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LEAD Releases New Toolkit to Promote Collaboration between Centers for Independent Living and American Job Centers

March 31, 2016

In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), the LEAD Center has released Promoting Employment and Economic Advancement: A Toolkit for Centers for Independent Living (CIL) and American Job Centers (AJC). CILs are established in every state and territory across the U.S., and are designed and operated within each local community by individuals with disabilities. CILs maximize the independence of individuals with all types of disabilities through advocacy, independent living skills training, information/referral, and peer counseling. Under WIOA, CILs are also charged with supporting individuals to transition into the community to avoid institutional and nursing home placements, as well as the transition of youth with significant disabilities to adult life after completion of secondary education.

Although CILs and AJCs share a mission to improve the lives of job seekers with disabilities, job seekers with disabilities may not access AJCs as a resources in their job search. In order to learn more about the potential for collaboration between CILs and AJCs and the impact on employment of people with disabilities, the LEAD Center conducted a pilot project involving CILs and AJCs from across the countryThe information gleaned from the project resulted in the Toolkit, designed to help CILs and AJCs deepen their understanding of services and structures of both, and their activities that support job seekers with disabilities in achieving employment. The Toolkit includes checklists, guides, and fact sheets that leverage both 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 to create a win-win-win for CILs, AJCs, and job seekers with disabilities.

Visit the LEAD Center website to access the CIL Toolkit. To find a CIL in your local community, please visit http://www.ilru.org/html/publications/directory/index.html.  

The toolkit was dedicated to honor the memory of Speed Davis and Jamie Kendall, two strong advocates who were passionate about the independent living movement, employment and economic advancement for people with disabilities. Their work to promote independent living, disability rights and full inclusion is the noble legacy they leave behind and from which future generations will long benefit.

*Preparation of the Toolkit was funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, Grant No. OD-23863-12-75-4-11,CFDA # 17.720. This document does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.