On August 2nd, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) announced that “Inclusion Drives Innovation” will be the theme of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in October 2017.
Every October, NDEAM celebrates individualsvwith disabilities and their contributions and achievements to the American workforce. ODEP created this year’s theme with input from a wide variety of its partner organizations, including those representing employers, people with disabilities and their families, and federal, state, and local agencies. To learn more about NDEAM, please visit National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2017 .
What are you doing to support the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in workforce training and employment?
This is an area we are trying to improve upon. We have all the basics of environmental accessibility covered. We have a "low vision" computer workstation set up among our 12 stations for use during "open job search" and during special classes for employability skills and life skills. We have high quality headphones with in-line volume control. We probably need to get a screen reader for the low vision workstation. Any recommendations?
Hi, Julie -
It sounds like you have already considered a lot of ways to make your center accessible to learners. Without knowing too much about your population of learners, I would suggest reaching out to your state's Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) system. All 50 states and Territories have a VR system. You can learn more about your state's system here.
While not all VR systems operate exactly the same, and not all persons with disabilities are able to access VR services, your state's system should be a great resource for both referring learners, and finding out more about programs in your community that promote inclusion in the workplace. Many state VR systems can also provide you with access to low-cost assistive technology, or loan and grant programs to help agencies acquire resources such as screen readers, and other tech.
Disabilities and Equitable Outcomes Moderator
One assistive technology resource that is available to you is the Job Accommodation Network, https://askjan.org/links/about.htm. (in my opinion, America's Best Kept Secret!). Also, each State has a federally-mandated assistive technology program. You can find your State's provider at http://ataporg.org/programs. Your local Independent Living Center may also be an excellent resource.
Dave Mayer, TA Liaison, Disability Employment Initiative, National Disability Institute