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Intersection Newsletter masthead.
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Intersection: Navigating the Road to Work

Volume 12, Number 7
July 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.

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IEL and NCWD/Youth Publish We Are the ADA Generation

We Are the ADA Generation: Perspectives on Coming of Age under the Americans with Disabilities Act is the latest online publication from NCWD/Youth's host organization, the Institute for Educational Leadership. Over the last 25 years, the ADA has positively impacted the lives of millions of Americans and created a new generation as part of its legacy, the ADA Generation. This generation comprises youth and young adults with disabilities who came of age under the protection and opportunity of the ADA. The oldest of the ADA Generation are now in their early and mid-20s. Many are going to college or graduate school. Many are working in a wide variety of professional fields. And many are continuing the important work of advocacy—ensuring the continued promise of the ADA, fighting ongoing discrimination, and guaranteeing opportunity for generations of Americans to come.

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the ADA and the contribution and impact of the ADA Generation, IEL has collected stories from youth and young adults with disabilities who grew up under the ADA. These stories are personal narratives, reflections, and demonstrations of the importance of the ADA in people's lives. We received stories from youth, young adults, allies, and even entire organizations that are focused on promoting the rights and independence of people with disabilities. The 14 stories showcase the achievements of youth and young adults with visible and invisible disabilities and serve as a reminder of the tremendous impact and importance of the ADA.

Eight of the stories come from individuals and organizations that are supported by NCWD/Youth or IEL. Specifically, two stories came from members of NCWD/Youth's Youth Action Council on Transition (YouthACT), who share their perspectives about their advocacy work on independent living and learning disabilities Another story comes from an alumna of the Florida High School High Tech (HSHT) program, who writes about her paid internship, which she acquired with the assistance of HSHT and turned out to shape her post-secondary education and career paths. Five of the stories are written by youth or entire Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) sites, who recognize the ADA for making programs like RAMP and assistive technology possible. RAMP is a program of IEL, based on many of NCWD/Youth's foundational materials including Paving the Way to Work: A Guide to Career-Focused Mentoring for Youth with Disabilities.

NCWD/Youth Releases Inclusive Volunteering Paper

On July 27, 2015, NCWD/Youth released Fostering Inclusive Volunteering and Service Learning, a guide for youth service professionals and others interested in facilitating youth engagement in volunteer activities. It describes how youth benefit from volunteering, different types of volunteer opportunities, and ways to assist youth to prepare for, access, and learn from their experiences. For all individuals to access and benefit from volunteering, the widespread practice of inclusion is key. An inclusive service environment actively fosters the engagement of all youth, including youth with disabilities, those involved in the foster care or juvenile justice systems, and other disconnected youth. The guide also provides relevant resources and tools that can enhance and foster successful outcomes.

Join NCWD/Youth for Most Recent Free Webinar for Postsecondary Education Professionals

In NCWD/Youth's latest webinar Employer Engagement Strategies for Postsecondary Education Professionals, presenter Patricia D. Gill shares practices drawn from a research-based training curriculum and lessons from national transition programs to help individuals find, get connected to, and create meaningful relationships with employers. This webinar teaches practical strategies to help develop the employer relationships needed to increase learning and employment opportunities for students. It is applicable to individuals working in career services, student services, disability services, and instructors. The full webinar archive is available online.

Also, register now for the next webinar in this series, Work-based Learning Strategies for Post-Secondary Education Professionals which will be held on Thursday, August 13, 2:00-3:30 pm EDT. This webinar will highlight work-based learning strategies and tools that can be used to design and manage work-based learning opportunities for all postsecondary students, including those with disabilities. Topics to be covered include types and associated benefits of work-based learning, essential and successful practices, and guidelines for complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act. Various free resources for planning and implementing work-based learning will also be shared.

IEL Co-hosts Webinar with DOL and RSA on Collaborative Partnerships Serving Youth with Disabilities

On July 29, 2015 the Institute for Educational Leadership co-hosted a webinar with the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration and the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration entitled Enough is Known for Action: Collaborative Partnerships Serving Youth with Disabilities. To ensure all youth, including those with disabilities, have access to career planning services, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) encourages seamless coordination between state and local agencies, workforce providers, and other providers to help youth with disabilities realize their career goals despite the individual challenges they may experience. During this webinar, the presenters highlighted program designs, service delivery strategies, and lessons learned on leveraging collaborative partnerships to develop comprehensive programs and to coordinate supportive services during program participation and after job placement.

