This document contains a list of helpful links to transportation technical assistance resources and programs that can assist professionals in the workforce development system who work with and/or on behalf of job seekers with disabilities. It was compiled from a presentation by Bryna Helfer, Federal Transit Administration, to the Work Incentive and Disability Program Navigator grantees.
President Obama's hiring incentives will hopefully bring down the 13.1 percent veteran unemployment rate. The Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVN)is filling in the information gap that often interferes with veterans getting jobs. The DVNF announced that it will connect unemployed veterans with the career resources that have come out of the VOW Act. "We are working diligently to help disabled and underserved veterans, including our women veterans, access the benefits created under the new law and connect them immediately to the training, financial assistance and secure jobs they need and deserve," wrote Raegan Rivers, Chief Administrative Officer, DVNF, in a press release. "Just as they fight for us on the battlefield, it's up to us to fight for our troops and their families when they come home," President Obama said after signing the VOW To Hire Heroes Act. "Today, a deeply grateful nation is doing right by our military and paying back just a little bit what we owe our veterans." For more information about VOW, go to http://www.benefits.va.gov/vow/ For more information about DVN's efforts, please go to: http://www.dvnf.org
Ticket to Work: Locate a Service Provider This section of the Ticket to Work website helps you find the following service providers in your state by entering a zip code and the service you are looking for or clicking on a state in the map or the state listprovider of legally based advocacy service for people with disabilities. Learn more
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
The Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC) is a national network of 10 regional DBTAC: ADA Centers that provide the most complete and experienced services for up-to-date information, referrals, resources, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to businesses, employers, government entities, and individuals with disabilities.
Central web resource for information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including:
On May 4, 2010, the DOL unveiled a new tool to help America's employers ensure their employment policies and practices do not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities. The online Disability Nondiscrimination Law Advisor, available at http://www.dol.gov/elaws/odep.htm, helps employers quickly and simply determine which federal disability nondiscrimination laws apply to their business or organization and their responsibilities under them. It asks users to answer a few relevant questions in order to take into account relevant variables, such as nature of organization, size of staff and whether the business or organization receives federal financial assistance. Based on the responses provided, the advisor then generates a customized list of federal disability nondiscrimination laws that likely apply, along with easy-to-understand information about employers' responsibilities under them. The advisor also can help employees, job applicants and people applying for or participating in Federally-funded programs learn more about their rights under these laws. In addition, it includes a Guide on Employing People with Disabilities that outlines resources available to help employers comply with disability nondiscrimination laws. The Disability Non-discrimination Law Advisor is one of a series of Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses, or "elaws," Advisors developed by the Labor Department's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, working with other department agencies, to help employers and employees understand federal employment laws. To access this set of advisors, visit the elaws website at http://www.dol.gov/elaws/.
Society for Human Resource Management Disability Employment Resource Page http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/Diversity/Articles/Pages/disability_072110.aspx The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) created this resource page with employers in mind. Here you will find a wealth of resources, articles and links to help source, recruit, retain and develop people with disabilities, a pool of talent too often overlooked by employers. A selection of videos features experts in the field of disability employment who have been interviewed by SHRM. Each begins with a brief audio description so that those with visual impairments can "see" the video, while scrolling text next to the video image enables those with hearing impairments to "hear" the video. Individuals who have reading-related challenges can simply ignore all the text and enjoy the audio/video portions of each presentation.
U.S. Labor Department awards more than $21 million in Disability Employment Initiative cooperative agreements to 9 states U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA News Release 9-29-2010 http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/ETA/ETA20101376.htm On September 30, 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced an award of $21,276,575 to nine states under the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) to improve education, training, and employment opportunities and outcomes of youth and adults who are unemployed and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. The DEI is jointly funded and administered by DOL's Employment and Training Administration and its Office of Disability Employment Policy. DOL has entered into cooperative agreements with the following states to implement strategic approaches to support exemplary employment services to individuals with disabilities in the public workforce investment system: Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, New Jersey, New York and Virginia. These projects build on the work of DOL's Disability Program Navigator Initiative by hiring staff with expertise in disability and workforce issues. The grants also will support extensive partnerships, collaboration and services provided across multiple workforce and disability systems in each state. These involve state vocational rehabilitation services, mental health and developmental disability agencies, Medicaid Infrastructure Grant-supported activities, independent living centers, business leadership networks, and other community and nonprofit provider organizations. Another critical component of the DEI is expanding the workforce investment system's involvement with the Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work program. The DEI requires a state workforce agency or local workforce investment boards participating in a cooperative agreement to become Employment Networks under the Ticket to Work Program.
