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.
“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.
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.
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 asset building strategies being used. One very successful strategy has been facilitating the One-Stop Career Centers to become Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites.
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.
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.
This Guide was published by the Prisoner Reentry Institute, John Jay College, Spring 2008. It walks an offender through the process of setting educational goals and getting organized; enrolling in programs that best suits her/his needs; and receiving assistance to pay for college. This guide is intended to be helpful to offeners while in prison and in the community.
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/.
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.
On December 3, 2010, the Center for American Progress and Hamilton Project issued a Report, "Supporting Work: A Proposal for Modernizing the U.S. Disability Insurance System." Excerpts from the Report: The Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program has served to protect U.S. workers and their families from poverty and loss of medical care in the event of work-limiting disability since its inception in 1956. The program has become a crucial piece of the U.S. social safety net, and it creates substantial net benefits for citizens. In the ensuing fifty years since the program’s introduction, medical care and assistive technologies for treating and accommodating work-limiting disabilities have advanced, the physical demands of the workplace have lessened, and the societal consensus on the proper objective for treatment of disabled workers has greatly evolved. The SSDI program was designed to provide income support (and, after 1965, medical care) to workers transitioning from employment to early retirement and, in many cases, death. This goal was progressive for its time but is no longer aligned with current societal objectives. A modern disability insurance system should properly focus on assisting individuals with disabilities to maintain economic self-sufficiency and to enjoy the many benefits of gainful employment. Thsi Report provides a proposal for universal private disability insurance as a blueprint for modernizing the structure of the SSDI program. Once in place, the reformed program will better support workers with disabilities to remain employed and encourage their self-sufficiency. It also will reduce the dual wastes stemming from spending too few societal resources on helping individuals with disabilities remain employed and too many societal resources on supporting unnecessary long-term dependency of individuals who could be self-sufficient with the appropriate accommodation and support.
Client Success through Partnership: 2010 TANF and Workforce Meeting, July 2010 The final report is now available! The Administration for Children and Families Regions VI and VIII and the Employment and Training Administration Region IV came together to host the Client Success through Partnership: 2010 TANF and Workforce Meeting in Dallas, Texas from July 25-27, 2010. The meeting contained a series of targeted discussion forums, interactive plenary sessions, and peer-to-peer breakouts coordinated to improve partnership and collaboration among TANF and workforce programs. Over the two and one-half days, attendees were exposed to a variety of sessions presented by more than 20 distinguished experts and peers from the TANF, workforce, social service, and research communities.
The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has issued a Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) on supporting entrepreneurial and self-employment training through the workforce investment system. The purpose of the TEGL is to encourage states to establish parameters for funding such training under Title I of the Workforce Investment Act which authorizes the provision of entrepreneurial training to adult and dislocated workers, and authorizes entrepreneurial work experiences for youth. The TEGL replaces an earlier guidance letter and provides more detailed information about designing and implementing entrepreneurial and self-employment training strategies for adults, dislocated workers, and youth, and provides guidance about allowable costs and outcome tracking. The TEGL notes that entrepreneurship and small business development have been identified as an important employment option for populations that have challenges to employment. For example, self-employment may offer individuals with disabilities greater workplace flexibility and income opportunities. The TEGL identifies self-employment as a potential strategy for Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) grantee states. The guidance letter describes a variety of ways in which the workforce investment system can support entrepreneurship and self-employment. The TEGL also addresses performance accountability issues and suggests strategies such as using supplemental data sources and administrative records to assist in reporting on employment, retention and earnings measures. The TEGL is available at http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/attach/TEGL/TEGL12-10acc.pdf.
The "Promising Practice Brief: Connecting with the business sector on the advantages of a diverse and inclusive workforce" has been released, January 2011. This Brief highlights how the Texas Disability Program Navigators (DPNs)are leading the charge to promote the inclusion of disability as part of diversity within the public workforce development system and in their local communities. As staff members of local Workforce Investment Boards and One-Stop Career Centers, Navigators are working to ensure that disability is embedded into diversity management training that is offered to local businesses, as well as included in diversity awareness provided to workforce development system staff and partners. This Promising Practice Brief highlights replicable and successful strategies for ways to: incorporate topics on diversity, including tapping into the potential market of the disability community, onto the agenda of employer roundtables, business luncheons, employer focus groups, and Business Service meetings within the One-Stop Career Centers; collaborate with the local chapters of the Chambers of Commerce, Human Resource associations, job fair organizers, and others in the business sector to integrate disability into a wide spectrum of statewide and local diversity initiatives. A Workforce3One webinar will be held on this Brief in April...stay tuned for details.
