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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
On Octpbr 21, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education announced the award of more than $4.6 million in grants to five institutions for research projects aimed at helping improve the lives of people with disabilities. These projects will conduct research, develop projects and provide technical assistance and training. All of these efforts are intended to fulfill the goal of inclusion, integration, employment and self-sufficiency of people with disabilities. The grants are being awarded under the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERC) Program. The recipients will conduct programs of advanced research of an engineering or technical nature designed to apply technology, scientific achievement and psychological and social knowledge to solve rehabilitation problems and remove environmental barriers.
The Madiera County, California workforce system developed a new customer service delivery process when they began to implement their Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) project into its American Job Centers’ (AJCs). Prior to the DEI project, Madera County had multiple staff working with customers at different phases of their process. When they received the DEI project, they believed that a "cradle to grave" delivery model made the most sense for implementation. This required assigning one staff person to work with customers being connected to DEI strategies from beginning to end, which would minimize the number of times these individuals had to disclose their disability to staff.
This delivery model was such a success that in July 2013, the Job Center transitioned the WIA process to this "cradle to grave" model as well. Staff were cross trained in various WIA processes, their titles changed, their responsibilities changed, and the customer flow changed to ensure that staff were serving all customers from beginning to end (i.e., this included eligibility assessment through employment).
A PDF document with flow chart is available by clicking on Download.
For more information, please contact: Maiknue Vang, Disability Resource Coordinator, CWIC Madera County Workforce Investment Corporation Madera County Workforce Assistance Center Ticket to Work Employment Network 559-662-4503 / email@example.com
Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) began planning for a more integrated service delivery approach in August 2008 with plans to move from a more siloed, self-service Job Center approach. The primary goals included: 1) Coordinating the workforce delivery system in a more efficient, cost-effective manner while improving services for customers; 2) co-location and integration of all workforce and job training programs; and 3) improving the effectiveness of the regional workforce system.
IWD developed a new service delivery model. Such a model focused on quality integrated services to customers, as opposed to operating from program of funding silos. Under this model, all local offices are integrated into functional units and are not separated by program of funding stream. The goal of Iowa Integration has been: All workers need to know their skills, have an opportunity to grow their skills, and get the best job possible with their skills. Extensive information is detailed in the IWD Guide “Iowa Work; Integration Policies Handbook” which is available in PDF format by clicking on Download. For more information on the IWD approach, please contact: Doug Keast, Program Coordinator Iowa Workforce Development 515-242-0408 / Douglas.firstname.lastname@example.org
Road Map to Success: West Palm Beach, Florida
The Roadmap to Success (R2S) is a comprehensive six-stage process designed to increase CareerSource of Palm Beach County's capacity to help job seekers
with disabilities to reach their full potential. The Roadmap to Success
describes the Bestwork Assessment tool and how it is being used in the Job Centers. The six stage Roadmap to Success is available by clicking on Download.
For more information, contact: Maryann Macdonald Garrett, FCWP 3 Director, Client Services, Central Career Center 561.340.1060 ext. 2377 / Email: email@example.com
Gene Wheeler, Director, Organizational Development Center for Business Excellence 561.853.0181 ext. 2006 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) has issued a report on assessment results among K-12 students with disabilities and English Language Learners with disabilities. The report presents information on publicly reported participation and performance data for the 50 regular states and the 11 unique states (American Samoa, Bureau of Indian Education, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Department of Defense Education Activities, District of Columbia, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Palau, Puerto Rico, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands). NCEO is housed at the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota.
To view a PDF version of the report, please click on Download Now.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training has created a number of 30 Second Trainings for business. This 30 Second Training provides quick, accessible information on what business entities and employers are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Click on Download Now to access this 30 Second Training.
As part of the Federal Curb Cuts to the Middle Class Initiative, this Resource Guide for Employers was developed and released in February 2015.
It is targeted to businesses of all sizes, the publication addresses leading practices in four key areas: 1) hiring (including recruiting youth and veterans with disabilities; 2) retention and promotion; 3) providing reasonable accommodations; and 4) understanding responsibilities under the ADA, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and other related regulations.
