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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Employment & Social Security

Join Our Partner, the LEAD Center, for a Webinar on Financial Literacy and the Workforce Development System: Resources and Implementation Strategies

LEAD Center Logo - www.leadcenter.orgApril is Financial Capability Month. The White House has encouraged Americans to “recommit to equipping individuals with the knowledge and protections necessary to secure a stable financial future for themselves and their families.” To support you in your efforts to equip the individuals you serve with the financial knowledge they need to improve their employment and economic advancement outcomes, the LEAD Center is offering a webinar that brings together representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA); Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP); the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation); and the City of Louisville’s Metro Community Services workgroup on Workforce and Financial Empowerment. Join us to learn about financial literacy tools and resources, along with implementation strategies to integrate within your employment and workforce development services.  [Read more…]

Sanders and Clinton Statements on Subminimum Wages

Hillary Clinton has been in the news recently condemning the practice of paying subminimum wage to workers with disabilities. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday issued the following statement as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour in New York and California:

“I’m proud that today two of our largest states will be increasing the minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour – raising the wages of some 9 million workers in this country. Not too long ago, the establishment told us that a $15 minimum wage was unrealistic. Some thought it was ‘pie-in-the-sky.’ But a grassroots movement led by millions of working people refused to take ‘no’ for an answer. Loudly and clearly workers said, ‘yes we can increase the minimum wage, not just to $10.10 an hour, not just to $12 an hour, but to a living wage of $15 an hour.’

“This campaign is about building on these successes so that everyone in this country can enjoy the dignity and basic economic security that comes from a living wage, no matter what state they live in. That includes ending the subminimum wage for tipped workers and persons with disabilities.  [Read more…]

Join Our Partner, The LEAD Center for a Webinar on WIOA Implementation Partnerships: The Important Role of Centers for Independent Living

LEAD Center Logo - www.leadcenter.orgThe Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides new opportunities for American Job Centers (AJCs) to partner with Centers for Independent Living (CILs) leading to improved employment outcomes for job seekers with disabilities. To support these partnerships, the LEAD Center recently released the Independence Through Employment Toolkit, a collection of resources for CILs and AJCs to deepen their understanding of each other’s services and structure to improve the lives of job seekers with disabilities through employment.

The toolkit provide Centers for Independent Living with a basic understanding of WIOA and AJC services to encourage referrals to AJCs as a free community-based support for individuals with employment goals. The comprehensive services provided by CILs, to advocate for and support the independence of individuals with disabilities, is a perfect match with the focus of the public workforce system. CILs and AJCs are natural partners committed to improving the employment and economic advancement of all job seekers, including in-school and out-of-school youth and adults with disabilities through collaboration.

Join us to learn more about the toolkit and hear from national and local leaders who will share how CILs and AJCs are working together to create a win-win-win for CILs, AJCs, and job seekers with disabilities. Presenters include representatives from the new Independent Living Administration at the Administration for Community Living at the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), and the Employment and Training Administration at the Department of Labor.

Please note: All LEAD Center webinars are captioned and presentation materials are sent to participants in advance of the webinar. For any other reasonable accommodation requests, please contact Brittany Taylor at btaylor@ndi-inc.org.

Bender Virtual Career Fair for People with Disabilities

Source: Bender Consulting

Bender Consulting LogoAre you a person with a disability looking for a career opportunity or internship? This Virtual Career Fair, taking place March 15, 2016, is free for students and alumni with disabilities to attend.

Unique opportunity for College students & College grads with disabilities to meet online with employers across the nation including Apple, AT&T, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Deloitte, Enterprise, Lockheed Martin, PwC, USDA!

Students and alumni are invited to interact with employers via chat sessions.

  • Connect with employers looking to hire people with disabilities

[Read more…]

Update on the CareerACCESS Initiative: Our Careers Now!

CareerACCESS is a policy initiative with NCIL’s Subcommittee on Employment and Social Security, the World Institute on Disability, and PolicyWorks to eliminate barriers to employment for young adults with disabilities 18 to 30 years of age (PDF).

The effort seeks reforms in SSI and Medicaid to make it easier to receive necessary guidance and supports in finding employment while managing benefits. Since it involves a radical overhaul of a punishing means-tested system that is more complex than most know how to navigate, we propose that CareerACCESS start as pilot projects to be tested in 5 states. The core group pushing this initiative forward has been hard at work over the last several months, and it looks like things are slowly coming together.

CareerACCESS logo - Career ACCESSEverything great begins with solid conversations, and there has been quite a lot of conversation about CareerACCESS lately. Webinars are being organized in Tennessee, Maine, and Nebraska, where we will meet with leaders to understand the political climates of the states and to figure out if and how we might get pilot programs going. We have also begun talking to the vocational rehabilitation director in Massachusetts. The state of Vermont will be bringing representatives from our core group to come out in March to lead discussions on CareerACCESS towards a strategy for implementation. We are also presenting to the California Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities on March 10.

