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CMS Issues Final Rule on Home and Community-Based Services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a final rule that offers states new flexibilities in providing necessary and appropriate services to elderly and disabled populations on a more individualized basis. Authorized through section 2402 of the Affordable Care Act, the regulation outlines the optional state plan benefit to furnish home and community-based state plan services and draw federal matching funds. As a result, states will be able to design and tailor Medicaid services to better accommodate individual needs. The final rule includes other changes to the HCBS waiver provisions to convey expectations regarding person-centered plans of care, to provide characteristics of settings that are home and community-based as well as settings that may not be home and community-based, to clarify the timing of amendments and public input requirements when states propose modifications to HCBS waiver programs and service rates, and describes strategies state Medicaid systems can pursue to make sure that aging citizens and individuals with disabilities are supported in the most integrated setting possible.

EARN Publishes Guide on Effective Hiring Practices for Federal Employers

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) has published “Disability is Diversity: Effective Hiring Practices for Federal Employers.” This research-to-practice brief first discusses diversity initiatives and requirements unique to the federal government. It then reviews relevant research to provide recommendations to federal employers in their continuing effort to recruit and promote employees with disabilities.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases the Occupational Outlook Handbook

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the 2014-15 edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). The OOH, one of the nation’s most widely used career information resources, includes details about work activities, wages, education and training requirements, the job outlook, and more for 580 occupations in 334 profiles.

Career Mentoring Youth with Disabilities as a Business Strategy

As a guest blogger on Disability.Blog, the official blog of, Jill Houghton, executive director of the US Business Leadership Network, posted “Career Mentoring Youth with Disabilities as a Business Strategy.” She discussed the benefits of mentoring programs for both youth with disabilities and the businesses involved, as evidenced by the success of programs like Disability Mentoring Day, the Workforce Recruitment Program’s pilot mentoring program, and the Career Link Mentoring Program.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Issues Youth Employment Rate Numbers for December 2013

Employment data for youth with and without disabilities is obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.