indicates new NCWD/Youth content.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) recently issued a new TEGL for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth funded activities for 2013. The intent of the TEGL is to provide state and local area staff with a helpful tool to improve youth services and ensure legal compliance and successful future monitoring. ETA routinely monitors states and local areas to ensure compliance with WIA. ETA compared findings across 15 WIA Youth reports from monitoring visits conducted in 2011 and 2012 to identify common findings and areas of concern. The most common monitoring findings related to case management, service provision, performance management, and governance.
On June 6, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Employment and Training Administration awarded the Institute for Educational Leadership’s (IEL) Center for Workforce Development a $5 million, 39-month grant to serve juvenile offenders in high-poverty, high-crime communities. In the next six months, IEL will competitively select five community organizations or partnerships in at least two different states to implement the proposed Right Turn program, based on decades of IEL’s work promoting improved services for at risk youth, including youth with disabilities, youth in juvenile justice, and other disconnected populations.
The Right Turn initiative will utilize strategies and lessons from several resources created by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth), including Making the Right Turn: A Guide About Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Corrections System, the Guideposts for Success national youth transition framework, the three career development phases gleaned from the Individualized Learning Plan research and demonstration project, and lessons learned from IEL’s Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP).
Right Turn will serve 1,000 juvenile offenders, 25 percent of which will be youth in confinement. Sites will work with youth to provide them with comprehensive reentry and transition services, including connection to educational opportunities, mentoring, soft skills and independent living skills development, work skills and workforce development opportunities, community violence prevention, and more. After a six-month site selection and project planning period, IEL will serve youth beginning in January 2014. Read the full USDOL press release to learn more about this federal grant award.
Youth Solutions Desk Shares Webinar on Health and Health Care in the Transition from Adolescence to Young Adulthood
On May 22, Youth Solutions Desk— Helping Youth Transition, a service of the Interagency Working Group for Youth Programs, managed by the National Resource Center for Youth Development through the Children’s Bureau presented a webinar on Health and Health Care in the Transition from Adolescence to Young Adulthood including the impact of the Affordable Care Act on adolescents. The webcast also reviewed issues in healthcare for transitioning youth and access prior to the enaction of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. The webinar slides are available online.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration, in collaboration with the Office of Disability Employment Policy, are conducting a survey on WIA Services Provided to Youth with Disabilities. The intended respondents are Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIB) and responses are voluntary. DOL is interested in learning more about the current practices related to: 1) the population served and the types of organizations that provide the services; 2) organizational emphasis in local areas and use of resources; 3) partnerships leveraged and integration of resources; 4) use customized assessment tools; 5) work experience and employment opportunities; 6) community service opportunities; and 7) staff development and training. Benefits from this study include: 1) gaining a broader understanding about how youth with disabilities are served in the public workforce system; 2) identifying promising practices and/or policies that demonstrate improvements to serving youth with disabilities.
LWIB Executive Directors are encouraged to respond to the WIA Services Provided to Youth with Disabilities before June 28, 2013. In order to receive access to the survey, please contact ABT Associates via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-855-295-5528.
The LEAD Center is hosting a Webinar on May 29 3:00-4:30PM ET on the topic of customized employment. The webinar will provide information on customized employment as a best practice and on customized self-employment. Participants will gain an understanding of how customized employment can support job placement efforts for a variety of job seekers both with and without disabilities. This webinar will be captioned and a link to download the presentation will be sent to registrants prior to the webinar. To request any other reasonable accommodations, please contact Brittany Taylor at email@example.com 48 hours of the webinar.
Dr. V. Scott Solberg, Principal Investigator for the ILP Research and Demonstration Project and Associate Dean of Research at Boston University School of Education will be the keynote speaker at the Personalizing College and Career Readiness Conference sponsored by the Alliance of Career Resource Professionals (ACRP). Dr. Solberg will present his work on individualized learning plans and other speakers will present on how to more effectively personalize career readiness planning. Registration is available now for the July 7, 2013 conference in Boston, MA.
On May 16, the National Collaborative on Worforce and Disability for Youth and the Institute for Educational Leadership hosted a webinar that presented the findings from NCWD/Youth's longitudinal research and demonstration project to determine whether and how ILPs could be considered as a promising strategy for developing college and career readiness. Presenters also recommended actions for educational leaders at the state and local levels interested in successful transitions of youth from adolescence to adulthood and shared lessons on implementing ILPs statewide for all students. The webinar recording is available online.
On Wednesday, May 29, 2013 1:00–2:30 PM, The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF),the College and Career Readiness and Success Center (CCRS Center) at the American Institutes for Research, and the Center for Workforce Development at the Institute for Educational Leadership, which houses the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) are co-hosting a webinar on the use of Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) across the country. NCWD/Youth has conducted longitudinal research, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, to assess the effectiveness of ILPs and better understand their impact on post-school outcomes.
College and career exploration and planning play a critical role in engaging students through creating personalized learning opportunities and preparing them for life beyond school. ILPs are one tool that middle school and high school students can use to define their personal interests, goals, and course choices through postsecondary education and careers. Many states have adopted or are exploring policies that require the use of ILPs.
Webinar presenters will summarize the research findings and discuss experiences implementing and scaling up the use of ILPs. They will include:
- Dr. Joe Harris, Director, College and Career Readiness and Success Center;
- Dr. Scott Solberg, Associate Dean for Research, Boston University;
- Mindy Larson, Senior Program Associate, Center for Workforce Development at the Institute for Educational Leadership;
- Misti Ruthven, Postsecondary Education and Success Manager, Colorado Department of Education; and
- Dr. Sabrina Moore, Director, Student Intervention Services, South Carolina Department of Education.
Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Labor. Under PROMISE, the Department of Education will fund States to develop and implement model demonstration projects that promote positive outcomes for children who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and their families. Specifically, PROMISE is intended to improve the provision and coordination of services and supports for child SSI recipients and their families to enable them to achieve improved outcomes. These outcomes include graduating from high school ready for college and a career, completing postsecondary education and job training, and obtaining competitive employment in an integrated setting and, as a result, achieving long-term reductions in the child recipients' reliance on SSI. Eligible applicants are the 50 States and the District of Columbia. A consortium of States may also apply.
To examine the impact of existing federal regulations and legislation on the successful transition from school to work of youth with disabilities, a free, public online dialogue will be held May 13-27, 2013. The U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration invite policymakers, service providers, advocates, youth with disabilities, and others to join this online dialogue to improve transition outcomes for youth with disabilities. Anyone with a personal or professional stake in supporting the aspirations of youth and young adults with disabilities to live, work, and thrive in their communities is invited to register and participate. Once registered, participants may submit ideas, submit comments about ideas, and rate those ideas they think are the most important. The dialogue will be facilitated to ensure participants experience a robust and productive exchange. Once the dialogue has closed, a summary report will be made public.
The Teen Years: A Road Map for Parents is a CD available free from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The CD contains six modules that guide parents in helping their teens face the challenges of adolescence It addresses phases of teen development, warning signs of pressured teens, scenarios for parent conversations, parenting styles and drug IQ, and includes a parenting handbook.
May 16th 1:30-3:00pm ET – Using Individualized Learning Plans to Increase College & Career Readiness of All Students
The Institute for Educational Leadership, which houses NCWD/Youth, is hosting a webinar that will highlight key findings from NCWD/Youth’s research on the use of Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs). An ILP is both a document and a process that a student uses – with support from school counselors, teachers, and parents – to define their career goals and postsecondary plans in order to inform the student’s decisions about courses and activities throughout high school. Many states have adopted policies that require all students to use ILPs starting in middle school as a way to personalize learning and increase college and career readiness.
With funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, NCWD/Youth has conducted longitudinal research to determine whether and how ILPs could be considered as a promising strategy for developing college and career readiness. In addition to sharing research findings, webinar presenters will recommend actions for educational leaders at the state and local levels interested in successful transitions of youth from adolescence to adulthood. Presenters from Connecticut’s State Department of Education will share lessons on implementing ILPs statewide for all students.
Webinar presenters will include:
Dr. V. Scott Solberg, Associate Dean of Research, Boston University School of Education
June Sanford, Co-Task Leader Student Success Plans for Connecticut Department of Education, Connecticut State Director of Career Technical Education (NASDCTEc), and Carl D. Perkins Program Manager
Dr. Jocelyn Mackey, Education Consultant for School Psychology and Primary Mental Health Program Manager, Connecticut Department of Education
Mindy Larson, Senior Program Associate, Center for Workforce Development, Institute for Educational Leadership
The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Association, Division of Youth Services rescheduled its Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Chat for Wednesday, April 24, 2013 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm EDT.WIA Youth programs are charged with offering participants a range of services (support, employment, education, and more), based on individual needs. Doing this work well involves partnering with participants and collaborating with community organizations to ensure that the 10 WIA program elementsare available to youth. Sign up with and login to Workforce3One to participate.
