flexibility for governance; improve services to employers; and align programs across common goals and increase accountability and transparency.

• What does WIOA mean to you?
871 0 0  08/02/2014
10:44AM EST 
Where can you access free national resources on the ADA? Hopefully, this is not the first time you are learning about these two free national centers that provide resources, information and consultation around the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but, if so, then you definitely need to check them out.

The ADA National Network has ten regional centers that provide information, guidance and training on the ADA. Services are tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, regional and national levels.

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) ADA Library includes information and publications about each of the titles and provides free, confidential technical assistance about job accommodations and the ADA.

• What is your go to resource for information, resources and guidance on the ADA?
698 0 0  07/16/2014
04:57PM EST 
Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, telecommunications, and state and local government services.

The U.S. Census Bureau has issued their annual Facts for Features on the Anniversary of the ADA. Facts for Features consist of collections of statistics from the Census Bureau's demographic and economic subject areas intended to commemorate anniversaries or observances or to provide background information for topics in the news.

• Let us know how your organization will be celebrating/recognizing the anniversary of the ADA?
695 0 0  07/09/2014
02:12PM EST 
Disability is Diversity According to the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) disability is a diversity classification that transcends all ethnic, racial, age, gender, education, and socioeconomic lines. It represents the only minority group that anyone can join at any time. EARN can help you make your workforce diverse and inclusive for existing and future employees and for customers with disabilities. Read more through EARN’s flyer on Diversity Promotes Competitive Edge.

• Have you tapped into EARN’s resources to help build your workforce?
748 0 0  06/18/2014
05:41PM EST 
Diversity and Inclusion By fostering a culture of diversity — or a capacity to appreciate and value individual differences — employers benefit from varied perspectives on how to confront business challenges and achieve success.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Policy has a section of their website devoted to Diversity and Inclusion that includes a list of resources and information on disability and diversity and inclusion.

• Do you include disability as part of diversity?
• Do you have examples of working with employers?
814 0 0  06/13/2014
10:01AM EST 
Making the connection to Mental Health Services in your community The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website offers a treatment services locator to find mental health treatment facilities and programs near you. Help is available for customers with limited resources who cannot afford to pay for services.

• What resources are you accessing within your community to help support customers with mental health disabilities?
760 0 0  05/28/2014
10:59AM EST 
Progress on Mental Health The White House put out a fact sheet this month, Marking the Administration's Progress on Mental Health. According to the fact sheet, “Nearly one in five American adults experience a mental illness in any given year. Less than half received mental health services.” MentalHealth.gov has a lot of great information and resources including a directory to find information about mental health services and resources.

• How are you serving and accommodating customers with mental health disabilities?
822 0 0  05/11/2014
02:48PM EST 
May is Mental Health Awareness Month The Disability and Employment Community of Practice theme for May is Mental Health Awareness. We believe that many people with emotional or psychiatric challenges are seeking employment or training through the public workforce system. Further, individuals who lose their jobs are vulnerable to depression or the triggering of psychiatric illness.

The Job Accommodation Network has information and resources on accommodating individuals with mental health issues. They can be reached online or toll free at: 1-800-526-7234 with further options to email questions and search their extensive information. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also has a very helpful website, including the ability to search for local mental health service providers.

• What has your experience been in your American Job Center?
• Does your center have information on additional supports or services available to these individuals if they request assistance?
847 0 0  05/01/2014
09:52AM EST 
Training Resources on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) There are different resources available to provide training to staff on the ADA and the responsibilities of public agencies to comply with Section II, along with obligations set forth in Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The ADA National Network has regional centers that can identify individuals to provide this kind of training.

In addition, they have created an on-line, web-based training course that was developed in collaboration with the Department of Labor. This free course is also eligible for continuing education credits and, though approximately four hours to complete, can be taken in sections over the course of days or weeks. The ADA National Network is available by phone (1-800-949-4232 (Voice and TTY)) and email (http://adata.org/content/email-us) to respond to questions on the ADA regarding the job center, customers, private business, training provider, or other entities covered under the ADA.
• Are you familiar with the free At Your Service: Welcoming Customers with Disabilities webcourse?
• Has your workforce investment area or AJC held training on physical, programmatic, and communication access? Who has provided the training and what are your comments regarding it?
904 0 0  04/15/2014
09:52AM EST 
Understanding Obligations or Accommodations for a Job Seeker with a Disability The requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and non-discrimination provisions of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Section 188, regarding individuals with disabilities can be quite daunting for American Job Centers and their staff. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a Federally funded, highly regarded public service that assists anyone with questions regarding appropriate accommodations and are available by phone or email and host numerous resources on their website (Phone: (800)526-7234 / (877)781-9403 (TTY) and to submit email questions: http://askjan.org/JANonDemand.htm).

• Have you worked with JAN?
• What are your other go to resources as a workforce professional to assist in understanding obligations or accommodations for a job seeker with a disability?
1018 0 0  03/30/2014
10:55AM EST 
Assistive Technology Solutions for People Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision There are many Assistive Technology (AT) solutions for people who are blind or have low vision. All job centers should have software available on their resource or training room computers that allow for voice input and output (e.g., Dragon Dictate, JAWS) and marketing material in large print and audio tape/disc. Helpful training videos on these and other products available for visual impairments is provided at the Federally funded Computer/Electronics Accommodation Program website.

• Does your job center have accommodations for people with low vision or blind?
• What kinds of AT solutions has your job center acquired?
• Did you know that voice activated software and screen reading software for people who are blind can also address barriers for job seekers with low literacy skills or learning disabilities?
940 0 2  03/18/2014
05:00PM EST 
Assistive Technologies and American Job Centers Many American Job Centers have incorporated Assistive Technologies as part of their resource rooms and group training environments to greatly enhance access to job seekers with disabilities and meet their obligations as public facilities under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. These include ensuring availability of TTY phones, video conferencing technologies, screen reader and voice activated software, and alternative keyboard displays, among others.

• Does your American Job Center have a variety of Assistive Technologies available for their job seekers with diverse disabilities?
• Share the successes and challenges you’ve experienced in acquiring Assistive Technology for your Job Center.
1066 0 1  02/19/2014
09:34AM EST 
How can you get tax credits for hiring? The CareerOneStop Business Center includes information on the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which is a federal tax credit incentive that benefits both employers and qualified workers.

• Have you utilized the WOTC to help provide employment opportunities to targeted populations? Tell us about your experience.
923 0 1  02/14/2014
01:25PM EST 
What is your go to source for your recruiting, hiring and training needs? The CareerOneStop Business Center Toolkit provides quick access to tools to help you recruit, train and retain your workforce. The tools allow you to customize solutions for your needs. To learn more about the CareerOneStop Business Center check out the Business Center Frequently Asked Questions .

• What is your go to source for your workforce needs?
806 0 0  02/12/2014
03:50PM EST 
Workplace Solutions Many people with and without disabilities have learned the benefit of Assistive Technologies (AT) in accomplishing assignments and tasks in a work setting as well as other daily requirements of our fast paced life. Readily available AT solutions have transformed the work experience of millions of people with disabilities with relatively low, one-time costs. Many employers have also identified AT solutions to address disabling conditions as workers age in-place. Are you aware of AT products and solutions for a job seeker who is blind? Helpful information on workplace solutions can be viewed at the Federally funded Computer/Electronics Accommodation Program website . In addition, the Job Accommodation Network provides comprehensive information to help employers and individuals identify the right AT solutions based upon disability.

