People with disabilities can work and want to work. Given the growing body of evidence that demonstrates that workers with disabilities meet or exceed the job performance of co-workers without disabilities, the continuing high unemployment rate and low labor force participation rate of people with disabilities deprive the nation of a valuable pool of talent. Increasing the employment of people with disabilities produces significant benefits to the economy, the nation, and people with disabilities themselves.
The primary focus of the survey was to determine how knowledgeable HR professionals are regarding various governmental incentives for hiring individuals with disabilities. In addition, the survey sought to find out how many companies actually take advantage of employer incentives and who in companies make decisions about using them. A secondary focus of the survey was to assess HR professionals’ attitudes and opinions regarding the impact of the ADA on the employment of individuals with disabilities; determine the level of effort companies expend in recruiting individuals with disabilities; and gain insight into senior managements' personal experiences with disabilities. Furthermore, the survey sought the opinions of HR professionals on how best to improve the employment of individuals with disabilities
The GAO recently issued a report on how education needs a coordinated approach to improve its technical assistance postsecondary schools in supporting students with disabilities. Students with disabilities represent approximately 11% of all postsecondary students in 2008. The proportion of students that reported having attention deficit disorder increased from 7 to 19%.
ETA and VETS, DOL, are announcing the availability of a new video and information brief to promote the employment of disabled veterans through the One-Stop Career Center system. Both are available on http://disability.workforce3one.org. Share these resources with your system's stakeholders. Related resources: http://disability.workforce3one.org/view/4200927374360810672/info
Disability Law Handbook (New Edition) National Network of ADA Centers http://www.southwestada.org/html/publications/dlh/index.html. The Disability Law Handbook is a 64-page guide to the basics of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability related laws. Written in an FAQ format, The Disability Law Handbook answers questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA Amendments Act, the Rehabilitation Act, Social Security, the Air Carrier Access Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, and the Fair Housing Act Amendments. This publication is produced by the Southwest ADA Center, one of the ten National Network of ADA Centers funded by the National Institute on Rehabilitation and Research of the Department of Education, to provide technical assistance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability-related laws.
U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General Employment and Training Administration (ETA) Audit Reports http://www.oig.dol.gov/cgi-bin/oa_rpts.cgi?s=&y=all&a=03 Information on DOL's Efforts to Ensure Access for Persons with Disabilities to the One-Stop Career System Report No. 25-10-001-03-390 (March 10, 2010) Access the website above and then search for the report titled “Information on DOL's Efforts to Ensure Access for Persons with Disabilities to the One-Stop Career System.” The full report is 13.5 MBs. The attachment represents a one-page summary that includes a link to the full report.
The Disability Program Navigator (DPN) Initiative has just issued another promising practices information brief as part of a series of publications. This Brief is entitled: "Maximizing the Self-Sufficiency of Youth with Disabilities in the One-Stop Career Center System." Colorado and Minnesota are highlighted in the attached Information Brief, which includes outcomes, successful strategies, case studies, and resources.
As part of ongoing technical assistance to for the Disability Program Navigator Initiative, NDI Consulting Inc. hosted a recent webinar, Employer 30-Second Training Series and Resource Guide. This webinar provided an overview of the newly developed Employer 30-Second Training Series which includes eighteen 30-Second Trainings in the following four categories: 1) Compliance Benefits 2) ADA Basics 3) Recruitment and Hiring Strategies, and 4) Employment Basics. What is a 30-Second Training 30-Second Trainings are short, easy and fun and are designed to increase knowledge of disability and employment related issues. They should only take about 30 seconds to review and include national, reputable resources for follow up information. The resources—Employer 30 Second Training Series and Resource Guide—were developed to be used by those with an employer focus and were designed to 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. These tools will also provide valuable information and sources of support to employers 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.