Two new publications by NCWD/Youth illustrate how state agencies can use the Guideposts for Success as a strategic organizational framework to increase coordination across agencies, departments, and service providers responsible for youth transition outcomes. In Maryland, the Department of Education’s Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) has used the Guideposts to develop and pilot a seamless transition services model called the Maryland Seamless Transition Collaborative (MSTC). The South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD) uses the Guideposts as a framework for defining, developing, and tracking its youth transition services and programs throughout the state. Read the State Perspectives on Using the Guideposts for Success Innovative Strategies profiles of Maryland and South Carolina online.
NCWD/Youth, a national partner of The LEAD Center, is featured on the center’s new website. The LEAD Center is a collaborative of disability, workforce and economic empowerment organizations funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor. The LEAD Center website is a key resource for information to promote public policy, employment and economic advancement outcomes for all people across the spectrum of disability. New resources, events, news and information will be added to the site regularly, with guest blogs and other features coming in June. Explore the LEAD Center website today at www.LEADCenter.org.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is looking for youth leaders who are dedicated to public service, who are making a difference in their communities, and who want to expand their impact as national advocates for youth disaster preparedness to serve on its Youth Preparedness Council (YPC). Youth who are between the ages of 12 and 17 and are engaged and interested in the field of community preparedness are encouraged to apply. Youth may apply on their own, or they can be nominated by individuals who are familiar with their preparedness activities. YPC members are charged with completing a youth preparedness project, sharing their opinions and ideas about youth disaster preparedness with FEMA leadership, and participating in the YPC summit. The application deadline is April 19, 2013. Learn more and download the nomination application online at: http://www.ready.gov/youth-preparedness.
As part of their individual development, today’s youth need to learn and understand how to take action for themselves as they transition into adulthood. In conjunction with the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor, NCWD/Youth has developed a series of Youth in Action! Tip Sheets aimed at helping youth learn and think about important transition issues including: Becoming a Stronger Self-Advocate; Leading Your Transition Planning; Learning Disability History; Getting Involved in Volunteering; Serving on Decision-Making Boards; and Participating in Internships and Work-Based Experiences. While these tip sheets are designed for youth to read and use, they are also helpful tools for family members, educators, and youth service professionals to use in discussions with youth. See a list of all the Youth in Action! Tip Sheets on NCWD/Youth's Youth Development webpage under Publications.
NCWD/Youth Releases Policy Brief on Using Individualized Learning Plans to Increase College & Career Readiness
NCWD/Youth has released the policy brief, Using Individualized Learning Plans to Produce College and Career Ready High School Graduates, which summarizes findings and recommendations from a multi-year individualized learning plans (ILP) research and demonstration project funded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy. Individualized learning plans (ILPs) are increasingly used by states and school districts to support youth in becoming college and career ready. An ILP is both a document and a process that students use – with support from school counselors, teachers, and parents – to define their career goals and postsecondary plans in order to inform the student’s decisions about their courses and activities throughout high school. Thirty-five states currently engage middle and/or high school students in ILPs.
The policy brief highlights key findings from the ILP studies, which examined: whether and how ILPs may be considered a promising strategy for developing college and career readiness; and whether and how students with disabilities are participating in ILPs. The policy brief also recommends actions for a diversity of stakeholders including state officials, district/school officials, educators, organizations interested in supporting family engagement in schools, special education administrators and support organizations, national organizations, disability organizations, and Federal officials. Read or download the policy brief online.
More information about the ILP Research & Demonstration Project including the ILP Fact Sheet, the ILP How-to Guide, journal articles, and details about the project partners is available at: http://www.ncwd-youth.info/ilp/.
FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination is looking to hire several postions within FEMA’s Reservist Program. As a part of FEMA’s disaster workforce, Reservists serve the nation by assisting all citizens and first responders during disasters or emergency situations. The vacancies are being advertised on USAJOBS.gov March 25 – March 29, 2013. These are FEMA Qualification System (FQS) incident management positions. The Disability Integration positions are listed below:
• Lead Disability Integration Advisor AD-0301-00
• Disability Integration Advisor AD-0301-00
• Disability Integration Advisor (ASL Specialty (American Sign Language Interpreter) AD-0301-00
National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Publishes Brief on Universal Design for Learning Featuring NCWD/Youth
NASSP released a research brief co-written by NCWD/Youth and featuring NCWD/Youth research. The brief, entitled Universal Design for Learning: Strategies Principals Can Employ in Their Schools, recommends implementing the inclusive learning strategy known as universal design for learning (UDL) to reach a broader diversity of students. UDL promotes a framework that makes course instruction, materials, and content accessible and engaging for students of all learning styles by offering multiple, flexible ways for students to receive information and demonstrate their skills. The brief details the UDL model, recommendations to assist all students, and additional strategies that can benefit students with disabilities.
Southeast TACE (Technical Assistance and Continuing Education) Presents Webinar on NCWD/Youth Guideposts for Success
Southeast TACE hosted a webinar entitled Guideposts for Success: Innovative Strategies for Serving Youth. Presenters included Curtis Richards, Director of the Center for Workforce Development at The Institute for Educational Leadership and Laura Spears, Transition Specialist with the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department. Richards discussed The Guideposts for Success and how they can be used while Spears explained how South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation has adopted them for statewide Vocational Rehabilitation youth transition services. The archived PowerPoint slides, transcript and session recording are available for download.
The U.S. Census Bureau has released statistics on the employment of individuals with disabilities, based on the new Disability Employment Tabulation 2008-2010. The Disability Employment Tabulation, which has similar content to that found in the recently released Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation, presents in-depth labor force characteristics of individuals with disabilities, with more details on employment status, occupation, education, and earnings. The Disability Employment Tabulation is sponsored by the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy
The Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration's (ETA) Youth Team is hosting a live chat entitled Providing a Menu of Activities for Youth in WIA Programs: Challenges and Triumphs. WIA Youth programs offer participants a range of services based on individual needs. Doing this work involves partnering with participants and collaborating with community organizations to ensure that the 10 WIA program elements are available. ETA's live chat will allow participants to share strategies, ask questions, and learn about the menu of services and activities including, but not limited to, recruiting and engaging youth, soft skills development, leadership training, and transportation issues. The chat will take place on Wednesday, April 10, 2:00-3:00pm Eastern Time (ET). To join, log onto Workforce3One and enter the Youth Community of Practice.
SSA Article Highlights Findings from Youth Transition Demonstration Projects in California & Mississippi
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has released the article, “Linking Youth Transition Support Services: Results from Two Demonstration Projects” highlighting two projects in SSA’s Youth Transition Demonstration: California's Bridges to Youth Self-Sufficiency and Mississippi's Model Youth Transition Innovation. SSA Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) projects were designed to link the fragmented support system currently in place and to address low expectations about the potential for employment and self-sufficiency among youth with disabilities. The article describes key project outcomes and the experience of one youth in each project who successfully completed the program. The article is available online.
Office of Personnel Management Issues Final Rule to Simplify Schedule A Hiring Authority for Persons with Disabilities
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued new regulations on the special hiring authority for the appointment of persons with certain disabilities. The final rule for the Schedule A Hiring Authority simplifies the hiring process for many job applicants with disabilities. For applicants who have work, educational, or other relevant experience, the rule removes the requirement for a certification of job readiness. Now an applicant will only need to establish that he or she has a qualifying disability. Learn more.
National Governors Association Winter 2013 Meeting Hosts Panel on Employment for People with Disabilities
Governors, disability employment experts, and business leaders came together at the National Governors Association (NGA) Winter 2013 Meeting for a panel on the successes and challenges of employing people with disabilities. Led by Governor Markell (D-DE), participants included: Joan McGovern, Vice-President at JPMorgan Chase; Neil Christopher, Vice-President at Acadia Windors and Doors; Judy Heumann, Special Advisor at the Department of State on International Disability Rights; Carl Van Horn, a professor at Rutgers Unviersity; and several state governors. The panel was moderated by Judy Woodruff.
CAST has launched UDL Exchange, a free website community that enables educators to create, mix, and share lesson plans and other teaching resources based on universal design for learning (UDL) principles and aligned to the Common Core State Standards. UDL Exchange also includes resources that teach about the UDL principles and a UDL Lesson Builder tool to support educators at all grade levels and in all subject areas in planning lessons and making their own UDL-based instructional materials.
The U.S. Department of Education seeks input on a new competitive grant program, Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE). The purpose of this program is to fund model demonstration projects in states to promote improved outcomes for children who receive SSI and their families. Under this program, projects must form strong and effective partnerships among state agencies responsible for programs that play a key role in providing services to child SSI recipients and their families and provide coordinated services and supports designed to improve the education and employment outcomes of child SSI recipients and their families. Comments may be posted on the PIN Blog and will be accepted until 5:00 PM EDT on March 17, 2013. The public is also invited to participate in the PROMISE Public Webinars scheduled for February 21, 27, and 28 and March 5. More details are available online.