U.S. Department of Labor Celebrates 25th Anniversary of the ADA

On July 21, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor hosted an event featuring disability employment champions Senator Tom Harkin and Delaware Governor Jack Markell, both of whom contributed their opinions and insight about the Americans with Disabilities Act's impact and promise related to employment in a conversation with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez. The event was one of a series of DOL activities to mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Video of the event is archived online.

U.S. Labor Secretary releases statement on the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

On July 24, 2015, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez released a statement in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In this statement, he reflects on the importance and ground-breaking nature of the ADA and how it has changed the lives of so many Americans for the better. He also recognizes the room for growth in the future and highlights the Office of Disability Employment Policy as an office that works tirelessly to help people with disabilities prepare for, find, and retain employment.

DOL ODEP Releases Guide to Help Employers Create Inclusive Internship Programs

The Office of Disability Employment Policy recently released a new resource for employers seeking to diversify their workforce with the skills and talents of people with disabilities, especially young adults with disabilities. Inclusive Internship Programs: A How-to Guide for Employers addresses the benefits of internships to both individuals and employers and the various things employers should consider when establishing internship programs to ensure they are open to all qualified candidates.

Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities to Meet August 10, 2015

The Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (the Committee) will hold its fifth meeting on August 10, 2015 by webinar, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT. During the meeting, the Committee will discuss the draft of the interim report and will vote on whether to approve it. Members of the public wishing to participate in the webinar must register by July 31, 2015. Organizations or members of the public wishing to submit a written statement may do so by July 31, 2015. Instructions on submitting comments can be found in the Federal Register Notice.

NCD Releases New Report on School-to-Prison Pipeline for Students with Disabilities

A new report released by the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency, examines the policies and practices that push the nation's children out of classrooms and into the juvenile justice system at an alarming rate. The report, Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline, recommends that existing special education delivery and enforcement systems be improved to better meet the needs of at-risk students, particularly those with disabilities and students of color.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Provisions Go into Effect

On July 1, 2015, many provisions of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) took effect. The law aims to transform the publicly-funded workforce system to better serve the needs of American employees and employers, including those with disabilities. The Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration has issued operating guidance to support this implementation.

Presidential Proclamation in honor of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

On July 26, 2015, President Barack Obama, issued a proclamation on the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In this proclamation he highlights the importance of the ADA for all Americans, celebrates the accomplishments of the past 25 years, highlights the work his administration has been engaged in, and calls for a continued focus on building a society where all things are possible for all people.

White House Releases Fact Sheet in Honor of the Americans with Disabilities Act

The White House has released a fact sheet showcasing the work that the Obama Administration and various agencies have done to improve the lives and expand the opportunities available for people with disabilities. This fact sheet also serves as an announcement listing new actions and initiatives across the federal government serving people with disabilities. One of the upcoming actions is that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) intends to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend its regulations implementing Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires the federal government to engage in affirmative action for people with disabilities. Additionally, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will release technical assistance to provide guidance on testing accommodations for individuals with disabilities who take standardized exams and other high-stakes tests. The document will describe the responsibilities of testing entities that offer exams or courses related to applications, licensing, certification, or credentialing for secondary, postsecondary, professional, or trade purposes. The document will address who is entitled to testing accommodations, what types of testing accommodations are generally provided, and what documentation may be required of the person requesting testing accommodations.

DOL ODEP and HRSA MCHB Publish Letter on Importance of Health Care Transitions

ODEP and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) in the Department of Health and Human Service's Health Resources and Services Administration have jointly issued a letter emphasizing the importance of health care transitions in order to be successful in other transition domains while also highlighting the opportunity to integrate health care and career planning transition services available to youth with chronic health conditions and other disabilities through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) in order to more effectively facilitate youths' success.

DOL Releases Section 188 Reference Guide

The U.S. Department of Labor's Civil Rights Center (CRC) has released a reference guide on Section 188, providing updated information and technical assistance that can help American Job Centers and their partners meet the nondiscrimination and universal access requirements for individuals with disabilities in Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act.  

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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