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The Role of One-Stop Career Centers and People with Disabilities Elena Varney, M.S., C.R.C. National Center on Workforce & Disability/Adult

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of One-Stop Career Centers and People with Disabilities Elena Varney, M.S., C.R.C. National Center on Workforce & Disability/Adult"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Role of One-Stop Career Centers and People with Disabilities Elena Varney, M.S., C.R.C. National Center on Workforce & Disability/Adult

2 One-Stops: Why Serve People with Disabilities? n People with disabilities: major segment of population n Major employment needs n Can meet diversity of employer needs n Employment of people with disabilities: national priority

3 Employment of People with Disabilities: A Major National Priority n Legislation: WIA, TWWIIA n Presidential Task Force on Employment of People With Disabilities n Establishment of Office of Disability Employment Policy at USDOL n Major federal hiring initiative n Changes at Social Security n New Freedom Initiative

4 The Role of One-Stops n Same services as provided to every other customer: -Job leads -Placement planning -Job placement assistance -Access to training -Etc.

5 Basic Guidelines for Serving Customers with Disabilities n Start with good values n One-Stop role: meet needs of entire community n Value diversity n People with disabilities fully included and integrated n Collaborative service delivery

6 One-Stop: Best Practices n ADA & Non-Discrimination Regulation compliance as a baseline, not the goal n Focus on physical and service access n Maximum integration n Application of universal design concepts n A welcoming atmosphere n Strong collaboration with disability community n Staff development on disability issues

7 Meeting the Needs of Employers VS. Meeting the Needs of Job Seekers

8 What Employers Are Saying n We consider people with disabilities a valued part of our current and future workforce n Show us how to make it work n Awareness and education are needed n Provide us technical support n Respect our business needs n Make it simple

9 What Individuals Are Saying… n We want to work n Show me how I can work n Major concerns: - Benefits -Transportation -Workplace acceptance n Need easily accessible assistance and support services n Treat us as individuals and respect our individual needs n Make it simple

10 Some Questions to Think About n Why do people succeed in employment? n Why have you succeeded in your job?

11 Success in Employment n Good skill and work culture match n Supportive work environment n Flexibility in how tasks are accomplished n Accommodate various needs n Provide value to employer

12 Another Question What are the Key Factors for a Job Search?

13 n Good planning n Networking n Focus on the positives n Good job matching n Persistence n Possibly representation by others Successful job searches for people with disabilities result from using the same techniques as for all other job seekers

14 Successful Placement of People with Disabilities n Full integration into the workplace n Use of “natural” supports n As-needed source available for long-term support for employer and individual n Minimizing outside assistance, intrusions, “special” treatment n Diversity as an organizational value

15 A Supportive Work Environment n Work culture that values varied work styles, individual strengths n Individuals feel safe asking for support & assistance n Accountability maintained within a flexible & supportive atmosphere n Regular & clear communication about availability of accommodations to all n Regular communication with all staff about resources for support - e.g., EAP

16 Additional Job Search Considerations n Disclosure n Need for accommodations Ranging from: simple modifications to extensive reworking of how a position is performed to creating a position specific to the needs of an individual

17 Disability Values n Disability as a natural part of human existence Not something that needs to be “fixed” n Integration & inclusion n Individual choice & control n Focus on the person, not the disability n Employment as an expected outcome

18 Inquiring About Disability n Different rules for service providers & employers n Inquiries must be done for good reason n Be Clear: -Why information is being requested -Providing information is voluntary n Avoid verbal requests for information in public n Be discrete in staff-to-staff discussions n Maintain confidentiality of records

19 Pre-Employment Enquiries and the ADA n No disability-related questions -verbally or in writing n Questions related only to job requirements n No medical examinations prior to offer of employment n Medical examinations allowed after offer of employment -only if required of all employees in job category What can Employers Ask?

20 To Disclose or Not To Disclose n Is disability obvious? n Is disability not apparent? n Is the truth better? n Is the truth relevant? n Possible consequences? n Personal comfort level? n Is it necessary to disclose prior to offer of employment?

21 The Bottom Line on Disclosure The job seeker’s preference must be respected

22 Dealing Openly with Disability n Focus on job qualification, not disability n Don’t volunteer negative information n Solicit and respond to employer concerns n Be prepared with solutions n Avoid medical terms or jargon n Past problems vs. present credibility n Stress positive current activities

23 Meeting the Needs of Customers with Disabilities n Employer education and advocacy n Counseling individuals on disclosure, accommodations, etc. n Using partners and collaborators -Consultation and technical assistance -Collaborative service provision -Additional services beyond One-Stop scope

24 Partners & Collaborators n Public Vocational Rehabilitation n Other public disability agencies (MH, MR/DD) n Community Rehabilitation Providers n Benefits Planning Assistance & Outreach n Legal assistance (P & A, etc.) n Advocacy Groups

25 Professional’s Role n Empowering n Building trust n Collaborative relationship n Respecting choices n Enhancing choices & options n Validating concerns n Belief in a person’s dreams

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