The National Association of Workforce Boards will hold its Annual Forum on March 9-12, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The NAWB Forum brings together leaders in business, government, labor, workforce, and education in an opportunity to connect with peers, learn from industry experts, and collectively work to shape national policy affecting the future of human capital development. The Forum includes pre-conference strategic planning, business and industry sessions, expanded workshops, issue forums, partners’ exchange, and more. Online registration ends February 23. Click here to learn more and to register.
Voices4Hope is a place for teenagers and young adults with mental health conditions to find resources and stigma busting information that can help them lead happy and independent lives. This website was created and is maintained by four young adults with mental health conditions at the Transitions Research and Training Center (RTC). Voices4Hope has launched three new webpages on eating disorders, young adult parenting, and bullying. In these new pages, young adults will be able to learn about conditions or circumstances that can affect them, read recovery stories, and gain resources to help them make the best of their lives in recovery.
The U.S. Department of Education introduced a set of materials that provides a substantive overview of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility process—also known as ESEA waivers—by which 34 states and the District of Columbia have applied for and received flexibility regarding certain provisions of ESEA. The intent of these materials—a brochure and five companion fact sheets—is to explain the rationale and intent of ESEA flexibility, as well as address its key components and highlight plan elements for a number of states approved for flexibility. All of the documents can be easily printed and produced as front-to-back copies; the fact sheets are two-pagers, and the brochure is a tri-fold.
NCWD/Youth is partnering with the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) to host a Capitol Hill Forum on February 15, 2013 at 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. on “The Use of Individualized Learning Plans to Help Students to be College and Career Ready.” Those interested in attending are invited to register for this free event online. Preparing for college and careers requires far more than rigorous academic content. College and career exploration and planning activities can play a beneficial role in personalizing learning, engaging students, and preparing them for life beyond school. This event will highlight findings from NCWD/Youth’s research on the use of Individualized Learning Plans (ILP), which provide middle school and high school students with a tool to define their personal interests, goals, and course choices through postsecondary education and into careers. Many states have adopted policies that require the use of ILPs and research is starting to show the benefits. With funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, NCWD/Youth has been conducting longitudinal research to assess the effectiveness of ILPs and has implemented a demonstration project to better understand the impact of ILPs on post-school outcomes.
Presenters will summarize the research findings and discuss practitioners’ and policymakers’ experiences implementing and scaling up the use of ILPs. Presenters will include Dr. Terry Holliday, Kentucky Commissioner of Education, Joan Wills, Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Workforce Development, Institute for Educational Leadership, and Dr. Scott Solberg, Associate Dean of Research, Boston University. To learn more about the Capitol Hill Forum and register, visit the AYPF website. If you need an accommodation to participate in this briefing, please let Shamika Stevens (firstname.lastname@example.org) know at least 4 days in advance, including what type of accommodation. To learn more about NCWD/Youth’s work on Individualized Learning Plans, visit the ILP project webpage.
The U.S. Department of Labor issued Training and Employment Notice (TEN) No. 19-12 with information Related to the 2014 General Education Development (GED®) Test Series. A major overhaul of the GED® Test is underway. The American Council on Education (ACE), a non-profit education leadership organization, and Pearson, a for-profit education and testing company, announced a joint venture in March 2011. A newly created for-profit organization will maintain the GED® Testing Service name (formerly a program of ACE), and establish the GED® 21st Century Initiative. This joint effort focuses on the development of a computer-based GED® Test series. With release of the new GED® Test series on January 2, 2014, administration of the GED® paper version will only occur in limited circumstances (i.e. for disability accommodations and in correctional facilities for a period of time after 2014). Read questions and answers to questions about the 2014 GED® Test on the GED Testing Service's website.
The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC), in partnership with the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN), and other organizations focused on employment of youth and young adults with disabilities, launched a newly reorganized Youth to Work Coalition (YTWC) website. The purpose of this website is to house resources that help link employers and schools to resources for work-based learning experiences for youth with disabilities. The resources are organized across 8 work-based learning experience (WBLE) categories: (1) career exploration, (2) job shadowing, (3) job sampling, (4) service learning, (5) internships, (6) apprenticeships, (7) paid employment, and (8) mentoring. Within each WBLE category, resources are organized for the following audiences (1) schools, (2) businesses, (3) youth service professionals, (4) families, and (5) youth with disabilities.
The YTWC Webinar Series Kicks off 2013 with a webinar on work-based learning experiences and resources for school systems. This webinar will be held Tuesday January 15, 2013 from 3:00-4:00. Login to the webinar online and dial 1-800-201-2375 (code 611914) for audio.
To help millions of people recognize what they can do to make a difference in the lives — and future careers — of young people with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Labor's (USDOL) Campaign for Disability Employment has released a new video public service announcement titled "Because." The PSA features real people with disabilities — not actors — who are pursuing and realizing their goals and passions as a result of the support they received from everyday people in their lives. Because nearly 1 out of 5 Americans has a disability, the PSA is intended to replace myths and misperceptions about disability employment with new views of what people with disabilities can do. Read USDOL news release.
On January 9, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis submitted her letter of resignation to President Obama. Solis served as Secretary of Labor since February 2009, early in the president's first term. She was the first Hispanic women to serve in the cabinet. Prior to her Senate confirmation as secretary, Solis had been a U.S. representative for California's 32nd district since January 2003. In a statement, Solis said, "We have much to be proud of. In the past four years, more than 1.7 million people have completed federally-funded job training programs; of those, more than one million have earned industry-recognized credentials. In addition, Labor Department investments in our community colleges have expanded their capacity to provide local, flexible, employer-specific job training to millions of Americans, and transformed these institutions into engines of economic growth." Read the full statement by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the U.S. Business Leadership Network(USBLN)® have formed a partnership to establish a national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices for disability employment inclusion and accessibility. The project will be launched in 2013. The new index — currently referred to as the "Disability Equality IndexSM" — will provide employers with a transparent, objective road-map for improving opportunities for people with disabilities. AAPD and USBLN® will work with each business to ensure continual progress on the index. Read the AAPD press release.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration issued Training and Employment Notice (TEN) Update 10-13: Defining a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program and Related Tools and Resources. The purpse of the TEN is to inform the public workforce system about the pre-apprenticeship program definition and quality framework, as well as promote tools and materials to improve the consistency and quality of pre-apprenticeship programs. The pre-apprenticeship definition and quality framework inlcude approved training and curriculum; strategies for long-term success; access to appropriate aupport services; use of registered apprenticeship to Increase future opporunities; meaningful hands-on training that does not displace paid employees, and facilitied entry and/or articulation.
The RESNA Catalyst Project has launched the new Assistive Technology (AT) for Employer/Business Web Portal, http://atconnects.com/employers, which features information on AT solutions in the workplace and help for accessing AT through the AT Act Entities. The Portal includes a consultant database directory of RESNA Professionals and the services and expertise each offers to employers, publications on AT and Employment, and various resources for employers to explore. Partners who worked with the RESNA Catalyst Project to create the Portal include the United States Business Leadership Network, Job Accommodation Network, the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, Southeast TACE, and the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration. Visit the AT for Employer/Business Web Portal online.
Disability.gov has created the "What’s Your Connection?" initiative, a grassroots movement emphasizing the connections among all people to celebrate its 10th anniversary. From October 30, 2012 to July 31, 2013, the initiative aims to use social media and grassroots tactics to spark conversations and build support for inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace and in their communities. Any individual is invited to share a story about how having a disability or knowing someone with a disability has touched his or her life. Send a photograph in JPG format, along with a 250-word maximum caption, to email@example.com or upload a captioned, one-minute video to a personal YouTube page and include the hashtag, #myconnection2, in the title. Visit Disability.gov for further information or to access the What’s Your Connection?Toolkit.
The U.S Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration will hold a WIA Youth Chat on Thursday, November 15th at 12:00 pm EST on helping youth attain occupational credentials. The chat will include a discussion of the recently launched Credentials for Youth Tool, on the Workforce3One Youth Community of Practice, which helps workforce professionals identify promising occupations for youth and the credentials to help youth attain them. To participate in this online live discussion, log into Workforce3One and click on the Chat button. If you are not already a member, you may register for a free account at http://www.workforce3one.org/register.aspx. Participants are invited to submit questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy unveiled a series of videos to complement its Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success training curriculum—a creative program of interactive, hands-on activities that educators and youth service professionals can use to help young people prepare for employment. The videos portray workplace scenarios related to enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, communication, critical thinking and problem solving, networking, and professionalism. Read the USDOL news release.
The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) released its 2012 Foster Youth Internship Report entitled Hear Me Now. CCAI’s Foster Youth Internship Program places young adults who spent time in the United State’s foster care system in internships on Capitol Hill. As part of the program, CCAI organizes retreats, advocacy trainings, and networking opportunities. Interns spent time researching policy issues affecting foster children and created a policy report that they presented at a congressional briefing. The report focuses on preventing the crossover from foster care to criminal justice, postsecondary education for foster youth, tribal communities, group homes, health care, and more.