Real People Real Jobs http://www.realworkstories.org/
This Web site highlights the employment successes of people with intellectual disabilities/developmental disabilities (ID/DD) who are working in paid jobs in their communities. Through the use of innovative, front-line employment support practices, these individuals are earning money, forming networks, and contributing to their communities. Learn more about these people and the promising practices that led to their success. The Institute for Community Inclusion's, University of Massachusetts-Boston, Real People, Real Jobs Web site is a growing catalogue of employment success stories. The site features a wide range of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities working in paid jobs in their communities. Through their stories, these individuals are spreading the word about the full range of employment opportunities and support options available. The Web site is designed to broaden perceptions about what is possible for people with disabilities, their families, and front-line employment staff.
New Website Helps Federal Staff Support Comprehensive Community Initiatives. The Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has established a new website, cciToolsforFeds.org. This Web site offers a wealth of tools and resources to help Federal staff plan, support, and help sustain Comprehensive Community Initiatives (CCIs), local community interventions that seek to improve outcomes for youth and families through systems change.
FindYouthInfo.gov is the U.S. government website that helps organizations create, maintain, and strengthen effective youth programs. Included on the Web site are youth facts; funding information; tools to help: assess community assets, generate maps of local and federal resources, and search for evidence-based youth programs; and up-to-date information on the latest youth-related news. To view the Web site, visit: http://www.findyouthinfo.org.
Student Interns Create Videos and Learn Important Employment Skills http://www.youtube.com/user/pacercenter Seventeen high school students with disabilities recently worked in a paid internship setting making six short films that address transition issues for youth with disabilities, part of PACER’s project “Innovative Partnerships for Advancing Youth Employment.” Funded by the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Vocational Rehabilitation Services using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this project was a creative collaboration between PACER Center, Bemidji State University, South Central College, the Bemidji and Mankato Workforce Centers, the St. Peter Minnesota Valley Education District and Bemidji High School. Access the website to watch the videos.
SAMHSA published its strategic initiatives paper—an overview of SAMHSA's goals, priorities, and action steps for accomplishing its mission of reducing the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. Carefully developed from months of public discussion and input from a wide variety of SAMHSA's stakeholders, the strategic initiatives paper lays out how SAMHSA will focus its resources in meeting the new opportunities and challenges it faces in the near future.
The eight strategic initiatives set forth in the paper address how SAMHSA will maximize its resources in an environment that promises improvements in the Nation's behavioral health care system over the next few years as a result of a variety of forces—most notably the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.
These initiatives are data driven, overarching in purpose, and will help SAMHSA work in an unprecedented way across health, justice, social service, education, and other systems to improve health care services to all Americans.
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SAMHSA is a public health agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.
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:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)announced four initiatives to give states more flexibility to adopt innovative new practices and provide better, more coordinated care for people with Medicaid and Medicare while helping reduce costs for states and families. These initiatives support the work of the administration to make Medicaid more flexible and efficient and address long-term cost growth. Several of the announcements also help implement provisions of the Affordable Care Act. HHS announced:
CMS proposed new rules giving states new flexibility for their programs to help people with disabilities choose to live in their communities rather than in institutions. The proposed rules reduce administrative barriers for states seeking to help multiple populations, which may include seniors and/or people with different types of disabilities. They will also allow individuals to participate in the design of their own array of services and supports, including such things as personal care and respite services for caregivers.
For more information about these announcements, visit http://www.cms.gov/apps/media/fact_sheets.asp
The Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS)Resource Collection is an Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), U.S. Department of Education, funded subject-oriented collection of instructional resources (including multi-media resources), informed by research, for use by adult and education and literacy educators. The LINCS Workforce Competitiveness Resource Collection highlights workforce education, English language acquistion, technology, and distance learning. Workforce education focuses on preparing adults to transition successfully to postsecondary education and careers.
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.