• Let us know if you have questions on how an employer can provide an AT solution for a range of sensory, communication, cognitive, mobility, or other barriers that you have encountered when assisting job seeker with a specific challenge.
707 0 0  02/12/2014
02:25PM EST 
Compliance with Section 503 Final Rule On August 27, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced a Final Rule that makes changes to the regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Section 503). Section 503 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against individuals with disabilities, and requires these employers to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain these individuals.

The Disability and Employment Community of Practice contains an Employment and Disability 30-Second Training Series and complementary Business Resource Guide with a business focus that was designed to educate businesses, hiring managers and supervisors about proven strategies and easy-to-use resources that can assist in retaining and accommodating existing employees who experience onset of a disability.

• What resources and strategies are you using to ensure you comply with the new Section 503 rule?
352 0 0  01/28/2014
10:14AM EST 
Promising Partnerships and Collaborations A number of state and local promising practices have recently been posted to the Disability and Employment Community of Practice that illustrate the benefits of partnering around an individual job seeker with a disability and/or other challenges to employment moving through the American Job Center system.

• Share some examples of your systems level and individual level partnerships that are helping to make a difference for job seekers who experience challenges to employment.
505 0 2  01/15/2014
12:34PM EST 
Registered Apprenticeship: A Career Pathway for American Workers Registered Apprenticeship is a unique, flexible training system that combines job related technical instruction with structured on-the-job learning experiences. Registered Apprenticeship is a leader in preparing American workers to compete in a global 21st Century economy because the system keeps pace with advancing technologies and innovations in training and human resource development.

• How are you supporting apprenticeship opportunities in your community?
611 0 0  01/14/2014
11:34AM EST 
Workforce System Strategies Implementation Tools In addition to housing profiles of workforce-related research, the Workforce System Strategies community of practice also houses nearly 100 “supporting resources.” These implementation tools are designed to help workforce administrators and practitioners create or enhance their programs using models shared by other state and local areas and agencies. The resources include toolkits, frameworks, strategy papers and policy briefs.

• What resources have you checked out: toolkits, frameworks, strategy papers and/or policy briefs?
789 0 0  12/04/2013
03:13PM EST 
A creative way to share information and resources Check out the 30-second trainings that have been developed by the Disability Employment Initiative technical assistance project. A 30-second training is a quick fun Power Point slide show that can be completed in a very short amount of time hence, 30-Seconds Trainings. They provide disability and employment information usually with a resource link for those that are interested in furthering their knowledge and expertise.

• What creative ways to you use to share information and resources?
821 0 0  11/21/2013
10:30AM EST 
Resources for Serving Disabled Veterans through the Workforce System On Monday, November 11th, we celebrate Veterans Day. As a workforce professional, what are your go to resources for providing employment related services to disabled Veterans and why? 853 0 0  11/05/2013
04:52PM EST 
Assistive Technology Alternative Financing Program Alternative Financing Programs (AFPs) are federally-funded programs which provide affordable financing options for the purchase of assistive technology devices and services. The RESNA Catalyst Program has a directory of alternative finance programs by state plus other resources and information.

• Have you ever accessed your AFP?
778 0 0  09/24/2013
02:44PM EST 
Affordable Care Act On October 1st, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) goes into effect. The ACA puts in place strong consumer protections, provides new coverage options and includes tools to make informed choices.

• How will the ACA affect you?
1028 0 0  09/05/2013
09:12AM EST 
National Disability Employment Awareness Month Or NDEAM as it is better known…. The theme for 2013 is "Because We Are EQUAL to the Task." The theme reflects the reality that people with disabilities have the education, training, experience and desire to be successful in the workplace. Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

• Are you planning any NDEAM activities for October?
990 0 0  08/21/2013
04:50PM EST 
Connecting Youth to Opportunities through Job Corps Job Corps is a free education and training program through the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job. For eligible young people at least 16 years of age that qualify as low income, Job Corps provides the all-around skills needed to succeed in a career and in life. For students and potential students, Job Corps is now accepting applications for those interested in enrolling.

• As a WIA partner, how are you coordinating with Job Corps to serve eligible youth?
953 0 2  08/05/2013
09:21AM EST 
Transportation-to-Work Solutions Joblinks Employment Transportation is a project of the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) that connects workforce development agencies, transportation providers and other stakeholders with transportation-to-work solutions that are affordable, reliable and accessible. Joblinks focuses on the mobility needs of low-wage job seekers and earners, as well as workers with disabilities, youth, veterans, and older workers.

• How do you deal with employment transportation challenges?
641 0 0  08/01/2013
04:53PM EST 
Helping youth connect to employment and training opportunities Do you serve youth who have challenges connecting to meaningful and effective employment and training opportunities, i.e., youth with disabilities, in the foster care or juvenile justice system. If so, what type of strategies are you implementing to help make these connections?

• Through the American Job Center Network?
• Through youth zones or similar local and/or state based organizations?
• Through Job Clubs or other kind of community activities?

There are many programs and resources that specifically target youth with challenges including the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (http://www.ncwd-youth.info/) and the Youth Connections Community of Practice (https://youth.workforce3one.org/page/).
1644 0 6  07/18/2013
09:49AM EST 
Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) In this week’s Resources of the Week, we highlight a new training and employment guidance letter from the DOL Employment and Training Administration on the Work Opportunity Tax Credit on revised reporting and processing. The WOTC program was created by Congress as a tax credit incentive granted to those employers who provide employment opportunities to members of a number of target groups, who have historically faced significant barriers to employment. BR>
• Do you use/share the WOTC with employers?
599 0 0  06/19/2013
05:25PM EST 
Mature Workforce What are effective strategies and resources for addressing the needs of the mature workforce? 887 0 2  06/19/2013
05:14PM EST 
What is your go to resource for employers around accommodating mental health disabilities? In this week’s Resources of the Week, we feature some national resources on supporting jobseekers with mental health disabilities including from the Job Accommodation Network and the ADS Resource Center a project of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration .

• What is your go to resource(s)?
820 0 0  05/28/2013
06:04PM EST 
Are you a workforce blogger? In this week’s Resources of the Week, we feature opportunities to blog with two U.S. Department of Labor national centers including the Employer Assistance and Resource Network’s Disability and Employment blog EARN / Exchange and the Job Accommodation Network’s (JAN) Ask JAN Blog .

• What do you blog about?
680 0 2  05/16/2013
02:52PM EST 
Have you Negotiated Performance Goals for the Workforce Investment Act? This week, the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration issued a Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) to inform States of the guidelines for negotiating Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title 1B program performance and performance levels for Wagner-Peyser Act funded activities for PY 2013. When negotiating goals for the “youth” and “adult” program, the TEGL mentions access to services for special populations including individuals with disabilities.

• Has your state negotiated WIA performance goals for serving youth and/or adults with disabilities?
732 0 0  05/07/2013
03:48PM EST 
Does the Workforce Investment System use Social Media Almost everyone is using social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) to share information. Websites include links to their Facebook page and information on how you can follow them on Twitter. What I do not know is how prevalent social media is being used through the public workforce investment system? 816 0 3  04/10/2013
09:46AM EST 
Are you a member of the Workforce3 One Community Workforce3 One is an e-learning, knowledge sharing webspace that offers workforce professionals, employers, economic development, and education professionals a dynamic network featuring innovative workforce solutions. Online learning events, resource information, and tools help organizations learn how to develop strategies that enable individuals and businesses to be successful in the 21st century economy.

