Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis Announces $2.2 million through ‘Add Us In’ Initiative to Improve Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities
WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced four two-year cooperative agreements totaling $2,165,998 to consortia led by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois in Chicago, the National Organization on Disability in New York City, TransCen Inc. in Rockville, Md., and the World Institute on Disability in Oakland, Calif. These awards represent the second round of funding provided through the “Add Us In” initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. The first round of awards was made in September 2010.
US Labor Department Awards More than $21 Million in Disability Employment Initiative Funding to 7 States
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced $21,166,560 for seven states under the Disability Employment Initiative to improve education, training, and employment opportunities and outcomes for youth and adults who are unemployed, underemployed and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. The initiative is jointly funded and administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration and its Office of Disability Employment Policy.
All projects under this initiative build upon the department’s Disability Program Navigator Initiative by hiring staff with expertise in disability and workforce issues. The grants also support extensive collaboration across multiple workforce and disability service systems in each state, including vocational rehabilitation services, mental health and developmental disability agencies, Medicaid Infrastructure Grant-supported activities, independent living centers, business leadership networks, and other community and nonprofit organizations.
What's New from NCWD/YOUTH
New resources from NCWD include a podcast series on helping youth develop soft skills for job success; there is also an Info Brief for Families on soft skills for job success, which is available in English and Spanish.
There are also blog posting focused on advice for youth on managing their money, community partnerships, college resources, disability disclosure, and family involvement. For more information on any of these resources go to http://www.ncwd-youth.info/
On the Job: Stories from Youth with Disabilities
This resource from the Waisman Center at the U of WI, Madison feature features youth with developmental disabilities who began working in competitive-wage,community-based jobs early (between the ages of 16-18) and who used natural supports, as well as some paid supports at first, to be successful. It includes the community, employer, school, and family factors that led to the youths' success on the job. For more information go to http://www.waisman.wisc.edu/naturalsupports/pdfs/YS.pdf.
The Influence of Families on the Employment Process from ICI at the U of MA-Boston
This Tools for Inclusion resource seeks to share people's thoughts and feelings about how their families help them make decisions throughout their lives. Family is important for many reasons: family members can motivate people to work, and can help them understand why work is important. Families can also have a big influence on self-determination and empowerment, helping people develop a real understanding of themselves and their place in the workplace. Their involvement is important throughout a person's life. This resource also includes tips so that families can be more involved in helping people find and keep jobs. Findings and ideas for families are offered for each of the four phases of the employment process, including: The Early Years, Planning for Work, the Job Search, and Making Decisions to Accept a Job. The resource can be found at http://www.communityinclusion.org/article.php?article_id=326.
JobTIPS is a free program designed to help individuals with disabilities explore career interests, seek and obtain employment, and successfully maintain it. JobTIPS addresses the social and behavioral differences that might make identifying, obtaining, and keeping a job more difficult for someone. Though JobTIPS is designed for direct use by individuals with autism and other disabilities, this program (including all of the printables, assessments, and videos) is also suitable for delivery by teachers, family members, clinicians, mentors, and job coaches. JobTIPS can be found at http://www.do2learn.com/JobTIPS//index.html.
Roadmaps II for Enhancing Employment of Persons with Disabilities through Accessible Technology
Roadmaps II is a report that looks at the issue of AT and employment from the perspective of AT service providers and disability stakeholders who work directly to assist individuals with disabilities. For more information go to http://www.dol.gov/odep/documents/RoadmapsII.pdf.
USBLN Releases Several Toolkits on Engagement of Students with Disabilities
Through its TOWER initiative, the US Business Leadership Network has published three toolkits to assist BLN affiliates and employer members to engage students with disabilities. These toolkits are designed to expand mentoring and internship opportunities for students and youth with disabilities. Each of the toolkits provide different avenues for engaging with students with disabilities through high quality internship and mentoring programs, as well as, student advisory councils. To access the toolkits: Guide to Business-Branded Internships; Guide to Business-Branded Mentoring; and Guide to Creating Student Advisory Councils, visit http://www.usbln.org/programs.html.
Social Security Bulletin: Special Issue on Employment for People with Disabilities
The latest issue of the Social Security Bulletin, a special issue on employment for people with disabilities, includes articles that report on employment data from 1996-2007, provide longitudinal statistics on employment and SSDI beneficiaries, and look at the factors that hinder efforts to work at levels that lead to exit from the disability rolls.
For more information, go to: http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v71n3/ssb-v71n3.pdf.