Workplace flexibility policies and practices typically focus on when and where work is done. The online Workplace Flexibility Toolkit adds a new dimension — an emphasis on flexibility around job tasks and what work is done. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy in partnership with the USDOL’s Women's Bureau, the toolkit makes more than 170 resources easily accessible. Read the USDOL news release.
October is National Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, and the National Center on Learning Disabilities (NCLD) is spotlighting dyslexia. Dyslexia impacts an estimated 15% of people. NCLD has a dyslexia toolkit with tools and resources to understand dyslexia, recognize signs of dyslexia in individuals, and learn accommodation strategies.
Mary Mazzoni with the website Life After IEPs wrote a blog entry entitled “Career exploration – Job Shadowing," which highlighted NCWD/Youth’s “Career Exploration in Act: An Innovative Strategies Practice Brief.” The website provides a variety of resources for parents and mentors of young people with disabilities.
StopBullying.gov, operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, debuted resources for the Advertising Council’s new anti-bulling “Be More Than a Bystander” campaign. It targets the issue with a series of television, print and online ads, and a website promoting the idea that if witnesses know what to do, they can take steps to stop bullying. The Ad Council is working with groups including Facebook, AOL, the federal education and health departments, the Free to Be Foundation, and PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy’s popular publication Making the Move to Managing Your Own Personal Assistance Services (PAS) is now available for e-readers in both ePub and mobi formats. This toolkit is designed for youth with disabilities who are planning to live independently in the community but need help with daily tasks. It offers concrete steps to hiring, managing and paying for personal assistance services. Access the PDF version on NCWD/Youth's website.
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education is promoting its Support for States Employability Standards in CTE and Adult Education initiative. Its purpose is to consolidate and disseminate information on employability skills to form a centralized clearinghouse that helps inform the instruction and assessment of these skills. Information on their website, compiled from a variety of sources, represents a common understanding of employability skills supported throughout the U.S. government. To support the instruction and assessment of employability skills, the website includes an interactive framework that organizes employability skills; an online tool to inform the selection of an employability skills assessment; profiles of state, local, and employer-led employability skills initiatives; and links to related initiatives.
The John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development and the Kessler Foundation recently released a the study entitled College Students with Disabilities: What Factors Influence Successful Degree Completion? A Case Study. The study involved five community colleges and universities in New Jersey and twenty individuals with disabilities who had successfully completed their college education. The report offers findings from the student interviews, including the fact that access to accommodations was not a major issue for students although learning about such accommodations was not always the smoothest process, and that students reported mainly using campus resources as opposed to a combination of college and community services. The report also examines some of the challenges faced by college disability/special services offices, including recordkeeping and student/faculty outreach. Finally, the report concludes with recommendations for further study, including conducting research on a variety of issues related to students with disabilities, college faculty and staff, and promising practices that assist students with disabilities and their transition to employment.
For additional information on students with disabilities at community college, read NCWD/Youth's publication Career-Focused Services for Students with Disabilities at Community Colleges.
On October 26 at 12 p.m. ET., the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program will host, “From Community Service to Employment: Developing Career Skills and Networks through Community Service,” a disability employment chat on Twitter (#DEChat). Join the discussion on Twitter about how volunteering can build up your resume and make you more appealing to potential employers. Sheila Fesko, director of National Service to Employment Program (NextSTEP), is scheduled to participate. To participate, sign in to Twitter and follow @chooseworkssa. Use hashtag #DEChat in your posts to ask and respond to questions throughout the chat. Learn more by visiting the SSA Ticket to Work Blog.
NCWD/Youth has released the InfoBrief, Everybody Learns, Everybody Works: Using Universal Design for Learning in Workforce Development Programs. This brief for professionals who work directly with youth in workforce development programs explains the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), an educational model that makes any general curriculum accessible to all learners, regardless of learning style. The brief describes how UDL principles can be used in work experiences and training settings to more effectively and efficiently engage all youth, including youth with disabilities. The brief is available online.
NCWD/Youth has released the Policy Brief, Transition's Missing Link: Health Care Transition. Drawing on a number of recent health care-related reports, this Policy Brief identifies strategies for improving health care transition for youth with chronic conditions and disabilities. The brief is available online.
NCWD/Youth has released the InfoBrief, The Guideposts for Success: A Framework for Families Preparing Youth for Adulthood, which examines how the Guideposts for Success can be used as a framework from which families of youth with disabilities can consider the support needs of their youth during the transition planning process. This information will also be helpful to professionals seeking strategies to effectively partner with families, and to advocates looking to empower families in the transition process.The brief is available online.
NCWD/Youth has posted eight videos for and by youth with disabilities. The 411 on Disability Disclosure video features youth with disabilities discussing how their decisions to disclose their disabilities have affected them at school, at work, and in social situations. This video is a companion to the publication, The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Youth with Disabilities. Three shorter video clips from the full video are also available online. In the video, Making Your Move to Managing Your Own Personal Assistance Services (PAS), youth share how they use personal assistance services (PAS) and what’s involved in finding and managing their own services. This video is a companion to the publication, Making the Move to Managing Your Own Personal Assistance Services (PAS): A Toolkit for Youth with Disabilities Transitioning to Adulthood. Three shorter video clips from the full video are also available.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation released the 2012 Kids Count Data Book: State Trends in child well-being. The report highlights major disparities among U.S. children along racial and ethnic lines. In its 23rd release of the data book, the foundation broadened its index of 16 indicators of child well-being, organized into four categories: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community. Each year the foundation publishes the data book, which tracks the well-being of the nation’s children, state by state.
On September 27, the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) is hosting a free webinar for employers that will highlight the important responsibilities of human resource departments, managers, and employees in engaging in the complexities of intermittent leave; requests for medical information in view of Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) obligations; and the interactive accommodation process. The webinar will include case studies and best practices for managing these multifaceted challenges.
On October 10, Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute will host a webinar on producing accessible electronic documents and will provide resources for agencies to use. The webinar is sponsored by the Accessibility Committee of the CIO Council and presented by members of the newly-formed, interagency Accessible Electronic Document Community of Practice (AED COP). The recommended audience is agency policymakers, 508 practitioners, communications professionals, office administrators and all employees involved in authoring or disseminating electronic documents.
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) released the third in a series of fully accessible "Just-in-Time" training modules. Titled "All About JAN," this 12-minute training module and accompanying transcript and handout provide an overview of JAN, a free, confidential service of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy. The module and supporting documents can be found in JAN's Multimedia Training Library.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is hosting a live webcast on open government collaboration strategies on Thursday, September 13 at 2 p.m. EDT. This webcast titled, “Policy Development Think Tank: New Strategies for Successful Collaboration,” is a part of the ePolicyWorks initiative. During this free event, panelists will share information and discuss their perspectives on the use of new and innovative open government strategies. Focusing on the use of leading-edge collaboration tools by Federal agencies and their stakeholders, the event will explore new approaches to policy development in such key areas as disability employment. Learn more and access the webcast online at http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/Technology.htm. This event will be live audio-captioned and will feature a real-time Twitter feed with the hashtag #ePolicyWorks. No registration is required.
USDOL Awards Grant to Institute for Educational Leadership for National Center for Preparing Youth with Disabilities for Employment
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has awarded a grant to the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) to operate ODEP’s National Technical Assistance and Demonstration Center on Preparing Youth with Disabilities for Employment. IEL is excited to receive this award to continue to build upon the last 11 years of work by the ODEP-funded National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth). This is the third iteration of this technical assistance center.
NCWD/Youth will continue to build capacity within and across youth service-delivery systems to improve employment and postsecondary education outcomes for all youth, including youth with disabilities.
NCWD/Youth will focus on three areas: career exploration, management and planning; youth development and leadership; and professional development for youth service professionals. It will provide technical assistance, training, and information to organizations running youth programs funded by the Workforce Investment Act, as well as current and former USDOL grantees. In order to improve transition outcomes for all youth, including youth with disabilities, NCWD/Youth looks forward to working in collaboration with federal, state, and local agencies across multiple youth-serving systems in the public and private sectors.
The U.S. Department of Labor annouced Workforce Systems Strategies, a new website designed to make it easier for workforce system professionals to quickly find information that supports positive customer outcomes. Workforce System Strategies is a searchable tool populated with a growing number of experimental studies, implementation evaluations, and peer-informed how-to guides. Professionals can use the site to help job seekers and employer customers achieve better outcomes; identify preliminary evidence that may be useful in program design; and be at the forefront of the workforce system.
The Center for American Progress and the Center for the Next Generation released The Competition that Really Matters: Comparing U.S., Chinese and Indian Investments in the Next Generation Workforce. The report profiles the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. education system, citing a relatively high rate of secondary attainment, a lower postsecondary attainment rate, a lag in STEM education and questionable teacher quality. In contrast, there are two countries that are working to develop their huge populations into a highly qualified workforce: China and India.