• Do you access the Workforce3 One Communities of Practice? If so, which ones?
• What tools and resources offered via the Workforce3 One platform do you find the most useful in your role as a workforce professional?
1851 0 0  04/10/2013
09:42AM EST 
Do you utilize your regional Americans with Disabilities Act National Center? The ADA National Network provides information, guidance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, regional and national levels. The ADA National Network consists of ten Regional ADA National Network Centers located throughout the United States that provide local assistance to ensure that the ADA is implemented wherever possible.

• As a workforce professional, are you tapping into this free national resource to help you serve customers with disabilities within American Job Centers?
1627 0 0  03/21/2013
05:33PM EST 
Leveling the Playing Field What does “leveling the playing field” mean to you relative to employment? Cornell University Employment and Disability Institute released a report Leveling the Playing Field: Attracting, Engaging, and Advancing People with Disabilities this month, which represents outcomes from the Conference Board Research Working Group on how to overcome the significant challenges people with disabilities experience in finding employment.

• How is your Job Center leveling the playing field?
1679 0 2  03/06/2013
05:16PM EST 
Introducing Assistive Technology to the American Job Centers According to The National Center on Accessible Information Technology in Education, assistive technology is technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. Assistive technology can include mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as hardware, software, and peripherals that assist people with disabilities in accessing computers or other information technologies.

• Does your Job Center resource room offer assistive technology AND do your customers use it?
• What strategies were used to introduce assistive technology to the Job Center?
997 0 0  03/06/2013
05:12PM EST 
How do you use the Job Accommodation Network Services? The Job Accommodation Networkhas added two new ways to contact its consultants for assistance with job accommodation inquiries. In addition to calling, emailing, using online chat, or using social networking tools to reach JAN services, users can now Text JAN at (304) 216-8189, or contact JAN via Skype at janconsultants.

• How are you using the Job Accommodation Network services in your American Job Center?
923 0 0  02/13/2013
04:55PM EST 
What Is in store for 2013? Happy New Year everyone. As we embark on a new year, we want to take a moment to hear from workforce professionals to learn what is happening across the country.

• Are you implementing any new strategies?
• Do you have any “go to” resources that you can share?
• Do you have any burning questions / ideas to share with your peers?

A cool resource to check out, highlighted in the January 2013 Workforce One Newsletter, is Workforce Strategies. You can now receive weekly e-lerts for the experimental studies, implementation evaluations and supporting tools found on ETA’s Workforce System Strategies site at: http://strategies.workforce3one.org/.
683 0 0  01/09/2013
05:21PM EST 
As a grantee, what are you doing in these challenging times of reductions and cuts in funding to sustain and continue your work? DOL designed a "Sustainability ToolKit" for High Growth Job Training Initiative and Community-Based Job Training Grants. Although designed for these specific grant initiatives, it has applicability for most grantees. The Toolkit will help the grantee prepare for organizing and developing sustainability plans, and includes potential strategies, promising practices, key questions, guides, and tips. (See toolkit https://disability.workforce3one.org/view/4011121484540784703). In these challenging economic times of reductions and cuts in funding, we need to be creative in order to continue the work started through efforts such as grants and other means especially in the areas of disability and employment. What challenges are you experiencing in sustaining these types of efforts? Can you share some potential strategies, promising practices, guides, and tips on your sustainability efforts? Are you developing sustainability plans, and, if so, what does it include? What are you creatively doing to continue to build capacity to provide more effective and meaningful employment opportunities for jobseekers with disabilities? 1377 0 0  12/16/2012
02:27PM EST 
Does your American Job Center serve as a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site? As we all know, tax season is quickly approaching. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a credit for people who earn low-to-moderate incomes. to learn how it can reduce taxes, and can mean a refund. In simple terms, working families and individuals may keep more of what they work for.

The IRS is working with diverse community partners to establish
Visit Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites to help prepare tax returns and help people claim the EITC. By offering these services free of charge it provides the opportunity for persons to file their taxes and take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit at no cost to them.

Visit MyFreeTaxes to learn about an online system where qualified individuals can file their federal and state taxes for free?

• Does your American Job Center provide resources and/or serve as a tax site during tax season?
847 0 0  12/12/2012
10:08AM EST 
Strategies for Serving Disabled Veterans in the American Job Center During the month of November, we celebrate Veterans Day to honor those who have served our country. Several national publications highlighted resources for serving Veterans.

• What types of responsive resources and effective strategies does your Job Center use to address the employment and training needs of disabled Veterans?
731 0 0  11/28/2012
05:24PM EST 
National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Disability Mentoring Day What activities did you conduct this October to help celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month? What were your ah ha moments? What lessons did you learn?

What types of connections did you make for youth with disabilities in honor Disability Mentoring Day? Did it include the employer community? What were your ah ha moments?
597 0 0  10/23/2012
06:13PM EST 
Access and the Workforce Development System: Effective Strategies Access and the Workforce Development System: Effective Strategies

An Integrated Resource Team (IRT) is an informal, customer level agreement between service providers that are actively providing services to a shared customer. It involves aligning existing service plans rather than creating a shared single service plan for a customer. Because of the limited scope of an IRT and the informal nature of the consensus reached by the customer and the partnering agencies no larger systems level agreement needs to be in place to implement the IRT model, however the IRT model can prove very instructive in any attempt to achieve systems alignment by demonstrating at a customer level how multiple agencies might coordinate and align their services effectively at a systems level..

• Does your system use an Integrated Resource Team approach to blend and braid funds and resources around an individual customer?
• If so, how do you get Job Center partners to buy into being part of the IRT process?
621 0 3  10/23/2012
06:01PM EST 
Access and the Workforce Development System People with disabilities continue to be disproportionately underemployed, unemployed, and living in poverty. On September 26th, Workforce3One hosted a webinar that looked at access and the workforce development system. The webinar provided "real life" examples to demonstrate Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and Wagner-Peyser system challenges to people with disabilities accessing the public workforce system, along with solution-oriented strategies to help American Job Center staff address these challenges. The One-Stop Toolkit” will share the link to the archive in a future “Resource of the Week.”

The webinar generated some great questions/discussions that we would like to continue through the Discussion Forum and see what you think:

• What is the best way to resolve the issue of the Job Center not having enough funding for interpreters for deaf or hard of hearing customers?
• What are the minimum Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements for a Job Center and what federal office enforces the minimum requirements?
• Under WIA and the ADA what is permitted in terms of requiring proof of disability from a customer at the time of a request for accommodation?
689 0 9  10/17/2012
02:53PM EST 
Reasonable Accommodations The Job Accommodation Network has produced their annual findings on Low Cost High Impact of workplace accommodations. According to the report, Employers reported that providing accommodations resulted in such benefits as retaining valuable employees, improving productivity and morale, reducing workers' compensation and training costs, and improving company diversity. These benefits were obtained with little investment.

What is your experience with employers and providing accommodations?
592 0 3  10/01/2012
11:34AM EST 
Strategies for Supporting the Mature Worker With the changing demographic profile of an aging workforce, employers face challenges maintaining workers who are in increasing numbers experiencing disabling conditions. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funds Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) that provide information and referrals about long-term services and supports for seniors and people with disabilities. ADRCs in every state help people, regardless of their income or financial assets, live independently in their own homes and communities.

