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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 Twitter Chat: Promoting Inclusive Career Pathways

Thursday, June 30, 2016; 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern

Join the LEAD Center on June 30th for an inaugural Twitter chat on Promoting Inclusive Career Pathways!

LEAD Center Logo - www.leadcenter.orgOver the next several months, the LEAD Center will focus on strategies and practices to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities, and others who face barriers to employment, in career pathways initiatives. The goal of this Twitter chat is to give you the opportunity to inform our work, either by posing questions you’d like answered, letting us know about your successes, or identifying barriers.

To join the Twitter chat, use the hashtag #LEADChat or visit the LEAD Center’s Twitter page (@LEADCtr).

If you’re new to Twitter chats, this step-by-step guide will help you learn the basics. Twitter Chats 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Joining a Twitter Chat.

EEOC Issues New Resource Document Addressing Issues Related to Leave and Disability

Source: EEOC

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued a new resource document that addresses the rights of employees with disabilities who seek leave as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The document is entitled Employer-Provided Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Disability charges filed with the EEOC reached a new high in fiscal year 2015, increasing over 6 percent from the previous year. The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations that allow people with disabilities to perform the essential functions of their jobs, unless it would pose an undue hardship for the employer.

One troubling trend the EEOC has identified in ADA charges is the prevalence of employer policies that deny or unlawfully restrict the use of leave as a reasonable accommodation. These policies often serve as systemic barriers to the employment of workers with disabilities. They may cause many workers to be terminated who otherwise could have returned to work after obtaining needed leave without undue hardship to the employer. EEOC regulations already provide that reasonable accommodations may include leave, potentially including unpaid leave that exceeds a company’s normal leave allowances. Read more at eeoc.gov.

Invitation to Participate: Diversity Partners Survey

You are the expert!

As an employment service professional, we know that you have a lot to say about working with employers and supporting jobseekers, including individuals with disabilities. We want to learn from you!

Logo - Diversity PartnersPlease help us better understand the successes and challenges that you experience in your job by completing our anonymous survey. It will take approximately 20 minutes.

Why are we asking you to do this? And who is asking?

  • We are the Diversity Partners Project of the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.
  • We are developing an online learning tool for professionals like you to support your work.
  • The Diversity Partners tools and resources will provide strategies to help you and your organization develop strong relationships with business and better support jobseekers with disabilities.
  • We need to learn about your real-life experiences to make these tools and resources the best they can be. For you.

Your time is valuable! As a token of our appreciation for your completion of the survey, you may choose to enter into a drawing to win an iPad Mini. More information on this is provided at the end of the survey.

Participation in the survey is completely voluntary and anonymous. Your answers to open-ended questions may be used verbatim in Diversity Partners materials, but with no identifying information. There are no anticipated risks associated with your decision to participate in the survey. Funding for this project comes from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). If you have any questions concerning the survey, please contact Carolina Harris: charris@cornell.edu.

Tomorrow: Join Our Partner, the LEAD Center for A Free Webinar – 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…]

Action Alert: Submit Comments on the EEOC’s Section 501 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by Monday!

As part of the federal government’s continued efforts to become a model employer of people with disabilities, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (PDF) outlining specific actions for federal agencies to take to comply with their obligations under Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act. The disability community has incredibly high rates of unemployment, and this is one of several recent efforts to increase the participation of people with disabilities in the federal workforce. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) builds on recent efforts and combines requirements from a variety of sources (Executive Orders, sub-regulatory documents, and management directives) into one rule.

The EEOC is accepting comments on the NPRM through Monday, April 25. In addition to the NPRM, they have also published a summary and a questions and answers document. NCIL will be submitting comments, and we strongly encourage NCIL members to do the same!

Specifically, the NPRM proposes requiring federal agencies to adopt the goal of achieving a 12% representation rate for people with disabilities, and a 2% rate for people with targeted / severe disabilities (see the questions and answers document for more information on targeted disabilities). With people with disabilities making up approximately 20% of the country’s population, we strongly believe that in order to be a model employer, the government’s employment goals should more accurately represent the proportion of Americans with disabilities. In order for the goals to be achievable but also actually increase federal employment levels of people with disabilities, we will be submitting comments to recommend that the goals for representation be set at no less than 15% for people with disabilities, and 4% for people with targeted / severe disabilities.

Comments are due on Monday, April 25. You can submit your comments online (identified by RIN 3046-AA94), by faxing (up to six pages) to (202) 663-4114, or by mail to Bernadette Wilson, Executive Officer, Executive Secretariat, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE, Washington, DC 20507.

Invitation to Participate In An Employment Study

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is conducting a study of adults with physical disabilities. We want to know about your barriers to employment as well as resources that you need to support your work / career goals. In addition, we are interested in knowing how you find information on employment services and supports. The target groups for the study are:

  • Adults with cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, or other physical disabilities

To be eligible to participate, you must be between the ages of 18 and 65, a U.S. citizen, be able to provide legal consent, and be a member of one of the targeted groups above.

Participants will complete an online survey requiring approximately 20 minutes. One hundred participants will be randomly selected to receive a $25 gift card. However, there is no guarantee that everyone who completes the survey will be selected to receive the gift card.

If you are interested in participating, the VCU-RRTC needs your consent. Visit www.worksupport.com/employment to read more about the study, review the survey questions, and give your consent.  [Read more…]

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…]