The US Business Leadership Network (BLN) has just issued a "Guide to Business-Branded Internships." The US BLN is the national disability organization that serves as the collective voice of over 60 BLN affiliates across North America, representing 5,000 employers. The USBLN: recognizes and supports best practices in the employment and advancement of people with disabilities; the preparedenss for work of youth and students with disabilities; and contracting with vendors with disabilities through the development and certification of disability-owned businesses The USBLN affiliates are business organizations headed by a lead employer who exemplifies best practices and shares experiences with other members-employers-within the state or region. These activities include career fairs, disability mentoring and internship, programs, and training programs, including disability business etiquette, accommodation, and other disability issues significant to employers. The USBLN belives the inclusion of students with disabilities is essential to assist business in preparing a talented and diversified American workforce to take on tomorrow's challenges. The USBLN created the TOWER Initiative to be proactive in providing students with disabilities,as well as businesses, the tools on work and employment readiness necessary to meet the demands of employers. Through the TOWER Initiative, the USBLN created this Toolkit to help employers include students with disabilities in new or existing internship programs. For more information about the USBLN visit: www.usbln.org.
Utilizing the Online Work Readiness Assessment (OWRA) to Improve the Employment Outcomes and Service Options for Low-Income Workers and TANF Participants. The Online Work Readiness Assessment (OWRA) is a free, interactive, online resource created to ensure that TANF participants are prepared to seek and/or maintain employment or work activities to improve self-sufficiency. Developed by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, OWRA is fully customizable and allows for the determination of specific work supports that a TANF participant may need to effectively engage in work activities. The tool helps TANF workers, intake staff and eligibility workers strategically think about how to assist participants to gain employment, maintain a job, and move toward self-sufficiency. Presented at the National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics Annual Conference, Al Fleming from the Office of Family Assistance and Dr. Jeanette Hercik and Christina Techico from ICF International provided a demo of the tool and offered lessons learned from the initial pilot tests.
Report Looks at Taxpayers with Disabilities In a report prepared for the IRS Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication (SPEC) effort, Wage and Investment Research and Analysis profiled taxpayers with disabilities using results from the 2009 Benchmark Survey. This report provides an update of the 2007 Disability Report and aims to assist SPEC and its partners to better understand the characteristics and services used by taxpayers with disabilities and to identify possible outreach strategies. The analysis was limited to working-age taxpayers, and includes the following findings: ? Taxpayers with disabilities were more likely to be unemployed and/or on disability. Approximately 46 percent of taxpayers with disabilities reported being unemployed and/or on disability compared to 13 percent of taxpayers without disabilities. ? Respondents with disabilities are low income taxpayers. Over half of respondents with disabilities had an adjusted gross income of less than $20,000. ? On average, taxpayers with disabilities received $800 less Earned Income Tax Credit when compared to taxpayers without disabilities. ? Awareness and use of free tax preparation services/resources among respondents with disabilities was low. Approximately 36 percent of respondents with disabilities were aware of volunteer tax preparation clinics; however, only six percent reported using these services. ? Taxpayers with disabilities identified tax preparation companies as the potentially most important resource/service used in completing their tax return. For the full report, including recommendations, see http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4640.pdf.
With the passage of the Workforce investment Act (WIA) in 1998 came a powerful message that the training and employment needs of a diverse population of job seekers and employers would be met within a single, universal One-Stop Career Center system. As a key principle of WIA, universal access offers the promise of a welcoming, integrated and user-friendly system where job seekers of all ages from various racial, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and with a range of education and work experiences, can reach their training and career goals. For job seekers, including those with disabilities, who encounter any number of challenges to employment, the One-Stop Career Center system provides equal access, participation and opportunity.
To contribute to the groundwork established by WIA legislation, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (DOL/ETA) directed funds through the Work Incentive Grant (WIG) projects and the Disability Program Navigator (DPN) initiative. Both initiatives supported policy development and systems change activities within the One-Stop Career Center system to improve access and meaningful participation of job seekers, including those with disabilities and multiple challenges to employment.
Through a variety of innovative strategies and approaches, Disability Program Navigators (DPNs/Navigators) helped to expand the capacity of the public workforce system to effectively serve and accommodate a more diversified population of job seekers. As a result of these varied approaches, DPNs impacted the career advancement and self-sufficiency of a diverse population of job seekers, including those with disabilities, veterans, transitional youth, individuals who are homeless, ex-offenders and many other job seekers who are considered underserved and/or at-risk.