Intersection E-Newsletter Volume 12, No. 12

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Intersection E-Newsletter

Intersection: Navigating the Road to Work is the electronic newsletter of the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth). The newsletter and this website offer information to improve services to youth and especially youth with disabilities. If you are not subscribed, sign up for Intersection now and get the latest information on disability and workforce issues! Past issues of Intersection are archived

December: Volume 12, No. 12:


NCWD/Youth Releases New InfoBrief on Family Support in Postsecondary Education

NCWD/Youth recently released Supporting Families of Students with Disabilities in Postsecondary Education: Learning from the Voices of Families. This new InfoBriefis designed to assist faculty, staff, and administrators in postsecondary education settings to better understand the value of engaging families of students with disabilities as partners in supporting student success because of its correlation with student retention and academic achievement. Findings from a national online dialogue conducted in early 2015 are highlighted, as are strategies and resources that postsecondary institutions can use to address support gaps families of youth with disabilities identified during the dialogue, and to partner with them more closely to promote their young adult’s education and employment success.


NCWD/Youth to Present at CWA Youth Employment Conference

On January 12-14, 2016, NCWD/Youth will present at the California Workforce Association’s (CWA) youth employment conference entitled Youth Centric Solutions, the Heart of the Matter. NCWD/Youth will present on the following topics:


IEL Announces New Sites for Right Turn Juvenile Justice Initiative Based on NCWD/Youth Foundational Materials

On December 4, 2015, the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), NCWD/Youth’s host organization, announced the new sites for its Right Turn Career-Focused Transition Initiative (Right Turn) for juvenile justice-involved youth. IEL selected four sites across the country to be included in Right Turn’s second cohort. These sites will implement the innovative Right Turn model to engage youth in a career development process that will help them identify their strengths and interests, learn about careers, gain skills to earn industry-recognized credentials, and engage in work experiences leading to employment. After the competitive application process, IEL selected the following four new Right Turn sites

Right Turn is based on several of NCWD/Youth’s materials, including Guideposts for Success for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Corrections System, Making the Right Turn: A Guide about Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Corrections System, and the Individualized Learning Plans Fact Sheet. Right Turn is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The program is currently underway in five sites at Goodwill Industries of Houston, KentuckianaWorks, Oasis Center, Peckham, Inc., and Playa Vista Job Opportunities and Business Services.

Read the full press release.


U.S. DOL and NDRN Enter Agreement to Assist Workers with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) recently entered into an agreement concerning Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Section 14(c) permits employers that have received a 14(c) certificate from DOL to pay less than the federal minimum wage to individuals whose earning or productive capacity is impacted by a physical or mental disability for the work that is to be performed. The new agreement between WHD and NDRN supports exchanging information about the laws and regulations as well as about potential violations of subminimum wage certificates by employers.


President Obama Signs Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015

On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)of 2015. The signing of ESSA took place one day after its passage by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote in the U.S. Senate. ESSA is the seventh reauthorization of the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which Congress first passed in 1965. ESSA continues efforts to include students with disabilities in state accountability and assessment systems, and supports access to the general education curriculum and a standard general high school diplomas. ESSA also requires states to report on how they plan to improve learning by addressing bullying and harassment in schools, overuse of disciplinary practices, and aversive behavioral interventions.


ED Requests Information to Assist Implementation of ESSA of 2015

This week, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) sent a "Dear Colleague Letter" to state educational agencies about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ED also published a request for information (RFI) about ESSA in the Federal Register. This RFI seeks recommendations and advice for topics that fall under Title I of the new law. Stakeholders, including states, districts, and schools, will have the opportunity to identify areas that could benefit from new regulations under ESSA. Stakeholders will also have the opportunity to provide feedback on what those regulations should establish and require. The public comment period for the RFI is 30 days.


DOL Celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, 2015. ILAB published a blog post highlighting the challenges faced by a seventh grade student in Ecuador. This student, Luis, had stopped attending school in fourth grade because educators had not understood his autism and needed supports. After meeting Luis, a community activist in Ecuador tutored him, helped him re-enroll in school, and assisted him in obtaining formal recognition of his disability.


NCES Releases High School Graduation Rates for 2013-2014 School Year

On December 15, 2015, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) at the U.S. Department of Education released high school graduation rates for 2013-2014. The NCES data showed that the overall national graduation rate increased to 82.3 percent, an improvement of .9 percent since the 2012-2013 school year. It was the highest graduation rate seen since states adopted a common way to calculate graduation rates in 2010. The graduation rate for students with disabilities increased to 62.3 percent in 2013-2014, an increase of 1.2 percent since the 2012-2013 school year and a 4 percent increase in three years.


Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive, Integrated Employment to Meet in January 2016

The federal Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive, Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (the Committee) will hold a meeting on January 27-28, 2016. This webinar meeting will be open to the public 1:00-5:00pm EST during the two days. During the meeting, the Committee's subcommittees will report on work conducted since the Interim Report and areas of focus for the Final Report. A public comment period will take place 3:30-4:30pm EST on January 27, 2015. The Federal Register notice has instructions for submitting comments. Members of the public who want to participate in this webinar must register by January 15, 2016.


