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.
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.
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.
On Septemebr 23, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education announced today the award of a $1.4 million grant to Family Health International (FHI) in Washington, D.C. to establish a Center on Technology and Disability. The center is a collaborative effort among FHI, American Institutes for Research, and PACER Center, and will increase the capacity of families, schools, and providers to obtain and help children with disabilities use assistive and instructional technology to improve learning. The use of assistive and instructional technology enables children with disabilities to participate fully in daily routines in their natural environments; have increased access to the general education curriculum; improve their functional outcomes and educational results; and meet college-and career-ready standards.
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 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) under the Employment and Training and Administration-funded Disability Program Navigator Initiative, developed a series of E-Learning training modules for One-Stop Career Center staff, customers, and partners. The purpose of these modules are to provide front-line One-Stop Career Center staff and partners training on serving customers with disabilities and multiple challenges to employment. Many One-Stop Career Centers across the country are experiencing dramatic increases in the number of customers due to the current economic situation. Increasingly, One-Stop Career Centers are serving customers with multiple challenges to employment, including persons who are disabled, older, homeless, Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) recipients, disabled veterans, ex-offenders, ethnically, linguistically, and culturally diverse, adult learners, and/or and have limited English proficiency.
Customer service is a key component of effective One-Stop Career Center service delivery. It is important to provide training for front-line staff on how to serve a diverse range of customers. A key approach is to provide a welcoming, customer-friendly, and inclusive setting. One way to serve a broad customer pool is to provide One-Stop Career Center services according to the principles of “universal design,” using strategies that benefit many groups. Universal design provides services that are accessible to and useable by the largest number of people, accommodating a wide range of abilities, preferences, and diversity.
These E-Learnings can be used to meet the training needs of new staff and partners, serve as a review for existing staff, and ensure that the same message is delivered to all staff, customers, and partners. This helps ensure sustainability through training because the E-Learnings are easily updated with new information and resources and can serve as a valuable tool for many years.
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:
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.
"At Your Service: Welcoming Customers with Disabilities" is a self-paced webcourse for persons intereted in discovering best practices for working with customers who have disabiliters. The cost is free. You may apply for education credit for thsi webcourse as long as you are eligible Upon completion of this webcourse, you will be able to: •State an understanding of the needs and experiences of people with disabilities. •Identify how to accommodate the needs of the customer with a disability while continuing to provide a high level of customer service. •Discuss basic etiquette for interacting with a customer who has a disability. •Explain how to comply with statutes regarding service to people with disabilities, including Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Note: Anyone interested in learning more about interacting effectively with individuals who have a disability will benefit from this webcourse. However, this webcourse was created as a training tool for Customer Service Representatives employed at Department of Labor (DOL) One-Stop Centers and for Navigators in the Disability Program Navigator Initiative, jointly funded by DOL and the Social Security Administration (SSA).
New Resources on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Common Core State Standards The National Center on Universal Design for Learning has released new resources on the intersection of UDL and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These tools and links illustrate the important way that the CCSS identify what educators need to address in their instruction while UDL guides how to design their instruction. Key resources include a crosswalk on UDL and the Literacy by Design Collaborative (LDC) framework and video examples showing lessons illustrating classroom instruction addressing both the UDL guidelines and CCSS.
The Department of Education has announced a funding opportunity under the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities Program. This Program is intended to: (1) Improve results for students with disabilities by promoting the development, demonstration, and use of technology; (2) support educational activities designed to be of educational value in the classroom for students with disabilities; (3) provide support for captioning and video description that is appropriate for use in the classroom; and (4) provide accessible educational materials to students with disabilities in a timely manner. The Administration has requested $29,588,000 for the Program; the Department of Education intends to use an estimated $1,500,000 for this specific competition. • Estimated Number of Awards: 3. • Estimated Range of Awards: $475,000 to $500,000 per year. • Estimated Average Size of Awards: $500,000 per year. Eligible applicants are state and local educational agencies, including public charter schools; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely associated States; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations. Applications are due March 20. For the complete text of the solicitation, go to: ttp://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-01-09/pdf/2014-00165.pdf
Video: Software for Cognitive Disabilities Computer/Electronics Accommodations Program http://www.youtube.com/user/TheDoDCAP?feature=watch The Computer/Electronics Accommodations Program’s (CAP) newest assistive technology video, “Software for Cognitive Disabilities” is available on the CAP YouTube Channel. This video highlights assistive software that can help people with cognitive disabilities read, write and organize information more easily. Individuals with cognitive limitations or returning Service members with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may experience difficulty with reading, comprehension and writing. Watch the video to learn more about some of the assistive software CAP can provide to help Federal employees and wounded Service members with cognitive limitations succeed in the workforce. To view CAP videos please visit: www.youtube.com/thedodcap or http://www.cap.mil/PublicationsForms/productMaterials.aspx.
