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Archive for July, 2016

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsbrief (July 29, 2016)

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

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

President Obama and Federal Agencies Celebrate the Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation on the Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and several federal agencies published blogs celebrating the many accomplishments that have taken place in the 26 years since the passage of the law. Key among them are the strides that have been made in access to employment, education, transportation, and community living.

DOL Publishes Training and Employment Notice on CILs and AJCs
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and Office of Disability Employment Policy have issued a Training and Employment Notice (TEN) on “Promoting Employment and Economic Advancement: A Toolkit for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and American Job Centers (AJCs).” The purpose of the TEN is to provide information about services available from CILs and AJCs, as well as strengthen opportunities for collaboration between the entities that can improve employment outcomes for job seekers with disabilities.

The Workforce Recruitment Program: A Future So Bright
On July 22, Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy attended an annual ceremony held to honor individuals who demonstrate exemplary service through the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP). Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense, the WRP links highly qualified college students and recent graduates with disabilities with federal employment opportunities, both internships and permanent positions. At the event, three individuals received awards, and this year, for the first time, a federal employer—the Defense Logistics Agency—was also recognized for its support of the program. Deputy Secretary Lu posted a blog about his experience, saying of the awardees, “If we include their forward-thinking ideas and fresh perspectives at the table, America’s future is bright indeed.”

DOL ADA Event – Screening of Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw – August 10, 2:00-3:30 PM ET
In observance of the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will be holding a screening of the documentary film “Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw” on, August 10, 2:00-3:30 PM ET, at the DOL’s Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, in Washington, DC. The journey of “the female Michael Jordan” from troubled family life to the WNBA and Olympics reveals a long-hidden battle with mental illness and near-suicide. This powerful account of a remarkable African-American LGBT woman follows Holdsclaw’s obstacles, successes, and setbacks, and provides an instructive and inspiring portrait of one person’s struggle for mental health recovery. Screening will be followed by a conversation with Chamique Holdsclaw and academy-award nominated filmmaker, Rick Goldsmith.

ODEP Releases Personal Competencies for College and Career Success Guide
The Office of Disability Employment Policy has released “Personal Competencies for College and Career Success.” This guide provides strategies postsecondary professionals can use to assist students, including those with disabilities, in developing these personal competencies. These inclusive strategies include engaging students in self-assessment and individualized planning, encouraging students to become involved in formal and informal leadership experiences, encouraging students to become involved in activities beyond academics, connecting students with school and community resources, and providing opportunities for mentoring and peer-to-peer support, among others.

What Can States Do? Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Online Dialogue
Each year, millions of workers across the nation develop a chronic illness or sustain an injury that leads to reduced productivity, at least temporarily, that may result in job loss. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy’s Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Policy Collaborative is currently hosting an online dialogue to gather insights on this issue. Between now and Friday, August 12, join the virtual conversation by sharing your feedback on steps states can take to help workers keep their jobs after an injury, illness, or disability, and to offer input on policy recommendations intended to increase retention and re-employment.

Bo Knows…the Importance of Inclusion
The Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) recently released a new public service announcement featuring Bo Jackson, former Major League Baseball player and multi-sport All-Star athlete. Curtis Pride, also a former MLB player, and currently head baseball coach at Gallaudet University and MLB’s first disability ambassador, posted a blog introducing the PSA. In the PSA, Jackson, who had a speech impediment as a child, urges everyone to see people for what they can do and not for their disabilities. “Among many other things, “Bo Knows” the value of that message, and I’m thrilled that he has stepped up to the plate to help more people understand it, too,” notes Pride.

Latest EARN Newsletter Now Available
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) has issued its July 25 newsletter, featuring information on an ADA Anniversary Toolkit from the ADA National Network, the 2016 Disability Equality Index results, the release of the final WIOA rules, and more.

