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Archive for March, 2015

OFCCP Extends the Comment Period for its Sex Discrimination NPRM (Mar. 27, 2015)

Friday, March 27th, 2015

The U.S. Department of Labor is extending by two weeks the comment period for its proposed rule governing the obligations of federal contractors and subcontractors not to discriminate on the basis of sex in their employment practices.

The extension ensures that the public has time to comment on the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s March 25, 2015, decision in Young v. United Parcel Service. That decision involved application of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. The Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs follows Title VII principles when enforcing the law against employment discrimination by federal contractors and subcontractors.

OFCCP published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register on January 30, 2015, with a March 31 deadline to submit comments. The comment period will be extended for all comments through Tuesday, April 14. To read and comment on the proposed rule, please visit http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/SDNPRM/index.html.

Webinar on USDOT Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Geographic-Based Hiring Preferences and Contracting Initiative Pilot Program (March 26, 2015)

Friday, March 27th, 2015

On March 6, 2015, the US Department of Transportation (Department) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend the Common Grant Rule (2 CFR Part 200) to permit the use of geographic hiring preferences in DOT grant programs. That same day the Department announced a one-year pilot program that permits recipients and subrecipients of Federal funding to apply to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Highway Administration to utilize contracting requirements that generally have been disallowed due to concerns regarding adverse effects on full and open competition. The Department’s Office of the General Counsel and the FTA are holding a webinar on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, to discuss the proposed rulemaking and the pilot program.

The webinar will take place on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, at 1:00 PM EST. You can view the webinar at https://connectdot.connectsolutions.com/fta-localhiring_pilot/

Audio will be available through the webcast, but if you’d like to listen via telephone, please call 888-273-3658 at that time, using access code 4463947.

You can get more information about the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at (http://www.dot.gov/regulations/nprm-geographic-based-hiring-preferences), and the pilot program at http://www.dot.gov/regulations/notice-contracting-initiative

FTA is committed to providing equal access to this event for all participants. If you need alternative formats or other reasonable accommodations due to a disability, please contact Tom Wilson at 202-366-5279 or via e-mail at thomas.wilson@dot.gov with your request by 5:00 PM EST on Monday, March 30, 2015.

Office of Disability Employment Policy: Business Sense (March 23, 2015)

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

New “Who I Am” Disability Awareness Materials Available

When it comes to expressing a commitment to disability inclusion, there is no wrong time to start or step too small. But, not all employers, especially small businesses, may know how to effectively communicate such a commitment to their employees. Now, the Campaign for Disability Employment has several new materials that can help — all centered on a new video public service announcement (PSA) titled “Who I Am.”

This PSA features nine diverse people with disabilities — some obvious and some not — sharing the many ways they describe themselves, from personal interests to family relationships to occupations. Among them is film and television actor RJ Mitte, best known for his role in the hit television series “Breaking Bad.”

Employers can use “Who I Am” and its discussion guide to facilitate staff training and education efforts around the issues of disability employment and workforce diversity. In addition, they can order one or more of the PSA’s posters, which can be used to create workplace diversity displays or freshen-up bulletin boards, waiting areas and break rooms. A Spanish-language poster is also available, as is a Spanish-language version of the PSA.

“Who I Am” and its accompanying suite of products provide an easy no-cost way for employers to express a commitment to a diverse workplace welcoming of the skills and talents of all qualified people, including people with disabilities. Because, as the talented people in the PSA demonstrate, when it comes to work, it’s what people can do that matters.

The Campaign for Disability Employment is a collaborative effort among several leading disability and business organizations that seek to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Learn more at whatcanyoudocampaign.org.

For more information, go to www.dol.gov/odep.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (Mar. 20, 2015)

Friday, March 20th, 2015

For more information, go to www.dol.gov/odep.

