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Intersection Newsletter masthead.
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Intersection: Navigating the Road to Work

Volume 12, Number 6
June 2015

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, intersection@ncwd-youth.info, to your address book and/or whitelist.

Call for Applications: Youth Action Council on Transition (YouthACT)

The Youth Action Council on Transition (YouthACT) is a national initiative to get more youth with disabilities and their allies involved as leaders who partner with adults and youth-serving organizations to improve youth transition outcomes. NCWD/Youth will select four teams consisting of two emerging youth leaders (youth, ages 12-25, at least one of which has to have a disability or chronic health condition), one adult partner, and a supporting organization to participate in this multi-year project. There is no cost to participate, and each YouthACT team will receive a small stipend of $3,000 to use for team expenses. Youth and adult partners will also receive an honorarium of $500 for the year. The application deadline is July 14, 2015.

Join the Institute for Educational Leadership in Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act!

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) has a long and proud history of supporting youth as they transition into adulthood. For youth with disabilities, a core competency in the youth development process is gaining an understanding of disability history, culture, and disability public policy issues as well as their rights and responsibilities. In recognition of the work you do to support the ADA Generation (people with disabilities who have come of age since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act), we invite you to celebrate a significant milestone in disability history, the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act! You can celebrate by helping a young person you work with to share his/her story! IEL, in partnership with the Disability Visibility Project, is collecting stories from youth of the ADA Generation and their allies about what the ADA means to them. These stories will be published on the IEL website and shared through social media. Stories can be in written, graphic, or video form. Submissions are due by July 6, 2015. You can also view archives of our two youth-driven webinars, The ADA & Your Disability Identity and Employment Rights and Responsibilities for the ADA Generation.

U.S. Department of Labor Celebrates 25 Years of the ADA

Throughout the month of July, the U.S. Department of Labor will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by highlighting the legislation's impact on the employment of people with disabilities. On July 1, the Labor Department will officially launch its celebration with a historical timeline that marks key disability employment milestones leading up to and succeeding the passage of the ADA. The webpage that houses this timeline also features personal stories from workers and young people with disabilities discussing their experiences with employment and entering the world of work before and after the ADA's passage. Those interested in submitting their own personal stories are encouraged to do so and may see their story showcased on this page in the coming weeks.  

In addition, the Labor Department will continue to promote the employment of people with disabilities by featuring a new announcement or event each day leading up to the anniversary on July 26. These activities will demonstrate the many ways that the work of different agencies within the Labor Department supports the employment of people with disabilities, including, but not limited to the work of the Office of Disability Employment Policy. To stay up to date with each day's activities, connect with the Labor Department's social media pages at Twitter and Facebook.

NCWD/Youth Helps Support Youth with Disabilities to Attend NCIL Conference

NCWD/Youth is committed to helping young people with disabilities attend the 2015 National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) Conference through support to the NCIL Youth Scholarship. The scholarship application is currently available for those who identify as a Deaf person and/or a person with a disability or disabilities who are 26 years old or younger. NCIL encourages low-income youth, youth of color, LGBTQIA youth, English Language Learners, returning citizens, and other multiply marginalized youth to apply. 

ODEP Acting Assistant Secretary Sheehy Commemorates Olmstead Anniversary

On June 22, 2015, Acting Assistant Secretary Jennifer Sheehy of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) published a blog marking the 16th anniversary of the Olmstead decision. Entitled Living in the Community Means Working in the Community, Sheehy's blog discusses the 1999 Supreme Court decision that upheld, with justification from the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 that "publicly funded services must be provided in the most integrated settings possible." As Sheehy points out, this decision also applies to employment services and makes the important work of systems-change initiatives like Employment First so important.

WIOA Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities to Meet in July

The Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (the Committee) will hold its fourth meeting on July 13-14, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be open to the public on July 13 from 8:30a.m.-5:00p.m. and July 14 from 8:00a.m.-4:00p.m. During the meeting, the four subcommittees plan to report out on their draft chapters for the interim report to be released later this year. The Committee will also hear from expert panels that will address issues with provider transition to competitive integrated employment and the experiences of providers with sheltered workshops under 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Committee will also acknowledge the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its connection to competitive, integrated employment. There will be a public comment period on July 13 from 2:15-3:00p.m. Organizations or members of the public wishing to submit a written statement may do so by July 2, 2015. Instructions on submitting comments can be found in the Federal Register Notice.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases 2014 Disability and Labor Force Overview

On June 16, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics released Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics - 2014. This overview of people with disabilities and labor force participation is compiled as part of the Current Population Survey, a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 households that provides statistics on employment and unemployment in the United States. This collection of data on people with disabilities is sponsored by the Office of Disability Employment Policy.