EARN Archives Webinar on Disability-Inclusive Outreach & Recruitment Strategies
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) has archived its June 30 webinar, “Talent Matters: Leveraging Disability-Inclusive Outreach & Recruitment Strategies.” The webinar addressed ways that companies can partner with disability service providers to recruit talent and meet individual businesses’ unique workforce needs. Presenters included Kathy West Evans, Director of Business Relations, Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation; Katherine McCary, President, C5 Consulting, LLC; and Debra Ruh, CEO, Ruh Global Communications. The moderator was Brett Sheats, National Project Director, National Employer Policy, Research and Technical Assistance Center for Employers on the Employment of People with Disabilities.

PEAT Hosts Accessible Workplace Technology Roundtable
Last month, representatives from the ODEP-sponsored Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) attended and presented at the M-Enabling Summit, an international gathering of experts in the promotion and advancement of accessible mobile applications. A recent blog post explores PEAT’s experience hosting an industry Roundtable at the Summit, which engaged numerous stakeholders in an important dialogue with the U.S. Department of Labor. ODEP Deputy Assistant Secretary Jennifer Sheehy led the conversation, which generated several suggestions for advancing accessible technology in the workplace

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Weekly Digest Bulletin (July 2016)

Monday, July 25th, 2016

EEOC ISSUES NEW FACT SHEET, ANNOUNCES PLANS TO IMPROVE DATA COLLECTION AND OUTREACH ON RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION

New Fact Sheet Addresses Rights, Responsibilities for Youth

WASHINGTON — U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chair Jenny Yang and Commissioner Charlotte Burrows participated in an interagency briefing at the White House today and announced the release of a one-page fact sheet designed to help young workers better understand their rights and responsibilities under the federal employment anti-discrimination laws prohibiting religious discrimination. The fact sheet is available at EEOC’s Youth@Work website, which presents information for teens and other young workers about employment discrimination.

Combating Religious Discrimination Today, a community engagement initiative coordinated by the White House and the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, brought together EEOC and other federal agencies to promote religious freedom, challenge religious discrimination, and enhance efforts to combat religion-based hate violence and crimes.

Additionally, in an effort to improve the information available about religious discrimination, EEOC announced it will implement changes in the collection of demographic data from individuals who file charges with the agency. These changes will allow EEOC to collect more precise data about the religion of the individual alleging discrimination – allowing the agency, as well as the public, to recognize and respond to trends in charge data.

Finally, EEOC plans to improve coordination with the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), which enforces the prohibition of religious discrimination in employment by federal contractors and subcontractors. EEOC and OFCCP will work together to develop joint outreach and education efforts concerning discrimination based on religion.

Religious discrimination remains an issue in the American workplace. In fiscal year 2015, EEOC received 3,502 charges alleging discrimination on the basis of religion, with the top issues alleged being discharge, harassment, terms and conditions of employment, and reasonable accommodation.

EEOC has filed 73 lawsuits since the beginning of fiscal year 2010, including five in FY 2015, involving claims of religious discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. During the same period, the Commission recovered approximately $4 million, as well as other important types of relief, for victims of religious discrimination.

EEOC has developed information to educate employers, employees, and the public about religious discrimination, including Questions and Answers: Religious Discrimination in the Workplace and Best Practices for Eradicating Religious Discrimination in the Workplace. Last December, EEOC released docu­ments for employees and employers that focused on discrimination against people who are or are perceived to be Muslim or Middle Eastern, and an accompanying background summary.

The Commission has also issued technical assistance publications concerning Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace: Rights and Responsibilities and an accompanying fact sheet describing when an employer’s garb or grooming policies must give way to an employee’s or applicant’s sincerely held religious beliefs or practices about certain garb or grooming, such as a headscarf for Muslims, Pentecostal women requesting to wear skirts, or beards worn by Orthodox Jews or Sikhs.

