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Intersection Newsletter masthead.
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Intersection: Navigating the Road to Work

Volume 11, Number 10
October 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, intersection@ncwd-youth.info, to your address book and/or whitelist.

NCWD/Youth’s Host Organization Held Equity and Education Symposium

On September 30, NCWD/Youth’s host organization, the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), held a Cross-Boundary Leaders for Education and Equity Symposium. The symposium was designed to create an objective, open-minded, nonpartisan space where leaders could come together and discuss complex issues facing public education and to offer forward-thinking solutions. The symposium included three panels: Preparing Leaders for Public Education, Family Engagement in Education, and Pathways to Success.

U.S. Department of Education Issues Anti-Bullying Guidance

As part of National Bullying Prevention Month, the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance to schools, reminding them that bullying is wrong and must not be tolerated.

Regarding the bullying of students with disabilities, the Department issued a letter to educators detailing public schools’ responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If a student with a disability experiences bullying, federal law requires schools to take immediate and appropriate action to investigate the issue and, as necessary, take steps to stop the bullying and prevent it from recurring.

This letter builds upon anti-bullying guidance the Department of Education has issued in recent years by clarifying schools’ legal obligations to fix the problem. In particular, it makes clear that the protections for students with disabilities who are bullied on any basis extend to the roughly three quarters of a million students who are not eligible for IDEA services but are entitled to services under the broader Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. That law bars discrimination on the basis of disability in all programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

NCWD/Youth and IEL are national partners for National Bullying Prevention Month, which is organized by PACER Center, a partner in NCWD/Youth.

U.S. Department of Labor to Delay Enforcement of Companionship Regulations

On October 7, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a time-limited non-enforcement policy for its Companionship Regulations. Although the rule becomes effective as of January 1, 2015, for six months, from January 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015, the Department will not bring enforcement actions against any employer as to violations of Fair Labor Standards Act obligations resulting from the amended regulations.

For the following six months, from July 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015, the Department will exercise prosecutorial discretion in determining whether to bring enforcement actions. During that period, particular consideration will be given to the extent to which States and other entities have made good faith efforts to bring their home care programs into compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act since promulgation of the Final Rule.

ODEP Announces Launch of PEATworks website

On October 15, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) announced the launch of PEATworks.org, a comprehensive web portal spearheaded by the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT). PEAT is an initiative promoting the employment, retention, and career advancement of people with disabilities through the development, adoption, and promotion of accessible technology. PEATworks.org provides resources and tools for employers, technology providers, and technology users with disabilities.

U.S. Department of Labor Releases Report Detailing Occupational Distribution and Employment Projections for People with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Labor has released the Economic Picture of the Disability Community Project, a joint initiative between DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy, Employment and Training Administration, Chief Economist, Office of the Secretary, and the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). The data produced are based on CEA analysis of the Census Bureau's 2010-2012 American Community Survey, matched to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2012-2022 occupational projections. The report draws three key conclusions:

  • Employment levels for people with disabilities are low and tend to concentrate in low-paying occupations.
  • People with disabilities are somewhat overrepresented in slower-growing occupations, which lowers their projected employment growth rate.
  • Nonetheless, job growth for people with disabilities in well-paying occupations has substantial potential.

SHRM and FWI in Collaboration with ODEP Release 2014 National Study of Employers: Including the Talents of Employees with Disabilities

A new report published by the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) provides recommendations for employers seeking to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The report is the result of an FWI-ODEP collaboration that included new National Study of Employers key questions asked of small and large employers related to using workplace flexibility for their employees with and without disabilities, establishing formal staffing plans that include workplace flexibility, and offering employee resource groups for employees with similar backgrounds or interests.

Save the Date for U.S. Department of Education Webinar

On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, from 2:00pm to 3:30pm EST, the Youth Transitions Collaborative, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), will host an educational webinar entitled, Determined to Succeed: Preparing for Postsecondary Education and Employment. At this webinar, OSERS funded Technical Assistance Centers and Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers will share guidance, tools, and resources on the importance of self-advocacy and transition planning.

U.S. Department of Justice Publishes Reports on Voting Rights of People with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently published two new publications on federal laws that protect the rights of voters with disabilities. The first of the two reports, The Americans with Disabilities Act & Other Federal Laws Protecting the Rights of Voters with Disabilities, provides guidance about how the disability rights laws apply to the election process and discusses the need for policies, procedures, and programs to ensure that voters with disabilities are not discriminated against or illegally excluded from voting. The second publication, Solutions for Five Common ADA Access Problems at Polling Places, offers solutions for several physical access barriers found in many polling places.

FindYouthInfo.gov Includes NCWD/Youth Resources in Youth Employment Topic

FindYouthInfo.gov, the U.S. government website that provides information on creating, maintaining, and strengthening effective youth programs, recently updated the Youth Employment topic to include a new section on Employment Considerations for Youth with Disabilities. The section includes NCWD/Youth and the Guideposts for Success as resources.

The National Dropout Prevention Center Releases New Publications on Students with Disabilities

The National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) published two new reports focusing on dropout rates of students with disabilities. The first, Decreasing Dropout Rates for Minority Male Youth with Disabilities from Culturally and Ethnically Diverse Backgrounds,examines the issue of high school dropout rates among males with disabilities through the lens of three ethnicities – American Indian, African American, and Latino. The publication explores the nature of the problem, reviews the existing research, examines risk factors, and suggests existing programs and strategies that help these individuals stay in school. A Literature Map of Dropout Prevention Interventions for Students with Disabilitiesis a review of recent literature on dropout prevention interventions that include students with disabilities.

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 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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