Agenda for 2nd WIOA Advisory Committee Meeting Now Available

The agenda for the second meeting of the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities is now available. This meeting will be held March 23 and 24 in Washington, D.C., and is open to the public. The minutes from the first meeting, held in January, are also now available. The committee is a key part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

CSUN 2015 Highlights Innovations in Accessible Technology

ODEP’s Chief of Staff Dylan Orr was one of thousands of people who gathered in San Diego earlier this month for California State University, Northridge’s annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, commonly referred to as “CSUN.” In a recent post on DOL’s blog, Orr gave a report on the innovations he observed, both tangible and not.

Webinar to Address Value of Interns with Disabilities

On March 26 at 2 p.m., ODEP’s Employer TA Center will host Cultivating Talent for Tomorrow: The Value of Interns with Disabilities, a webinar addressing how internships for people with disabilities can help achieve workforce diversity goals, including in the context of Section 503 compliance, and how the Workforce Recruitment Program can help employers source qualified interns with disabilities.

New Disability.gov Guides Offer Quick Access to Information and Resources

Disability.gov — the Federal government’s central source for disability-related information and services — recently developed a series of 14 “Guides to Information and Resources” addressing a range of topics of interest to its users, from accommodations to employment to transportation. To help the user get started, each guide includes a list of quick links.

EEOC Seeks Public Input on Regulatory Review Process

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — which enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination, including on the basis of disability — is seeking public input on its ongoing review of existing regulations being conducted pursuant to Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” Comments may be submitted through April 20, 2015.

Blog Post Asks, “Where Are the CEOs and Executive Managers with Disabilities?”

John Kemp, President and CEO of The Viscardi Center, recently penned a Disability.gov guest blog post in which he urged employers and others to consider why there are not more people with disabilities in senior executive positions and shared resources, including ODEP’s Employer TA Center, they can use to make the corporate ladder — or as he says, “ramp” — more accessible.

Accessible Transportation Technology Research Initiative Webinar: Understanding the Travel Needs of Older Adults (March 17, 2015)

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Date: March 24, 2015

Time: 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. EST

Location: Webinar Only using Adobe Connect

To participate in this webinar, go to the online registration site. The online registration link is https://tti.adobeconnect.com/attri-oap/event/registration.html.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) needs your help and expertise to identify user needs and challenges faced by older adult travelers with disabilities to develop transformative technology solutions.

Background:

The USDOT’s Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI) conducts research to improve the mobility of travelers with disabilities through the use of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and other advanced technologies.

ATTRI is a USDOT joint program and research initiative co‐led by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA), with support from the ITS Joint Program Office, and other federal agencies.

ATTRI’s mission is to enhance the mobility of travelers withdisabilities by providing the capability to reliably, safely, andindependently plan and execute travel. ATTRI will develop transformative technological solutions removing barriers to transportation arising from a range of disability types: visual,hearing, cognitive, and mobility.

We invite you to participate in this research initiative by attending the user needs webinar on Tuesday, March 24th from 1 P.M. to 3 P.M. EST.

To participate in this webinar, go to the online registration site. The online registration link is https://tti.adobeconnect.com/attri-oap/event/registration.html.

The interactive webinar will walk participants through several scenarios to gather responses and feedback. Background materials will be provided on the registration site.

Target Audience:

The target audience is older adults; caregivers; advocates; transportation system managers; state, local, and federal government officials; academia; and any other individuals involved with technology and mobility needs for older adults.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to providing equal access to this webinar for all participants. If you need assistance, alternative formats or services, please contact: Suzie Edrington of Texas A&M Transportation Institute: Phone: (713) 613-9207 Email: s-edrington@tamu.edu

Please share this webinar invitation with your colleagues.

U.S. Department of Transportation Final Rule: Transportation for Individuals with Disabilities (March 2015)

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a Final Rule today on “Transportation for Individuals with Disabilities; Reasonable Modification of Policies and Practices.” To view the Final Rule, please visit http://www.fta.dot.gov/civilrights/12325.html.

OFCCP Reaches Out for Help Shaping Smarter Regulations (March 2015)

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

Dear OFCCP Stakeholder:

At the Department of Labor, we understand that workplaces are constantly changing. That’s why we are always reviewing our existing regulations to update rules that may be out of date, ineffective, insufficient or excessively burdensome.