The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachussetts Boston published Description of Supported Employment Practices, Cross-System Partnerships, and Funding Models of Four Types of State Agencies and Community Rehabilitation Providers. This report presents research on supported employment (SE) funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research to focus on vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency partnerships with other state entities, and sources and models for long-term funding. To conduct the research, ICI included a supported employment module into ongoing surveys of state VR agencies, state intellectual and developmental disability agencies, state mental health agencies, and state welfare agencies. The research also included additional analysis of data obtained from an ongoing survey of community rehabilitation programs relevant to supported employment. Additionally, ICI conducted case studies of SE partnerships in five states (Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, and Washington). These case studies were designed to build understanding of the range of practices that VR systems might use to ensure more successful transitions to long-term support through other resources.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the winners of its disability employment app challenge. The contest, launched in May, encouraged third-party developers to build tools to improve employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities. The winning entries included “Access Jobs,” which delivers an accessible job search experience from multiple online sources; “VoisPal-Speak as You Think!,” which helps people with speech difficulties express themselves with over 5,000 common phrases; and “AccDC: Accelerated Dynamic Content,” a scalable, cross-browser, cross-platform system that improves accessibility for screen reader and keyboard-only users. Read the full USDOL press release.
The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration issued Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) number 5-12 to provide guidance for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Program activities in program year 2012. The TEGL notes that WIA shifted the focus of youth activities from short-term training and job placement to longer-term services that support education, skill development, work experience, and transition to careers and adulthood. The ten program elements that comprise WIA youth activities reflect four themes: improving educational achievement, preparing for and succeeding in employment, providing adequate support in completing learning and employment goals, and developing the potential of youth as citizens and leaders. While prior guidance has addressed the first two themes, this TEGL focuses on the third and four themes. The guidance letter consolidates some existing guidance and provides additional clarification on the program elements related to themes three and four. The guidance addresses, for example, assessment, individual service strategies, youth engagement and retention, leadership development, and mentoring. It also includes a number of local program examples.
NCWD/Youth has released a new Info Brief, Developing a Professional Development System for Youth Service Professionals. Although youth service professionals are responsible for preparing millions of youth across the country each day for the transition to adulthood, there is no career pathway or cohesive professional development system through which they can receive training and education in core competencies that culminates in a nationally recognized professional certification or a degree. This brief describes the current status of and opportunities for a comprehensive cross-disciplinary professional development system for youth service professionals. It also discusses next steps for systems, professionals, and policy makers. Read the brief online.
The National Council on Disability (NCD) –- an independent federal agency -- released a report calling for the phase-out of a provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act, known as the 14(c) program, that allows employers who receive a certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor, to pay less than federal minimum wage to workers with disabilities for work performed. The central theme of the recommendations in the report is the gradual phase-out of the 14(c) program, and accompanying systems change to enhance existing resources and create new mechanisms for supporting individuals in securing integrated employment. The net outcome of implementing these recommendations to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities in line with the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act for equality of opportunity, economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and full participation in all aspects of society.
A study released by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce finds that almost half of the jobs lost in the recession that began in December, 2007 have been recovered and virtually all of those jobs required some form of postsecondary education. Experts say this data demonstrates the ongoing importance of education beyond high school for individual workers and our national economy. The wage advantage for workers with a bachelor’s degree or better over high school has remained high and has held mostly stable at 97 percent. The wage premium for bachelor’s degrees or better relative to high school degrees skyrocketed from 44 percent in 1981 to a 100 percent in 2005 and has only fallen to 97 percent since the beginning of the recession. The Georgetown study shows that in 2012, seven percent of graduates with a bachelor degree or better are still unemployed and another 14 percent are underemployed in jobs beneath their skill levels. By comparison, the unemployment rate for new high school graduates is 24 percent and 42 percent for those individuals are underemployed. Read the whole report: The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office recently released a report entitled “Students with Disabilities: Better Federal Coordination Could Lessen Challenges in the Transition from High School.” The report highlights the challenges youth with disabilities face in transitioning from high school to postsecondary education and the workforce. The report identifies a variety of ways in which federal agencies can better coordinate to serve youth with disabilities, including implementing NCWD/Youth’s Guideposts for Success across multiple youth-serving federal agencies as a framework to support transition to adulthood for all youth, including youth with disabilities and other disconnected youth. According to the report, “Such a framework could also be used at the local level to identify gaps in communities and individual plans.”
The U.S. Census Bureau has released updated statistics on the population of people with disabilities in the U.S. According to the new figures, 56.7 Americans (18.7% of the population) have some type of disability. Of this number, an estimated 38.3 million (12.6%) have a disability characterized as "severe." These numbers reflect incidence of disability across all age groups. One in ten transition-age youth (15 to 24 years old) has a disability.
The findings, which are contained in a study based on the Bureau's 2010 Survey of Income and Program Participation, also provide estimates on the prevalence of different types of disability: vision impairment: 8.1 million (3.3%); hearing impairment: 7.6% (3.1%); difficulty walking or climbing stairs: 30.6 million (12.6%), including people who use wheelchairs (3.6 million) and canes, crutches, or walkers (11.6 million); difficulty lifting or grasping: 19.9 million (8.2%); and cognitive, mental, or emotional impairments: 15.2 million (6.3%).
The Bureau's report, "Americans with Disabilities: 2010," also covers distribution by age and gender and provides estimates on various economic factors, including employment rate, income levels, program participation, and health insurance coverage. The report and related information are available on the Census Bureau's website.
The National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN) is accepting applications for itsGoverning Board (GB). NYLN is a youth-led organization that works to build power among people with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 28 years old. The NYLN promotes youth leadership development; values inclusion, interdependent support systems, and disability pride; works to create access to the resources youth need to be leaders; supports work being done by youth activists with disabilities on the local level; trains youth with disabilities; and connects youth leaders with opportunities to serve and be active members of their communities.
GB members are NYLN’s organizational leaders. They make decisions for NYLN and are often the leaders in NYLN projects. Examples of GB responsibilities include serving on at least one committee; representing NYLN in coalitions and at conferences; building collaboration with other organizations; recruiting new members; and finding ways for NYLN to be active in your local community. Serving on the GB involves an average of two meetings a month. Meetings happen by phone or in an online chatroom. GB members spend about 15 hours a month on NYLN. GB members must be between 14 and 28 years old; have a disability; live in the United States or its territories; have a passion for social justice; and believe in and practice full-inclusion.
GAO Recommends Interagency Transition Strategy to Improve Post-High School Transition Among Students with Disabilities
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued the report, "Students with Disabilities: Better Federal Coordination Could Lessen Challenges in the Transition from High School" (GAO-12-594). In the report, GAO recommends improving the provision of transition services for students with disabilities by developing an interagency transition strategy shared by the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor, and the Social Security Administration that addresses (1) operating toward common outcome goals for transitioning youth; (2) increasing awareness of available transition services; and (3) assessing the effectiveness of their coordination efforts. All four agencies agreed with the recommendation. The full report is available online.
Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology and Transition Planning Available in English & Spanish
The Family Center on Technology and Disability has published the Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology and Transition Planning in both English and Spanish. The guide includes an overview of transition planning and assistive technology, guidance on how to make a successful transition with assistive technology, information on laws governing accommodations and transition in birth-12th grade and postsecondary settings, a glossary, and additional resources. Access the guide online in English and in Spanish.
More than a year ago a group of remarkable young people came together to advocate for a new addition to government: youth leadership. Their proposal was to create a Presidential Youth Council that would advise the President and every federal department in the Cabinet. Now, the Campaign for the Presidential Youth Council has officially launched and is gaining traction with the support of more than 100 leading youth-focused organizations. Read on to learn more about this exciting initiative and the latest developments in the Campaign. The Presidential Youth Council, comprised of young Americans ages 16-24, will advise the President on the perspectives of youth, offer suggestions on how to make federally funded youth programs more efficient and effective, and will create shared recommendations on issues that will affect the long-term future of our country.
US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) will host a live webinar on Thursday, August 2nd at 2:00 pm EST on “Accessible Technology’s Impact on the Employment of People with Cognitive and Developmental Disabilities.” Kathleen Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, will moderate the webinar, which will address the current state of accessible technology for those with cognitive and developmental disabilities, as well as provide examples of the current and future use of these technologies in the workplace. This event is a part of ODEP’s AT Works series, a sequence of free webcasts and webinars that explore the connection between emerging technologies and the employment of people with disabilities. Access the webinar and accompanying presentation slides at http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/Technology.htm. This event will be live audio-captioned and will feature a real-time Twitter feed with the hashtag #ATworks. No registration is required.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions released a report entitled "Unfinished Business: Making Employment of People with Disabilities a National Priority." The report details the current state of employment for adults with disabilities and describes policy recommendations that could help to increase labor force participation. Following a series of bipartisan HELP Committee hearings to explore the persistently low employment rate of people with disabilities, this report outlines the next steps to achieve Chairman Tom Harkin’s goal of raising the number of Americans with disabilities in the labor force to six million by 2015.
