Advancing Compliance and Inclusion
In this section, workforce development staff will learn about tools and resources that build capacity to increase access to services and outcomes for all people, including job seekers with disabilities, people of color, and others who have been historically underserved in the public workforce system.
What strategies can be integrated into our workforce programs and services to help expand our accessibility, consistent with the vision of WIOA?
- This self-paced eLearning module provides tools and resources to support professional development of front-line American Job Center staff in effectively serving customers with disabilities. This module includes scenarios to increase organizational learning on strategies to help maximize a seamless customer service experience under WIOA.
What organization can workforce staff/programs engage with in their local areas to identify new partners, conduct outreach and coordinate cross-training opportunities?
- Centers for Independent Living (CIL) are community-based centers that can serve as a support to the workforce system to improve the employment and economic advancement of job seekers with disabilities. All CILs are involved in advocacy to increase the level of accessibility in their communities. CILs also maintain connections to other community-based organizations and state agencies that support people with disabilities. To locate your closest CIL, visit this link.
How can workforce staff become confident discussing disability and identifying effective accommodations?
Resources from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) can help American Job Centers ensure equal access and opportunity. Access a listing of job accommodations by disability, topic, and limitation to help determine effective accommodations and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Use these steps and tips to help determine effective reasonable accommodations. See this guide for a summary of some of the most frequent issues that employees have regarding accommodations and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, including practical ideas for resolving them. It can serve as a resource for case managers, employment specialists, and counselors (including career counselors) to use with job seekers in preparation for interviews and other opportunities to talk with potential employers.
How can our American Job Center/workforce board become an EN?
- Check out the Employment Network Tools and Resources page on WorkforceGPS to learn how to provide recipients of Social Security disability benefits with expanded choices regarding services and supports needed to enter, re-enter, or maintain employment. Access resources that support workforce entities to learn about the process of becoming and operating an employment network, including the Ticket to Work: Operating a Workforce EN Planning Guide and Workbook.
What can our American Job Center do to expand accessibility and create a culture that is universally accessible?
Consider joining or forming a workgroup to engage in continuous information sharing, decision-making, partnership strengthening, and action planning between systems. See an example of how Virginia is using a cross system accessibility task force to address equal opportunity and access.
Serving Individuals with Disabilities – A Day in the Life of an American Job Center: This self-paced eLearning module provides tools and resources to support front-line American Job Center staff in effectively serving customers with disabilities. This module includes an accompanying Reflect, Relate, and Apply Activity Sheet to help draw connections between the topics, examples presented and experiences as a front-line American Job Center staff.
Customer Service Training Needs: Self-Assessment Tool: This tool can assist states and/or regions to gauge how their existing customer service delivery across Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act program partners are working and where improvements can be made to be better aligned. This information can be used to help identify staff training needs.
Strengthening State & Local Drivers of Change: A Guide to Increasing Universal Access in WIOA & Partner Systems: This guide can help state or local cross-system partners assess and strengthen their own system’s key drivers, which are needed for change and improvement in universal access. The resource provides an overview of how a Workforce Innovation Disability and Employment cohort from five states identified concrete action steps addressing leadership, organizational, and capacity drivers.
Colorado – Addressing Programmatic Access – This best practice highlights a self-paced, online course developed to increase knowledge around programmatic accessibility in the workforce system. It includes a Programmatic Accessibility Self-Evaluation Toolkit designed for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act partners to evaluate progress on accessibility in their local areas.
National Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training (AT3) Center: This state resource can help workforce programs and partners make assistive technology (AT) devices and services more available and accessible to individuals with disabilities and their families. To learn more and find your state’s Assistive Technology Program, visit this link.
Building Accessible and Inclusive Community College Environments for Students with Disabilities: Two Experiences in Capacity Building and Institutional Change: This brief provides findings from an implementation study to increase capacity to provide inclusive integrated education and career development and training services to young adults with disabilities.
Directory of Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Associations: These community-based centers can serve as a support to the workforce system to improve the employment and economic advancement of all job seekers, including individuals with disabilities, with an emphasis on serving out-of-school youth. Services provided vary but usually include information and referral, independent living training and peer counseling. Some offer employment and career services. All CILs are involved in advocacy to increase the level of accessibility in their communities. To locate your closest CIL, visit this link.
Iowa Disability Access Committees: This resource highlights how the State of Iowa codified a Disability Access Standing Committee to the State Workforce Board. In turn, this committee established local committees with the same focus and similar make-up for each of the local workforce boards. With the support and guidance from the state committee, these local planning groups address physical and programmatic access, and guidance and support to all workforce staff to support their capacity to include individuals with disabilities in center services.
Job Accommodation Network (JAN): This national resource provides the most comprehensive job accommodation information available, with trusted consultants that offer one-on-one guidance on accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act. For information about contacting JAN staff by phone or email, click here.
- A to Z of Disabilities and Accommodations: This resource provides a listing of job accommodations by disability, topic, work-related function and limitation designed to help determine effective accommodations and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. American Job Center programs are required to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities to ensure equal access and opportunity.
- Accommodation and Compliance: Interactive Process: This resource includes steps and tips on using an interactive process to help determine effective reasonable accommodations.
- Employee’s Practical Guide to Requesting and Negotiating Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans with Disabilities Act: This guide provides a summary of some of the most frequent issues that employees have regarding accommodations and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance including practical ideas for resolving them.
Reasonable Accommodations for Returning Citizens with Disabilities: This quick reference guide includes strategies to help American Job Centers provide reasonable accommodations to help justice-involved citizens with disabilities find and retain employment.
Accommodation Flyer and Poster: This flyer and poster, developed by Virginia’s cross agency Accessibility Taskforce, provides examples of challenges some American Center customers may be experiencing with access, along with examples of accommodations and links to Virginia specific and national resources. This resource may help American Job Center staff lead to a discussion with customers and may assist with addressing non-disclosed disabilities.
Employment Network (EN) Tools and Resources: This web page Includes a technical resource, Ticket to Work: Operating a Workforce EN Planning Guide and Workbook, as well as technical assistance resources that can support workforce entities in learning more about the process to become and operate an employment network.
Ticket to Work: This web page contains links to administer Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program through an employment network in the public workforce system.
Making Change Happen: Virginia’s Cross System Accessibility Taskforce Addresses Equal Opportunity and Access: This brief details Virginia’s approaches and strategies to build an infrastructure to support equal opportunity, and the key lessons they learned. The brief incorporates action steps and resources that can be a guide for other systems.
WIOA Section 188 & AJC Certification: A Window of Opportunity to Impact Equal Opportunity Policy & Practice to Better Serve Individuals with Disabilities: This brief highlights promising practices to support American Job Center certification and equal opportunity from three progressive states: California, Missouri, and Virginia.