• What are some strategies for accommodating an aging workforce?
• What are effective employer strategies to prepare for an aging workforce?
432 0 0  09/20/2012
10:33AM EST 
Finding Alternatives to the WIPA Program The ongoing availability of services from the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program (http://www.ssa.gov/work/wipafactsheet.html) that provide benefits planning and assistance and related services to individuals with disabilities is currently unclear. The Congressional authorization for the WIPA programs has expired, and WIPA programs are no longer taking new referrals. Funding for all 102 WIPA projects is set to end on June 30, 2012. Some WIPA programs may be able to continue through September 30, 2012 with a no-cost extension if they have funding available. While there is a possibility that the WIPA programs may ultimately be re-authorized, it looks like there will be at least a temporary disruption in WIPA services.
• What strategies and suggestions do you have for access to alternate sources of guidance and information for individuals who need assistance in understanding the impact of employment on their public benefits?
662 0 3  08/13/2012
04:10PM EST 
Veterans Services in Job Centers Does your Job Center provide services to disabled Veterans? Do you work with your Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists to develop job and training opportunities for veterans, with special emphasis on veterans with service-connected disabilities and/or the Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVER)? To learn more about these employment services for Veterans access the fact sheet at: http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/fact/Employment_Services_fs01.htm and the national DVOP/LVER locator at: http://dvoplverlocator.nvti.ucdenver.edu/.

• How is your Job Center providing services to Veterans?
556 0 1  08/07/2012
08:58AM EST 
Electronic tools for Workforce Professionals The CareerOneStop Portal (http://www.careeronestop.org/) is a single point of entry to access all of the content in the Department of Labor's electronic tools. Content is organized both by customer (jobseekers, employers, students and workforce professionals) and by topic. Content is further organized around a set of information "Centers" of key information and services (e.g., Business Center, Testing & Assessment Center). Finally, a gateway to access state and local resources is also available.
• As a workforce professional what e-tools do you find the most useful and why?
699 0 2  08/02/2012
09:54AM EST 
Connecting with the Business Sector The One-Stop Career Center system was created to provide jobseekers and employers information, counseling, and help in finding education, jobs, and job training.

• What strategies do you use to conduct outreach to the disability community and employers to facilitate the hiring of people with disabilities and multiple challenges to employment?
7758 0 1  08/02/2012
09:52AM EST 
Networking with your peers through Workforce Communities of Practice Did you know that Workforce3 One, an on-line interactive communications and learning platform designed to build the capacity of the public workforce system, currently hosts thirteen communities of practice (CoP) where you can collaborate with peers on topics that most interest you. Topics include apprenticeship, business services, disability and employment, labor market information, youth and more.

• Are you connected to a community? If so, tell us about it.
487 0 1  08/02/2012
09:50AM EST 
National Disability Employment Awareness Month Or NDEAM as it is better known…. The theme for 2012 is "A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What can YOU do?" The theme promotes the benefits of a diverse workforce that includes workers with disabilities, who represent a highly skilled talent pool. Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/NDEAM.htm) is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

• Are you planning any NDEAM activities for October?
477 0 2  08/02/2012
09:31AM EST 
One-Stop Career Centers and Integrated Service Delivery Approaches Some One-Stop Career Centers are implementing strategies to strengthen services and partnerships.
• Has your One-Stop implemented practices to streamline services for jobseekers, engage the employer community, and build a more solid infrastructure?
• What has been the impact of One-Stop program integration on outcomes?
647 0 1  06/18/2012
09:15AM EST 
What type of financial literacy/education programs does your One-Stop Offer? Has your One-Stop Career Center helped to improve access to financial education, homeownership and entrepreneurial programs, and under-utilized tax provisions like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
• Do you partner with Financial Institutions to bring asset-building strategies into your One-Stop Career Center?
• Are you working with a community partner to offer financial literacy classes in the One-Stop (e.g., Money Smart)?
604 0 2  06/04/2012
10:37AM EST 
What tools and resources do you have in your WIA youth services toolbox? In a recent directive, the Employment and Training Administration announced the availability of a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Program Reference Tool.

This reference tool was developed in response to workforce system professionals and local workforce investment board members’ requests for tools and resources about WIA youth services. The tool provides easy access to documents and Web sites containing information on policy advisories, tool kits, and state and local resources. It is a quick reference for youth workforce system staff where all basic information on the WIA Youth Program can be found in one place. It is also a resource to assist in training new staff and workforce investment board members on the WIA youth program.

Access a copy of the WIA Youth Reference Tool at: http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/corr_doc.cfm?DOCN=7673
• Share your effective tools and resources for serving youth through WIA youth services.
552 0 0  05/24/2012
10:03AM EST 
Does Your One-Stop Career Center have an Accessible Computer Workstation? According to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), when designing accessible computer workstations, considerations should be made for individuals with mobility, vision, hearing, and/or cognitive limitations. Although not all inclusive, in the current e-newsletter, JAN provides guidance on including equipment that will improve the accessibility of workstations for individuals with disabilities along with links for a variety of related resources (https://askjan.org/ENews/2012/Enews-V10-I2.htm#5).
• What strategies does your One-Stop use to ensure that equipment is accessible to a wide range of users?
630 0 1  05/10/2012
07:31AM EST 
Expanding Communication Access in the Workforce System for Customers who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Can you share some useful insights, information and strategies to serve jobseekers who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (HOH) within the context of the services and programs of the One-Stop Career Centers and their partners and other contracted service providers.

As part of its Access series to the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) grantees, NDI Consulting, Inc., the national training and technical assistance provider for the DEI, hosted a webinar in April 2012 on Communication Access and the Workforce System. Click on the following link for more information including: a general understanding of communication accessibility requirements under the ADA & Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and the variety of auxiliary aids & services that may help to expand communication access in the workforce system; know why it is critical that DEI projects & the workforce system partner with the d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing community and learn strategies for effective partnership that can help expand communication access to One-Stop customers who are d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing (https://disability.workforce3one.org/page/tag/1001210955828002430).
• What strategies do you provide for accommodating and providing good customer service to jobseekers who are Deaf and HOH?
• Is your One-Stop effectively partnering with Agencies who serve jobseekers who are Deaf & HOH (includes people who have dual diagnosis)?
571 0 1  05/10/2012
07:11AM EST 
May is Mental Health Awareness Month Mental Health America (MHA) is proud to continue its tradition of celebrating "May is Mental Health Month," which began in 1949 to raise awareness of mental health conditions and mental wellness for all. To learn more access: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/mentalhealthmonth.

This year, MHA is addressing these important issues through two themes:
• Do More for 1 in 4 is a call to action to help the 1 in 4 American adults who live with a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition and the fact that they can go on to live full and productive lives. Access the website to download the Do More For 1in4 Toolkit (.
• The second theme, Healing Trauma's Invisible Wounds, focuses on the impact of traumatic events on individuals and communities. It centers around asking the person-based question: "What happened to you?" Access the website to download the Healing Trauma's Invisible Wounds Toolkit.

Check out a series of thirty (30) second trainings and a resource guide to help promote Mental Health month at https://disability.workforce3one.org/page/tag/1001212844994878545.
• What activities does your community have planned to promote Mental Health awareness?
527 0 0  05/07/2012
03:10PM EST 
Blending and/or Braiding Funds from Multiple Sources “Blended funding'' is used to describe mechanisms that pool dollars from multiple sources and make them in some ways indistinguishable. “Braided funding'' uses similar mechanisms, but the funding streams remain separate. Both mechanisms are used to provide greater efficiency and effectiveness by leveraging multiple resources to assist the individual customer in achieving his/her employment outcomes.