On July 15, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell officially became chair of the National Governors Association (NGA), and he announced his chair’s initiative, A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities, which aims to increase employment among individuals with disabilities. Specifically, the initiative will focus on the employment challenges that affect individuals with intellectual and other significant disabilities and the role that both state government and business can play in facilitating and advancing opportunities for these individuals to be gainfully employed in the competitive labor market.
Mobility International USA is promoting several webinars for U.S. students with disabilities interested in applying for Fullbright grants. The Fulbright Student Program awards approximately 1,500 grants annually to graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists to pursue post-baccalaureate academic study, English Teaching Assistantships or supervised research abroad. Grants are awarded for activities in more than 125 countries worldwide, in a wide range of subject fields, or for instruction and supervised practice in selected professional fields such as art, music, law, business, and others. Webinars for students are July 18 and August 29.
The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have collaborated to release two documents describing available housing resources and policies in support of Olmstead implementation efforts. In the Olmstead v. L.C. case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states were required to eliminate unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities and to ensure that persons with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. These two resources include:
HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Informational Bulletin
"New Housing Resources to Support Olmstead Implementation" (PDF)
HUD Office of Public and Indian Housing Notice
"Assisted housing for persons with disabilities under Olmstead implementation efforts to provide community-based options rather than institutional settings" (PDF)
Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) is a joint initiative of the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor and the Social Security Administration. PROMISE was created to foster improved health, education, and postsecondary outcomes for children ages 14-18 who receive Supplemental Security Income, as well as their families. The primary focus of the initiative is to support improved coordination of services, such as those available through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants program, Medicaid Health and Home and Community-Based Waiver services, Job Corps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Workforce Investment Act programs. PROMISE also seeks to facilitate the increased use of such services, ensuring that families are tied into programs for which they might be eligible, but are not yet participating.
NCWD/Youth and the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) hosted a webinar on ODEP's new curriculum entitled "Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success." The curriculum focuses on teaching "soft" or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities. Created for youth development professionals as an introduction to workplace interpersonal and professional skills, the curriculum is targeted for youth ages 14 to 21 in both in-school and out-of-school environments. The basic structure of the program is comprised of modular, hands-on, engaging activities that focus on six key skill areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism.
The Campaign for Disability Employment’s 2012 “What can YOU do?” Video Contest challenged the general public, youth, and employers to produce disability employment awareness videos that reflect the diversity of skills people with disabilities offer, challenge common misconceptions about disability and employment, and reinforce the “What can YOU do?” initiative’s core message that at work, it’s what people CAN do that matters. The CDE’s national “What can YOU do?” initiative reinforces that people with disabilities want to work and that their talents and abilities positively impact businesses both financially and organizationally.Contest winners were selected in three categories; General Public, Youth, and Employer. Judging was based on originality, content, reflection of campaign themes and categories, production value, impact, and accessibility. Three first place winners—one in each of the General Public, Youth, and Employer categories—will receive an *Apple® iPad®, while two runners-up each will receive $250.00, courtesy of the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN®). Winning videos will now be used in support of the CDE’s national effort to increase the employment of people with disabilities. Learn more and watch all three winning videos.
The Institute for Educational Leadership, in partnership with Michigan State University (MSU), is accepting applications through July 6th for a professional development program focused on education policy in the Age of Globalization called the Global Education Policy Fellowship Program (GEPFP), a unique experience open to senior-level leaders with interest in global education policy. GEPFP combines online learning with international travel to China. View the program description and tentative schedule of GEPFP meetings for 2012-2013. To apply, complete the GEPFP online application. The application—along with a $950 deposit—is due by July 6, 2012. For more information about Global EPFP, please email email@example.com.
The Pathways to Positive Futures Research and Training Center (RTC) in Portland, OR recently released its annual Focal Point publication. This year's issue is entitled "Healthy Body - Healthy Mind." It focuses on the recognition that mental and physical health should not be considered separately. It addresses how the mind and body impact each other, and how we can strive to achieve balance within ourselves.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration has issued Training and Employment Notice (TEN) 48-11 announcing the availability of “Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success Curriculum.” The notice informs youth service professionals in the workforce development system that they can use the Skills to Pay the Bills curriculum to train youth preparing for work. Training youth in soft skills, also referred to as work readiness, employability, or job readiness skills, ensures that they are prepared to meet employers’ expectations when they enter the world of work. TEN 48-11 is available online.
FCC Online Accessibility Clearinghouse Provides Communication and Technology Resources for Individuals with Disabilities
The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Accessibility Clearinghouse is an online resource and information hub about phones and innovative ways to communicate, especially for individuals with disabilities. The FCC has organized the Clearinghouse resources by disability, including blind or visually impaired; cognitive disabilites; deaf-blind disability; hearing, language, and speech disabilities; and mobility and physical disabilities.
In the May 14, 2012 edition of Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, the Hammill Institute on Disabilities published an article entitled “Quality Learning Experiences, Self-Determination, and Academic Success: A Path Analytic Study Among Youth with Disabilities.” The article features findings from the Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) research and demonstration project conducted by NCWD/Youth and the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy. The article’s co-author, Boston University’s V. Scott Solberg, is the lead researcher on the ILP project.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced the launch of its first disability-related application challenge, which is designed to generate innovative tools that will improve employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities. The goal of the app challenge is to promote recruitment resources for employers, develop job training and skill-building tools for job seekers, facilitate employment-related transportation options, and expand information communication technology accessibility. Awards with cash prizes — totaling $10,000 — will be given to the top three submissions. Contestants must register for the contest on the Challenge.gov website and submit their apps by August 23, 2012. Read the full news release.
The White House and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Summer Jobs+ initiative has announced nearly 300,000 summer jobs and other employment opportunities for youth and a new online tool to help youth access opportunities. The initiative has secured additional commitments from 95 companies and nonprofits, three cities, two federal agencies, and the White House to provide 110,000 new summer jobs and other employment opportunities for low-income and disconnected youth this year. Employment opportunities include 90,000 paid jobs and thousands of mentorships, internships, and other training opportunities. The administration will also launch the Summer Jobs+ Bank, a new online search tool to help connect young people to jobs, internships, and other employment opportunities this summer and year-round. Read the news release from U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued new guidance for states on Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility for implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Beginning in January 2014, individuals under 65 years of age with income below 133% of the federal poverty level will be eligible for Medicaid. For the first time, low-income adults without children will be guaranteed coverage through Medicaid in every state without need for a waiver, and parents of children will be eligible at a uniform income level across all states. Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility and enrollment will be much simpler and will be coordinated with the newly created Affordable Insurance Exchanges.
The Transitions Research & Training Center (RTC) at the University of Massachusetts aims to improve the supports for youth and young adults, ages 14-30, with serious mental health conditions who are trying to successfully complete their schooling and training and move into rewarding work lives. Transitions RTC offers various publications including research briefs and tip sheets that service providers and policy makers can use to inform policies and practices. Three of these publications include:
- Becoming an Adult: Challenges for Those with Mental Health Conditions, Research Brief by M. Davis, K. Sabella, L. Smith, and A. Costa
- Crossing the Divide: Programs that Bridge Child & Adult Mental Health Services, Research Brief by M. Davis
- Tools for School: Accommodations for College Students with Mental Health Challenges, Tip Sheet
More publications from Transition RTC are available online at: http://labs.umassmed.edu/transitionsRTC/Resources/Publications.html.
NCWD/Youth recently launched a single web page with links to all of its resources in Spanish. These documents include NCWD/Youth's Guideposts for Success (Guia/Estandar para el Exito) and Helping Youth Develop Soft Skills for Job Success: Tips for Parents and Families (Ayudando a los Jovenes a Desarollar Habilidades Sociales para Tener Exito en el Trabajo: Consejos para los Padres y las Familias). The page also houses Spanish versions of resources by NCWD/Youth partners.
The National Council on Disability (NCD) released the publication, Exploring New Paradigms for the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, a supplement to the 2011 NCD publication Rising Expectations: The Developmental Disabilities Act Revisited. The supplement expands on the challenges identified in Rising Expectations and offers specific recommendations for aligning systems and statutes both within and beyond the scope of the DD Act. Access the publication online at http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2012/Apr222012/.