EEOC enforces the federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

EEOC Announces Second Opportunity for Public to Submit Comments on Proposal to Collect Pay Data (July 2016)

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Public Can Submit Comments on Proposed Update of EEO-1 Report Through August 15, 2016

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the publication of its revised proposal to collect pay data through the Employer Information Report (EEO-1), a longstanding joint information collection of EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). The proposed revision would include collecting summary pay data from employers, including federal contractors, with 100 or more employees. The pay data will assist the agencies in identifying possible pay discrimination and assist employers in promoting equal pay in their workplaces.

For over 50 years, employers have completed the EEO-1 form to provide EEOC and OFCCP with workforce data by race, ethnicity, sex and job category. This proposal would add summary data reported by pay ranges and hours worked. Under the updated proposal, the report on 2017 employment information would be due by March 31, 2018. The revised proposal may be reviewed on the Federal Register website and will be published on July 14, 2016. Members of the public will have 30 days from that date – until Aug. 15, 2016 – to submit written comments to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which approves federal information collections.

This notice follows an initial public comment period from Feb. 1, 2016 through April 1, 2016 and a public hearing held at EEOC headquarters on March 16, 2016. EEOC considered the oral and written testimony of those witnesses and over 300 public comments from individual members of the public, employers, employer associations, members of Congress, civil rights groups, women’s organi­zations, labor unions, academics, industry groups, law firms and human resources organizations and professionals. EEOC also considered academic literature on compensation practices and on discrimin­ation, as well as studies about trends in compensation and collecting pay information.

EEOC adopted specific suggestions made by commenters, such as moving the due date for the EEO-1 survey from Sept. 30, 2017 to March 31, 2018, to simplify employer reporting by allowing employers to use existing W-2 pay reports, which are calculated based on the calendar year.

“More than 50 years after pay discrimination became illegal, it remains a persistent problem for too many Americans,” said EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang. “Collecting pay data is a significant step forward in addressing discriminatory pay practices. This information will assist employers in evalu­ating their pay practices to prevent pay discrimination and strengthen enforcement of our federal anti-discrimination laws.”

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez added, “Better data means better policy and less pay disparity, As much as the workplace has changed for the better in the last half century, there are important steps that we can and must take to ensure an end to employment discrimination.”

EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibit discrimination based on pay. More information about the proposed revisions to the EEO-1 report, including a Fact Sheet for Small Business and a Question & Answer document are available on EEOC’s website at www.eeoc.gov.

Fact Sheet: Combating Discrimination Against Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian (MASSA) Students (2016)

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

A Fact Sheet, “Combating Discrimination Against Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian (MASSA) Students,” was developed jointly by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, and White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and issued by the Education Department in June 2016.

The Fact Sheet provides:

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division (CRT) and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforce federal civil rights laws in public and federally funded schools at all educational levels. These laws protect all students, including Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian (MASSA) students, from discrimination based on race, color, and national origin (including language and shared ethnic characteristics). CRT also enforces prohibitions on religious discrimination in public schools. Schools must take immediate and appropriate action to respond to complaints of discrimination, including harassment or bullying based on race, color, national origin, or religion.

The Fact Sheet goes on to provide examples of action, or in some cases inaction, by school officials that could violate applicable federal civil rights laws.

To download the Fact Sheet, go to https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/aanhpi-massa-factsheet-201606.pdf.

EEOC Chair Message: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month (July 14, 2016)

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

Our hearts are with the families of those who lost their lives or who were injured in the horrific attack in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub on Latin Night. This senseless tragedy is an assault on all of us as Americans and on our national values of freedom and equality, for which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission fights every day. We stand with the LGBT community, the Latino community, and all the people of Orlando as we unwaveringly continue our work to overcome hatred and intolerance.

During this month of LGBT Pride, we reflect both on our nation’s progress in advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, and on how much more must be done. The harsh reality is that many of our neighbors, friends, sons, and daughters who are LGBT still face hatred and discrimination simply because of who they are and whom they love. This is a reality that must be changed.

For years, the EEOC has played a leading role in advancing the legal rights of LGBT people in the workplace. Information on our efforts, and the employment protections available under federal law for LGBT-related discrimination, can be found in our What You Should Know About the EEOC and Enforcement Protections for LGBT Workers.