The NTAR Leadership Center has recently released a report on using braided funding strategies to advance employment of people with disabilities (see https://disability.workforce3one.org/view/2001207045659962637/info). Many state and local disability employment services are operated by a number of different public and nonprofit agencies (e.g., the vocational rehabilitation system, the local school system, the One-Stop Career Center system, and many community-based employment service providers). These organizations often find it necessary to access funds from more than one program, agency, or funding stream. As a result, many program administrators and staff face the challenge of developing effective strategies to braid disability employment funding.
• Are you blending and/or braiding funds from multiple sources to contribute to education, training and/or employment?
639 0 2  04/30/2012
11:37AM EST 
What are your best practices for hiring people with disabilities? The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) is asking workforce professionals to put your best practices in the spotlight. Submit a brief article highlighting what your organization does to recruit, hire, and retain employees with disabilities and it will be included in an upcoming EARN newsletter that is distributed to thousands of readers across the country. Send your best practices to earn@askearn.org and share with fellow readers of this discussion forum
• Share your best practices for hiring people with disabilities.
567 0 0  04/01/2012
02:22PM EST 
Expanding the capacity of the workforce system to serve as an Employment Network Operating as an Employment Network (EN) under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Ticket to Work program is an important strategic approach to sustainability and collaboration in addressing the needs of people with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) cash benefits.

There are many resources available through SSA (http://socialsecurity.gov/work/index.html) to help the workforce system become employment networks including: Choose Work (http://www.chooseworkttw.net/), Choose Work for Service Providers (https://yourtickettowork.com/web/ttw/home). You can also access a recent podcast on The Workforce Connection Initiative: a U.S. Department of Labor and SSA partnership (https://disability.workforce3one.org/view/2001201745816375198/info). Finally, check out some promising practices on ENs and the Workforce System at https://disability.workforce3one.org/page/tag/1001127258797253949.
• How are you expanding the capacity of your workforce system?
992 0 4  03/19/2012
08:31AM EST 
Workplace Accommodations: Non-Visible Disabilities (Have One-Stop Center staff and partners, or employers that you work with expressed concerns over accommodating non-visible disabilities? If so, how have you addressed these concerns?) In July of 2010, Ernst & Young introduced a handbook to provide a basic level of understanding of non-visible disabilities (i.e., learning disabilities, psychiatric conditions, chronic pain, etc.) among employees, and to help build an inclusive work environment. The handbook explores the pros and cons of disclosure; and addresses questions that employees with disabilities and their managers might have about how much information to share, how to handle questions about accommodations from co-workers, and how to deal with resentment or backlash from colleagues who perceive an accommodation as special treatment. (See disability.workforce3one.org/view/2001030437165166945/info.) Have One-Stop Center staff and partners, or employers that you work with expressed concerns over accommodating non-visible disabilities? If so, how have you addressed these concerns? 1765 0 12  03/10/2012
11:22PM EST 
What does “Universal Accessibility” mean for people with disabilities in the One-Stop Career Center? The Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the legislation that governs One-Stop services states that One-Stop Career Centers must be universally accessible, meaning that any individual can access the core, intensive and training services of the One-Stop system. The Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Regulations for WIA are also very clear:
• People with disabilities have a right to use the services of the One-Stop system.
• One-Stop Career Centers must be readily accessible to people with disabilities.
• People with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations and modifications when using One-Stop services.
• People with disabilities should not be automatically referred to the public Vocational Rehabilitation system for services.

To learn more check out the WIA Section 188 Disability Checklist at: http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/crc/section188.htm
• What strategies does your One-Stop implement to ensure universal access?
553 0 0  03/08/2012
11:01AM EST 
How is your One-Stop helping jobseekers with disabilities master soft skills for workplace success? "Soft skills" refer to a cluster of personal qualities, habits, attitudes and social graces. Companies value soft skills because research suggests and experience shows that they can be just as important an indicator of job performance as hard skills There are some soft skill training and assessment programs out there including a curriculum recently released for youth, including youth with disability, “Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success" developed by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (learn more at: https://disability.workforce3one.org/view/2001205158675025727/info).
• What training and assessment programs does your One-Stop offer to help jobseekers with disabilities master soft skills?
504 0 0  03/01/2012
02:16PM EST 
What Accommodation Policies and Practices does your One-Stop have in place? According to the nondiscrimination provisions in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) with regard to aid, benefits, services, training, and employment, a recipient of WIA funds must provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities who are applicants, registrants, participants, employees (or applicants for employment), unless providing the accommodation would cause undue hardship. [29 CFR 37.8(a)] The Job Accommodation Network (JAN: http://askjan.org/) is the leading source of free, expert guidance on accommodations and disability employment issues. JAN represents the most comprehensive job accommodation resource available.

• What procedures and guidelines does your One-Stop have in place for handling requests for reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures?
560 0 0  02/22/2012
03:15PM EST 
How FLEXIBLE is your One-Stop Career Center? In 2011 and 2012, NDI Consulting, Inc., the national training and technical assistance provider for the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI), is hosting a series of webinars on Access. Parts 7 and 8 in this series—Flexibility and the One-Stop-- explore the meaning of flexibility and the challenges related to creating a flexible environment within the One-Stop as it relates to providing good customer service and achieving meaningful employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Part 1 asks the questions and Part 2 provides Policy and Practice Recommendations around Reasonable Accommodations, along with Case Studies. To view this series, go to: https://disability.workforce3one.org/page/tag/1001134139407582416

• What is Flexibility?
• How is Flexibility relevant to Providing Good Customer Service?
• Where are the Challenges to Flexibility in the One Stop?
488 0 0  02/15/2012
06:06PM EST 
Expanding Economic Self Sufficiency for People with Disabilities One-Stop Career Centers are a place nationwide to connect job seekers to employment opportunities. One-Stops are resource centers that provide a wide spectrum of supports to individuals in need to advance financial security and self-sufficiency. How can the One-Stop delivery system advance economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities? 548 0 1  01/30/2012
02:23PM EST 
How Is Your One-Stop Using Social Media? As social media use explodes among all Americans, businesses are increasingly turning to tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to fill their job openings. These same tools also provide job seekers with unprecedented access to information, networks and branding tools they can use to turbo-charge their job search efforts. One-Stop staff need to understand how social media is re-shaping the job search landscape so they are able to more effectively advise and support their job seeker customers. They also must develop the skills and knowledge to use these tools themselves.

• How is your One-Stop using social media?
• Do you offer workshops or training to staff and/or job seekers?
841 0 1  01/23/2012
10:14AM EST 
What Strategies is your One-Stop Using to Meet Customer Needs for Employment-Related Transportation Service? Transportation is a key asset for future workforce planning, business creation, and economic development. On an individual level, transportation can sometimes be overlooked as a critical service for jobseekers, employees, or individuals needing training. People with multiple challenges to employment may need additional support in securing transportation access to work. A recent ETA training and employment notice offers Strategies to Meet One-Stop Career Centers’ Business and Job-Seeker Customer Needs for Employment-Related Transportation Services (https://disability.workforce3one.org/view/2001200358096177098/info).
• What successful strategies are you implementing to connect individuals with transportation to jobs and training?
• How can effective transportation support help businesses access a diverse workforce?
632 0 3  01/19/2012
01:22PM EST 
Helpful Strategies and Resources for SSI/SSDI Beneficiaries Under the Ticket to Work Program? As you work with beneficiaries of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) system under the Ticket to Work program, what strategies and resources have you found to be helpful with addressing questions about public benefits and transition to work?

