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
“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 U.S. Department of Labor today announced two final rules to improve hiring and employment of veterans and for people with disabilities. One rule updates requirements under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974; the other updates those under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For more than 40 years these laws have required federal contractors and subcontractors to affirmatively recruit, hire, train and promote qualified veterans and people with disabilities respectively. "In a competitive job market, employers need access to the best possible employees," said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "These rules make it easier for employers to tap into a large, diverse pool of qualified candidates."
According to the U.S. Census in 2007, of the 23.6 million military veterans in the United States, 6 million had disabilities. In addition, an increasing number of disabled veterans will be returning from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other mental and physical disabilities resulting from their tours of duty. If the One-Stop Career Centers are to meet the challenges of serving the increasing number of disabled veterans seeking employment services, there needs to be collaboration and coordination between the public workforce investment system and programs that serve disabled veterans. This information brief highlights DPNs successful strategies by partnering with the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program and Local Veterans Employment Representative staffing to provide access to the full array of services available to disabled veterans through the public workforce investment system.
Since the inception of the DPN initiative in 2003, DPNs have focused on the coordination of integrated services to job seekers with multiple challenges to employment. With considerable knowledge on resources within the workforce investment system and in the community, DPNs often see the “big picture” or the many pieces needed to form the puzzle. This information brief highlights the use of Integrated Resource Teams, which represent one approach DPNs are using to bring together multiple partners across service systems helping to build teams who work together to combine resources and help job seekers reach employment goals.
This podcast will follow a segment of a workforce3one webinar connected earlier this year on the Disability Program Navigators (DPNs) partnering with the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) and Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) staff to provide access to the full array of services available to disabled veterans though the public workforce system. The Idaho State will be asked to provide follow-up on what has been happening in the state in this area since the Webinar aired almost a year ago. In addition, a newly released Information Brief on this topic will be posted and discussed.
Gordon Graff has been the State Lead for the Idaho DPN project since it was initially funded three years ago. His position is locate din the Idaho Department of Labor. Idaho has used ARRA funds to supplement the funding for the DPN program. Gordon is an expert on developing local partnerships to coordinate and leverage resources to promote employment of customers with disabilities in the One-Stop Career Center system.
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 has issues a Training and Employment Notice(TEN)to encourage the public workforce system to partner with TANF agencies in their efforts to promote subsidized employment opportunities allowable under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA) TANF Contingency funding for the creation and expansion of subsidized summer employment for low-income youth. It also encourages co-enrollment of youth in TANF and appropriate WIA programs so individuals can benefit from WIA services such as supportive services,occupational skills training,and other relevant services.
The U.S. Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services have jointly identifies areas of collaboration that support training and employment opportunities for low-income families, particularly opportunities to place eligible TANF participants in subsidized employment in the summer of 2010. It is DOL's hope that this national partnership focused on subsidized employment will be modeled throughout state and local TANF and workforce agencies. The need for this partnership comes at a critical time-- overall teen employment rate has remained devastatingly low, reaching levels not seen in 60 years. Unfortunately, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the proportion of young people employed in July 2009 was 51.4 percent. This is the lowest July rate for the series, which began in 1948. While the WIA summer youth employment funding under ARRA has been nearly expended,significant TANF Emergency Contingency funding remains and TANF agencies can choose to commit some of those funds to subsidized employment programs for low-income youth.
Individuals with disabilities and family members with disabilities comprise a disproportionately high percent of the population receiving TANF benefits.
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
Transportation plays a critical role in providing access to employment, health care, education, community services, and other activities necessary for daily life. For people who cannot drive or afford an automobile, access to public transportation services is one of the major barriers to essential services and participation in community life. Transportation challenges can be even greater for people with disabilities, older adults, and people with limited incomes. The Federal Interagency Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM) includes 11 federal departments, 9 of which are responsible for providing transportation for people with disabilities, older adults, and people with limited incomes. CCAM officially launched United We Ride in 2004 to: (1) Provide more rides for target populations for the same or fewer assets; (2) Simplify access; and (3) Increase customer satisfaction. CCAM asked the National Academy of Public Administration (National Academy) and Easter Seals Project ACTION to develop and host the first United We Ride (UWR) National Dialogue. The goal of the Dialogue was to help shape future policy direction and provide input to the next CCAM strategic plan. The United We Ride National Dialogue brought together key stakeholders using collaborative web-based technologies to discuss the following broad question: “What ideas can improve access to affordable and reliable transportation for people with disabilities, older adults, and people with limited incomes?” The attached docuemnt is the Final Report from the UWR Dialogue.
Disability Program Navigators (DPNs) throughout the country have developed and implemented successful strategies in the public workforce system to promote the employment and economic self-sufficiency of persons with disabilities. This Information Brief highlights how DPNs are improving access to financial education; home ownership ad entrepreneurial programs, and increased use of the Earned Income Tax Credit to expand economic opportunities of job seekers with disabilities. One very successful strategy has been facilitating the One-Stop Career Centers to become Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. Read the full Brief to learn about more strategies, resources and examples of how the One-Stop Career Center system can help support jobseekers with low-incomes during tax season.