As one of the key principles of WIA, universal access offered the promise of a welcoming, integrated, and user-friendly system. Job seekers would be able to independently tap into all available employment services, resulting in fewer requests for specialized assistance and more efficient use of staff resources. Under WIA and the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodations would be provided upon request; however, One-Stop Career Centers would streamline services so that a wide-ranging population of job seekers, including job seekers with disabilities, would have direct access to their resources, programs and activities. With the addition of Disability Program Navigators (DPNs) in One-Stop Career Centers across the nation, universal access moved into the spotlight. Read the full Brief to learn how DPNs throughout the country are helping to expand universal access in One-Stop Career Centers for a more diverse population of job seekers.
The Department of Justice issued final regulations covering Titles II and III of the ADA to incorporate the changes made by the passage of the ADA Amendments Act (ADDAA) in 2008. Title II prohibits discrimination on the basis of disbaility in state and local government services. Title III prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public accommodations and in commercial facilities. The Department has prepared fact sheets identifying the major changes in the rules. Title II: Final Rule amending 28 CFR Part 35: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services -- (HTML) Text of Revised Final Title II Regulation. Title III: Final Rule amending 28 CFR Part 36: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities -- (HTML) Fact Sheets: Highlights of the Final Rule to Amend the Department of Justice’s Regulation Implementing Title II of the ADA Highlights of the Final Rule to Amend the Department of Justice’s Regulation Implementing Title III of the ADA http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/.
The Center for Workforce and Disabilities, American Public Human Services Association, recently issued a Report, entitled "Getting to Work: A Case Study Report on Accessible Transportation Projects." A lack of reliable, accessible, and affordable transportation is consistently cited as a barrier to employment by people with disabilities. The four Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) transportation projects (Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Jersey) profiled in this Report illustrate a set of promising practices that address transportation needs. Although the MIG grants are not intended to provide or fund direct transportation services, state MIGs are well-positioned to use their resources to create linkages with other agencies and entities engaged in accessible transportation planning and service delivery. The four projects described in this Report suggest a set of strategies and activities that can help advance accessible transportation in states and in communities.
Charting the Course: Supporting the Career Development of Youth with Learning Disabilities National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) http://www.ncwd-youth.info/ld-guide This guide is intended to help practitioners, administrators, and policymakers in secondary and postsecondary education programs, transition programs, One-Stop Career Centers, youth employment programs, and community rehabilitation programs to improve services and outcomes for youth, ages 14 to 25, with diagnosed and undiagnosed learning disabilities. This Guide includes numerous quick reference charts, tables, and tools for counselors, career advisors, and other professionals who work directly with youth. In-depth information is provided on a variety of topics, including the types and impact of learning disabilities, needed supports, and research-based interventions. This Guide is intended to increase awareness of the fact that the public workforce system serves many youth who have learning disabilities that may never have been identified and many others who may know they have a learning disability but choose not to disclose. Although focusing primarily on youth with learning disabilities, many of the strategies and approaches advocated in this Guide, which are premised on universal design, may be of practical use for other youth.
Mental Illness Awareness Week is October 3-9. National Depression Screening Day is October 7. World Mental Health Day is October 19 Nearly 1 in 10 Americans has clinical depression and 3% have major depression, according to a 2006-2008 survey of 235,000 adults from 45 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. The survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), showed an increase from a similar study conducted in 2001-2002, which reported 6.6% of the population as depressed. Researchers looked for commonalities among the people who reported symptoms of depression and identified a few factors that may have a relationship to the mood disorder. Primary among them was unemployment, which remains steady at 9.7%; about 6% of those with jobs reported symptoms of depression, compared with 21% of unemployed people surveyed. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has produced a Brief on Accommodations for Employees with Mental Health Impairments." Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2010/10/01/study-9-of-americans-are%C2%A0depressed/#ixzz11hVnddpw