The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) has created a series of online training modules to provide information on readily available technology solutions and accommodations for several disabilities. These CAP training videos are approximately 4 minutes and include information on accommodations and technology available for: 1) People who are blind, have low vision, and vision impairments. Accommodations may include tools to maginify hardcopy and onscreen text or scanners and screen readers which can output content as Braille or speech. 2) People with hearing disabilities, including deaf or hard of hearing with information on videophones, captioned telephones, telephone amplifiers and assisted listening devices. 3) People with cognitive disabilities, including memory loss, perception problems and other issues that may be caused by dyslexia, ADHD, stroke, PTSD and TBI. Educational software, screen magnification and speech recognition software are just a few of the tools available to accommodate people with cognitive disabilities. 4) People with dexterity disabilities, including quadriplegia, paraplegia, MS, cerebral palsy, stroke, upper body amputation, or significant repetitive stress injuries with accommodations that include speech recognition software, headsets and microphones and alternative pointing devices. 5) Information on reasonable accommodation solutions. CAP is a federally-funded program to support hiring and accommodations of federal employees. For access to these videos and information on CAP, please go to: http://cappublic.uat2.keymind.com/NewsEvents/Training.aspx
The Commission on Election Administration is a bi-partisan commission established by President Obabms. The bi-partisan commission issed a report of their findings and recommendations to improve the voting process and streamline the voter experience after the 2012 election was plagued by long lines and other difficulties. Among other recommendations, the panel is urging election officials nationwide to pay greater attention to people with disabilities and other groups that are often disproportionately impacted by problems at the polls. Many enhancements — like widespread use of online voter registration — would be particularly advantageous to those with disabilities, the commission said. Checklists for each polling place should be used during every election cycle to ensure full accessibility and the panel is recommending that routine audits be conducted to verify compliance. Poll workers also need to be fully trained on how to interact with voters who have special needs and how to assist them with equipment. A PDF version of the full report is available at: https://www.supportthevoter.gov/files/2014/01/Amer-Voting-Exper-final-draft-01-09-14-508.pdf
The National Council on Disability (NCD) issued a letter of support to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, on their efforts against segregated segregated day and employment activities, including sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs. DOJ's work was demonstrated by the recent investigation of Rhode Island’s Birch Vocational School where workers with disabilities performed manual labor for scant wages between $.50 and $2 per hour. As a result of DOJ’s efforts, the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals has recently announced their intention to phase out the use of sheltered workshop settings over the course of the next three years. NCD commends this as an exceptionally positive development. For a full text of the NCD letter and information on the DOJ report, please go to: http://www.realeconomicimpact.org/Resources/Webinars.aspx
This August 2013 article by Marshall Raskind, Ph.D. and Kristen Stanberry highlights the role of Assistive Technology (AT)for students with Learning Disabilities (LD) but is also appllicable for adults with LD. AT for LD includes devices, equipment, or systems that bypass, work around, or compensate for a person's specific learning deficits. This article on the "Great Schools" website provides links AT equipment to address different learning challenges and other information to address LD in school or the workplace. To access the article, please go to: http://www.greatschools.org/special-education/assistive-technology/702-assistive-technology-for-kids-with-learning-disabilities-an-overview.gs?page=all
The Job Accommodation Network is hosting a Webinar,Making Online Application Systems Accessible" on February 26, 2:00 – 3:30 PM EST The new Section 503 regulations stop short of requiring federal contractors to make their on-line application systems accessible, but the regulations do codify the OFCCP’s position that federal contractors must make reasonable accommodations for any applicants with disabilities who cannot access on-line systems, and further state that making on-line application systems accessible is a recommended best practice. In light of this, many federal contractors are implementing changes to make their on-line application systems accessible. JAN Consultants will share practical tips and tools to help these contractors succeed in their efforts. To register for this JAN Webinar, please go to: http://prod.askjan.org/webcast/federal/registration.cfm
