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Intersection Newsletter masthead.
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Intersection: Navigating the Road to Work

Volume 12, Number 3
March 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.

NCWD/Youth Presents at Association of Iowa Workforce Partners Conference

On March 26, 2015, NCWD/Youth presented at the Association of Iowa Workforce Partners Conference on the topic Everybody Learns, Everybody Works: Workforce Development Strategies for Youth with Learning Disabilities. This interactive presentation provided a detailed look at several NCWD/Youth resources, including Charting the Course: Supporting the Career Development of Youth with Learning Disabilities, which is intended to help practitioners, administrators, and policymakers to improve services and outcomes for youth, ages 14 to 25, with diagnosed and undiagnosed learning disabilities. NCWD/Youth also shared several InfoBriefs:Learning How to Learn: Successful Transition Models for Educators Working with Youth with Learning Disabilities, Helping Youth with Learning Disabilities Chart the Course: A Guide for Youth Service Professionals, and Using Universal Design for Learning: Successful Transition Models for Educators Working with Youth with Learning Disabilities.

Federal Partners in Transition Releases 2020 Federal Youth Transition Plan

The Federal Partners in Transition (FPT) recently released the 2020 Federal Youth Transition Plan: A Federal Interagency Strategy. This report outlines how FPT will enhance interagency coordination through the identification of compatible outcome goals and policy priorities, ultimately leading to improved outcomes for youth with disabilities by 2020. The Federal Partners in Transition is a workgroup with representatives of several federal agencies, including the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Social Security Administration, which are involved in promoting inclusive service delivery for transitioning youth with disabilities from school into postsecondary education, the workforce, and independent living.

The vision for this work is that youth with disabilities and all youth will have an equal opportunity to

  • access health care services and integrated work-based experiences in high school to better understand how to manage their physical, mental, and emotional well-being, to enhance their job-readiness skills and career planning, and to make a successful transition from school to work and greater independence;
  • develop self-determination and engage in self-directed individualized planning to prepare them for postsecondary education, health care management, vocational training, and/or employment;
  • be connected to programs, services, activities, information, and supports for which they are eligible that prepare them to self-manage their health and wellness, pursue meaningful careers, become financially literate and capable, and make informed choices about their lives;
  • develop leadership and advocacy skills needed to exercise informed decision-making and personal and community leadership; and
  • have involvement from families and other caring adults with high expectations to support them in achieving their goals.

Help U.S. DOL Shape Regulations via Online Input

The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy (OASP) is hosting a crowdsourcing event as part of a greater effort to ensure that existing regulations stay up-to-date and protect the ever changing workplace and workforce. OASP launched Shaping Smarter Regulations to gather input and ideas from the public about which rules should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or even repealed. Ideas can be submitted now until April 1, 2015.

U.S. DOL Releases Three New Fact Sheets on WIOA

On March 19, 2015 the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration published three new fact sheets on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which was signed into law on July 22, 2014. WIOA is the first legislative reform of the public workforce system in 15 years. The three fact sheets focus on governance and leadership, One-Stop Career Centers, and youth programs. Each fact sheet highlights the specific WIOA reforms in that area and includes information about implementation and technical assistance.

U.S. DOL Convenes Second Meeting of Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities

The Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities, which was mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), held its second meeting on March 22-23, 2015 at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. At the meeting, the committee heard expert testimony that it will consider as it prepares findings and recommendations for the Secretary of Labor on: (1) ways to increase competitive integrated employment for individuals with significant disabilities, including intellectual and developmental disabilities, and (2) the use and oversight of certificates for the employment of individuals with significant disabilities at subminimum wages, as authorized by Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

U.S. DOL Releases Employer Engagement Strategy

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment (ODEP) recently contracted with Diversity Marketing and Communications to develop an Employer Engagement Strategy (EES) that provides an employer-focused marketing framework for addressing the dearth of employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the private sector. This report provides an overview of ODEP's EES framework, created in collaboration with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, detailing strategies and potential tactics employers can implement to improve corporate culture and facilitate the growth and expansion of their disability and inclusion activities, including the recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention of people with disabilities.

Campaign for Disability Employment Releases New Materials

The Campaign for Disability Employment has published several new materials centered on the 2014 public service announcement (PSA) titled Who I Am, which features nine diverse people with disabilities sharing the many ways they describe themselves, including personal interests, family relationships, and occupations. Employers can use Who I Am and the new discussion guide to facilitate staff training and education efforts around the issues of disability employment and workforce diversity. In addition, they can order one or more of the posters, which can be used to create workplace diversity displays. The PSA, poster, and discussion guide are all also available in Spanish. The Campaign for Disability Employment is a collaborative effort among several leading disability and business organizations that seek to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

LEAD Center Webinar Series on WIOA from a Disability Perspective

A recording of the LEAD Center webinar WIOA from a Disability Perspective: An Overview - Part 1 of 4 is archived and available for viewing. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) represents new opportunities to support job seekers with disabilities. Under WIOA, Workforce Investment Boards and American Job Centers have increased responsibility to make services fully accessible and offer necessary accommodations so that job seekers with disabilities can meaningfully participate in skills training and career pathways for 21st century jobs. This webinar series will help participants understand the implications of WIOA on service delivery for people with disabilities. The next webinar in this series will take place on April 29, 2015.