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of a new online toolkit to guide employers through the process of hiring veterans. The free toolkit is designed to assist and educate employers who have made the decision to include veterans and wounded warriors in their recruitment and hiring initiatives. Developed as part of the department's "America's Heroes at Work" initiative, the Veterans Hiring Toolkit features a straightforward six-step process pinpointing helpful tools for a business to design a veterans hiring initiative. These steps include creating an educated and welcoming environment for veteran employees; actively recruiting veterans, wounded warriors and military spouses; learning how to accommodate qualified veterans and wounded warriors in the workplace; and promoting an inclusive workplace to help retain veteran employees. The toolkit also helps employers navigate the plethora of resources for hiring veterans available to them. The final section of the toolkit features a quick reference list of online resources to help users find and welcome talented and skilled veterans into their companies. Examples include links to veterans employment service organizations, places to receive consultations on workplace accommodations and answers to common employer questions about hiring veterans and wounded warriors. Whether users are looking to create a veterans hiring program from scratch or retool existing efforts, the toolkit can help them design and implement a customized initiative. To access the toolkit, visit http://www.AmericasHeroesAtWork.gov/forEmployers/HiringTo
Excerpts from transcript for video on web application Accessibility How can we reach a broader audience? This is a question asked at every web team meeting. Whether the context is marketing, outreach, or education every group that post content to the web wants to have it seen by a wider audience. So we launch strategic plans to get more traffic to our site, but is it possible that we are unknowingly limited those who encounter our site through its design. So we ask at the outset: Is our site perceivable by all Is our site operable by all Is our site understandable by all Is our site robust Answering yes to all of these questions means that we have a truly accessible site. Accessibility isn’t just about doing good works or being socially conscious. At the heart of it is about building standards compliant well-designed web apps. Accessible web apps work everywhere. They are truly accessible. Poorly designed products are by their nature inaccessible regardless of the users physical capabilities. Long gone are the days where the Internet is only available through a workstation locked down to a desk. Mobile devices of every kind access content on the Internet. Accessible to all also mean accessible everywhere. Sites that resize with ease and are structured logically make your web app infinitely more usable and at the same time accessible. Restrictions on web apps come in many forms. The device that a person uses to interact with the web is the key to accessibility. Screen readers are one technology that has received much attention when it comes to accessibility, but there are many more to be considered.
On March 15, 2010, the Department of Justice (DOJ)released a new publication, “ADA Update: A Primer for Small Business.” This publication is designed to assist small businesses understand the new and updated accessibility requirements. In addition, DOJ is announcing the release of a new publication explaining when the various provisions of its amended regulations will take effect. Both documents are available tomorrow on DOJ's ADA website, www.ada.gov.
Workforce3One 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. Workforce3 One offers online learning events (webinars) that highlight promising practices and provides a space to share ideas. The Disabilities Team, which oversees the Disability Employment Initiative, and previously the Disability Program Navigator Initiative, within the ETA Division of Adult Services is hosting disability- and employment-related Workforce3 One webinars through the month of June. The Disability and Employment Community of Practice will be spotlighting a few that include information, resources and strategies to help the workforce system provide more meaningful employment opportunities to job seekers with disabilities and other challenges to employment. In this spotlight, we highlight a national “free” resource that workforce professionals can tap into to learn more about resources and workplace accommodations for persons with disabilities.
As of July 2011, there is a 40 percent gap between the employment rate of people without disabilities and that of people with disabilities. The Disability Employment Initiative, or DEI, is a joint effort by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy and its Employment Training Administration to facilitate systemic change in the workforce system in order to “increase the effective and meaningful participation of people with disabilities in the workforce” (DOL, 2010). One year ago, nine states were awarded DEI grants and set forth to change policy, practices, and, ultimately, culture, as they relate to the employment of people with disabilities. In tandem with this effort, a comprehensive evaluation was launched to maximize this opportunity to learn from each state’s implementation of the DEI. As DEI progresses, the evaluation will also be able to answer key questions related to the initiative’s outcomes and impacts. This first synthesis report on the Evaluation of the Disability Employment Initiative reviews DEI evaluation activities through July 31, 2011.
On November 11, 2011, the National Resource Center (NRC) for Human Service Transportation Coordination issued an Information Report, "Transportation for America's Veterans and Their Families." This Information Brief provides case studies, successful strategies and resources.