Disabled World provides information and news to the Disability Community, Organizations, Employers, and Rights Campaigners.
The Employment and Training Administration's Office of Workforce Investment designed a "Sustainability ToolKit" for High Growth Job Training Initiative and Community-Based Job Training Grants. Although designed for these specific grant initiatives, it has applicability for most grantees. The Toolkit will help the grantee prepare for organizing an developing their sustainability plans, and includes materials highlighting potential strategies, promising practices, key questions, guides, and tips.
The Employment and Training Administration just issued TEN NO 6-11, "Increasing the Public Workforce Development System's Participation in the Ticket to Work (TTW) Program for Disability Beneficiaries." This TEN will provide updated information to the state workforce agencies, LWIBs, and One-Stop Career Centers on the TTW Program, including SSA's policies and procedures for Employment Networks(ENs). In addition resources for technical assistance to the public workforce system is provided in this TEN.
In an increasingly global economy, Internet-access and computer skills are essential tools for individuals interested in expanding their educational and employment opportunities. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, in partnership with nine Federal agencies, recently announced the launch of www.DigitalLiteracy.gov. The Web site is designed to serve as a centralized location for librarians, teachers, workforce trainers, and others interested in accessing resources related to digital literacy. The site features tools for educators, basic-skills tutorials, job skills, and community success stories. Additionally, interested parties can also use the site to collaborate through online discussions and resource sharing. Find out about the Special Technology Access Resource (STAR) Center which provides accessible technology and digital literacy assistance,to people with disabilities in the Center Park community of Seattle Washington. For more information, please see: www.DigitalLiteracy.gov
The Census Bureau just issued the latest income and poverty data, for 2010. http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb11-157.html The poverty rate increased from 14.3 to 15.1% between 2009 and 2010 (only exceeded since poverty data have first been collected — for 1959 — by 1983’s 15.2%, and the 15.1% rate was matched in 1993). Inflation-adjusted median household income fell by 2.3% from 2009 to 2010 (the 2010 median is 6.4% below the 2007 level, and 7.1% below the 2001 level). These statistics are alarming in itself, but the numbers relating disability and poverty status are even more striking. In 2010, 27.9% of people with disabilities were living below the poverty line, compared to 12.5% of people without disabilities. People with disabilities are far more likely to live in poverty and householders with disabilities are, on average earning less than half those without disabilities. Last year, householders without disabilities earned a media income of $58,736 per year while those with disabilities earned an average of $25,550 per year.
Assets for Independence Resource Center: Serving People with Disabilities http://idaresources.org/page?pageid=a047000000ApiTL Assets for Independence (AFI) grantees and their partner organizations report that some people with disabilities are having trouble accessing and using Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). Because they are disproportionately low-income, people with disabilities account for a large share of the AFI target population,but they are underrepresented among IDA participants. Lack of information about IDAs, misconceptions about how they affect means-tested benefits, and challenges that AFI grantees face in identifying and serving people with disabilities contribute to low participation rates. This section of IDAresources.org includes information on increasing IDA use by people with disabilities. Resource categories include: • What Grantees Need to Know About Disability • How IDAs Affect Disability Benefits • Resources for Navigating Disability Services • Serving IDA Participants With Disabilities • Self-Employment for People With Disabilities • Information for People With Disabilities and Disability Service Providers • Additional Resources The AFI Resource Center (http://idaresources.org/) is your one-stop source for information on the Assets for Independence program and Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). Here you can quickly learn about the AFI program and IDAs, how to apply for an AFI grant, and how to administer an AFI project. Come here for tips and to learn about best practices for providing and using IDAs and related services.
Money Smart for Small Business The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) http://fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/business.html Money Smart for Small Business provides an introduction to day-to-day business organization and planning and is written for entrepreneurs with limited or no prior formal business training. It offers practical information that can be applied immediately, while also preparing participants for more advanced training. The curriculum is designed to be delivered to new and aspiring business owners by financial institutions, small business development centers (SBDCs), among others. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) developed this training curriculum for new and aspiring business owners. Developed in partnership between both agencies, this curriculum is the latest offering in the FDIC’s 10 year old award-winning Money Smart program. Each of the ten instructor-led modules in Money Smart for Small Business provides financial and business management for business owners and includes a scripted instructor guide, participant guide and overhead slides.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has released the first in a series of three studies conducted in collaboration with, and commissioned by, the Cornell University ILR School Employment and Disability Institute. The first report looks at practices and policies related to recruiting and hiring individuals with disabilities based on findings from a survey of SHRM’s membership. Sixty percent of respondents worked for U.S.-based companies; the rest worked at multinational companies. Findings are highlighted below.