We also must ensure that the horror of what occurred does not lead to discrimination or backlash against individuals simply because of their religion, ethnicity, or country of origin. Everyone deserves to be treated with equality, dignity, and respect. Through our work, we have seen ignorance and fear lead to discrimination against individuals who are Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South-Asian, and people perceived to be members of these communities. We remain steadfast in our commitment to prevent discrimination against these communities, and encourage employees and employers to consult our resources about addressing backlash discrimination in the workplace against the Muslim community, which may be particularly salient during this month of Ramadan.

As we grieve, let us work together to ensure that every person – regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, regardless of religion or nationality or any other basis – is treated with fairness and dignity.

Department of Justice to Conduct After-Action Review of Police Response to Orlando Nightclub Mass Shooting (July 15, 2016)

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) today announced it will conduct a comprehensive after-action assessment of the Orlando Police Department’s (OPD) response to the mass shooting that took place on June 12 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

“I commend Orlando Police Chief John Mina for his leadership in asking for this assessment,” said COPS Office Director Ronald Davis. “The lessons learned from this independent, objective and critical review of such a high-profile incident will benefit not only the Orlando Police Department and its community; it will also serve to provide all law enforcement critical guidance and recommendations for responding to future such incidents.”

“Chief Mina has proven to be a tremendous leader of the Orlando Police Department,” said U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III of the Middle District of Florida. “His decision to seek an independent review of the law enforcement response to the Pulse nightclub shootings is another example of his effective leadership. The results of this review should help not only the Orlando Police Department, but also other law enforcement agencies forced to deal with terrorist attacks.”

Through its Critical Response Technical Assistance program, the COPS Office will bring in a technical assistance provider and use subject matter experts to assess OPD’s preparation and response to the mass shooting, strategies and tactics used during the incident, and how the department is managing the aftermath of the mass casualty event.

The Critical Response Technical Assistance program was designed to provide targeted technical assistance to law enforcement agencies dealing with high-profile events, major incidents or sensitive issues of varying need. The program has been used in a number of other cities, including Minneapolis, Minnesota; San Bernardino, California; Ferguson, Missouri; Tampa, Florida; and Pasco, Washington. Previous after-action assessments have provided valuable guidance on lessons learned and serve as an important tool to help the law enforcement profession advance and grow.
The COPS Office, headed by Director Ronald Davis, is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 127,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance. For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit www.cops.usdoj.gov.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (July 15, 2016)

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

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

Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities to Meet July 20-21, 2016
The next meeting of the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (the Committee) will take place on Wednesday, July 20, 2016, and Thursday, July 21, 2016. The meeting will be open to the public on Wednesday, July 20 from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM ET. On Thursday, July 21, the meeting will be open to the public from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM ET. The meeting will take place at the U.S. Access Board, 1331 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20004-1111. On July 20 and 21, the Committee will review, discuss and finalize the latest draft of its final report. The Committee will also hear from a panel of experts regarding the most recent developments in increasing competitive integrated employment at the state level. In addition, a representative of the Department will thank the Committee members for their work.

WIOA at Year Two: Continuing the Conversation — July19, 2016, 3:00-4:00 PM ET
Six months after the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) National Convening, and only weeks after WIOA Final Rules were made publicly available, leaders from federal agencies — including the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services — will reconvene with a webinar on July 19 from 3:00-4:00 PM ET to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the passage of WIOA. During the webinar, presenters will answer questions from the public workforce and education systems on the final rule, and provide a broad overview of what training and technical assistance is coming next. In order to register to participate in the webinar, you must create and activate a free account on WorkforceGPS.

RESNA and NCART Welcome Deputy Assistant Secretary Sheehy
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy took part in a panel discussion at a conference on July 13 sponsored by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) and National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology (NCART). Sheehy spoke about key ODEP initiatives related to accessible workplace technology, including the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT), ePolicyWorks and the Job Accommodation Network (JAN).