Internal Revenue Service Proposes Regulations for New State-Sponsored ABLE Accounts

In December 2014, the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) passed in order to establish savings accounts for people with disabilities and their families to save for and pay for disability-related expenses, assuming the person became disabled by age 26. To help states implement these accounts, known as ABLE accounts, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued proposed regulations that are now available for public comment. These regulations explain the flexibility with which states can determine eligibility for ABLE accounts, among other issues related to accurate reporting to designated beneficiaries and the IRS.

LEAD Center Archives Webinar on Changes in Youth Services under WIOA

On June 24, the LEAD Center hosted its third webinar in a four part series on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). This webinar detailed changes related to youth services under WIOA, specifically focusing on cross-system collaboration and opportunities to support career counseling, skills training, job exploration, leadership development, and financial literacy education for youth with and without disabilities. Rhonda Basha from the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and Jennifer Kemp from the Employment and Training Administration's Division of Youth Services presented on this webinar in conjunction with Larry Eisenstadt and Alyssa Klein from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Through their participation in the Disability Employment Initiative grant program, these representatives from Minnesota explained how their service delivery approach for all youth benefited from adopting the Guideposts for Success, a policy and practice framework for youth in transition created by ODEP and NCWD/Youth.

Education Week Releases Diplomas Count Report on Transition for Students with Disabilities

On June 4, 2015, Education Week released the 2015 edition of the Diplomas Count report. This year's edition entitled, Next Steps: After Special Education explores the experiences of students with disabilities, who are coming of age at a time when they, like all high school students, are increasingly expected to perform to high academic standards and to prepare for further education or training and a productive role in the workplace. This tenth installment of the annual report highlights the challenges and opportunities awaiting these students as they transition from the K-12 education system to a more independent adult life.

National Skills Coalition Publishes New WIOA Fact Sheet

The National Skills Coalition recently published a new fact sheet WIOA and Serving the Hard to Serve. The fact sheet's goal is to clarify provisions of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to ensure that the standards are interpreted correctly during implementation to avoid unintended impacts on services to the hard-to-serve includes ex-offenders, homeless individuals, and individuals with limited English proficiency. 

Workforce Recruitment Program To Hold 2015 Awards Ceremony and Networking Event

The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP), managed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense's Office of Diversity Management & Equal Opportunity (ODMEO), will host its 2015 WRP Awards Ceremony and Networking Event on July 28 from 4:00-6:30p.m. at the National Youth Transitions Center (2013 H Street, NW, Washington, D.C.). During the ceremony, the Judith C. Gilliom Outstanding WRP Awards will recognize selected participants for outstanding performance and accomplishments in support of their agency or component mission. A networking session for federal interns and employees will follow the ceremony. To register for the WRP Awards Ceremony and Networking Event, email OSD.ABILITY@mail.mil. Sign language interpreting services will be provided. Other accommodations may be requested via email upon RSVP.

Student Advisory Council Releases Website and Phone App to Empower Students

The Boston Student Advisory Council released a first-of-its-kind website and phone app called Boston Student Rights that serves to inform students of their rights and responsibilities around suspension and expulsion policies, free speech, non-discrimination policies, and several other areas. The app is based on the district's Student Code of Content but puts it in a format more accessible to students. It also includes resources around the school-to-prison pipeline.

TASH Publishes New Report on Supported Decision Making

TASH recently released a report entitled, Guardianship and the Potential of Supported Decision Making with Individuals with Disabilities. The report is based on a completed parent survey that shows full guardianship as the most common recommendation made to parents of children with disabilities and alternatives, such as supported decision-making, as the least common recommendation made. The parent survey was conducted in partnership with the American Civil Liberties Union, Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities, and The Arc Michigan.

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!

  • DC YWLA: Changing the Workforce World – One Leader At A Time
  • 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 newsletter@ncwd-youth.info.

    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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