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!
“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.
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.
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.
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
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.
This tool, developed by the One-Stop Ticket Success Project, is intended as a template for use by One-Stop Career Centers and workforce investment systems in creation of recruitment flyers for the Ticket to Work. The intent is that Workforce Investment systems will use this template as a starting point, and add to it language specific to the One-Stop Career Center, and in addition format it according to their marketing material standards, with the addition of agency logos, graphics, etc. This flyer would then be utilized as part of orientation packets for all customers, as well made available in reception areas and resource libraries. Part of the underlying purpose of this flyer is to encourage individuals to self-identify that they are on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and are eligible for Ticket to Work.
This tri-fold color brochure, developed by the One-Stop Ticket Success Project, provides Ticket holders with all the basic information they will need to understand the purpose of the Ticket to Work Program. The brochure may be printed and distributed as is, or One-Stop ENs may use it as a template to create a brochure tailored for their clients.
Topics covered: What is the Ticket?; The Ticket payment structure; Ticket assignment and development of Individual Work Plans; Service delivery and integration within the One-Stop system; Placement and wage verification; Post-placement follow-up; Tracking and MIS systems. http://connectpro97884399.adobeconnect.com/p68174667
Topics covered: Incorporating the Ticket message into intake, orientation, and outreach; Maximizing self-identification and dealing with disclosure concerns; Using data matching to identify Ticket holders; Creating a clear referral process; The Ticket assignment discussion: critical elements for successful engagement; Potential Ticket customers: who to target. http://connectpro97884399.adobeconnect.com/p75486908
The willingness of businesses to hire One-Stop Ticket customers is essential for success under the Ticket to Work. This webinar discussed strategies for working with employers to maximize job opportunities for Ticket customers. It includes an overview of best practices in hiring of people with disabilities from the employer perspective, and how these can be applied within the One-Stop environment, and with Ticket customers. http://connectpro97884399.adobeconnect.com/p9p6x7cprjc
This pdocast interview is a follow-up to the Workforce3One Webinar ("The Workforce Connection: SSA and DOL Partnership Action") held on October 20, 2011. This interview is with Dan O'Brien, Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Employment Support Programs, Social Securirty Administration. DOL/ETA and SSA have partnered to increase the active participation of the public workforce development system in SSA’s Ticket to Work (TTW) Program. Many of SSA’s disability beneficiaries use the One-Stop Career Centers to find work but do not chose to self-identify as persons with disabilities. The workforce development system is missing out on the potential funding stream that the Ticket program can provide and the ability to expand its capacity to serve SSA's disability beneficiaries. SSA, working with DOL/ETA, has streamlined policies and procedures to facilitate the public workforce system becoming Employment Networks (ENs) and actively involved in the TTW Program.
In January 2012, Mathematica Policy Research issued a Brief, entitled, "A Roadmap to a 21st-Century Disability Policy," by David Mann and David Stapleton. Of the approximately 17.5 million working-age people in the United States who live with disabilities, nearly 70 percent receive benefits from public programs. Despite increases over many decades in program participation and spending—$357 billion in fiscal year 2008, representing some 12 percent of all Federal outlays in 2011 - the disability support infrastructure in the United States is failing many of those it was designed to help, and the economic independence of people with disabilities has eroded. Although immediate fiscal pressures would be alleviated by tightening eligibility or reducing benefits for the largest support programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance(SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare, and Medicaid, failure to address the underlying structural issues will perpetuate program inefficiencies and poor outcomes. This issue brief outlines an alternative approach to slowing expenditure growth while improving the economic status of Americans with disabilities. The proposed plan addresses the work disincentives and fragmentation that drive up program costs.