We’re asking the public for your ideas about which rules should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or even repealed – and we’ve launched an interactive “Shaping Smarter Regulations” website where you can make suggestions from now until Wednesday, March 18, at http://www.dol.gov/regulations/regreview/.

Some of the key questions include:

Which of the Department’ s regulations, guidance, or interpretations should be considered for review, expansion, or modification?
What regulatory reforms may require short-term cost increases to regulated entities while creating longer-term savings, for example, through the adoption of new technologies?
What regulations and reporting requirements should be reviewed due to conflicts, inconsistences, or duplication among our own subagencies or with other federal agencies?
What other strategies exist for increasing the flexibility of regulations without limiting important protections?
Please visit our website to learn more about submitting ideas. We appreciate all the ideas that we receive to help us Shape Smarter Regulations!

Go to www.dol.gov/ofccp.

OFCCP: Coming Into Compliance with Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Requirements (March 2015)

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

For more information, go to www.dol.gov/ofccp.

On April 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Program (OFCCP) will begin requiring federal contractors to treat applicants and employees without regard to their sexual orientation and gender identity, pursuant to Executive Order 13672 signed by President Obama on July 21, 2014.

To learn more about how OFCCP will implement these nondiscrimination requirements, please join us for an informational Webinar on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. The same Webinar will be presented again on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Both sessions will include a question and answer session.

To register for either Webinar, please use the following links:

March 18: https://dolevents.webex.com/dolevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=ed62ccb7c66f848e5cd6cd79d35459db9

March 25: https://dolevents.webex.com/dolevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=ebfc0c675c0d2101a195b4e1833a00b6f

We hope you can join us!

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (March 13, 2015)

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

For more information, go to www.dol.gov/odep.

WIOA Advisory Committee Second Meeting Scheduled for March 23-24

The Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (the Committee) was mandated by section 609 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by section 461 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The purpose of the Committee is to study and prepare findings, conclusions and recommendations for Congress and the Secretary of Labor on (1) ways to increase employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities or other individuals with significant disabilities in competitive, integrated employment; (2) the use of the certificate program carried out under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 214(c)); and (3) ways to improve oversight of the use of such certificates. The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Monday, March 23, 2015 and Tuesday, March 24, 2015. The meeting will be open to the public on Monday, March 23 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. On Tuesday, March 24, the meeting will be open to the public from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The meeting with take place at the Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave. NE., Washington, DC 20002-3695. Tentative dates for future Committee meetings are May 11-12, 2015 and July 13-14, 2015.

LEAD Center Hosts Webinar on Redefining Home & Community Based Services: CMS Guidance on Non-Residential Services and its Implications for Employment – March 25, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released new regulations in January 2014 governing home and community-based services (HCBS) provided through state Medicaid programs. To assist states in complying with the requirements of the HCBS final rule as it relates to non-residential settings, CMS recently released a toolkit with a number of factsheets and resources. The LEAD Center will be hosting a webinar, Redefining Home & Community Based Services: CMS Guidance on Non-Residential Services and its Implications for Employment, on March 25, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT. The webinar will include presenters from CMS and national subject matter experts who will discuss the HCBS rule and its applications in supporting individuals with disabilities to seek and attain competitive integrated employment. The webinar will be captioned and a link to download the presentation will be sent to registrants in advance. To request any other reasonable accommodations, please contact Brittany Taylor at btaylor@ndi-inc.org within 48 hours of the webinar.

Employer TA Center Presents Webinar on Accommodating Employees with Mental Health Disabilities in Higher Education — April 23, 1:00-2:00 PM EDT

The Office of Disability Employment Policy-funded Employer TA Center, located at The Viscardi Center, in coordination with the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium, will be presenting a webinar titled Accommodating Employees with Mental Health Disabilities in Higher Education on April 23, 1:00-2:00 PM EDT. In this webinar, participants will learn why, how and when to accommodate employees with mental health disabilities in the higher education employment setting. In addition to addressing the legal framework for the provision of such accommodations, speakers will provide practical guidance and strategies higher education HR professionals can use to respond confidently to reasonable accommodation requests from employees across all sectors of their institution and develop a well-planned process that will lead to sound decisions. Several real-life accommodation situations and solutions from colleges and universities across the country will also be presented.