On November 15, 2011, DOL/ETA issued TEN No. 16-11, "Availability of Assistive Technology (AT) Resources for Persons with Disabilities." The purpose of this TEN is to inform the public workforce system about the availability of AT resources for customers with disabilities. This TEN describes the different types of AT, funding sources, and includes additional resources. The TEN is an excellent resource for front-line One-Stop Career Center and partner staff.
On January 3, 2012, DOL/ETA issued Training and Employment Notice (TEN) No. 21-11, "Strategies to Meet One-Stop Career Centers' Business and Job-Seeker Customer Needs for Employment-Related Transportation Services." The purpose of this TEN is to: 1) provide successful strategies to the public workforce system for connecting individuals with disabilities and other multiple challenges to employment with transportation to jobs and training; and 2) help business access a diverse workforce. 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 jobseeekers, employees, or individuals needing training.
The Role of Public Transportation as a Job Access Mode: Lessons from a Survey of Persons with Disabilities in New Jersey by Andrea Lubin and Devajyoti Deka, Ph.D., researchers at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University, examines the role of public transportation in providing job access to persons with disabilities. The paper draws from a survey of persons with disabilities implemented during a seven-month period beginning in September 2010. The survey was distributed through the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and other venues. The survey was distinctive in that, unlike many other studies, it acquired data from persons who are actively seeking employment. The paper provides information on the availability, usage, needs, barriers, and perceptions of the survey respondents about different public transit modes, and discusses the implications for agencies providing public and human services transit. The report also includes a review of recent literature on accessible work transportation and the role of public transportation for people with disabilities. Survey data show that public transit is widely used by people seeking employment. In spite of accessibility improvements, challenges remain. The cost of service has increased, making cost optimization a significant challenge for public transit agencies providing services to people with disabilities. Although public transit agencies could reduce costs by attracting larger numbers to fixed-route transit, people with certain disabilities may avoid fixed-route transit due to difficulties in accessing and interpreting service-related information, such as understanding transit schedules and announcements. Safety perceptions can also serve as barriers to public transit for people with disabilities. The authors conclude that public transportation is critical to job access for persons with disabilities.
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has issued a "Snapshot" which provides information on accessible computer stations for persons with different disabilities (including mobility, low-vision, blind, hard of hearing, deaf, and cognitive). It also provides links to a variety of related resources.
Minnesota's career , education, and job resource Newsletter, ISEEK, just issued an article, entitled, "Hidden Disabilities in the Workplace: Do You or Your Co-Worker have a Hidden Disability?" This article gives examples of hidden disabilities (non-visible), information on disclosing non-visible disabilities (including the pros and cons, and when to disclose).
Accommodating Employees in Manufacturing Settings According to the U.S. Department of Labor, manufacturing accounts for 9% of all jobs in the United States. Productivity is up 40% as factories have adopted new technologies and production processes. As a result, the industry demands more skilled, better trained workers. For new workers with disabilities and as our working population ages, it is imperative to consider providing job accommodations to enhance the productivity of these valuable workers. The Job Accommodation Network(JAN)developed this publication as a way to share accommodation situations and solutions from manufacturing industry jobs. For a more in depth discussion, access JAN's publications at AskJAN.org/media/atoz.htm. To discuss an accommodation situation with a consultant, contact JAN directly.
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has released annually updated findings on the costs and benefits of workplace accommodations. This JAN study has been on-going since 2004. The study results have consistently shown that the benefits employers receive from making workplace accommodations outweigh the cost. 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. In addition, the employers in the study reported that a high percentage (57%) of accommodations cost nothing to make, while the rest typically cost around $500. Study findings include the following: 1. Of the employers who called JAN for accommodation information and solutions, most were doing so to retain or promote (83%) a current employee. 2. Of the employers who gave cost information related to accommodations they had provided, 336 out of 590 (57%) said the accommodations needed by employees cost nothing. Another 221 (37%) experienced a one-time cost. Only 24 (4%) said the accommodation resulted in an ongoing, annual cost to the company and 9 (2%) said the accommodation required a combination of one-time and annual costs. The typical one-time expenditure by employers was $500. 3. Employers who made accommodations for employees with disabilities reported multiple benefits as a result. The most frequently mentioned direct benefits were: (1) the accommodation allowed the company to retain a qualified employee, (2) the accommodation increased the worker’s productivity, and (3) the accommodation eliminated the costs of training a new employee.