ODEP Blogs About Workplace Inclusion for Women and Youth with Disabilities
This week’s Department of Labor blog featured a piece by ODEP Chief of Staff Taryn Williams exploring the importance of workplace inclusion for women with disabilities. The blog recounts Williams’ experience presenting at a conference hosted by Platform, an organization that works to ensure that women’s voices are always part of conversations about their bodies, lives and future. Williams discusses her own experiences advocating for policy reform around equality, and early factors that can lead to career success for youth with disabilities, and all young women.

NDEAM 2016 Posters Now Available
National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is just three months away, and there’s no better time than now to start planning NDEAM festivities centered around the 2016 theme: #InclusionWorks. This year’s free NDEAM poster—available for mail order and download right now—captures the multi-faceted nature of the #InclusionWorks message, illustrating that inclusion works for businesses, for opportunity and for innovation.

PEAT Blog Explores Intersection of Social Media and Recruiting
This week, the ODEP-funded Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) issued a blog post recapping its recent PEAT Talk webinar titled “Social Media & Job Recruiting — Leveling the ‘Playing Fields.’” The piece offers insights from the event’s featured speaker, digital marketer Eliza Greenwood, who addressed the prevalence of social media use in today’s job recruiting landscape and the importance of ensuring that recruiting efforts are accessible across all channels.

Campaign for Disability Employment to Host Twitter Chat on Youth with Disabilities — July 28, 1:00-2:00 PM ET
On Thursday, July 28 from 1:00-2:00 PM ET, the CDE will host its first Twitter chat on “How Businesses Can Support Career Success for Youth with Disabilities.” Held in honor of the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the chat will serve as a prelude to this October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) by highlighting why “inclusion works” for the current generation of youth and young adults with disabilities who are either transitioning to or just starting out in the workforce. The chat will explore what today’s post-ADA generation of youth with disabilities see as key to their workplace success—and the important role that employers can play in helping them achieve it. To participate, please use the hashtag #CDEYouth.

FTA Launches New Online Hub Featuring a Wealth of Transit-Oriented Development Resources (July 2016)

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

Attention transportation planners, government officials, developers and anyone interested in creating dynamic communities near transit: FTA has launched TODresources.org, a hub for information and ideas that will help users develop outstanding transit-oriented development (TOD) projects. The new site includes a dynamic database of leading research on TOD, information about funding and financing options for TOD projects, and opportunities for TOD professionals to connect with one another. Anyone interested in TOD can join the project’s mailing list to get news about new resources and opportunities.

The website is part of FTA’s new TOD technical assistance initiative to help communities across the country grow their economies, achieve their social equity goals, and improve quality of life. The technical assistance, administered by the national nonprofit organization Smart Growth America, provides on-the-ground and online technical assistance to communities working on – or planning to work on – TOD projects across the country. The initiative is designed to help elected officials, municipal staff, advocates, developers, transportation professionals, and urban planners discover new ideas, connect with one another and, ultimately, build great projects.

Labor Department’s OFCCP Update: Scheduling Letter Renewed (July 1, 2016)

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

OFCCP’s Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing have been renewed for three years by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB authorization expires on June 30, 2019. Starting on July 1, 2016, OFCCP will begin using the renewed letter to initiate supply and service compliance evaluations.

OFCCP made clarifying edits to the Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing (OMB Control Number 1250-0003) to ensure contractors understand the information being requested and to strengthen the agency’s assurances of confidentiality for the information provided. Additionally, OFCCP has included language in the renewed Scheduling Letter that provides a more complete description of its investigatory and enforcement processes.

The renewed Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing can be found at: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewIC?ref_nbr=201602-1250-001&icID=13735.

For more information about the Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing, please visit OFCCP’s FAQ Web page at https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/faqs/SchedulingLetter_FAQs.html, or contact the OFCCP Help Desk, at 1-800-397-6251 (TTY: 1-877-889-5627) or online, at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/askofccp.htm.

