EARN Newsletter for July 10, 2014
This month, EARN spotlights the Americans with Disabilities Act…
Itâ€™s time to celebrate the ADAâ€™s 24th Anniversary on July 26, 2014! To mark this event, the Southeast ADA Center has created an ADA Anniversary Toolkit, available on the ADA Anniversary website.
The Toolkit contains:
- a sample Proclamation;
- background and history on the ADA;
- information about the Supreme Courtâ€™s July 1999 Olmstead Decision prohibiting the unnecessary institutionalization of persons with disabilities;
- disability statistics;
- case law updates; and
- other resources on the ADA.
Read more about the ADA Anniversary Tool kit here.
The Senate passed a jobs bill in June that aims to streamline federal workforce programs and overhaul the job training system for young people with disabilities. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) authorizes employment centers that help with resume writing, job searches, English as a second language instruction and on-the-job training and has specific programs targeting particularly vulnerable groups, such as laid-off workers and disabled veterans. WIOA also authorizes GEAR UP grants to improve college access for disadvantaged youth and governs a system that trains youth with disabilities for the job market. WIOA would work to steer these young people towards integrated jobs. The bill now heads to the House.
Click here to read more about WIOA.
Richard James, an Air Force veteran, was working as an attorney when he suffered a life changing head injury. Richard became addicted to pain medications and ended up being homeless for a while. Thanks to various Department of Labor programs and grants such as the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program and the Disability Employment Initiative, Richard was able to take advantage of a number of services available to him to turn his life around. He is once more working as an attorney and is a â€śproductive member of society.â€ť
Click here to read more.
In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, people with disabilities cannot be unnecessarily segregated and must receive services in the most integrated setting possible, including employment. That ruling, known as the Olmstead decision, sparked significant changes in how federal, state, and local agencies support people with disabilities and their families. Thanks to recent rules from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on home and community-based settings, states will be better able to define the best places for persons with disabilities to receive services, based on the personâ€™s preferences, quality of life and access to the broader community. This will reduce isolation and segregation as well as protect individual rights.
Click here to read more about the Olmstead decision.
Employers know that the ADA requires them to provide an accommodation that will allow an employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of his or her job. In most cases, the provision of such an accommodation in the workplace seems pretty straightforward. What is often less clear to employers is the connection between extended periods of leaveâ€”often in addition to leave required under laws like the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)â€”as a reasonable accommodation.
Click here to read more.
Kathy Martinez, who has been blind from birth, has advocated for decades for the rights of people with disabilities. As the assistant secretary in charge of the US Department of Laborâ€™s Office of Disability Employment Policy, she travels the country to encourage businesses to hire people who have disabilities. Recently in Boston to address the annual meeting of the National Braille Press, she spoke with Globe correspondent Jack Newsham about the challenges people with visual impairment s still face and her brief career as a child actor.
Click here to read more.
Neil McGrath, a resident of Marshfield, MA, became paralyzed from the chest down following an accident when he was 22 years old. After facing multiple challenges, years of unemployment, and dependence on Social Security Disability insurance, Neil has finally found a job thanks to the Work Without Limits program run by the University of Massachusetts Medical School. This program has a network of employers that want to hire people with disabilities and educates them about recruitment, hiring, and accommodations. One of their network employers, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, hired Neil to answer phone calls about insurance claims and benefits. Neil is able to work at home and when he goes into the office for training, he found it to be very accommodating to his needs. Neil no longer receives Social Security Disability Insurance and is able to support his family.
Read more about this news story here.
Disability Employment Statistics
In preparation for next yearâ€™s 25th anniversary of the ADA, StoryCorps is launching the Disability Visibility Project. StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization that allows everyday people to record casual, one-on-one conversations in an effort to preserve history, is inviting members of the disability community to share their stories over the course of the next year at a traveling booth as well as at locations in San Francisco, Chicago, and Atlanta. These recordings will be part of a distinct collection housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington and will be also featured on NPRâ€™s â€śMorning Edition.â€ť
Click here to read more.
The FCC has launched a video consumer support service, the ASL Consumer Support Line, specifically designed to enable individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing to engage in a direct video call with a consumer specialist at the FCC. The service will facilitate communication in the callersâ€™ primary language, American Sign Language (ASL).
Read the news release here.
If you’re looking for a high impact, cost effective way to reach more qualified candidates with disabilities, showcase your company at Think Beyond the Label’s upcoming online career fair on July 30th. According to Beth Grant, Director of Talent Acquisition at Exelon, â€śThink Beyond the Labelâ€™s virtual recruiting events are designed in a way that allows us to avoid travel costs while still having meaningful interactions with high-quality candidates.â€ť
- TBTL connects you to hundreds of qualified candidates with disabilities to help keep your business compliant with new regulations
- Past events have attracted hundreds of qualified candidates from countless numbers of industries and geographical locations
- These high impact, real time events allow you to connect to candidates from companies similar to yours in a highly interactive, one on one environment
- Past participants include KPMG, Aetna, Wells Fargo, Pearson and Capital One
To learn more about effective ways to build diverse, inclusive teams as well as to access more information about this career fair, click here.
EARN and The Conference Board recently hosted two webinars on opening the doors of small business to individuals with disabilities that are now archived and available for viewing. â€śPart 1: Moving Up the Rampâ€ť highlights the costs and benefits of employing people with disabilities, hiring, gaining top management commitment, and best practices. â€śPart 2: Keeping the Doors Wide Openâ€ť focuses on onboarding strategies, accommodations, mentoring, and more.
View the archived webinars here.