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NEW DOLETA TRAINING & EMPLOYMENT NOTICE (TEN): Promoting Employment & Economic Advancement - A Toolkit for CILs & AJCs

September 30, 2016

On July 27, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (DOLETA) issued a TEN to provide information about opportunities for increased collaboration between Centers for Independent Living (CIL) and American Job Centers (AJC) to improve employment outcomes for job seekers with disabilities.

With the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) in 2014, new partnerships and strategies have emerged to fortify the public workforce investment system’s capacity to ensure full inclusion of job seekers with disabilities. CILs are established in every state and territory across the U.S. 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 required to provide a fifth core service around transition that includes the relocation of individuals from nursing homes and other institutions to community-based residences to avoid institutional placement, and the transition of youth with significant disabilities after completion of secondary education to postsecondary education, employment and/or independent living. By offering these targeted services across the country, CILs are well-positioned to support multiple aspects of WIOA implementation at the state and local level by sharing expertise and experiences in supporting the broad spectrum of people with disabilities.

Several fundamental ways that CILs can strengthen collaboration with AJCs include offering their personal and professional experience in disability awareness, physical and program accessibility, and reasonable accommodations under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). CILs can also be an asset to workforce professionals in understanding, procuring, and utilizing assistive technology to help boost employment opportunities for job seekers with disabilities. In addition, CILs may assist AJCs to better support job seekers receiving services concurrently or sequentially from more than one service provider, such as Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). Overall, CILs can help debunk any misperceptions that exist in the workforce investment system and business sector to reach better employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

In order to promote more effective collaboration between AJCs and CILs, resources and guidance have been composed by the National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities (LEAD), funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). This information has been collected in a toolkit, Promoting Employment and Economic Advancement: A Toolkit for CILs and AJCs, available on the LEAD website. Embedded throughout the Toolkit are suggested opportunities and recommendations for CIL and AJC collaboration toward improved opportunities in employment and economic self-sufficiency for job seekers with disabilities. Checklists, guides, and best practices are also outlined that leverage both CILs’ knowledge and skills on disability issues and community resources, as well as AJCs’ training and employment services to maximize the employment of job seekers with disabilities.

Find a CIL in your local community: http://www.ilru.org/html/publications/directory/index.html.