• Have you formed partnerships with your local Work Incentives Planning and Assistance or Vocational Rehabilitation offices?
• Are there online tools you have found that are particularly helpful for this population?
712 0 0  01/03/2012
10:56AM EST 
Are you part of the Tour, Real Economic Impact Tour, that is?

Are you providing and/or connecting low-income persons with disabilities to free tax preparation and filing assistance, along with other asset building strategies?
679 0 3  12/19/2011
09:32AM EST 
Increasing program, communication and physical access to Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and Wagner-Peyser services for adult and youth jobseekers with disabilities How are you helping to expand the concept of universal access in your workforce system? 646 0 1  12/06/2011
12:16PM EST 
Integrated Resource Team (IRT) Model. What strategies does your workforce system use to serve jobseekers with multiple challenges to employment? Most customers with multiple challenges to employment need a variety of supports in place before they can benefit from the services and resources available through Workforce Investment Act (WIA) intensive and training services. The Integrated Resource Team (IRT) Model provides an option for seamless service delivery to jobseekers with multiple resource needs. In this model, positions like the Disability Program Navigator (DPN) or a disability resource coordinator acts as a convener, assisting the customer and the staff in identifying community partners, contacting them, and then negotiating a shared employment plan. To learn more about the IRT approach, you can watch a DPN promising practice video (https://disability.workforce3one.org/view/4200927376315461065/info) and read the complementary DPN promising practice information brief (https://disability.workforce3one.org/view/2000927554771398150/info) and then listen to a podcast to learn how this model can help eliminate duplication of services, and proactively encourage the most effective application of services at: https://disability.workforce3one.org/view/4011117800067874677/info. ***Are you using the IRT approach to serve jobseekers with multiple challenges to employment? If so, what are your outcomes? ***What other strategies are you using to help jobseekers with multiple challenges to employment reach employment outcomes? 794 0 2  12/06/2011
09:22AM EST 
Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN)…Where can you find best practices for employers on the recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities? The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (http://www.askearn.org/) is part of a cooperative agreement awarded to Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute, School of Industrial and Labor Relations to establish a National Technical Assistance Center for employers on employment of people with disabilities. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), the purpose of the Center is to conduct innovative research, assist ODEP in developing demand-side policy, and share best practices with employers on the recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities. The Employer Reference Desk includes resources and information on Recruitment and Hiring, Return to Work, Talent Management, and Workplace Accessibility and Culture. EARN services support employers in recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing qualified individuals with disabilities through confidential, no-cost technical assistance, consultations over the phone or online, on-site training, Workforce Recruitment Program, up-to-date information on disability employment news and policy. What best practices is your workforce area using with employers to recruit, hire, retain and advance workers with disabilities and others with challenges to employment? What resources have you found helpful? 1016 0 3  11/28/2011
03:15PM EST 
Understanding and defining disability. What are good disability etiquette principles? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) contains a broad definition of disability, stating that a person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; having a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment (http://www.ada.gov//). Yet, more important than the legal definition of disability is having the understanding that people who have disabilities live their lives just as people without disabilities. People with disabilities go to school, get married, work, have families, do laundry, grocery shop, laugh, cry, pay taxes, get angry, have prejudices, vote, plan and dream like everyone else. The most important thing to remember is to put the person before the disability. This puts the emphasis on the person and not his or her particular functional challenges. Revising our perceptions and attitudes is the first step in interacting with people with disabilities. A basic understanding of disability etiquette can help make employees feel more comfortable when interacting with coworkers and supervisors with disabilities and can help prevent awkward situations. Good disability etiquette can also expand business opportunities and help organizations serve customers more effectively. • As part of good customer service, what strategies are you using to ensure good disability etiquette practices in the One-Stop delivery and workforce development system? • What resources and information are you sharing with employers and the business community? 1065 0 7  11/15/2011
08:35AM EST 
How to Identify Social Security Administration Ticket Holders (disability beneficiaries) who are a Good Match for One-Stop Services? One of the keys to success for One-Stop Career Centers operating as Employment Networks (ENs) under Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program is identifying individuals who are a good match for the Ticket program (http://www.ssa.gov/work/aboutticket.html). To ensure resources are used efficiently and effectively, One-Stops that have experienced success with Ticket have found that it is critically important to use some discretion in terms of who they serve under the Ticket. Individuals who are good Ticket program “candidates” are customers ready to undertake a job search and are also comfortable with reducing and eliminating their reliance on Social Security cash benefits. Also key is focusing on individuals who fit the typical profile of individuals who are well-served by the One-Stop Career Center. However, there are a number of questions and considerations in terms of this issue: ***What are some specific indicators that One-Stops might use in terms of who is and is not an appropriate candidate for the Ticket program? ***How do One-Stops balance the importance of using resources dedicated to the Ticket program effectively, while at the same time maintaining as broad a view as possible of who are good candidates for the Ticket program, and avoiding “creaming”? ***Under the WIA universal access requirements, One-Stops must provide core services to all customers. Ticket can be viewed as a non-core service, which the One-Stop has discretion about in terms of who it serves. Does such an approach make sense? ***Some One-Stops are experiencing challenges with individuals who contact them via the Ticket to Work national website listing, who have a level of support need that goes beyond what One-Stops feel they can provide. What considerations and strategies should One-Stops consider in responding effectively to these individuals? 1082 0 5  11/03/2011
07:57PM EST 
Webinar: The Workforce Connection Initiative: SSA and DOL Partnership in Action Within this thread, you will find the open chats that transpired during the webinar. You can keep the conversation going! 773 0 32  10/31/2011
01:38PM EST 
Engaging Ticket Holders: What Does The One-Stop Need to Provide? Participation in the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program is completely voluntary for eligible individuals. Additionally, Ticket holders have complete choice over which Employment Network (EN) they assign their Ticket to. One-Stop Career Centers, therefore, need to strategize what incentives they can provide to Ticket customers to encourage them to assign their Tickets to the One-Stop, and how to best engage potential Ticket customers. One-Stops who are experiencing success under the Ticket to Work Program, indicate they have found provision of enhanced case management, 1:1 services, and linkage to benefits assistance as sufficient incentives for individuals to assign their Tickets. The ability to clearly explain the program and engage potential customers is also key. ***Please share your thoughts and ideas about potential incentives that One-Stops can use to encourage individuals to assign their Tickets? ***What menu of services can be provided to Ticket customers? ***What are some successful strategies for engaging potential Ticket customers? 752 0 5  10/31/2011
10:00AM EST 
Under the Ticket to Work Program, how can you leverage resources to support One-Stop Ticket Holders prior to placement? The Ticket to Work Program is based on the premise of rewarding service providers, only when a Ticket holder assigned to them finds employment at an earnings level high enough to generate Ticket payments. The Employment Network will then continue to receive ongoing payments, only if that individual maintains employment at a sufficient earnings level. While the outcome based nature of funding via the Ticket provides a challenge in terms of both risk and cash flow, it is a misperception that Employment Networks are not being compensated for the services provided prior to placement – they are just not being compensated at the time these services are being provided, and will only be compensated if those services result in job placement. However, the lack of “up front” funding can pose major challenges, and Ticket to Work works best in a One-Stop environment if there are other services and funding streams that can be leveraged to support services to Ticket customers prior to placements. Core services funded via Wagner-Peyser are a likely starting part. ***Please share your thoughts and ideas on what resources and services can be leveraged to serve Ticket customers prior to placement. 759 0 7  10/26/2011
03:45PM EST 