The immediate goal of all these conversations is to mobilize interest, dialog and political will for our initiative. A key part of the strategy involves leaders and stakeholders in the states where we are trying to set up pilot projects. We need states, along with the advocates in the state of Michigan, to ask Congress for an appropriation of money for FY2017 to set up pilot projects that include waiving asset limits and changing the current income rules in SSI and Medicaid.

Of course, the more people with disabilities who become involved in the conversation, the better, which is how you can help. If you know any legislative representatives from any of the states named above, please educate them about CareerACCESS. If you are a young adult, from anywhere in the United States, and this initiative speaks to you in some way, we want to get to know you. Contact us through the NCIL Subcommittee on Employment and Social Security, or at CareerACCESS; let’s grow the conversation.

For more information, contact Justin Harford at justinh@freed.org or Bryon MacDonald at bryon@wid.org.

Join Our Partner, the LEAD Center, for a Webinar on WIOA Implementation Partnerships: The Important Role of Centers for Independent Living

LEAD Center Logo - www.leadcenter.orgThe Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides new opportunities for American Job Centers (AJCs) to partner with Centers for Independent Living (CILs) leading to improved employment outcomes for job seekers with disabilities. To support these partnerships, the LEAD Center recently released the Independence Through Employment Toolkit, a collection of resources for CILs and AJCs to deepen their understanding of each other’s services and structure to improve the lives of job seekers with disabilities through employment.

The toolkit provide Centers for Independent Living with a basic understanding of WIOA and AJC services to encourage referrals to AJCs as a free community-based support for individuals with employment goals. The comprehensive services provided by CILs, to advocate for and support the independence of individuals with disabilities, is a perfect match with the focus of the public workforce system. CILs and AJCs are natural partners committed to improving the employment and economic advancement of all job seekers, including in-school and out-of-school youth and adults with disabilities through collaboration.  [Read more…]

Help Us Reach 1,000 Signatures to Reform AbilityOne!

We are so close to achieving 1,000 signatures for AbilityOne Reform. We have 800, and only need 200 more to reach our goal of 1,000 signatures.

Please consider signing the petition and sharing this link with your members, affiliates, chapters, family, friends, colleagues, and others.

The AbilityOne program is mandated to award federal contracts to employ people with disabilities. Last year those contracts totaled $2.8 billion. However, some of those contractors are not hiring enough people with significant disabilities to comply with their federal mandates, or, when they do, contractors are paying some disabled workers sub-minimum wages and overwhelmingly employing them in segregated environments – all while they rake in tens of millions of federal dollars for their executives. [Read more at change.org…]

Join Our Partner, the LEAD Center, for a Webinar on Creating an Inclusive Workforce System: Implementing WIOA Section 188’s Equal Opportunity Provisions

Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) prohibits discrimination against people who apply to, participate in, work for, or come into contact with programs and activities of the workforce development system. WIOA also requires that American Job Centers be fully accessible physically and programmatically, offering accommodations as needed and incorporating Universal Design wherever possible. LEAD Center has been working with the Missouri Division of Workforce Development, who have committed to improving access to their services statewide. Join this webinar to:

  • LEAD Center Logo - www.leadcenter.orgHear from the leaders in U.S. Department of Labor’s Civil Rights Center, Employment and Training Administration and Office of Disability Employment Policy, who jointly issued Promising Practices in Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide on July 6, 2015.
  • Learn about the commitment to Equal Opportunity in Missouri, and the work being done using the 188 Disability Reference Guide and based on information collected from surveying their American Job Center staff statewide, and surveying jobseekers and employers who use their services.

Please note: 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 btaylor@ndi-inc.org at least 48 hours prior to the webinar.

Sign the Petition Calling for Reform of Ability One!

DisBeat, The ADA Legacy Project, TASH, and Rooted in Rights have joined forces to officially launch a petition, galvanizing a united call for reform of the AbilityOne Program.

The AbilityOne program is mandated to award federal contracts to employ people with disabilities.

On September 15, 2015, the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE), Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), National Federation of the Blind (NFB), TASH and United Spinal Association Called for Reform of AbilityOne.

The petition was officially launched Wednesday, December 3rd at the 2015 TASH Conference, in Portland, OR.

The full petition is located at ReformAbilityOne.com. Read more at PRweb.

 

USBLN Part of Historic Supplier Diversity Announcement in Massachusetts

Source: US Business Leadership Network

Today is a historic day for disability-owned businesses and service-disabled owned businesses! Earlier this morning Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced several improvements to the state’s supplier diversity program, including best practice innovations and updates from the public and private sectors, the first expansion of benchmarks for minority and women-owned businesses in four years, and the first-time certification of veteran, disability and LGBT-owned businesses.

The Baker-Polito Administration’s policy changes and inclusiveness of new supplier diversity categories and partnerships, have also been made effective in a Governor’s Executive Order signed today, reaffirming and expanding the Supplier Diversity Program.  [Read more…]