[AT] for Employers Blog

PEAT Talks

Posted By Anne Long | Feb 01, 2016

Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT)  

PEAT Talks: Raising the Bar on Accessibility

Please join us on February 18, 2016 at 2pm ET for our next PEAT Talk. We are pleased to welcome Dan Sullivan, Vice President at AudioEye. Dan will talk about the return-on-investment for employers who embrace accessible technology that benefits all users.

Register Now
 

Save the Date

PEAT Talks: The Importance of User Testing for Accessibility

We are pleased to welcome Sharron Rush, co-founder and Executive Director of Knowbility on March 17, 2016, 2pm ET. Sharron will talk about the importance of user testing to ensure that workplace technologies are truly accessible.

Register Now

 

About PEAT Talks

PEAT Talks is a virtual speaker series hosted by the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT). Held the third Thursday of every month at 2:00 pm ET, PEAT Talks showcases various organizations and individuals whose work and innovations are advancing accessible technology in the workplace. Featured speakers deliver a 10- to 15- minute talk and then field questions from attendees. To learn more about PEAT and our upcoming events, visit PEATworks.org.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit

Posted By Anne Long | Jan 23, 2016

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) allows employers to earn tax credit by hiring individuals who qualify based on specific categories, including employees with disabilities.  To learn more visit: https://www.doleta.gov/business/incentives/opptax/benefits.cfm   


ILR Online: Technology and Work

Posted By Anne Long | Oct 18, 2015

ILR Online: Technology and Work

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Register at http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/online/webcast-series

 

Technology and Work: Improving Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities

This webcast is free of charge and will be closed captioned.

This webcast will focus on the potential role of technology to enhance employment for people with disabilities in two ways - job and career path opportunities, and the creation of technology-based tools for facilitating productivity in select job tasks, including access to workplace communication channels.

Representatives from Cornell University, private and government organizations in the technology sector, and related global non-governmental organizations will discuss initiatives to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the technology sector, and to increase technology accommodation innovations affording access to the workplace.

The program will be hosted by Susanne Bruyère, director of ILR's K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, and Linda Barrington, the ILR School's associate dean for outreach and sponsored research.

 

For questions about disability employment practices and policies or to learn more about customized training and consultation contact us:
Email: employerpractices@cornell.edu

Be sure to follow us on Twitter to get the latest information on research and technical assistance efforts at YTI, as well as up to date information on disability employment policies and practices.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2015

Posted By Anne Long | Sep 30, 2015

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2015


National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2015 poster

Celebrating 70 Years!
1945-2015

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a time to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. The theme for this year — which marks 70 years since the first observance — is "My Disability is One Part of Who I Am."


PEAT

Posted By Anne Long | Aug 17, 2015

Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) Logo

eNews · August 2015

 

 

What’s New

 

The ADA’s Impact on Accessible Workplace Technology

Photo of Bobby Silverstein

All summer long, millions across the country are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To help mark the occasion, PEAT published a blog post by policy thought leader Bobby Silverstein on the ADA's past and future impact on accessible workplace technology. "As technology has become an essential element of everyday living”, he noted, “the ADA is now increasingly playing a critical role in ensuring equal employment opportunity by ensuring the accessibility of information and communication technologies (ICT).”

Read more


 

PEATworks.org Has a New Look

PEAT is pleased to announce some visual and structural enhancements to our online home, PEATworks.org. Featuring an updated look and navigation, the website makes it easier than ever to locate resources and join the conversation around accessible technology in the workplace. Please visit the updated PEATworks.org and let us know what you think of the changes!

 

 

Save the Date

 

PEAT Talks: GettingHired

August 18, 2:00 – 2:30 p.m., EST WEBINAR

Photo of Adam Streets

There's still time to register for the next PEAT Talk, part of our monthly speaker series showcasing people and innovations that are advancing accessible technology in the workplace. Join us for our August 18 chat with Adam Streets, who will discuss GettingHired's accessible platform for job seekers and user feedback.

Register for the GettingHired PEAT Talk

Read more


 

PEAT Talks: Policy-Driven Adoption for Accessibility (PDAA)

September 17, 2:00 – 2:30 p.m., EST WEBINAR

Mark your calendar now for our September PEAT Talk, which will feature a panel discussion by state accessibility CIOs. This discussion will explore a new approach states are using to help achieve higher levels of accessibility in state government products and services.