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

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (July 1, 2016)

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

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

U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Round of Disability Employment Initiative Grants
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced the availability of approximately $15.6 million in grants intended to increase the participation of youth and adults with disabilities in federally funded education and training programs. DOL’s Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) will make the grants — ranging from $1.5 to $2.5 million each — available to state workforce agencies to develop flexible and innovative strategies to engage more people with disabilities in employment services. DOL anticipates awarding eight grants for at least one project for each of the following target populations: adults with disabilities (ages 18 and older), youth with disabilities (ages 14-24) and individuals with significant disabilities (ages 14 and older). Since 2010, DOL has awarded more than $109 million in grants through the DEI to 43 state workforce agencies in 27 states to improve education, training, and employment outcomes of youth and adults with disabilities. The deadline to apply is August 1, 2016.

U.S. Department of Labor Announces ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grant Competition
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has announced the ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion grant competition for registered apprenticeship. Ranging from $700,000 to $3.2M each, the ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grants will help states to integrate apprenticeship into their education and workforce systems; engage industry and other partners at scale to expand apprenticeship to new sectors and populations; support the state’s capacity to conduct outreach and work with employers to start new programs; provide support to expand opportunities for at-risk youth, women, people of color, Native Americans and individuals with disabilities, groups typically under-represented in registered apprenticeships; and implement state innovations, incentives, and system reforms. Grant applications must be received by September 7, 2016.

United Spinal Association Welcomes Deputy Assistant Secretary Sheehy
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy delivered the keynote address at United Spinal Association’s “Roll on Capitol Hill” Legislative and Policy Conference this week in Washington, D.C. Sheehy spoke to people with disabilities as well as clinicians and key United Spinal Association leadership, staff and stakeholders regarding ODEP priorities and initiatives for disability employment.

Connecting to Inclusive Service and Volunteerism: Why Youth with Disabilities Should Engage in AmeriCorps
On June 9, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and NCWD/Youth hosted a webinar entitled “Connecting to Inclusive Service and Volunteerism: Why Youth with Disabilities Should Engage in AmeriCorps.” Speakers at the webinar discussed the benefits of volunteering, the steps youth service professionals can take to help young people with disabilities identify and secure volunteer opportunities, how national service programs like AmeriCorps can be an excellent pathway for transitioning youth with disabilities to career success, and current research regarding alumni outcomes.

PEAT to Hold Twitter Chat on the ADA and Accessible Workplace Technology — July 7, 2:00-2:30 PM EDT
The Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) will hold a Twitter chat on July 7, 2:00-2:30 PM EDT, on “ADA and Accessible Workplace Technology.” Bobby Silverstein will discuss how the ADA applies to accessible workplace technology, and the related May 23 Department of Justice (DOJ) Supplemental Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SANPRM). Participants can join this real-time Twitter conversation by following and tagging their posts with the hashtag #PEATtalks.

LEADing to Employment Information Brief: Funding for Assistive Technology – Transitioning from Secondary School to VR and Work
The LEAD Center has published a LEADing to Employment Information Brief, “Funding for Assistive Technology – Transitioning from Secondary School to VR and Work ,” exploring ways assistive technology (AT) can follow people with disabilities from secondary school to post-secondary education, vocational rehabilitation and employment. LEADing to Employment Information Briefs provide a summary on topics useful to people with disabilities who are pursuing employment and economic advancement.

LEAD Center Releases Monthly 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. The Policy Update 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 June 2016 update features stories on the new Ohio and Tennessee ABLE Account programs, CMS-approved HCBS transition plans for Kentucky and Ohio, final regulations for implementing the nondiscrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and more.

Latest EARN Newsletter Now Available
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) has issued its June 27 newsletter, featuring information on the National Organization on Disability’s 2016 list of Leading Disability Employer Seal Winners, an Office of Personnel Management Proposed Rule for “Disabled Veteran Leave,” upcoming training events, and more.