Employer 30-Second Training Series and Resource Guide. What can you do to increase your awareness and the awareness of the business community during October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month? The Employer 30-Second Training Series, developed as part of the Disability Program Navigator Initiative, was created for One-Stop Career Center staff, including Business Services Teams, to educate them and to share with those with an employer focus (e.g., business liaisons from local Vocational Rehabilitation offices, and other workforce partners who work with the employer community) to help educate employers, hiring managers and supervisors about proven strategies and easy-to-use resources that can assist in retaining and accommodating existing employees who experience the onset of a disability. The series includes eighteen 30 second trainings, which represent a quick, educational Power Point Slide show (PPS) designed to capture the attention of busy One-Stop Career Center staff, partners and/or the employer community. It can be completed in a very short amount of time, hence 30-Second Trainings. The trainings Increase knowledge and awareness around disability and employment topics. A link on the last slide provides a more in-depth resource for those who are interested in furthering their knowledge and expertise on the topic. Even the wrong answers tend to be informative and include helpful information, and they are worth checking out. This series was developed in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center that is part of the ADA National Network (http://www.adata.org/Static/ContactUs.aspx / 1-800-949-4232 voice/TTY). To access the Employer 30-Second series: http://www.dpnavigator.net/pages/employer30second.html What are you doing to increase your awareness and the awareness of the business community of the benefits and resources available to hire and accommodate qualified job applicants and employees with disabilities? 1873 0 0  09/26/2011
12:07PM EST 
Supporting Integrated Intake and Effective Case Management in the Workforce System – What tools and resources are you using to integrate intake processes and create high quality case management? Integrating Intake refers to the process by which new customers come into the workforce system. An integrated intake suggests that all new customers, despite program eligibility or eventual program enrollment, provide basic information about themselves once in order to begin receiving the services they need. If customers come into the system electronically, via self-service, the information about themselves that they provide in order to begin receiving services is only requested from them once. When customers move through the system, accessing different services from different programs, that initial information that they provided is visible and useful for service planning to all subsequent staff who serve them. The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration-sponsored project, Supporting Integrated Intake and Effective Case Management in the Workforce System (https://integratingintake.workforce3one.org/page/home), is a technical assistance project designed to identify existing tools and resources about integrated intake processes and high quality case management, and to share those resources with a wide array of workforce system administrators and practitioners. The resources made available on this site were identified by a literature review and resource scan. The resources can be accessed via the Resource Map (located under the Integrating Intake Model menu) or by topic under the Supporting Resources menu (https://integratingintake.workforce3one.org/page/resources/1001116545774723221/). The briefing paper (also located under the Integrating Intake Model menu) also contains a short annotated bibliography of resources. How is your local workforce investment area addressing the integrated needs of its customers? What tools and resources are you using to integrate intake processes and create high quality case management? 923 0 2  09/16/2011
03:05PM EST 
Increasing the public Workforce System’s Participation in the Ticket to Work Program – What strategies are you using to expand the capacity of the workforce system to serve persons with disabilities? The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act was enacted in 1999 to expand employment opportunities of Social Security disability beneficiaries receiving Social Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits by providing incentives and options for them to enter or re-enter the world of work. The Ticket to Work Program is an outcome-based funding mechanism for meeting the needs of job seekers with disabilities. The Ticket Program is intended to provide SSI disability and SSDI beneficiaries with greater choices in obtaining employment, vocational rehabilitation, or other support services from public and private providers through the establishment of Employment Networks (ENs). The comprehensive nature of the One-Stop Career Center system makes it a natural service provider as an EN. One-Stop Career Centers should consider becoming ENs because these organizations are experienced employment support providers that can help Social Security disability beneficiaries return to work. Participation as an EN also provides an additional revenue source to the One-Stop delivery system. On August 24th, a training and employment notice was issued (TEN No. 06-11 -- http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/corr_doc.cfm?docn=3074) to provide updated information on the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program, including changes to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) policies for Employment Networks. Is your state and/or local workforce system participating in the Ticket to Work Program as an Employment Network? What strategies are you using to expand the capacity of the workforce system to serve persons with disabilities, including those receiving Social Security disability benefits, and promote the employment of persons with disabilities? 679 0 2  09/16/2011
02:51PM EST 
Return to Work: Job Accommodation Network Fact Sheet Series. What business strategies are you using to retain valued employees and to enhance the productivity of the workforce? The Return to Work Job Accommodation Network Fact Sheet Series http://askjan.org/media/rtwfact.doc highlights Return to Work (RTW) and Stay at Work (SAW) programs as a part of a business' strategy to retain valued employees and to enhance the productivity of its workforce. "The goal of a return-to-work program, sometimes called a transitional duty program, is to make job changes or provide job accommodations that return individuals to work who are absent for workers' compensation or disability-related reasons." As with workplace accommodation programs, a RTW program should have clear written policies articulating each party's responsibilities. Accurate job descriptions including the physical demands of particular essential functions should also be developed. This helps everyone in the process (e.g., doctors, rehabilitation staff, and accommodation specialists) understand the job requirements. A good understanding of the job demands and the employee's limitations and abilities is the starting point for determining if effective job accommodations will enable the employee to return to or stay at work while still recovering from injury. Effective job accommodations insure that the employee returns to work as soon as possible without risk to the employee or employer. Of the employers who called the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) for technical assistance, most (82 percent) were doing so to retain a current employee. Thus, most of JAN's publications contain accommodation solutions that could be generalized to a RTW or SAW situation. What are some effective return-to-work strategies to return individuals to work who are absent for workers’ compensation or disability-related reasons? What stay at work programs are being implemented to help enhance the productivity of the workforce? 707 0 0  09/12/2011
02:44PM EST 
Building Mobility Partnerships – State and Community Level. How are you making sure that workforce and customers mobility needs are represented on transportation planning or coordination committees? The National Resource Center for Human Service Transportation Coordination (NRC) (http://web1.ctaa.org/webmodules/webarticles/anmviewer.asp?a=8&z=40) was established as a result of the Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA-LU). It is operated by the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) through a cooperative agreement with the Federal Transit Administration. The fundamental purpose of the NRC is to provide states and communities with the support they need to better integrate public transportation services with the services and demands of their human services networks. For each state, you can obtain a list of people and resources to help you learn about coordinated human service transportation planning. You can also find links to Coordination Transportation Plans (http://web1.ctaa.org/webmodules/webarticles/anmviewer.asp?a=384&z=78), which include all of the information about needs, gaps and resources. This provides an opportunity to learn about the transportation needs in an area and identify opportunities to get connected. How is your area address the employment transportation needs of jobseekers with disabilities and others with challenges to employment? Are you involved with a transportation planning or coordination committee? If so, share some of your strategies and activities on making sure that workforce and customers mobility needs are represented. 687 0 0  08/16/2011
03:28PM EST 
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and Disability Mentoring Day (DMD). How will you be raising awareness on the benefits of hiring job seekers with disabilities? What activities do you have planned for DMD? Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. The 2011 theme, Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities, emphasizes the rich diversity and talent that workers with disabilities bring to the workplace. The theme serves to inform the public that workers with disabilities contribute to the output of any organization. For more information about NDEAM (http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/NDEAM.htm) and to download and/or order 2011 posters in in English, Spanish plus seven additional languages: Arabic, Chinese, Russian, French, and three Native American languages: Navajo, Lakota, Cherokee (http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/ndeam2011poster.htm). Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) is a one-day job shadowing opportunity for students and job seekers with disabilities. DMD is officially commemorated on the third Wednesday of every October (and is implemented in locations around the country and internationally throughout the year. It is designed to benefit from local creativity, with each community planning activities to best suit the interests and abilities of its students, job-seekers, and local employers. To learn more and how you can get involved (http://www.disabilitymentor.net/). What activities and events do you have planned for October’s National Disability and Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and Disability Mentoring Day DMD)? 1084 0 0  08/10/2011