The NTAR Center has recently released a report on Medicaid funding of employment supports and services for people with disabilities. recently released reports on Medicaid, Using Medicaid Funding to Support the Employment of People with Disabilities: A Federal Framework. State Medicaid agencies fund a range of supports and services for individuals with disabilities. As national public policy has recognized and emphasized the ability of individuals with disabilities to work, states have begun to integrate employment supports into the continuum of long-term care in Medicaid. This NTAR issue brief discusses the Federal legislative and regulatory framework for funding employment supports in Medicaid, and highlights examples of state innovations and best practices for using Medicaid to promote positive employment outcomes. The brief provides an overview of Medicaid eligibility, the types of benefits available under Medicaid, and the structure of Medicaid waivers. The brief then examines options for funding employment supports and services through Medicaid state plan and waiver services. The brief describes how service categories such as case management, habilitation, rehabilitation, and personal assistance can be used to finance services to directly and indirectly assist with the employment goals of individuals with disabilities. In conclusion, the issue brief notes that state policymakers have a range of options available to design initiatives that support disability employment, using Medicaid funds in combination with other federal and state resources.
The NTAR Leadership Center has recently released a report, Using Braided Funding Strategies to Advance Employer Hiring Initiatives that Include People with Disabilities, on using braided funding strategies to advance employment of people with disabilities Using Braided Funding Strategies to Advance Employer Hiring Initiatives that Include People with Disabilities. Many state and local disability employment services are operated by a number of different public and nonprofit agencies (e.g., the vocational rehabilitation system, the local school system, the One-Stop Career Center system, and many community-based employment service providers). These organizations often find it necessary to access funds from more than one program, agency, or funding stream. As a result, many program administrators and staff face the challenge of developing effective strategies to braid disability employment funding. This report profiles four employer-responsive programs in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, and Connecticut that have implemented braided funding strategies to support hiring initiatives with key business partners. These cases demonstrate advantages to braided funding strategies, particularly where participating businesses are able to deal with a single point of contact for funding and disability employment services.
On April 16, 2012, The U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration(ETA0 announced the availability of approximately $20 million in grants to fund cooperative agreements that will improve educational, training and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. These grants represent the third round of funding through the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI), a joint program of the Labor Department’s ETA and Office of Disability Employment Policy. “These grants are a wise investment in America’s greatest resource, our nation’s workers,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “The mission of the programs awarded under these grants will be to improve services for people with disabilities so they can more easily and effectively participate in the workforce.” Grants will be awarded to state workforce agencies, which will collaborate with local workforce investment boards. Programs supported by the grants will build upon the Labor Department’s Disability Program Navigator Initiative and other models of service delivery strategies. The department anticipates awarding six to 10 grants, ranging from $1.5 to $6 million, to be spent over a three-year period. The complete solicitation for grant applications is available at http://www.doleta.gov/grants/find_grants.cfm. Prospective applicants are encouraged to view the online tutorial “Grant Applications 101: A Plain English Guide to ETA Competitive Grants” at http://www.workforce3one.org/page/grants_toolkit.
On April 17, 2012, DOL/ETA issued TEN No. 38-11, "Benefits of Collaborating Between State/Local Workforce Investment Boards and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program)." The purpose of this TEN is to encourgage the workforce system to collaborate with the U.S. Department of Commerce's MEP Program to provide assistance and support to small and medium-sized manufacturing firms with the ultimate goal of supporting economic growth while preserving and creating jobs.
The One-Stop Ticket Success project conducts regular webinars for project sites to provide opportunities for learning and discussion on a variety of topics related to successful operation as an Employment Network in the public workforce development system. This document includes a listing for each webinar, and a link to the archive recording. Current through May 2012..