Photo of Jeff Kline, Sarah Bourne and Jay Wyant

Speakers:

  • Jeff Kline, Program Director, Statewide Electronic and Information Resources (EIR) at the Texas Department of Information Resources
  • Sarah E. Bourne, Director of IT Accessibility for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Jay Wyant, Minnesota's first Chief Information Accessibility Officer

Register for the PDAA PEAT Talk

Read more


 

 

 

In Focus

 

New Data on the Accessibility of Online Job Applications

Online job application with magnifying glass

With most of today's employers using some form of web recruiting to evaluate and hire job applicants, it's more important than ever for organizations to understand why accessibility matters to the "eRecruiting" phase of the employment lifecycle. This summer, PEAT concluded its national survey on user experiences related to the accessibility of online job applications and other eRecruiting tools. Check out our new infographic summarizing the survey results, and stay tuned as PEAT develops new tools and resources related to this critical issue.

Read more

  

Moving the Ball Forward on Digital Accessibility: A Conversation with Attorney Lainey Feingold

Photo of Lainey Feingold

Lainey Feingold is a nationally-recognized disability rights lawyer known for negotiating landmark settlement agreements addressing accessible technology and pioneering the collaborative advocacy and dispute resolution method known as “Structured Negotiations." PEAT recently spoke with Feingold about her work around digital accessibility and its impact on the employment of people with disabilities. 



 

 

 

Subscribe to PEAT's Newsletter

 

 

The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) is a multi-faceted initiative promoting the employment, retention, and career advancement of people with disabilities through the development, adoption, and promotion of accessible technology. To learn more, visit www.PEATworks.org.


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New PEAT Talks Speaker Series

Posted By Anne Long | Jun 23, 2015

New PEAT Talks Speaker Series

We’re also pleased to announce our new virtual speaker series which showcases organizations and individuals who are working to advance accessible technology in the workplace. Held the third Thursday of every month at 2:00 p.m. ET, PEAT Talks are designed to be energetic and interactive discussions highlighting a spectrum of exciting work. Featured speakers will deliver a 10 to 15 minute talk and then field questions from attendees.

Please register today for our July 16th talk with Dennis Lembree of Easy Chirp, a Twitter web application that features the ability to "tweet" accessible images. 

Register Now


National Survey Shows People with Disabilities Are Striving to Work & Overcoming Barriers

Posted By Anne Long | Jun 05, 2015

National Survey Shows People with Disabilities Are Striving to Work & Overcoming Barriers

The 2015 Kessler Foundation "National Employment and Disability Survey" has found that nearly 69 percent of Americans with disabilities are working, actively preparing for employment or looking for jobs. Barriers to work include lack of education or training opportunities, transportation issues and employer attitudes. The survey also found that having a flexible work schedule (flexible start and end times, work at home, taking more breaks) was one of the most important workplace accommodations. The survey includes responses from more than 3,000 working-age Americans with disabilities.

For more information about recruiting and hiring people with disabilities, career planning and job training, and job accommodations that can help people with disabilities succeed in the workplace, read Disability.gov’s Guide to Employment.


"My Disability Is One Part of Who I Am"

Posted By Anne Long | May 07, 2015

Disability.gov updates

2015 Theme Announced for October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month

"My Disability Is One Part of Who I Am" is the theme for this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy announced the official theme for the October observance. NDEAM is a nationwide effort that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

RJ Mitte, TV actor, brown hair, cerebral palsy, My disability is only one part of who I am

For more information about recruiting and hiring people with disabilities, job accommodations and where to get help with your job search, be sure to check out

Disability.gov’s Guide to Employment.

Bookmark and Share



The Work Opportunity Tax Credit News

Posted By Anne Long | May 04, 2015

EDI Logo

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit News

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) has been reauthorized to cover the 2014 lapse, retroactive to December 31, 2013. Although WOTC has not yet been reauthorized for 2015, State Workforce Agencies will continue to accept applications in anticipation of another retroactive authorization for 2015. Read the full guidance letter.

What is WOTC?

A Federal tax credit for employers who hire and retain veterans and individuals with significant barriers to employment. Employers claim about $1 billion in tax credits each year under this program. There is no limit on the number of individuals hired to qualify for the tax credit and a few simple steps to apply.
Learn more about WOTC from the US Department of Labor.

To learn more about the many tax benefits for businesses who hire individuals with disabilities, visit the IRS information page.

For questions about disability employment practices and policies or to learn more about customized training and consultation contact us:
Email: employerpractices@cornell.edu
Or fill out the request form on our website.


