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Intersection Newsletter masthead.
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Intersection: Navigating the Road to Work

Volume 11, Number 6
June 2014

Welcome to Intersection: Navigating the Road to Work, the electronic newsletter of the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth). The newsletter and the NCWD/Youth website offer information to improve programs and services for all youth and especially youth with disabilities.

IMPORTANT: In order to ensure the delivery of our publication to your inbox, please add our e-mail address,, to your address book and/or whitelist.

Youth Leaders Speak at White House Forum on LGBT and Disability Issues

On June 19, 2014, NCWD/Youth facilitated the involvement of several young leaders to speak on a panel entitled Youth & Resilience at the first ever White House Forum on LGBT and Disability Issues. The goal of the forum was to foster communication among the LGBT and disability communities in recognition of shared goals and challenges. The youth panel, comprised of several individuals who identify as a part of both the LGBT and disability communities, discussed their diverse experiences in education, employment, and community living. Dylan Orr, Chief of Staff to Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez at the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, provided closing remarks, many of which are reflected in his blog “Same Struggle, Different Difference” – Opportunities for Togetherness. A social media summary of the event is also available online.    

NCWD/Youth Attends White House Briefing on My Brother’s Keeper

On June 16, 2014, NCWD/Youth attended a White House Briefing on President Obama’s My Brother’s KeeperInitiative which is designed to determine what works to help young people stay on track to reach their full potential. Attendees received a copy of the White House’s 90-day report:Opportunity for All: My Brother’s Keeper Blueprint for Action which identified six key milestones in the path to adulthood that are especially predictive of later success and the interventions that can have the greatest impact:

  • Getting a healthy start and entering school ready to learn;
  • Reading at grade level by third grade;
  • Graduating from high school ready for college and/or a career;
  • Completing post-secondary education or training;
  • Successfully entering the workforce;
  • Keeping kids on track and giving them second chances.

Minnesota WorkForce Center Signs Agreement with US Labor Department to Serve Individuals with Disabilities in Integrated Settings

On June 9, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that it had entered into a conciliation agreement to resolve allegations of disability discrimination by an American Job Center in Burnsville, Minnesota. The U.S. Labor Department's Civil Rights Center investigated a complaint claiming that the Dakota County Burnsville WorkForce Center required a customer who was perceived to have a disability to attend an orientation for a vocational rehabilitation program before it would permit her to receive services that were not limited to individuals with disabilities.

While not acknowledging that it violated the law, the WorkForce Center has agreed that:

  • It will not require customers who have disabilities, or whom it believes to have disabilities, to be assessed for or participate in disability-specific services before, or as a condition of, receiving any services that are not disability-specific;
  • It will not automatically refer all customers with disabilities, or any specific types of disabilities, to disability-specific services. Rather, it will conduct individualized assessments to determine whether a particular customer may be qualified for referral to such services;
  • Before asking customers to provide medical or disability-related information, it will inform those customers about their rights with regard to that information; and
  • It will develop new procedures that incorporate and train its staff and file reports with CRC regarding the Center's obligations under the law and the agreement.

DOL Announces Funding for Community Colleges to Improve Employment Outcomes for Youth with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is seeking applicants for two cooperative agreements with institutions of higher education to better meet the inclusive educational and career development needs of young people with disabilities through the Pathways to Careers: Community Colleges for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities Demonstration Project. Grant recipients will work across various youth-serving systems and use the Guideposts for Success developed by NCWD/Youth and ODEP as a framework in developing their projects. Each cooperative agreement will fund a pilot project that will build the capacity of community colleges to meet the educational and career development needs of youth with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities. The pilots will provide for researching, developing, testing and evaluating innovative models to deliver inclusive integrated education and career development services. Each cooperative agreement awardee may receive up to $1,041,650. The full announcement for this cooperative agreement opportunity (SCA-14-03), including eligibility requirements, particularly regarding the partnerships, for applicants, can be found at or Applications will be accepted until Monday, Aug. 11. All grants will be awarded by Sept. 30.