Archived LEAD Center Webinar on WIOA from a Disability Perspective Now Available

A recorded archive of the LEAD Center webinar WIOA from a Disability Perspective: An Overview – Part 1 of 4 is now available. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) represents new opportunities for support for job seekers with disabilities that increases responsibility of Workforce Investment Boards and American Job Centers to be fully accessible and offer necessary accommodations to provide job seekers with disabilities effective and meaningful participation in the use of skills training and career pathways for 21st century jobs. This webinar series will help participants understand the possibilities of WIOA from a disability perspective.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (March 6, 2015)

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

For more information, go to www.dol.gov/odep.

ODEP Addresses Accessible Technology at CSUN Conference

This week, thousands of employers, technology providers and other public and private sector professionals converged in San Diego for the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference sponsored by California State University of Northridge (CSUN). The annual event is a premier venue for sharing knowledge in the field of accessible technology, and this year’s conference featured an Employment & Workplace track focused on strategies for achieving a technology-accessible workplace. Presenters from ODEP and some of its technical assistance centers were on hand to share their insights, including Chief of Staff Dylan Orr, members of the ePolicyWorks team, and representatives from the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology and the Job Accommodation Network.

Federal Partners in Transition Releases 2020 Federal Youth Transition Plan

The Federal Partners in Transition (FPT) has released the 2020 Federal Youth Transition Plan: A Federal Interagency Strategy. This report outlines how FPT will enhance interagency coordination through the identification of compatible outcome goals and policy priorities, ultimately leading to improved outcomes for youth with disabilities by 2020. The Federal Partners in Transition is a workgroup with representatives of several federal agencies, including the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Social Security Administration, which are involved in promoting inclusive service delivery for transitioning youth with disabilities from school into postsecondary education, the workforce, and independent living.

Disability.gov Seeks Participants for Its Third “No Boundaries” Photo Project

Disability.gov’s “No Boundaries” Photo Project series, introduced four years ago, has profiled 12 individuals with disabilities, capturing the diverse skills, talents and life stories of each. Disability.gov is launching its third “No Boundaries” Photo Project series by profiling four individuals with disabilities who showcase employment success. Volunteers will be chosen to represent diversity in age, ethnicity and nature of disability. The photo shoot will occur during the week of April 13, 2015 in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Please note that Disability.gov cannot provide monetary compensation or reimbursement for any travel expenses. Those interested in participating should email their full name, phone number, location and a few sentences about why they would like to participate in the “No Boundaries” Photo Project to disability@dol.gov by March 27, 2015. Please include “No Boundaries” in the subject line of the email.

Latest EARN Newsletter Released

The latest issue of the Employer Assistance and Resource Network’s (EARN) newsletter was released this week, featuring information on several recent op-eds addressing disability employment as well as current proposed rulemaking and state-level legislative action. This issue’s employer spotlight is a Connecticut cinema that provides jobs and job training to people with disabilities. EARN is a service of the National Employer Policy, Research and Technical Assistance Center for Employers on the Employment of People with Disabilities (Employer TA Center), which is funded by ODEP under a cooperative agreement with The Viscardi Center.

LEAD Center Publishes Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability

The LEAD Center’s Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability is a monthly update focusing on the intersection of disability, employment and health care policy. It provides policymakers, disability service professionals, individuals with disabilities and their families with information about relevant policy developments regarding Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and related topics, with a focus on improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. The latest update features stories on a recent Senate HELP Committee hearing on employer wellness programs, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report and presentation on federal efforts related to mental illness, National Disability Institute’s (NDI) ABLE Resource Center, Delaware’s statewide plan for supporting people with mental health and substance abuse disorders and much more.