10:33AM EST 
What dedicated economic advancement strategies are you using to give people with disabilities expanded access to workforce development opportunities? In May 2011, the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development and the Kessler Foundation issued this brief that introduces basic asset development concepts, tools, and activities that states can use as a framework for developing comprehensive, integrated state asset development strategies for people with disabilities and their families. (See brief http://www.heldrich.rutgers.edu/sites/default/files/content/Asset_Development_Brief.pdf). Dedicated economic advancement strategies - savings and building assets, home ownership, and entrepreneurship are increasingly viewed as an important part of public policy efforts to give people with disabilities expanded access to the labor market and help lift disadvantaged wage earners, including workers with disabilities, out of poverty. What successful asset development strategies have you implemented for persons with disabilities? Is your state or local area developing comprehensive, integrated state/local asset development strategies for people with disabilities? 763 0 0  08/03/2011
10:10AM EST 
Using the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) (How have you used the JAN website and/or telephone services? What were you able to accomplish or learn with the assistance of JAN?) The Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a service of the Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. (http://askjan.org/index.html) From Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurs, JAN has served customers across the United States and around the world for more than 25 years. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace. JAN’s trusted consultants offer one-on-one guidance on workplace accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related legislation, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities. Assistance is available both over the phone and online. How have you used the JAN website and/or telephone services? What were you able to accomplish or learn with the assistance of JAN? 697 0 0  07/14/2011
05:22PM EST 
Workplace Accommodations: Business Concerns (What are the biggest concerns you hear from businesses in terms of implementing accommodations? How do you help address those concerns?) Businesses often express concerns about items such as cost and return on investment when discussing implementing accommodations for people with disabilities. However, a study conducted by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) shows that workplace accommodations not only are low cost, but also positively impact the workplace in many ways. Employers reported that providing accommodations resulted in such benefits as retaining valuable employees, improving productivity and morale, reducing workers compensation and training costs, and improving company diversity. Further, the study reports that these benefits were obtained with little investment - 56% of employers reported that many accommodations cost nothing, while 31% reported a one-time cost of typically only $600. (From Fact Sheet: Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact Job Accommodation Network: https://disability.workforce3one.org/view/4010932746114781237/info) What are the biggest concerns you hear from businesses in terms of implementing accommodations? How do you help address those concerns? 702 0 0  07/14/2011
05:11PM EST 
Preparing Teens with Disabilities for Employment after High School (What challenges do you face in reaching out to and assisting youth with disabilities to ensure they will be employable after high school? What strategies have you put in place?) News reports indicate that the summer job market for teens is challenging. Teens often use summer employment to gain experience for college and future employment. According to Disabilityscoop.com, just 15 percent of teens with disabilities will likely land jobs this summer, compared to more than half of their non-disabled peers. (http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2009/06/15/summer-jobs/3645/) Youths with disabilities often need help to get a summer job and build their experience. According to the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s “Project Summer” project, among youths with disabilities who received support such as teachers' help with advanced planning, and liaisons between schools and the business community, 65 percent found summer work, compared with only 20 percent of students who did not receive this support. (http://www.projectsummer.info/Project_Summer/Welcome.html) What challenges do you face in reaching out to and assisting youth with disabilities to ensure they will be employable after high school? What strategies have you put in place to address these challenges? 955 0 0  07/12/2011
03:28PM EST 
Discussion: Making the Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities. (What are some of the facts, statistics, or things you present to employers to help them understand the benefits of hiring workers with disabilities?) According to a National Survey of Consumer Attitudes towards Companies that Hire People with Disabilities, 92% of the American public view companies that hire people with disabilities more favorably than those that do not. And, 87% of the public would prefer to give their business to companies that hire people with disabilities. Studies such as this one are very valuable in making the business case to employers as to why employers should hire people with disabilities. What are some of the facts, statistics, or things you present to employers to help them understand the benefits of hiring workers with disabilities? Share your information and experiences in making a return on investment (ROI) case for hiring disabled workers here! 1476 0 0  07/06/2011
03:23PM EST 
Discussion: Connecting with Employers on the Advantages of a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce. (What successful diversity and inclusion policies have you seen or helped implement in your region? Why were they successful?) DID YOU KNOW? One of the world’s leaders in science innovation, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, states this is their diversity and inclusion policy: “The business case for diversity is built on the proposition that if we spend time on assuring an accessible and inclusive workplace for all employees, and do not deliberately or inadvertently exclude anyone from fully participating, then employees will take greater risks in expressing ideas, reflect greater ownership in those ideas and be more motivated to achieve goals they helped to create.” (From the webinar recording “Connecting with the Business Sector on the Advantages of a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce” https://disability.workforce3one.org/view/5001110344629684146) This type of policy and statement says a lot about thee rewards an employer receives when they do create an inclusive and diverse workplace. What successful diversity and inclusion policies have you seen or helped implement in your region? Why were they successful? What strategies have you used to help promote and establish these types of policies in your area? 1113 0 1  07/06/2011
09:36AM EST 
Bridges to Business Employment Model– Employing Persons with Disabilities This discussion will focus on how to build networks with employers to assist in obtaining employment of persons with disabilities. 705 0 58  07/01/2011
11:52AM EST 
Are you part of the Real Economic Impact Tour? Tax season is just around the corner. Are you providing and/or connecting low-income persons with disabilities to free tax preparation and filing assistance, along with other asset building strategies? 366 0 0   
Assistive Technology: Training Video for Accommodating People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired Many people with and without disabilities have learned the benefit of Assistive Technologies (AT) in accomplishing assignments and tasks in a work setting as well as other daily requirements of our fast paced life. AT solutions should be available in the public workforce system for individuals who are blind or have low vision, such as incorporating software in resource and training computers that include voice recognition and screen reading (e.g., Dragon Dictate, JAWS). In addition, these and other tools are inexpensive solutions that allow individuals to be productive and effective in the workplace. The Federally funded Computer/Electronics Accommodation Program website includes information on specific products to accommodated job seekers who are blind or have low vision: http://www.cap.mil/Solutions/ProductDisability.aspx?SolutionType=Training&DisabilityID=2&CategoryID=-2 Do you have other AT solutions that were incorporated into your job center? What resources or assistance have you used to add AT to your Resource Rooms? 257 0 0   
Discussion: Hiring Older Workers - What concerns have you heard from businesses about hiring older workers? What studies, data, or other information can you provide to address those concerns? Some businesses express concerns about hiring older workers, such as that older people are sick more often, or that they are less productive or innovative. Actually, several studies show that these concerns are unfounded. For example, according to the USC Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center (http://www.usc.edu/dept/gero/), older workers have a lower rate of “sick time” than workers between the ages of 17 - 44 years. Birgit Verwonk, a Dresden University of Applied Sciences economist, studied one of Germany’s largest companies and found that older workers not only had great ideas for making procedures and processes more efficient, but their innovations also resulted in much higher returns for the company than those of workers in younger age groups. (From Newsweek article “The Golden Age of Innovation” http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/27/older-workers-are-more-innovative-than-the-young.html.) What concerns have you heard from businesses about hiring older workers? What studies, data, or other information can you provide to address those concerns? 679 0 0