**Nearly two-thirds (61%) of organizations indicated including people with disabilities explicitly in their diversity and inclusion plans, 59% require subcontractors/suppliers to adhere to disability nondiscrimination requirements, 58% train HR staff and supervisors on effectively interviewing people with disabilities, and 57% have developed relationships with community organizations that promote the employment of people with disabilities.
**In regard to policies and practices found to be effective, nearly one-half (45%) of organizations found that training HR staff and supervisors on interviewing people with disabilities was very effective. Several organizations also believe that requiring subcontractors/suppliers to adhere to disability nondiscrimination requirements (38%) and having explicit organizational goals related to the recruitment/hiring of people with disabilities (34%) were very effective practices.
For many of the practices evaluated in the survey, a quarter or more of respondents indicated that the effectiveness was not known.
**Larger organizations are more likely to have policies and practices related to recruitment and hiring of people with disabilities compared with smaller organizations. Publicly owned for-profit organizations also are more likely to have some of these policies and practices in place compared with privately owned for-profit organizations and nonprofit organizations.
Read about Terry Anderson’s success story. Terry was down-sized after a recent diagnosis of cancer. She got a job through Iowa's Workforce Development Center (Iowa Works). Terry was assisted by DOL/ETA's-funded Disability Program Navigator, who linked her to SSA's Ticket to Work Program. Iowa's Workforce Center is just one of over 1,000 Employment Networks under SSA's Ticket to Work Program.
Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) is a joint initiative of the: •Department of Education (ED), •Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), •Department of Labor (DOL), and •Social Security Administration (SSA). PROMISE was created to foster improved health, education, and post-secondary outcomes for children ages 14-18 who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as well as their families. The primary focus of the initiative is to support improved coordination of various services, such as those available through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants program, Medicaid health and home and community based services, Job Corps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Workforce Investment Act programs. PROMISE also seeks to facilitate the increased use of such services, ensuring that families are tied into programs for which they might be eligible, but are not yet participating. A small number of competitive, multi-year grants will be awarded to states. Applications for these grants will be submitted by governors and will identify a lead agency that is tasked with managing the program. The underlying premise of PROMISE is that improved coordination between services can improve outcomes for youth on SSI and their families. PROMISE's goals include improving the life outcomes of youth on SSI and decreasing their reliance on the program, as well as reducing the Federal government's cost. The key elements of PROMISE include: •Services focused on both youth and families rather than only focusing on youth. •Waivers, if possible and if needed. •A rigorous evaluation that SSA will lead, with input from ED. •Incentive payments that SSA will develop and implement and the possibility of outcome-based payments overseen by ED. •Pay-for-success payments, if the right conditions exist. Details to follow
The Council of State Vocational Rehabiliation Administrators (CSAVR)administers the National Employment Team (The NET) to provide business customers, in the public and private sectors, a designated single point of contact to connect qualified applicants, resources, and support services in thier local area, multi-state, or natonal marketplace. The NET provides employment supports in all 50 states the District of Columbia, and the territories. The NET works for business to asssit them in employing persons with abilities.
The Employment and Training Administration’s Workforce Investment Act Youth Program Launches “Credentials for Youth: Success in the 21st Century” Tool. The tool is designed to help workforce professionals identify promising occupations for youth served by the workforce system, and the credentials that help youth attain them. The tool provides a step-by-step process for helping youth attain credentials in high demand occupations. First, it connects users to resources that can help them find high demand occupations in their local area using labor market information. It then helps practitioners identify promising occupations for youth and determine which of those occupations have pathways to career advancement. Finally, the tool helps discover the credentials required for the identified promising occupations and provides certification information about specific occupations, including links to certifying organizations. In addition to the step-by-step process, the Credentials for Youth tool also provides local examples of programs that help youth attain credentials. To view the tool, visit: https://youth.workforce3one.org/page/credentials