State Focus: Virginia – Virginia’s Cross-System Accessibility Taskforce Addresses Equal Opportunity and Access
The State of Virginia began working with the National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities (LEAD Center) in 2016. Leadership from key agencies, charged with developing and implementing the state’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Combined State Plan, came together to form a cross-agency Accessibility Taskforce. With support from the LEAD Center, this Taskforce designed and implemented multiple innovative practices to improve physical, programmatic, and communication accessibility within the workforce development system, using the Promising Practices in Achieving Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide to guide their work and their approach to the certification of their American Job Centers (AJCs). This brief details the LEAD Center’s work with the state of Virginia, the strategic direction they chose, their approaches and strategies to building infrastructure to support Equal Opportunity, and what they learned along the way. The brief ends with suggested Action Steps, which can be implemented by other systems, and useful Resources.