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CIL-AJC Community of Practice Continues to Build Momentum

September 30, 2014

The LEAD Center Community of Practice (CoP) for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and American Job Centers (AJCs) continues to provide ongoing peer-to-peer mentorship, training, and technical assistance. The CIL-AJC CoP meets monthly to improve collaboration and coordination efforts between CILs and AJCs toward improved employment and economic advancement outcomes for people with disabilities. To add to the impressive work and capacity of the participating CILs and AJCs, a leader in the field of employment or economic advancement joins the calls each month to further build capacity. Previous presentations have included information and resources on:

·         Disability Employment Initiative (DEI),

·         Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC),

·         Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and

·         Key changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA)

At a time when a growing number of CILs are providing employment services to meet the needs of their customers and American Job Centers seek to streamline services to better serve job seekers with disabilities, the CIL-AJC CoP serves as a sustainable forum to build systemic capacity to improve employment opportunities and economic advancement for people with disabilities.

On July 31, at NCIL’s 2014 Annual Conference on Independent Living, the LEAD Center announced the upcoming release of a toolkit that complements and draws from lessons learned in the LEAD Center CIL Pilot and the CIL-AJC CoP. CILs and AJCs will be able to utilize this toolkit to deepen their understanding of each other’s services and structure to improve the lives of job seekers with disabilities through employment. The checklists, guides and fact sheets in the toolkit leverage CILs’ knowledge and skills on disability issues and community resources and AJCs’ training and employment services to maximize the talents and skills of both partners and improve employment outcomes for job seekers with disabilities.

To learn more about the CoP and toolkit, please contact Elizabeth Jennings, LEAD Center Assistant Project Director, ejennings@ndi-inc.org.