Workforce Recruitment Program Launches 2016 Database

On December 15, 2015, the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) launched the 2016 database of college students and recent graduates with disabilities seeking summer and/or permanent employment. The U.S. Departments of Labor (DOL) and Defense jointly operate the WRP for qualified candidates with disabilities. More than 300 college and university campuses are participating this year. The WRP database is searchable so that employers can locate job candidates who have the specific skill sets they need. Federal hiring officials with a .gov or .mil email address can access the database of Schedule A eligible candidates by registering at Employers from the for-profit and non-profit sectors can access WRP through the Employment Assistance and Resource Network (EARN). For more information on WRP, read the blog post Diversify Your Workforce written by DOL Deputy Secretary Chris Lu.


Add Us In Releases Small Business & Disability Employment: Steps to Success

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) released Small Business & Disability Employment: Steps to Success. ODEP developed this new web-based tool through its Add Us In initiative to increase hiring of people with disabilities in the small business community. It uses real-life examples to illustrate the range of disability inclusion practices in action. The new tool also includes strategies that support business associations in assisting their members to understand the value of disability inclusion to workplaces and communities.         


HBCU Disability Consortium and AHEAD Launch Website for Black and African American College Students with Disabilities

The HBCU Disability Consortium and the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) recently launched a resource hub to help serve Black and African American college students with disabilities. The HBCU consortium is a group of colleagues working in disability services at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Colleges and Universities (PBCUs). This new website aims to increase the number of Black and African American students with disabilities attending college, staying in college, and graduating. It offers resources, a sense of history and community, support for students' multiple identities, and advice to those supporting and mentoring students.   


Community College Survey Reveals Concerns about Financial Hardship

Recently, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab released Hungry to Learn: Addressing Food & Housing Insecurity Among Undergraduates. The HOPE Lab developed this new report in collaboration with the University of Michigan’s Healthy Minds Study, the Association of Community College Trustees, and Single Stop. Hungry to Learn reports results of a survey of more than 4,000 undergraduates at 10 community colleges across the nation. According to this survey, half of all community college students struggle with food and/or housing insecurity. The survey also found that 20 percent of community college students are hungry, and 13 percent are homeless.


ED and HHS Request Comments on Draft Policy Statement on Family Engagement

The Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) request comments on a draft policy statement on family engagement. This joint draft policy statement involves the implementation of effective family engagement practices from early childhood to early school years. ED and HHS have extended the deadline for submission of these comments to January 4, 2016. The public can submit comments on the draft policy statement by emailing For more information, visit ED’s Families Page.


IEL Accepting Workshop Proposals for 2016 National FCE Conference

IEL’s Center on Family and Community Engagement (FCE) is currently accepting workshop proposals for the 2016 National FCE Conference. This year’s theme is Owning Our Movement, Maximizing Our Impact. FCE is seeking engaging and interactive workshops that will enhance the work of multiple stakeholders including researchers, teachers, parents, youth, school administrators, community organizers, and funders. The deadline for proposals is Thursday, December 31, 2015. Supplementary information is available, and questions can be directed to


Calling all students and youth service professionals – winter break is the perfect time to complete applications for upcoming internships and fellowships! Check out some of these opportunities!

  • The White House Fellows Program seeks applicants for the 2016-2017 class who demonstrate leadership capacity in their chosen field. Each candidate must be a U.S. citizen and hold a bachelor’s degree. Candidates must also not have current employment from the federal government (except for career military personnel). The deadline for applications is January 12, 2016 at 5:59pm EST.   
  • Career Link Mentoring Program is a collaborative project between the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute. The program provides a six-month career mentoring opportunity to 70-75 college students and recent graduates with disabilities through linkages to business professionals from USBLN member companies. Applications are due on January 29, 2016.
  • The American Association of People with Disabilities seeks applicants for its Summer Internship Program. This program places undergraduate students, graduate students, law students, and recent graduates with disabilities in paid 10-week summer internships in Congressional offices, federal agencies, non-profits, and for-profit organizations in the Washington, DC area. AAPD provides interns with a stipend, transportation to and from Washington, DC, and fully-accessible housing. Applications are due on Friday, January 15, 2016 at 5:00pm.
  • The United States International Council on Disabilities’ (USICD) seeks applicants for its Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program. This program focuses on U.S. citizen youth with disabilities who intend to pursue careers in international development or foreign affairs. Graduate students, recent graduates, and rising college juniors and seniors with disabilities from across the U.S. are eligible to apply for this program. Selected participants will intern at international organizations in Washington, DC. USICD will cover the cost of accessible housing during the program, reimburse travel expenses to and from DC, and provide a limited stipend. Applications are due on January 12, 2016.
  • The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Entry Point seeks students with disabilities studying science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and business for internship and co-op opportunities. Entry Point has partnerships with a variety of Fortune 500 companies and government agencies who offer paid, 10-12 week internships in various locations throughout the country. Applications are due on January 15, 2016.
  • National Industries for the Blind (NIB) seeks applications for the Fellowship for Leadership Development. The Fellowship combines business-focused, on-the-job experience with professional development activities. NIB invites individuals who are legally blind and have an undergraduate degree or higher, work experience, and passion for business to apply for this salaried program. Applications are due on February 12, 2016.
  • Mathematica Policy Research is seeking graduate students for two fellowship opportunities related to disability policy. The summer fellowship program is a paid opportunity for students in Master’s programs or early in doctoral programs (pre-dissertation phase). Students selected for this program conduct independent research at Mathematica’s Washington, DC, office to enhance their learning. The dissertation fellowship program offers financial support to students conducting their doctoral dissertation research on topics related to disability policy. In contrast with the summer fellows program, dissertation fellows will remain at their home institution and receive financial support to continue cutting-edge dissertation research. Applications for both programs are due on February 12, 2016 at midnight.


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!




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