To access a PDF version of the guide, please click on Download Now.
Achieve and the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO), an affiliated center of the Institute on Community Integration, at the University of Minnesota, released a report to guide state policies with the goal of ensuring all students, including students with disabilities have access to a diploma that means something. The report explores the consequences of states having multiple diploma options, indicating that the correlation between numerous diploma options and the lower rate at which students with disabilities are currently earning a standard diploma results in fewer high school graduates and limits many students' ability to pursue educational and employment opportunities. The report also states that “the diploma must lead either to successful post-school outcomes or employment for students with disabilities.” A PDF version of the report is available at: http://www.achieve.org/files/Achieve%20-%20NCEO%20-%20Graduation%20Requirements%2013Nov2013.pdf
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has been an innovator in the area of Assistive Technology (AT) for many years. NFB recognizes the critical role AT plays in providing independence and economic well-being to individuals who are blind or have low vision. They have identified products and technology that have proven to be most beneficial for their members and make this available on the website. They also provide assessment and advice on what AT might be most effective for the individual. Their grass-roots programs further test and identify AT equipment and software as a peer-to-peer process of sharing what's new and innovative. To learn more about how NFB may assist individuals who are blind or have low vision, please visit their webiste at: https://www.nfb.org
Webinar: Ending Youth Homelessness: Preliminary Intervention Model Webinar March 18, 2014 from 3:30 - 5:00 pm EST. Ending youth homelessness requires partnership and coordinated efforts in communities and at every level of government. USICH's Federal Framework to End Youth Homelessness is a resource text for dialogue and action toward ending youth homelessness together. The framework includes a Preliminary Intervention Model, designed to help communities identify the systems and capacity necessary to meet the needs of all youth experiencing homelessness. Learn more about the intervention model and how we can work together to end youth homelessness.
To register for this webinar, please go to: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/846445951
In collaboration with the Institute for Community College Development (ICCD) at Cornell University, the Employment and Disability Institute is taking an in-depth look at the accessibility of major on-line student processes and developing tools to assist colleges with the process of improving the accessibility of those processes for students with disabilities.
Project Activities. This three year project is using a multi-pronged approach to examine the state of web accessibility in the community college network and identify IT accessibility barriers for students with disabilities and ways to address them. During Year One, the project team performed an accessibility review of selected online application processes in 30 community colleges. The focus of the Year Two research will be a telephone survey across all community colleges nationally regarding use of web-based/online student recruitment, application, and registration processes and the colleges' awareness of web accessibility issues and policies regarding accessibility. Based on the findings of the Years One and Two activities, informational briefs detailing the study's findings and recommendations for systems change will be designed and disseminated to key representatives in the national community college network.
Contact for the Employment and Disability Institute, Cornell University: William Erickson, Project Manager Telephone: 607-255-1540 Fax: 607-255-2763 TTY: 607-255-2891 Email: email@example.com
AccessibleTech.org promotes the inclusion of persons with disabilities in business and through the use of electronic information technology that is universally accessible.
The site includes information and resources on:
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people with disabilities are nearly twice as likely to be self-employed as the general population. Small business ownership and self-employment options can lower the historically high unemployment rate of persons with disabilities. Listen to this podcast to learn about inclusive entrepreneurship, a strategy for assisting people with disabilities to become entrepreneurs, and the types of inclusive entrepreneurship programs available through One Stop Career Centers that help individuals start operating and sustaining their businesses.
Philidephia Business Journal Article with links to additional recources: From the report - "I think when you work with somebody who has a disability, you're getting somebody who is so committed and so appreciative for the opportunity," said Bruce Sham, vice president of sales for First Financial Group in Bala Cynwyd and host of a periodic breakfast meeting to connect business owners and people with disabilities looking for work. "They've worked harder in everything they've had to do in life to achieve their level of success and it's a matter of educating the employer."
Employment Incentives, a website that promotes and shares information about the economic incentives available to businesses that hire and retain employees with disabilities. This site has information on Federal and state programs and initiatives designed to promote the hiring of qualified candidates with disabilities.