Welcome to PEATworks.org

Posted By Anne Long | Oct 16, 2014

PEAT Logo - Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) today announced the launch of PEATworks.org—a comprehensive web portal spearheaded by the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT).

From educational articles to interactive tools to expert interviews, PEATworks.org has something for everyone. We encourage you to stop by, explore, and get excited about accessible technology.

Check out PEATworks.org today!

The PEAT Team 


Disability Employment Tracker

Posted By Anne Long | Oct 15, 2014

by sixbyfifteen

The Disability Employment Tracker from the National Organization on Disability helps companies across a range of industries assess their readiness to launch or expand their hiring of people with disabilities and veterans. The tool is designed to assist employers who want to expand the diversity of their workforce. It examines climate & culture, employment lifecycle, […]

Read more of this post


8.4M in continued funding to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities

Posted By Anne Long | Sep 29, 2014

News Release

ODEP News Release: [09/11/2014]
Contact Name: Laura McGinnis or Tania Mejia
Phone Number: (202) 693-4653 or x4686
Email: 
McGinnis.Laura.K@dol.gov or Mejia.Tania@dol.gov
Release Number: 14-1699-NAT

$8.4M in continued funding to improve employment opportunities
for people with disabilities announced by US Labor Department

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced a total of $8,422,574 in continued funding for organizations that develop models, provide technical assistance and share best practices to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

"Individuals with disabilities have skills and experiences that employers need," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "These federal grants will help connect these workers with employers and put them on the path to economic self-sufficiency."

The recipients and the amount of funding they are receiving are:

ODEP works to increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities by developing and influencing policies and practices. For more information, visit http://www.dol.gov/odep/.


Countdown to NDEAM 2014

Posted By Anne Long | Sep 17, 2014

AskEARN.org

Countdown to NDEAM 2014

Expect. Employ. Empower.

An image shows

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is an annual campaign led by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) to raise awareness about employing people with disabilities and to celebrate their many and varied contributions to America's workforce. The campaign's theme this year was developed with suggestions from the public through an online dialogue. "I'm so pleased with the result," writes Assistant Secretary Kathleen Martinez in her blog (Work in Progress), "because those three words--expect, employ, empower--clearly convey that advancing disability employment is about more than any singular thing. Rather, it’s about creating a cycle of inclusion." 

 

Click here for NDEAM resources and tools, including NDEAM posters in English and Spanish.

 

For more information and employer resources, visit  www.AskEARN.org.

EARN Exhange: Business and Disability Blog

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Join Us on LinkedinAskEARN is on YouTube!


#RespectTheAbility Campaign Launched

Posted By Anne Long | Aug 26, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION: AUGUST 26, 2014
Media Contact: Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
JenniferM@RespectAbilityUSA.org or (202) 365-0787



Won Shin, senior manager in transaction advisory services at EY, speaks with coworkers Alejandra Preciat and Frances Smith (Photo Credit: Rick Guidotti of POSITIVE EXPOSURE)


#RespectTheAbility Campaign Launched to Focus on How Hiring Workers with Disabilities Benefits the Employer, the Employee and Society

Campaign spotlights model employers that demonstrate inclusive hiring can help their bottom line and starts by featuring Ernst & Young LLP

NEW YORK – RespectAbilityUSA and POSITIVE EXPOSURE, two non-profits working to change how people see disabilities, have joined forces to create #RespectTheAbility, a campaign to focus on how hiring people with disabilities can make organizations stronger and more successful. The campaign highlights the benefits to employers that look beyond the disability and imagine the possibility when hiring talented employees with disabilities. 

The campaign kicks off on August 27th at 2 PM with a free conference call/webinar with Lori Golden, Abilities Strategy Leader from Ernst & Young LLP (EY), on "Disabilities to Diverse Abilities: Changing the Workplace Paradigm: EY as a Case Study". The call is at 2 PM ET, 12 PM MT and 11AM PT and you can RSVP HERE.

“Our goal is to educate and inform employers of the benefits of hiring employees with disabilities,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of RespectAbilityUSA. “EY hires the best talent out there, no matter what package that talent comes in. Their only focus is on their business, and what prospective employees can bring to the table to better the organization. It is time for other employers to look beyond the disability, and understand the true value of these employees.”

EY has focused on the benefits of a diverse staff since its beginning. Founding partner Arthur Young was deaf with low vision, and by example, he instilled in the organization the notion that talented, differently-abled employees can bring a multitude of benefits to the workplace. 