Reports Address Transportation Strategies in New Jersey. "Connecting to Jobs by Connecting to Transit." During an 18-month period, the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University, in collaboration with the nonprofit, travel training organization NJ TIP Inc., developed, piloted, and refined a transportation orientation/familiarization training program targeted to New Jersey's vocational rehabilitation community that assists persons with disabilities seeking employment. The program is entitled Connect to Transit. Connect to Transit was implemented at eight host sites located in New Jersey during the pilot period, training a total of 100 vocational rehabilitation professionals on topics including but not limited to: the universe of transportation options available in their respective service area; trip planning guidance and tools; eligibility criteria for certain services; ADA rights as they relate to transportation; transportation advocacy; and an overview of travel training. This initiative also produced a Connect to Transit resource guide/curriculum, see http://policy.rutgers.edu/vtc/new/C2T_Appendix_V1.pdf. Additionally, the report includes an evaluation of the Connect to Transit training program.
The AARP has just issued a report which highlights the need to design for certain pedestrian popualtions with mobility needs-young children, older adults, and people with disabilities Each "special" pedestrian population has their own unique set of characteristics that limit their ability to safely travel across and along roadways. Walkinginfo.org produced this report to examine the unique needs of special pedestrian groups and bring attention to the community design elements that deserve special consideration for pedestrians with disabilities. With the aging process comes the deterioration of physical, cognitive, and sensory abilities – often making mobility a challenge. As the older adult population in the U.S. continues to expand, improvements must be made to community design elements that affect the mobility of residents including streets, sidewalks, traffic signals, crosswalks, and pedestrian facilities, among other things. It is the city’s job to provide public transportation that is accessible for all residents, particularly older adults who may not have access to a private automobile, as well as well-lit streets, well-maintained sidewalks, and safe, sheltered resting benches. This report outlines measures that community planners, designers, engineers, advocates, and local officials can take to improve mobility conditions for pedestrians of all ages and abilities. This walkinginfo.org report highlights recommendations provided in this report can be used to improve the conditions for all pedestrians, especially older adults and persons with disablities. Walkinginfo.org is an excellent resource that can be explored further to learn more about pedestrian planning, strategies for promoting walking and health, public transit planning, and funding opportunities. The site also includes useful case studies and numerous resources for community planners, local officials, and advocates.
On July 11,2013, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a notice of the availability of a proposed circular and request for comments in the Federal Register (78 FR 41824-41829). The FTA has issued proposed guidance in the form of a circular to assist grantees in implementing the Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program. The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) blended the New Freedom Program and the Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities Program into a new Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program. FTA is updating the circular (Circular 9070.1F, "Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities Program Guidance and Application Instructions") to incorporate changes in the law and invites public comment on the proposed circular for this program. The new program (also referred to as the new Section 5310 Program in the Federal Register notice) authorizes grants for the activities previously authorized under the two separate grants programs, including public transportation capital projects planned, designed, and carried out to meet the special needs of seniors and people with disabilities when public transportation is insufficient, unavailable, or inappropriate; public transportation projects that exceed the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and alternatives to public transportation that assist people with disabilities with transportation. Of note, the new program is no longer administered exclusively by the states. In addition, seniors and people with disabilities must be included in the development and approval of the coordinated plan. Comments on the proposed circular are due by September 9, 2013. The Federal Register notice is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-11/html/2013-16624.htm. To view the proposed circular, visit http://www.fta.dot.gov/legislation_law/12349_15555.html
The U.S. Department of Education announced today the award of $1.9 million in grants to organizations in California, Missouri and Washington to help individuals with disabilities purchase the assistive technology they need. Under the Assistive Technology Alternative Financing Program, the funds will be used to help people with disabilities get private financing to buy services and devices. Among the types of products covered would be hearing aids, computers, vehicle modifications and vision aids – but could include other devices, depending upon the person’s disability limitation, needs and goals.