Organizations and systems that want to improve the skills and job performance of youth service professionals can request the Youth Service Professionals’ Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (YSP/KSA) Training from NCWD/Youth’s cadre of trainers. With support from USDOL/ODEP, NCWD/Youth has developed 8 YSP/KSA Training Modules designed to strengthen youth professionals’ competencies for working with all youth. These interactive, day-long training sessions address the knowledge, skills, and abilities that youth service professionals need to better connect all youth, including youth with disabilities, to workforce, educational, and independent living opportunities. The YSP/KSA Training helps enhance staff performance to improve youth outcomes. The training modules include:
- Knowledge of the Field: This Work That We Do
- Communication with Youth: The Helping Relationship
- Assessment and Individualized Planning: Charting a Course with Youth
- Relationship to Family: Working Together
- Career Exploration and Workforce Preparation: Youth Opening the Door to the World of Work
- Community Resources: Weaving a Web for Youth
- Employer Relations: Beyond the Handshake
- Program Design, Delivery, and Administration: It’s All in the Design
More information about the YSP/KSA Training modules, including what each module covers, is available online at http://www.ncwd-youth.info/ksa/training-modules. To inquire about training, contact NCWD/Youth at Ph. 202-822-8405 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration is now open for the 2012 National Transition Conference, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The conference will be from May 30 to June 1 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. This year's theme is "College and Careers for Youth with Disabilities." The conference will provide a forum for the development of an action agenda; bring together critical partners in the transition community to exchange innovative ideas and approaches; demonstrate knowledge gained from policy implementation; share transition practices and research findings; and promote and facilitate the development of networks and relationships. In particular, the conference will focus on familiy involvement, postsecondary education, high expectations, careers, self-determination, and interagency collaboration. The conference registration fee is $285 per person A limited number of scholarships are available for young adults with disabilities and/or family members who are not affiliated with an agency or organization and do not have access to financial support to attend the conference.
NCWD/Youth has released “Promoting Quality Individualized Learning Plans: A ‘How to Guide’ Focused on the High School Years”, a new online guide for schools, educators, and other professionals who assist youth with college and career readiness and transition planning. This guide was developed in response to feedback from schools indicating a need for curriculum and implementation guidelines to support whole-school buy-in for implementing individualized learning plans (ILPs). A key goal of the guide is to help schools develop a bridge between college and career readiness efforts through the use of ILPs and help youth achieve prosperous and productive lives. The career development activities and resources in this guide are also useful for youth service professionals in the workforce development system.
The guide contents include:
- Section I – a range of curriculum resources organized according to three career development phases that are necessary in order to support students' development of high quality ILPs: self-exploration, career exploration, and career planning and management.
- Section II – an overview of several strategies that can facilitate school-wide ILP implementation and addresses how to connect it to broader institutional goals.
- Section III – how to develop, implement, and monitor the ILP process.
- Section IV – links to a number of additional resources, including those commercially available that schools can consider in support of implementing ILPs.
The guide is available online and also in PDF version.
The tip sheet, Applying for a Job: The Young Adult’s Guide, a publication from the Northeast Massachusetts Community of Practice and Transitions Research & Training Center at the University of Massachusetts, offers practical guidance for young people who are seeking employment. This tip sheet covers things to keep in mind when looking for a job, where to search for jobs, how to fill out job applications, and what to do you apply including interviewing tips. More tip sheets for young adults are available online at: http://labs.umassmed.edu/transitionsRTC/Resources/Publications.html.
The White House Office of Public Engagement (OPE) and the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education are partnering to highlight individuals doing great work to increase science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities in education and employment and are looking your help in finding these champions. The Champions of Change program highlights the stories and examples of citizens across the country that represent the president’s vision of STEM innovation and education and engaging people with disabilities. The White House is accepting nominations online through April 7, 2012.
Examples of what a Champion’s work may entail include:
- Hiring people with disabilities in STEM fields
- Making STEM materials accessible for people with disabilities
- Advancing educational opportunities for people with disabilities in STEM
- Promoting STEM opportunities for people with disabilities
- Developing programs or initiatives that change attitudes about STEM for people with disabilities
- Inventing STEM products for people with disabilities
The U.S. Department of Education launched the National Education Startup Challenge, inviting students to develop an innovative solution to an education problem and design a blueprint for a new company or organization – a startup – to deliver that solution. The National Education Startup Challenge provides an opportunity to highlight the leadership abilities and entrepreneurial energies of today’s youth. Students from across the country have until May 1, 2012 to submit a business plan and a video pitch for a for-profit or nonprofit startup that includes an innovative strategy, product or service designed to address one of four topics:
- Middle Grades Matter – Helping middle school students transition to high school and stay on track to graduate.
- Skills, Skills, Skills – Providing students in rural, urban, and/or high-poverty communities with opportunities for internships or other work- and community-based learning experiences that help them develop skills for success in postsecondary education, 21st century careers, and civic life.
- Education Pays – Making it easier for students and families to find and select high-quality, affordable postsecondary programs – whether colleges, universities, or career training programs – that provide good value.
- Finishing Faster – Increasing the likelihood that postsecondary students complete their degrees, and decreasing the time it takes them to finish, such as by improving and speeding up remedial education.
NCWD/Youth’s Practice Brief, Career Exploration in Action, is now available online. This brief is part of a series of publications called Innovative Strategies Practice Briefs. Each brief highlights strategies for implementing a specific practice that are used by promising and exemplary programs recognized by NCWD/Youth as Innovative Strategies (see the searchable database of all recognized programs). This brief describes the strategies and resources used by youth programs and school systems to engage all youth in exploring various career options. All youth need career exploration opportunities to help identify how their interests and skills relate to various careers, learn what education and training is needed to pursue careers of interest, and make informed decisions about their future. Some types of career exploration activities include career-related guest speakers, workplace visits and tours, job shadowing, career fairs and career days, and career-focused mentoring. Read the brief online or download a copy.
In the past several years, the Obama Administration has focused on enhancing its commitment to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, so that Americans outside the government can access information about their government and those working inside the government can be productive employees. Section 508 requires that federal agencies’ electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities. In July 2011, the President announced an effort to develop a strategic plan for Section 508 and the intent to share the strategy with the public. To support development of this plan, senior officials and staff from across the Executive Office of the President have met with advocacy groups, Section 508 coordinators, the CIOC Accessibility Committee, the Access Board, the General Services Administration, and other key stakeholders inside and outside the government. The strategic plan includes high-level objectives, initiatives, focus areas, and potential measures. The administration is now seeking comment on what has been proposed and suggestions on broad management strategies, tactics, and actions that can ultimately help federal agencies better comply with Section 508. Read the full White House Press release for or visit www.Section508.gov for more information.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announced a new partnership designed to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from disasters. FEMA Corps will be a new unit of AmeriCorps’ existing National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). FEMA Corps members will be devoted solely to FEMA disaster response and recovery efforts. The five-year agreement provides for a full service corps of 1,600 members annually. FEMA Corps members will serve 10-month terms, with the option of extending for a second year. The program will prepare thousands of young people for careers in emergency management and related fields. During their service, corpsmembers will gain significant training and experience in disaster services and will provide important support to disaster survivors. The first FEMA Corps members will begin serving in September 2012, and the program will reach full capacity within 18 months.
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), in coordination with The HSC Foundation, is now accepting applications for the 2012-2013 Youth Transitions Fellow position. The Youth Transitions Fellow will gain exposure to youth programs serving people with disabilities and will have the opportunity to facilitate collaboration among internship, fellowship, and apprenticeship programs based in the Greater Washington, DC area. This paid fellowship position at AAPD is ideal for a recent college graduate with a disability who is looking to jump start a career and help peers transition to the workplace. The application deadline is April 30th, 2012.
The Fellowship for Leadership Development, sponsored by National Industries for the Blind, is a salaried program that combines business-focused, on-the-job experience with professional development activities. Legally blind individuals who have an undergraduate degree, work experience, and passion for business are invited to apply. The deadline for application is April 30, 2012.
National Transition Conference Seeks Proposals by March 27
The 2012 National Transition Conference, to be held May 30 – June 1 in Washington, DC, is seeking proposals for presentations and posters. All proposals are due by March 27th and must be related to the conference topic of transition for young people with disabilities with a focus on paths to careers including training and postsecondary education. In addition to professionals who work in this arena, young people and family members with experience with the transition process are encouraged to submit proposals. All proposals must be submitted using the online submission process. For more information, go to www.transition2012.org. Questions may be directed to Cindy Thomas at email@example.com, ph. 617-287-4312 or Melanie Jordan at Melanie.firstname.lastname@example.org, ph. 617-287-4327.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Disability has released a fact sheet entitled “People with Disabilities and Serious Health Conditions: The Top 5 Things You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act (ACA).” The fact sheet is available in English and Spanish on the HealthCare.gov website. This resource highlights key aspects of the ACA which meet the needs of consumers with disabilities.
After a $1.5 billion summer and year-round youth jobs bill was not in Congress, President Obama called upon the nation's private sector to create a quarter million job opportunities for youth by this summer. The White House branded its youth summer jobs initiative as Summer Jobs+ 2012, which is housed at the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).
Thirty-five companies, including some in the technology industry, have pledged support. leading the White House to create an opportunity called SummerQAmp, an opportunity for youth and young adults to gain entry-level experience in the technology industry with quality assurance positions, which are pivotal in the development of smart phone apps and other software. DuringSummerQAmp internships, youth will gain a fundamental understanding of how software works and receive access to educational resources to assist them in preparing for a potential career in software development.
Learn more at...
- "Obama Calls for Youth Jobs, and Tech Firms Listen" - TheRoot.com - 3/8/12
- USDOL's Summer Jobs+ 2012 Website
- SummerQAmp Website
NCWD/Youth to Participate in Partners Exchange at NAWB Forum 2012
NCWD/Youth will participate in “The Exchange” at the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) Forum 2012 from March 10 – 13 in Washington, DC. The Exchange will house NAWB’s nonprofit and government partners that support workforce. This year’s Forum theme is “Dialogue for National Excellence.” Stop by and see us in between sessions!