LEAD Center and ODEP to Present Olmstead Anniversary Webinar

This month marks the 15th anniversary of one of the most historic legal decisions affecting the civil rights of people with disabilities. On June 22, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered its ruling in the Olmstead v. L.C. case, requiring states to eliminate the segregation of people with disabilities and ensure they receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. On July 16, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT, the LEAD Center, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), will host an Olmstead Anniversary webinar to discuss the history and impact of this landmark decision. Additionally, ODEP Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez authored a blog celebrating the landmark Olmstead v. L.C. decision entitled Employment First: A Key Component in Community Inclusion.

Vermont RAMP Site Shares Career-Focused Mentoring Video

Youth Services, Inc., of Vermont, one of the Institute for Educational Leadership’s 11 Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) sites across the country recently shared a video focused on the program. Based on NCWD/Youth’s Paving the Way to Work career-focused mentoring guide and Guideposts for Success framework, RAMP provides high tech, career-focused group, peer, and one-on-one mentoring for youth with disabilities involved with or at risk of becoming involved with the juvenile justice system. The Institute for Educational Leadership serves as NCWD/Youth’s host organization.

ICI Publishes New Brief on English Language Learners with Disabilities

The Institute on Community Integration (ICI) at the University of Minnesota, a partner in the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, has released a new brief entitled State Assessment Decision-Making Processes for ELLs with Disabilities. The brief presents information on what is known about assessment decision-making processes for English language learners (ELLs) with disabilities. It highlights information that has been collected by ICI's National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) as well as information from other sources. Topics addressed in the brief include: (a) required assessment decision-making processes, (b) experts' recommendations about assessment decision making for ELLs with disabilities, (c) resources available to guide assessment decision-making, (d) standards-based IEPs, and (e) recommended participants on the decision-making team.

Transitions RTC Publishes New Tip Sheet on Vocational Peer Mentoring

The Transitions RTC and Thresholds Young Adult Program released a new tip sheet, Making it Work: Vocational Peer Mentors for Emerging Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions. The tip sheet is based on a collaborative model between Transitions RTC and Thresholds Young Adult Program which adapted the evidence-based Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of supported employment for 16-21 year olds with serious mental health conditions. The tip sheet includes preliminary guidelines for youth service professionals thinking about implementing peer mentors into their vocational services for emerging adults with serious mental health conditions.

Pathways RTC Releases New Career Guidance Publication

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?, a new publication from Pathways RTC’s Career Visions project, offers young adults guidance on career research, including career exploration, getting and conducting informational interviews, and using internet resources for further inquiry.

Coalition for Juvenile Justice Seeking Youth Video Submissions

Youth ages 13-21 are encouraged to enter the Coalition for Juvenile Justice’s Youth Video Competition. The competition is being held as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. The winning videos will be shown at the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) Youth Summit and included in 40 for the 40th, a joint venture between CJJ and Act 4 JJ. All entries must be received by July 1, 2014 at which time they will be posted on CJJ’s YouTube channel.  Viewers will then have a chance to vote for the best video between July 2 and July 22. The winner will be announced at the Youth Summit and their video will be shown at that time.

NCWD/Youth Blog Posts

NCWD/Youth’s blog features current and relevant information related to the Guideposts for SuccessYouth Development and LeadershipInnovative StrategiesProfessional Development, and more!

Important Information

If you know of others who might be interested in the newsletter and the work of NCWD/Youth, they can sign up online. All comments, inquiries, and suggestions for transition related resources and tools should be sent to

This document was developed by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, funded by a grant/contract/cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (Number #OD-23804-12-75-4-11). The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Department of Labor. Nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply the endorsement by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Note: There are no copyright restrictions on this document. However, please credit the source and support of Federal funds when copying all or part of this document.

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