MDRC recently released its final report on the Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration (TJRD), Returning to Work After Prison. The report has important implications for policymakers, researchers and practitioners—as well as for prisoners. Some 700,000 people are released from prison each year. Two-thirds of them are later rearrested and half return to prison within three years. Finding steady work is particularly daunting for them, since former prisoners often have low levels of education and skills and no recent work experience. They are also concentrated in a small number of struggling urban neighborhoods that lack resources to assist the reentry process. Many states have developed prisoner reentry initiatives in recent years. At the federal level, the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative, the National Reentry Resource Center, and, most recently, the Second Chance Act of 2008 have supported these efforts. While transitional jobs are seen as promising, little is known about what strategies are effective in helping former prisoners find and hold jobs. The TJRD was designed, with support from the Joyce Foundation, to help fill this gap. TJRD focused on programs providing subsidized temporary jobs, support services, and job placement help. It assessed how such programs affected employment and recidivism during the two years after people entered the study. The findings show that transitional jobs can increase the overall rate of employment for former prisoners after release. These increases in employment, however, were found to be due solely to the transitional jobs themselves, with little evidence that they led to better unsubsidized employment outcomes over a two-year period. Thus, the study concludes, researchers and practitioners should also test other strategies.
The Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University, June, 2012, issued a new publication, "Certificates: Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees." Excerpts from article in Inside Higher Eductaion Newsletter...The certificate is the odd man out in the debate over college completion. But the little-understood certificate is the fastest-growing form of college credential, and a key component of work force development. Those were among the findings of a new report, released today by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, that found that certificates make up 22 percent of all college awards, up from 6 percent in 1980... Growth in the earning of certificates has largely been driven by the labor market, as more jobs require college-based training. Certificates are earned through seat time in a classroom, the study notes, with more than half taking less than a year to complete. Industry-based certifications, which are often confused with certificates, are typically awarded based on tests. Over all, a certificate is the highest form of education held by about 1 in 10 American workers, according to the study, which collected and crunched data from several government sources. And certificate holders earn 20 percent more than workers who hold only a high school diploma. More surprising, however, is the finding that fully one-third of certificate holders also have an associate, bachelor’s or graduate degree. Such a large percentage suggests that workers are getting certificates to bolster skills or learn new ones in a tight job market. And people are going back to college for certificates throughout their careers, with a third of certificates earned by students over the age of 30.
On August 13, 2012, DOL/ETA issued TEN 5-12, "Online Career Tools Updates and Virtual Demonstrations." This TEN announces ETA's suite of online career tools for jobseekers, students, workforce professionals, and businesses, including CareerOneStop, Certification Finder, the Worker Reemployment Portal, the Veteran Reemployment Portal, mySkillsmyFuture, My Next Move, My Next Move for Veterans, and the Healthcare Virtual Career Network.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently issued the "Workforce Investment Act Employment Network (EN) Payment Agreement," under its Ticket to Work and Self Sufficiency (TTW) Program. The purpose of the Payment Agreement is to establish the terms and conditions under which state workforce agencies, state and local workforce investment boards, or American Job Centers (AJC), or AJC Operators can be paid as ENs for services provided to Social Security disability beneficiaries under the TTW Program. The Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration has implemented several efforts to expand the capacity of the public workforce system to serve persons with disabilities, including those receiving Social Security disability benefits, and to promote the employment of persons with disabilities. One of the major components of these efforts is to promote the public workforce system entities becoming active ENs (i.e., accepting Tickets and receiving payment for providing services to Ticket Holders). The new WIA EN Payment Agreement is the first time that the SSA has issued an EN Payment Agreement solely for the public workforce system. It is a result of the ongoing partnership between the Department and SSA to expand the capacity of the American Job Center network to serve persons receiving Social Security disability benefits and ultimately improve their employment outcomes, leading the way to economic self-sufficiency.
The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston published, "Description of Supported Employment Practices, Cross-System Partnerships, and Funding Models of Four Types of State Agencies and Community Rehabilitation Providers." This report presents research on supported employment (SE) funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research to focus on vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency partnerships with other state entities, and sources and models for long-term funding. To conduct the research, ICI included a supported employment module into ongoing surveys of state VR agencies, state intellectual/developmental disability agencies, state mental health agencies, and state welfare agencies. The research also included additional analysis of data obtained from an ongoing survey of community rehabilitation programs relevant to supported employment. Additionally, ICI conducted case studies of SE partnerships in five states (Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, and Washington). These case studies were designed to build understanding of the range of practices that VR systems might use to ensure more successful transitions to long-term support through other resources.