POSITIVE EXPOSURE photographer and founder, Rick Guidotti, captured the new campaign with photos to link real life images and people with the facts. His motto in the work is, “Change how you see. See how you change.”

Using the hashtag #RespectTheAbility, RespectAbilityUSA and POSITIVE EXPOSURE hope to spread the word through their collaborative series, and to ultimately erase negative stigmas associated with disabilities.

A second spotlight on success, showcases Project SEARCH, a program that allows young adults with developmental disabilities to cultivate a set of skills that they can use in the workforce by providing them with a series of internships in order to achieve competitive employment. The third success story centers around young adults on the autism spectrum working on an organic farm in California. 

Click the link below to view photos and more information tied to these success stories. 

Young people with disabilities help senior citizens: Provide excellent workforce for the future
Workers with disabilities help hospitals help patients
Youth with disabilities help make government work better
Autistic man on path to become an organic farmer
If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere: Inclusion at EY

# # #

About RespectAbilityUSA
RespectAbilityUSA is a national, non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to reshape the attitudes of American society so that people with disabilities can more fully participate in and contribute to society, and empower people with disabilities to achieve as much of the American dream as their abilities and efforts permit. www.RespectAbilityUSA.com

About POSITIVE EXPOSURE
POSITIVE EXPOSRURE, founded in 1998 by award winning fashion photographer, Rick Guidotti, utilizes photography, video and narratives to present the humanity and dignity of individuals living with genetic, physical, behavioral and cognitive differences. The POSITIVE EXPOSURE global footprint promotes a more inclusive and compassionate world where all differences are celebrated. www.positiveexposure.org

RespectAbility
4340 East-West Hwy, Suite 350
Bethesda, MD 20814
240-744-0546




BYOD!

Posted By Anne Long | Aug 18, 2014
Written by Louis E. Orslene, MPIA, MSW, Co-Director - JAN (Job Accommodation Network)  
 

BYOD! (Bring Your Own Device)

There is much discussion in the workplace about “Bring Your Own Device to Work” or “BYOD,” as it is now more commonly known. Employers increasingly find themselves under pressure to allow employees to bring their own assistive devices to work. Employers typically refer to cell phones and tablets in their discussion of BYOD. However, an informal poll of JAN Consultants suggests BYOD has much broader application in the workplace than just cell phones and tablets.

Cell phones and tablets often provide the best solution for receiving and conveying information for today’s mobile workforce. With the proliferation of apps, particularly those used to accommodate workers, employers have become perplexed about developing and administering BYOD policies.

Primary to employer’s concerns is safeguarding corporate data. A recent article in Workforce.com suggests that developing a policy on how employees are allowed to access corporate information “is an important initial step to keeping an organization’s data safe" (June 23, 2014). This dilemma is of course not a new one. Many employers have firewalls that prevent employees from viewing third party webcast training, using video phones, or making specific assistive technology (e.g., screen readers) operate with legacy information systems. While the corporate data safety concern and the tactics to protect that data are not new, the use of mobile devices and the proliferation of assistive technologies in the workplace is more recent.

Security was also of concern to JAN Consultants following a quick, unscientific poll regarding BYOD. A JAN Consultant reported:

“Sometimes employers do not feel able to allow employees to bring devices from home. For example, employees in classified settings and other security sensitive settings may be restricted in the types of devices that they can use at work, leading the employer to purchase a different type of device for use at work. Devices with wireless functionality may be restricted, or magnifiers with freeze frame or image storage capabilities may be restricted.”

JAN Consultants serving on the Motor, Sensory, Mental Health, Cognitive, and ADA Team conduct more than 42,000 consultations per year. In the ad hoc poll, the Sensory and Motor Teams reported receiving BYOD inquiries “fairly often.” This is no doubt because many of the accommodations suggested by the teams are product-based solutions. Below is a list of assistive technologies most often discussed with JAN employer customers. Note that many of the devices employees have asked to bring into and use in the workplace are not necessarily assistive technology in the strictest sense.

A list of technologies reported by JAN Consultants include:

*       magnifiers,

*       augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) or hearing related device such as the UbiDuo,

*       assistive listening devices,

*       Bluetooth streaming devices needed to access a phone with Bluetooth enabled hearing aid,

*       humidifiers for respiratory conditions,

*       heaters, fans, warming devices (heated mice/keyboards),

*       anti-fatigue matting for shoes,

*       mobility devices (that they do not use at home),

*       masks,

*       personal air purifier,

*       alternative soaps and cleaning supplies,

*       color overlays, and

*       exercise balls.