Video-on-Demand Children's TV Programming Now Accessible for Thousands of Students with Visual or Hearing Disabilities

On March 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Education announced the availability of free, video-on-demand children's television programming for thousands of students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing. Dozens of children's and family TV episodes may now be viewed online featuring closed captioning and audio descriptions through the Department of Education's Accessible Television Portal project. Some of the shows included are Ocean MysteriesMagic School Bus, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. The portal is part of the Department-funded Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP). It includes video-on-demand content provided at no cost by major television networks, as well as producers and distributors like PBS Kids, Sesame Workshop, Cartoon Network, Sprout (NBC), and Scholastic Media. Once approved, accessible content can be used with, and by, students in the classroom and at home via the computers, mobile phones and tablets, mobile apps, and set-top boxes. The portal itself is fully accessible to those with sensory impairments, and children with disabilities can locate any featured program without difficulty.

Upcoming Pilot on Financial Capability and Youth Employment Programs

On April 2, 2015, the U.S. DOL's Employment and Training Administration will partner with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the National League of Cities (NLC) to host a webinar on expanding financial capability training opportunities for youth. This webinar will provide youth employment programs with the technical assistance needed to deliver financial literacy education and access mainstream financial products and services. It will also introduce an upcoming pilot program in which the CFPB will provide technical assistance to youth employment programs in 25 municipalities and the NLC will outline strategies for integrating financial capability services into these programs. Interested entities should register for this webinar to learn more about how to apply for this pilot. 

FLEC and FinCEN Release Guidance on Youth Savings Programs 

On February 24, 2015, members of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC), together with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, issued guidance regarding youth savings programs. The guidance is intended to encourage financial institutions to develop and implement programs to expand the financial capability of youth and build opportunities for financial inclusion for more families. It also addresses frequently asked questions that may arise as financial institutions collaborate with schools, local and state governments, nonprofits, or corporate entities to facilitate youth savings and financial education programs. Many federally insured financial institutions collaborate with schools or other partners to establish youth savings programs that help students open and manage savings accounts. These programs are intended to help young people learn savings habits early and are generally linked to a financial education program. This effort, which is consistent with the FLEC's National Strategy for Financial Literacy, was not intended to create new industry expectations, but rather to clarify how existing guidelines apply in a way that would remove perceived regulatory barriers.

Easter Seals and FSRTC seeking Input in National Dialogue on Family Support (FS)

Easter Seals, Inc. and the Family Support Research and Training Center (FSRTC) at the University of Illinois at Chicago are co-hosting the FS Need to Know national dialogue. Conducted in both English and Spanish,  the dialogue will gather family support research questions and topic ideas to help create a national strategic plan for family support research. In particular, FS Need to Know is seeking responses from individuals with disabilities, family caregivers, siblings, family advocacy organizations, service providers, and researchers. In addition to the online dialogue, there is a version that can be printed out and mailed in (in English and in Spanish) as well as a call-in line at 1-844-781-4158, where anyone can leave a message and project staff will call them back. The dialogue is open until Friday, April 10, 2015.

America's Promise Alliance Seeking Youth Board Members

America's Promise Alliance is seeking young leaders (16-22 years old) to serve on their Board of Directors and Alliance Trustees. One person will be selected for each leadership body and will attend meetings in Washington, DC, act as a full voting member, and play a valuable role in strategic direction. Applications are due April 20, 2015.

William T. Grant Foundation Publishes New Report on Youth who Leave College without Attaining a Degree

The New Forgotten Half and Research Directions to Support Them finds that as many as 86 percent of on-time high school graduates now continue their education, but many of the young people who enroll in college fail to complete their studies and attain a degree. The report found that these youth fare no better in the labor market than those with only a high school diploma. Additionally, the study found that while 37 percent of on-time high school graduates enroll in community colleges and intend ultimately to pursue bachelor's degrees, nearly half (46 percent) drop out within eight years, earning no degree and incurring significant expenses. These young people, who pursue, but do not complete their higher education, are known as "the new forgotten half." Using data from the nationally representative Educational Longitudinal Survey (ELS), the authors of this report examine the unique circumstances of the new forgotten half, discuss their opportunities and challenges, and outline strategies to help youth move beyond some college and achieve their potential.

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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