The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of most of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—while simultaneously cutting requirements that states must expand their Medicaid programs—leaves many states in a quandary. A new brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Health Affairs says it is unclear how many states will now move forward with expanding the program, or what options they have to undertake partial expansions. Previously, the ACA mandated that states expand Medicaid eligibility to adults under age 65 who earn less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level. An additional brief from RWJF’s State Health Reform Assistance Network provides state officials with a guide to conduct their own Medicaid expansion analysis as they consider an expansion. The brief includes a financial impact worksheet and considerations table, which includes analyses by other states and organizations for them to consider. THis will have a large impact on persons with disabilities and their fmamlies.
The Heldrich Center issued a Report, "College Students with Disabilities: What Factors Influence Successful Degree Completion? A Case Study," September, 2012. The challenges students with disabilities (SWDs) face on college campuses have been examined widely, but little is known about the experiences of SWDs who have successfully completed college. This report examines the viewpoints of successful SWD completers and the staff from five colleges and universities in New Jersey without regard to particular program and funding initiatives. Noteworthy was the perspective of both students and college professionals that on-campus services and supports were most critical to college completion. Current research indicates that people with disabilities have a lower employment rate and, therefore, higher rate of poverty and dependence on public social services support. People with disabilities complete college at a statistically significant lower rate than people without disabilities and those who do complete college have a persistently lower rate of employment irrespective of the level of degree attainment (associate’s, bachelor’s, and higher). Despite these challenges, individuals with a wide range of disabilities have significantly increased their enrollment in postsecondary educational institutions, with an increase of more than 20% from 2003 to 2009 (National Council on Disability, 2011; Raue & Lewis, 2011). The disparity is striking because recent data have shown that “the employment rate for college graduates without disabilities is 89.9% and for college graduates with disabilities, the rate is 50.6%”(Nicholas, Kauder, Krepcio, & Baker, 2011).
The American Public Human Services Assoication (APHSA), through its "Pathways Initiative," is forging a vision for a transformed human service sytem and for the outcomes such a system can achieve. In this Initiative, APHSA includes Achieving Gainful Employment and Independence, including for persons with disabilities. APHSA has issued a policy Brief, entitled, "Employment for People with Disabilities." Excerpts... Gainful Employment and Independence is one of four key outcome areas APHSA seeks to impact through a transformed human service system. Through aligned and person-centered programs, flexible funding, meaningful accountability, and strategic partnerships, we can provide the opportunities and supports that will help low-income individuals get a job, keep a job, and start down a sustainable career path. The necessary policy directions for gainful employment and independence will require that we: •direct resources into those supports that will help adults get a job and stay employed; •emphasize education and training;affordable, quality child care; incentives for employers to hire those getting public assistance; and help with transportation to a job; •provide supports, such as tools to help secure stable housing and appropriate opportunities for those with disabilities; and •provide other opportunities through which adults can quickly become as self-sufficient as possible, such as community wealth creation enterprises. For working-age individuals and their families, having a job and staying in the workforce are critical to achieving greater independence. Employment is one of the surest and most long-lasting means to equip people with the lifetime tools they need for sustaining their incomes and dignity and avoiding future need for government support.