Think Beyond the Label Campaign Kicks Off A national marketing campaign, Think Beyond the Label (TBTL)was launched at the end of January 2010. The campaign is the result of a collaborative effort by more than 30 Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) projects and is managed by Health & Disability Advocates, parent organization of the National Consortium for Health Systems Development. Think Beyond the Label targets small and mid-sized businesses and is designed to make the business case for employers to hire people with disabilities by providing them with: 1. information needed to hire people with disabilities; 2. tools necessary to integrate people with disabilities into the workforce; and 3. local resources to help them access this segment of the labor pool. The campaign includes television and print advertising as well as Internet marketing. It has generated interest from the business community and garnered local and national attention from a broad range of disability employment stakeholders as well as media. National TV ads are running on news outlets including CNN, Headline News, ESPN and other channels. Wirestone, the media agency that created Think Beyond the Label, has developed a comprehensive social media strategy that includes the use of a web site or digital hub, http://www.thinkbeyondthelabel.com, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN and other Internet markets. Visit http://www.thinkbeyondthelabel.com
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.
Employment Transportation Options and Strategies: Opportunities for the Public Workforce System This document highlights some information on transportation initiatives and programs that can provide communities and One-Stop Career Centers with resources and suggestions to help customers address their transportation needs. The following resources from the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and the Federal Transit Administration’s United We Ride (UWR) program offer transportation options and strategies for the public workforce system to help bridge the transportation gap to employment for individuals with disabilities, older adults, low-income and others with challenges to employment. There are several resources developed by CTAA targted specifically to the business community, including the recent publication, "Transportaion to Work: A Toolkit for the Business Community."
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.
Asset Development 30-Second Training Series http://www.dpnavigator.net/pages/AssetDev30sec.html A 30-Second Training is a quick fun Power Point slide show that is electronically sent out to One-Stop and Partner staff and 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. ? 30-Second Trainings are designed to be fast, informative and entertaining to capture the attention of busy One-Stop staff, partners and/or employers in a 30-Second PowerPoint Show. ? 30-Second Trainings can be used to either introduce topics and information for the first time, or to reinforce information that has already been presented in a formal presentation. While it can be used as a stand-alone training, it is best used to augment other training. ? 30-Second Training topics cover a wide-range of disability and employment issues in a way that is easy to process and that leads the end-user to a reputable internet resource where they can find additional information on the topic. The Asset Development series was designed to help Disability Program Navigators (DPNs) and other workforce professionals to increase awareness of the many available Asset Development strategies and resources that exist to promote and support increased self-sufficiency and financial stability among individuals with low-incomes, including individuals with disabilities.
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 Report was prepared by Mathematica Policy Research (MPR), Inc. under contract with the Employment and Training Administration. The purpose of this report was to conduct a quantitative evaluation of the Disability Program Navigator (DPN) initiative through the use of the One-Stop Career Center system by Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries. The study was conducted with Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, and Oregon, which were early implementers of the DPN initiative and were willing to share their Workforce Investment Act (WIA) adult and dislocated worker and Wagner-Peyser (W-P) data base information for the period Program Year 2002 – Program Year 2007. The data runs were matched with SSI and SSDI Ticket to Work (TTW) record system. The target population for the study was adults age 21 and over. In addition to determining if the impact of the DPN would effect WIA and W-P service and outcome levels for SSI and SSDI beneficiaries, it was also intended to gain understanding of the: • Extent to which One-Stop Career Centers are serving persons who are SSA disability beneficiaries; • Characteristics of SSI/SSDI beneficiaries receiving these services; • Nature of the services received; and • How services and outcomes for beneficiaries compared with SSI/SSDI beneficiaries nationally. Key findings include: • One-Stop Career Centers are serving a very large share of persons receiving SSA disability benefits and the public workforce system is providing important support for SSA disability beneficiaries who want to work; • SSA beneficiaries who used One-Stop services achieved positive employment outcomes.
The US DOL/ETA has just issued TEN 1-10, Release and availability of an ETA quantitative evaluation report, "Use of One-Stops by Social Security Disability Beneficiaries in Four States Implementing Disability Program Navigator (DPN) Initiatives." ETA contracted out with Mathematica Policy Research (MPR), Inc. to condcut a quantitative evaluation of the DPN initiative through the use of the One-Stop Career Cenetr system by Supplemental Security Income(SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries. The stduy was condcuted in Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, and Oregon, which were early implementers of the DPN Initiative and were willing to share their Workforce Investment Act adult and dislocated worker and Wagner-Peyser data base information for program years 2002-2007. The data runs were matched with the SSI and SSDI Ticket to Work records system. This Reoport docuemnted that a very aklrge number of SSA disability beneficiaries are using the services of the public workforce system and achieving positive employment outcomes. The report is located here: http://disability.workforce3one.org/view/2001018107873517795/info
GAO convened a Forum on March 16, 2010, to explore policy options and actions that could be implemented to help adults with disabilities participate in the workforce. Several challenges were identified, including the need for: 1) a more coordinated system of services and benefits; 2) additional information on benefits and work incentives; 3) additional employer incentives to hire persons with disabilities; 4) targeted information to employers to make the business case to hire persons with disabilities; and 5) a coordinated Federal policy to promote the employment of persons with disabilities. The Report and Highlights can be downloaded at: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-812SP Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d10812sphigh.pdf
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/.
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.
On Septmebr 30, 2010, DOL awarded $21.5 million to 9 states to implement the new Disability Employment Initiative (DEI). The major purposes of the DEI is to promote positive employment outcomes of persons with disabilities to achieve career pathway jobs and to expand the capacity of the One-Stop Career Center system to serve persons with disabilties.
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