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has placed in the docket and on its Web site proposed guidance in the form of four additional circular chapters to help transportation providers meet the requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. These proposed chapters include Chapter 1 (Introduction and Applicability), Chapter 2 (General Requirements), Chapter 5 (Equivalent Facilitation), and Chapter 8 (Complementary Paratransit Service). Along with the proposed chapter on vehicle acquisition published on October 2, 2012, these chapters are part of a series of approximately 12 chapters that will compose a complete ADA circular. By this notice, FTA invites public comment on these four additional proposed circular chapters, as well as suggestions for specific issues to address in future chapters. Comments must be submitted by April 21, 2014. To view the Federal Register notification, please go to: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-10-02/pdf/2012-24185.pdf
Washington State's Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Grantee has created an on-line employer toolkit - WA HireAbility;Employer Spotlight/Best Practices in coordination with the Association of Washington Business (AWB). The WA HireAbility Toolkit features numerous employers who are recognized for their policies and practices in hiring people with disabilities. It includes a Workplace Disability Inclusion Assessment Tool designed to provide a business with a checklist to evaluate how disability-friendly their workplace is currently and serves as a roadmap to enhance disability-friendly corporate practices, as well as other pertinent information. WA Governor Inslee introduces the website with Executive Order 13-02: Improving Employment Opportunities and Outcomes for People with Disabilities in State Employment. Washington State is committed to achieving a state workforce with at least 5% of workers living with a disabilty and the EO includes formation of a Disability Employment Task Force. The spearhead of this effort is the state’s participation in the DEI grant program funded through the U.S. Department of Labor. The WA HireAbility Employer Toolkit is at: http://www.wahireabilityspotlight.org/ WA Executive Order 13-02 is at: http://governor.wa.gov/office/execorders/documents/13-02.pdf
On January 30, 2014, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum to Secretaries of the Departments of Labor, Commerce and Education directing them to take action to address job-driven training for America's workers. He states: "It is critical that the Federal Government ensure that its policies and programs in the workforce and training system are designed to equip the Nation's workers with skills matching the needs of employers looking to hire. As part of the overall review process led by Vice President Biden, the memorandum directs that within 180 days, the Office of the Vice President, the National Economic Council, the Domestic Policy Council, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Office of Management and Budget, the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce, and Education (Secretaries), in consultation with other executive departments and agencies as appropriate, shall develop a specific action plan, to be provided to me through the Vice President, to make the workforce and training system more job-driven, integrated, and effective. To view this Presidential Memorandum, please go to: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/30/presidential-memorandum-job-driven-training-workers
AbleData has published a fact sheet: “Tips for Choosing AT Products for Yourself.” This publication was written and produced by AbleData which is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the U.S. Department of Education. We all use technology to help us complete many different kinds of tasks. Cars, computers and cell phones are all tools many of us use regularly. Assistive technology (AT) products help people with disabilities and others who have difficulty performing certain tasks with a wide range of daily activities. For example, walkers assist individuals with balance and fatigue problems to get around and speech output software helps people who are blind use computers at work. These products help us remain as independent as possible in our daily lives.
The Federal Communications Commission unanimously approved new, more comprehensive rules for TV closed captioning to ensure that viewers who are deaf and hard of hearing have full access to programming. The FCC action on February resolves decade-long concerns from deaf and hard of hearing communities to improve captioning quality and provides much needed guidance to video programming distributors and programmers. The new rules apply to all television programming with captions. Specifically, the Order adopts quality standards for accuracy, synchronicity (timing), program completeness, and placement of closed captions, including the requirement that captions be: • Accurate • Synchronous • Complete • Properly placed The Order distinguishes between pre-recorded, live, and near-live programming and explains how the new standards apply to each type of programming. A PDF version of the FCC notice is available at: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0221/DOC-325695A1.pdf