Exciting New Initiative Since 2009, the MyFreeTaxes (MFT) Partnership has helped more than 4.4 million families (about 14% with disabilities) receive more than $5.98 billion in tax refunds through expanded access to free tax preparation services. Last year, MFT returned $1.78 billion to low- to-moderate income households, an average of more than $1,100 per taxpayer, by saving money on preparer fees and receipt of favorable tax credits. My FreeTaxes Partnership is funnded by Walmart, National Disability Institute (NDI), United Way Worldwide (UWW) and Goodwill International (GII) will work together to expand awareness/access to free, inclusive in-person tax preparation services, while pioneering the free online MyFreeTaxes.com filing option. Over the past 4 years, the number of filers who submitted taxes on MyFreeTaxes.com increased by almost 500%. This year, the IRS has expanded training/support for self-preparation models, including MyFreeTaxes.com to offer alongside traditional Volunteer Income Tax Assistance -VITA. AJCs are ideally positioned to integrate tax services due to their diverse customer-base, many of whom are unemployed or struggling to stay within low-to moderate income range once employed. The DEI is the first USDOL initiative to incorporate asset development as a major strategic component to enhance the economic self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities; any new approaches implemented will be value-added for all customers within the workforce system. From Nov 1 to Aug 31, 2013, NDI will recruit/pay a certified IRS VITA Tax Coach to work 20 hours a week in an AJC(s) to collaborate with local UWW and GII partners, VITA and tax coalitions, and DRCs to raise awareness in the workforce system on benefits/options of free tax preparation. Contact: Jamie Robinson, MFT Project Manager (617)467-4195, firstname.lastname@example.org
On December 4, 2012, The Employment and Training Administration's issued Training and Employment Notice (TEN) No. 14-12," Receiving Ticket to Work Payments as an Employment Network." The purpose of this TEN is to announce a streamlined process for the American Job Centers, state workforce agencies,and workforce investment boards to become Employment Networks (ENs) under the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Ticket to Work (TTW) Program. The TTW Program provides Social Security disability beneficiaries with incentives and options for them to enter or re-enter the world of work. It provides disability beneficiaries with choices, opportunities, and supports needed to become employed, stay employed, and increase earnings. The Department of Labor has promoted public workforce system entities becoming active ENs as part of its comprehensive effort to expand the capacity of the workforce system to serve people with disabilities. Over 10 million people receive SSDI and/or SSI benefits. The public workforce system is currently serving thousands of Social Security disability beneficiaries each year and more public workforce entities could participate in and reap the benefits of the TTW Program by becoming ENs. The new Workforce Investment Act EN Payment Agreement is the first time that the SSA has issued an EN Payment Agreement solely for the public workforce system. The following are a few highlights from the EN Payment Agreement: 1. Simplifies and reduces the paperwork for public workforce entities to become ENs. 2. Permits the use of an Individual Employment Plan (IEP), rather than requiring the use of a SSA Individual Work Plan, to receive payment as an EN. 3. Provides two options for payment: a) "Intensive Services Only”; and b) "Ongoing Employment Support Option" 4. Permits the use of electronic tools, including eData Sharing, eTicket Assignment, and Workforce ePay, to expedite payments to Workforce EN entities, reducing administrative burdens.
In December, 2012, the Congressional Budget Office(CBO)issued an Overview Report on the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program. In 1974, the Federal government established the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program to provide cash assistance to people who are disabled, aged, or both and who have low income and few assets. SSI replaced several state-run support programs that had been partially financed by the federal government. In fiscal year 2013, the program will make payments to more than 8 million people at a cost to the federal government of about $53 billion, CBO estimates. This report discusses how the SSI program works, who receives payments, the program’s spending and its interaction with other government programs, the extent to which SSI affects people’s work and saving, and possible approaches to changing the program. Participation in SSI among adults with disabilitiez has increased significantly since the early 1990s. Currently, about 60 percent of SSI recipients are adults with disabilities(ages 18 to 64), about 15 percent are children with disabilities (under age 18), and about 25 percent are aged adults (age 65 or over) with or without disabilities. SSI recipients generally are eligible for health insurance through Medicaid, and many also participate in other income-security programs that provide Federal support to low-income people. In the early 1990s, participation in SSI among people under the age of 65—that is, among people with disabilities—increased substantially, in part because of changes in eligibility rules. Such participation rose again between 2006 and 2011, mainly because of the recession.
On November 30, 2012, DOL, ETA issued Training and Employment Notice No 13-12, "Defining a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program and Related Tools and Resources. This TEN informs the public workforce system, about the pre-apprenticeship program defintion and quality framework,as well as promotes tools and materials to improve the consistency and qualtiy from pre-apprenticeship programs.