Excerpts from the Consultant feedback received during this poll was instructive. These excerpts included information about how the assistive technology was provided to the employee:

"Through insurance, private pay, or vocational rehabilitation rather than requested as accommodations. Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) devices are almost always brought from home in work settings. Sometimes the individual has had the device customized to meet physical access or other needs or they may have difficulty adjusting to a different type of device. "

JAN Consultants reported that some Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselors think it is better for devices to be acquired through VR to simplify the accommodation process or to ensure access to the application process. For example, in Virginia there is a pilot program to purchase iPods and apps for individuals to use at work and home with apps customized to their particular challenges. Ownership is transferred to the individual users and they are responsible for replacements and upgrades if needed. Typical uses include time manage/organization, stress management, and customized video modeling of workplace tasks and appropriate social interactions.

JAN Consultants also report employers have asked employees to bring in their own devices. For instance, an employer requested that an employee bring in his personal portable digital magnifier rather than the employer providing one. Or an employer requested an employee who uses a Bluetooth hearing aid bring in her own Bluetooth streamers needed to access a phone communication at work. Interestingly enough, one Consultant reported a situation where one employer attempted to restrict employees with Bluetooth hearing aids from wearing them at work. However, the employer revoked this restriction when the possibility of having to purchase alternate hearing aids was raised.

The staff of CIO.com write, “BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) promises many benefits such as greater innovation, better work-life balance and improved productivity, but it also increases pressure on IT to manage and secure devices and data.” In the new mobile workplace where a multitude of overlapping technologies are being used, one can only expect that BYOD challenges will continue to increase. This is particularly true in light of the use of tablets and apps to accommodate employees with disabilities. Thus, it behooves employers to begin to develop clear policies and practices governing assistive technologies including cell phones and tablets.

- Louis E. Orslene, MPIA, MSW, Co-Director 


Funding Work-Related Assistive Technology for the Transition-Aged Special Education Student

Posted By Anne Long | Jul 08, 2014

http://www4.gotomeeting.com/g2w/images/704375367/374820915448411760/embed.jpg

AT & Employment Webinar Series: Funding Work-Related Assistive Technology for the Transition-Aged Special Education Student

Join us for a Webinar on July 23

http://img.gotomeeting.com/g2mimages/webinar/themes/basic/button_registerNow.gif

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/704375367

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has concrete criteria for when AT devices and services are available to ensure that a student benefits from his or her education.  When a student is transition-aged (generally ages 14 to 21), the IDEA contemplates a detailed planning process to prepare the student for the move to vocational training, higher education, and/or work.  This session will explain these IDEA requirements and explore how a range of AT devices and services can be funded to support these transitions.

RESNA Catalyst Project Partners James R. Sheldon, Esq., Neighborhood Legal Services, and Ronald M. Hager, Esq., National Disability Rights Network, will be presenting this webinar.  This webinar will include live captioning, and .1 CEU will be available for a $16 fee.  For questions, please contact Paul Galonsky at pgalonsky@resna.org.

Title:

AT & Employment Webinar Series: Funding Work-Related Assistive Technology for the Transition-Aged Special Education Student

Date:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Time:

2:00 PM - 3:15 PM EDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Mac®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer

Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet


AT & Employment Webinar Series: Obtaining or Retaining Medicaid While Working:

Posted By Anne Long | Jun 18, 2014

AT & Employment Webinar Series: Obtaining or Retaining Medicaid While Working: The Section 1619(b) and Medicaid Buy-In for Work

Join us for a Webinar on June 25

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/352178423

Medicaid funds a range of AT and specialized equipment in all states that support work at many levels.  These items may help an individual prepare for the trip to work, support travel to work, or enable an individual to complete work tasks.  Even as wages increase, Medicaid often remains a key funding source for AT such as custom and power wheelchairs, speech generating devices, bath equipment, and patient lifts.  This session will provide an overview of two work incentives – 1619(b) Medicaid and the Medicaid Buy-In for Working Individuals, which allow individuals to retain Medicaid as they attain significant levels of earned income.

RESNA Catalyst Project Partners James R. Sheldon, Esq., Neighborhood Legal Services, and Ronald M. Hager, Esq., National Disability Rights Network, will be presenting this webinar.  This webinar will include live captioning, and .1 CEU will be available for a $16 fee.  For questions, please contact Paul Galonsky at pgalonsky@resna.org.

