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!
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
Webinar: Explores serving individuals with disabilities in a demand-driven system and ways to be responsive to employers by promoting the employment of people with disabilities as an untapped labor source of qualified workers. It shares practices for making the business case for hiring people with disabilities and working with employers. Resources such as web-sites, business cases, fact sheets, employer toolkits, and other materials to use with employers when promoting the recruitment and retention of people disabilities are presented.
“Diversity” may often be associated solely with individuals who represent multi-cultural minority groups. However, it is representative of individuals who exhibit a myriad of unique and differing attributes, characteristics and life experiences. Diversity is evident in aspects of race, culture, religion, age, language, gender, disabilities, sexual orientation, class and any traits which make us different from one another. Along with the nation’s growing diversity is a rise in globalization, in which communities, cultures and economies around the world have become more interconnected through the expansion of technology, communication and trade. As a result, all types of associations and the public sector must aim for the highest quality and most effective workforce to compete in a global marketplace.
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%.
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.
Mathematica Policy Research Inc, issued an Information Brief, "Assisting TANF Recipients with Disabilities to Obtain and Maintain Employment." Assessment often is the first step in helping TANF recipients living with a disability find and maintain employment. While some TANF recipients living with a disability enter TANF fully aware of their disability, many do not. It is estimated that approximately 37% of TANF recipients have disabiliites, mainly cognitive, learning, and psychiatric disabilties. There are multiple strategies that TANF agencies can employ to identify recipients whose program participation or employment difficulties may be influenced by the presence of a disability or to develop an appropriate employment plan once a disability is identified. This Brief describes five different approaches to assessment: disability screening, psychosocial assessments, clinical and psychological assessments, functional needs assessments and vocational assessments.
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 theme for the 2010 National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Talent has no boundaries: Workforce diversity includes people with disabilities, emphasizes the rich diversity and talent that workers with disabilities bring to the workplace. During the month of October, Workforce3 One’s Disability and Employment Community of Practice will be showcasing resources to help increase the awareness of workforce professionals and the business community of the benefits and resources available to employers hiring and accommodating qualified job applicants and employees with disabilities. These resources include an Employer 30-Second Training Series and Resource Guide, and a Promising Practice on valuable support strategies that have been implemented both within and outside of public workforce investment systems. These resources will also be highlighted during the month of November through a Workforce3 One Webinar and Podcast. One-Stop Career Center staff can feel overloaded with training and information while serving a diverse and demanding population of job seekers and employers With high unemployment in many regions across the country, there is a sense of urgency in the public workforce investment system to meet the immediate needs of its customers. In addition to helping job seekers secure employment and satisfying the demands of employers, One-Stop Career Center staff participate in frequent training and are introduced to lots of resources. While there is an appreciation for training and resources that are both required and useful, staff can feel overloaded with information, especially in areas in which they are inexperienced or uncertain. Therefore, “30-Second Trainings” and supplemental Resource Guides to increase the public workforce investment system’s knowledge on disability and employment issues were developed.
In July, 2010, Ernst & Young developed a Handbook, " Getting Support, Supporting Others: A handbook for working with non-visible disabilities." This hanbook is targeted to persons with disabilities, HR staff, and supervisors/co-workers. The handbook's purpose is to provide a basic level of understanding among employees in the hopes of fostering an environment "where everybody is limited only by talents, skills, and energy." The handbook defines "non-visible disability" and 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 collegaues who perceive an accommodation as special teatment. "One of the most difficult decisions an individual with a non-obvious disability has to make is whether to inform people or not." Increasingly, the One-Stop Career Center system is seeing customers who have non-visible/non-diagnosed/non-identified disabilities.
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
DOL/ETA's Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) has recently compiled a Guide, "Resources for Senior Community Services Employment (SCSEP) Grantees Working with Persons with Disabilities." This Guide is organized as follows: Disability 101/Etiquette/Definitions, Disclosure, Reasonable Accommodations, Mental Health Resources, Working with Employers, Workforce3One Web sites/Tools, National Technical Assistance Resources, Disability Laws and Regulations, and Information/ Contacts on the DEI Grants. It is directed to front-line staff.
JAN has recently released two new Fact Sheetsb on The Interactive Process for the Reasonable Acccommodations Process. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the interactive process is not necessarily required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but from a legal standpoint, going through the process is a way for employers to show that they are making a good faith effort to comply with the ADA. And from a practical standpoint, it is a way to streamline the accommodation process and help insure that effective accommodations are provided. JAN Releases Fact Sheets on The Interactive Process: The Federal Sector. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires the Federal sector to provide effective, reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. To help determine effective accommodations, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), recommends that agencies use an "interactive process," which simply means that employers and employees with disabilities who request accommodations work together. An effective interactive process is essential to Federal agencies in complying with Executive Order 13548.
The National Center for Learning Disabilities issued A Brief: Determining Appropriate Assessment Accommodations for Students with Disabilities. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is the nation’s major Federal law related to education in grades pre-kindergarten through high school. In its most recent reauthorization, ESEA became known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001. Under NCLB public school students throughout the country must participate in annual testing in specific academic areas and grades outlined in the law, including students with disabilities. Requiring the inclusion of all students with disabilities in state- and district-wide assessments helps ensure that schools, school districts, and states are held accountable for the achievement of these students. According to NCLB, students with disabilities (those covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) must be provided the appropriate accommodation necessary to participate in these tests. Making determinations about the appropriate accommodations that students with disabilities need in order to fully and equally participate in large scale testing is a critical component of developing a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan. IEP/504 team members, must engage in a thoughtful process that determines the necessary accommodations to facilitate the student’s access to grade level instruction and full participation in state/district assessments. The selection of appropriate accommodations is the focus of this Brief.
The US Business Leadership Network and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently issued a publication, "Leading Practices on Disbaility Inclusion." Successful businesses recognize that incorporating disability in all diversity and inclusion practices positively impacts their companies’ bottom line. Corporate CEOs understand that it is cost-effective to recruit and retain the best talent regardless of disability. Chief technology officers know that technologies that are usable by all employees lead to greater productivity. Senior purchasing managers recognize the economic benefits of broadening their supplier bases to include diverse categories, such as disability owned businesses, and savvy marketing directors eagerly embrace opportunities to increase their companies’ share of new markets. While businesses sometimes encounter serious challenges as they seek to implement inclusion strategies, many employers have overcome these hurdles with robust and creative practices. Through the Leading Practices on Disability Inclusion initiative, the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN?) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce invited business leaders to share their successful disability inclusion strategies. This publication highlights successful strategies that can be used by businesses of all sizes to create a more inclusive workplace, marketplace, and supply chain. Real-life examples, such as these, are important to help businesses realize the wide range of opportunities available and the potential for replicating success. The companies and leaders featured in this publication provide valuable insights on the successes they have realized through the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of their corporate enterprises as well as in their marketing. In addition to these effective strategies, an assessment is included as a tool to initiate or enhance your company’s disability-friendly corporate practices.
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 some promising practices to help the public workforce system connect with the business sector on the advantages of a diverse and inclusive workforce.
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 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.