The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration has released the following reports on findings from the Summer Youth Employment Initiatives funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009:
- “Beyond a Summer Work Experience: The Recovery Act 2009 Post-Summer Youth Employment Initiative” - Using qualitative data collected through visits to eight local sites in seven states, this report describes key features of the sites' post-summer youth employment initiative, and lessons that may help inform future efforts to provide work experience and other activities to older, out-of-school youth.
- “Using TANF Funds to Support Subsidized Youth Employment: The 2010 Summer Youth Employment Initiative” - This study examines partnerships between state and local TANF and workforce agencies, particular aspects of the youth employment initiatives that the TANF funding affected, and youths' summer work experiences.
- “Innovative Programs and Promising Practices: Indian and Native American (INA) Summer Youth Employment Initiatives and the 2009 Recovery Act” - This report describes the context in which programs for the INA Summer Youth Employment Initiative were created and provides a detailed discussion of how grantees used their Recovery Act funds to implement programs to serve youth in their communities. The analysis is based on INA grantees’ performance measure data and qualitative data collected during site visits to a purposive sample of five diverse grantees in five states. This report also highlights key findings and innovations grantees made to better serve youth.
The U. S. Department of Education has launched the National Education Startup Challenge, which invites students in middle school, high school, and college students and out-of-school youth to develop innovative, real world solutions to improve education. Youth from across the country are encouraged to submit a business plan and a video pitch for a for-profit or non-profit startup that includes an innovative strategy, product or service designed to address one of these four topics:
- Middle Grades Matter: Helping middle school students transition to high school and stay on track to graduate.
- Skills, Skills, Skills: Providing students in rural, urban, and/or high-poverty communities with opportunities for internships or other work- and community-based learning experiences that help them develop skills for success in postsecondary education, 21st century careers, and civic life.
- Education Pays: Making it easier for students and families to find and select high-quality, affordable postsecondary programs – whether colleges, universities, or career training programs – that provide good value.
- Finishing Faster: Increasing the likelihood that postsecondary students complete their degrees and decreasing the time it takes them to finish, such as by improving and speeding up remedial education.
All submissions are due by 5:00 p.m. EST on May 1, 2012. Submissions will be judged by a panel of prominent educators and entrepreneurs and awards will be made in four categories: 6th – 8th grade students; 9th – 12th grade students; Undergraduate students; and Out-of-school youth. Youth who win the challenge will be celebrated by senior White House and Department of Education officials, and may qualify for additional recognition opportunities. To learn more, visit the website at http://nesc.challenge.gov.
NCWD/Youth's InfoBrief, Helping Youth with Learning Disabilities Chart the Course: A Guide for Youth Service Professionals, is now available online. This brief describes challenges faced by youth and young adults with learning disabilities as they reach adulthood and highlights strategies youth service professionals can implement to help youth to transition successfully into the workplace.
NCWD/Youth's InfoBrief, Learning How to Learn: Successful Transition Models for Educators Working with Youth with Learning Disabilities, is now available online. This brief identifies and explains selected classroom-based strategies that incorporate strategic learning. General and special educators can implement the following strategies to engage students with disabilities (particularly those with learning disabilities) in order to prepare students to transition from secondary to postsecondary and workplace settings. The aim of this brief is to provide teachers with background knowledge and skills so that they can integrate evidence-based practices into the classroom to aid student learning.
NCWD/Youth Releases InfoBrief on Using Universal Design for Learning to Aid Students with Learning Disabilities
NCWD/Youth's InfoBrief, Using Universal Design for Learning: Successful Transition Models for Educators Working with Youth with Learning Disabilities, is now online. This brief identifies and explains selected classroom-based strategies within the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) model. The aim of this brief is to provide teachers with background knowledge and skills so that they can integrate evidence-based practices into the classroom to aid student learning.
As part of the effort to address the rising costs of postsecondary education, the White House recently unveiled its blueprint for college affordability.The blueprint includes a variety of elements, including reforming student aid, Race to the Top for Higher Education, establishing a First in the World competition, better informing families, and increasing federal support for affordable education.
The U.S. Access Board has released for public comment accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment. Developed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the proposed standards address access for people with disabilities to examination tables and chairs, weight scales, mammography equipment, and other equipment used for diagnostic purposes. The standards are not final and are available for public comment for 120 days.
The standards provide design criteria that will allow independent access to diagnostic equipment, including types that require transfer from wheelchairs and other mobility aids. Provisions address transfer surfaces, support rails, armrests, compatibility with lift devices, and other features to facilitate transfer. Equipment that does not require transfer from wheelchairs or that is used in a standing position is also addressed. The proposed rule includes a discussion of these requirements that highlights areas where additional information is sought. The Board seeks feedback on the substance of specific provisions, their impacts on equipment design and manufacture, and other topics.
The Board is developing these standards in consultation with other agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). Although health care providers are not required to comply with the standards, DOJ or other federal agencies may adopt the standards as requirements for health care providers under the Americans with Disabilities Act or other laws. Any such action will occur separately from the Board’s rulemaking.
The Board plans to organize a panel of stakeholders to develop consensus recommendations on how the standards should be finalized based on the comments received. This advisory committee will include disability groups, equipment manufacturers, health care providers, standard-setting organizations, and other interested parties. The Board will issue a notice inviting applications for committee membership in coming weeks.
The deadline for comments on the standards is June 8. Comments can be submitted or viewed at the www.regulations.gov website. The Board will hold public hearings on the standards in Washington, D.C. on March 14 and Atlanta on May 8 that will provide additional venues for submitting comment.
“Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success,” is a curriculum developed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) focused on teaching “soft” or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities. The curriculum was created for youth development professionals to use with youth ages 14 to 21 in both in‐school and out‐of‐school environments as an introduction to workplace interpersonal and professional skills. It consists of modular, hands‐on, engaging activities that focus on six key skill areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism. The curriculum is available in both English and Spanish on the ODEP website.
The U.S. Department of Labor has extended the comment period to February 21st for its proposed rule to revise regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which obligates most federal contractors and subcontractors to ensure equal employment opportunity for qualified workers with disabilities. The comment period has been extended to provide additional time for interested parties to analyze the issues raised in the proposal and to provide their comments. Individuals and organizations who already have submitted comments may use the extension period to revise or add to their original comments. To learn more about the proposed rule and submit comments, visit http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/503. Also see the press release about the comment period extension.
NCWD/Youth’s new webpage on Individualized Learning Plans features various publications and resources for understanding and using Individualized Learning Plans. The web page includes information about the latest research, policies, and practices. An Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) is a tool that students in secondary school use – with support from school counselors and parents – to define their personal interests and goals related to their career and postsecondary education and to plan what courses to take and what activities to participate in during high school to further their interests and achieve their goals. For more information and resources, visit the ILP webpage.
The U. S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has released a Dear Colleague letter and FAQ concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (Amendments Act). The letter guidance reiterates the Department's commitment to ensure that educational opportunity is provided free from disability discrimination. The documents discuss the various obligations of school districts, such as the requirement to evaluate students for disability, and provide a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities, as well as the changes made by the Amendments Act. Read or download the Dear Colleague letter and FAQ online.
Jan.17th Conference Call on Federal Internship and Employment Opportunities for Young People with Disabilities
The White House Office of Public Engagement is holding a nationwide conference call on federal internships and employment opportunities for young Americans with disabilities on Tuesday, January 17th at 3 p.m. EST. Program representatives will explain how to apply for these unique opportunities, when application materials are due, and useful tips on putting together a competitive application package. The speakers will include the White House Internship Program, the Presidential Personnel Office, the Department of Labor’s Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities. Register online to receive an email with dial-in information for this call.
The U.S. Department of Labor will hold a webinar on the Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM)on January 11, 2012 from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm EST. The Section 503 NPRM pertains to proposals to strengthen the affirmative action requirements of federal contractors to improve employment for individuals with disabilities.This webinar will include a review of highlights of the proposed rule and discussion about how individuals can weigh in on the process. Click here to register for the webinar. For more information about the Section 503 Notice of Proposed Rule Making, see the DOL press release.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration has issued Training and Employment Notice (TEN) 21-11 on “ Strategies to Meet One-Stop Career Centers' Business and Job-Seeker Customer Needs for Employment-Related Transportation Services.” The notice aims to provide successful strategies to the public workforce system for connecting individuals with transportation to jobs and training and to help businesses access a diverse workforce. TEN 21-11 is available online.
The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) has issued a second Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding the Section 508 Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards. The Access Board is in the process of updating its standards for electronic and information technology, which apply to federal agencies, and its guidelines for telecommunications accessibility, which apply to telecommunications manufacturers. Public comments are requested by March 7, 2012. View the announcement online including information on how to submit comments.
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