Title:

AT & Employment Webinar Series: Obtaining or Retaining Medicaid While Working: The Section 1619(b) and Medicaid Buy-In for Work

Date:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Time:

2:00 PM - 3:15 PM EDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Mac®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer

Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet


How Assistive Technology (AT) Can Help You

Posted By Anne Long | Jun 10, 2014

How Assistive Technology (AT) Can Help You in the Workplace

The NIDRR-funded AlbeData project recently released this fact sheet, which introduces AT in the workplace, discusses common examples of AT solutions, and outlines how employees may obtain AT products and services. For upcoming releases and other AT-related information, follow AbleData on Facebook  and  AbleData on Twitter. 


Workforce Agencies

Posted By Anne Long | Jun 03, 2014

Last week, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the availability of approximately $15 million in grants to state workforce agencies to develop flexible and innovative strategies to increase the participation of people with disabilities in existing career pathways programs in the public workforce system.  These grants represent the fifth round of funding through the Disability Employment Initiative, a joint program of the Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration and Office of Disability Employment Policy.  Eligible applicants are public state workforce agencies.  DOL anticipates awarding eight grants of between $1.5 and $2.5 million, to be spent over a 42-month period.   Applications are due July 8, 2014.  Learn more at grants.gov.


Press Release: Disability Equality Index Survey to be Unveiled on June 26, 2014

Posted By Anne Long | Jun 02, 2014

http://www.aapd.com/resources/press-room/press-releases/disability-equality-index-1.html

For Immediate Release
May 29, 2014

Contact: Brianna Gross
Phone: 202-521-4319
bgross@aapd.com

Washington, DC (May 29, 2014) -- The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) are excited to announce the public release of the first Annual Disability Equality IndexSM (DEISM). Created by leaders in the business and disability communities, the DEI is an online benchmarking tool that offers businesses the opportunity to receive an objective score, on a scale of zero to 100, on their disability inclusion policies and practices.

After the successful completion of the DEI pilot with 48 Fortune 1000 scope companies in March 2014, AAPD and the USBLN will be releasing the DEI survey questions publicly on June 26, 2014 before opening up the first Annual DEI survey to Fortune 1000 scope companies for participation in October 2014. Those interested in attending the DEI survey public release call must register here by June 19, 2014: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DEI_Release.

“The DEI is an aspirational, educational, recognition tool that is intended to help companies identify opportunities for continued improvement and help build a company’s reputation as an employer of choice,” said Mark Perriello, President and CEO of AAPD, the nation’s largest disability rights organization. “The DEI pilot was thorough and helped us create an even more meaningful tool for the business community and disability community.”

“We are confident the DEI is going to be a game changer for all companies who are interested in enhancing their disability inclusion efforts regardless of where they are at in their journey,” said Jill Houghton, Executive Director of the USBLN. “The DEI is also helpful for a company whether or not they are a Federal Contractor.”

Companies that take the DEI self-report on a wide-range of criteria within four categories: Culture & Leadership, Enterprise-Wide Access, Employment Practices, and Public Support & Engagement.

Companies that participated in the pilot DEI reported the following strengths:

  • “Comprehensive but not too challenging to complete” 
  • “Well-rounded; touches on more areas than just employment, such as customers and suppliers” 
  • “Questions are insightful and provide ideas for improvement” 
  • “Focuses on strategy and concrete programs / policies rather than data reporting”

Additionally, companies participating in the DEI pilot said:

  • “Allowed us to look at the big picture to see how far we’ve come” 
  • “Required us to engage multiple stakeholders across the company; enabled us to reaffirm our commitment to inclusion of people with disabilities during the discussions” 
  • “The areas of indication provided a good indication of current and future trends” 
  • “Helped us to set targets for improvement”

For more general information about the DEI, please visit: http://www.usbln.org/programs-dei.html.

About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

The American Association of People with Disabilities is the nation's largest disability rights organization. AAPD promotes equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. AAPD’s members, including people with disabilities and family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change. To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site:  www.aapd.com.

About the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®)

The US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) is a national non-profit that helps business drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace. The USBLN® serves as the collective voice of over 50 Business Leadership Network affiliates across the United States, representing over 5,000 businesses. Additionally, the USBLN® Disability Supplier Diversity Program® (DSDP) is the nation’s leading third party certification program for disability-owned businesses, including businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. www.usbln.org.

###

About AAPD

The American Association of People with Disabilities is the nation's largest disability rights organization. We promote equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. Our members, including people with disabilities and our family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change. To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site:  www.aapd.com