Assistant Secretary Martinez – Advancing Inclusion

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez provided closing remarks to more than 75 Washington, D.C.-area business advocates and allies on February 21 at an LGBT Power Symposium sponsored by the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. “When we make strides toward equality for any community, whether the disability community, the LGBT community, or any other historically marginalized population, it benefits all of us,” said Martinez.

Federal Communications Commission Releases Standards on Closed Captioning for Television

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has unanimously approved standards defining the components necessary for high quality closed captions on television. The new standards explain that to be fully accessible, closed captions on television programs must accurately convey dialogue and sounds in the program, and run from the beginning to the end of the program. In addition, captions must be timed so that they generally do not lag far behind the program’s dialogue and must be placed so they do not block other important information on the screen. The new rules also ensure better access to local news on TV. Further, the Order explains how the new standards apply to pre-recorded, live, and near-live programming, and identifies best practices for video programmers, captioning vendors, and captioners. The new rules will be evaluated again one year after they become effective to ensure full access to TV programming.

NCWD/Youth Publishes Article on Individualized Learning Plans in Education Week

In an article, “Planning for Life After High School,” published in Education Week, V. Scott Solberg of the Boston University School of Education, and Curtis Richards with the Institute for Educational Leadership, write about the importance of individualized learning plans (ILPs) in helping students, including students with disabilities, transition between school and college or work while keeping students engaged and families involved in learning. Solberg and Richards, who lead ODEP’s National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth), discuss the research they have conducted on exemplary ILP implementation strategies.

US Business Leadership Network Accepting Applications for Executive Education Scholarships – Deadline March 10

The US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) is now seeking applications for its new Executive Education Scholarships for certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (DOBE®s) to attend the Tuck School at Dartmouth University for a week-long educational program. These five scholarships, underwritten by Wells Fargo, underscore the role that executive education plays in providing business leaders innovative learning tools for the continuous improvement of their companies. Applicants must be DOBE®s and meet the selection criteria, including USBLN® certification, 3-10+ years in business, and the ability to articulate a future vision and business direction. Applications are due March 10.

Stephen M. Wing “Take Flight” Scholarship for Job Training and Education Open for Applications – Deadline March 21

The Stephen M. Wing “Take Flight” Scholarship is designed to assist individuals committed to advancing their career paths by increasing their employment and education opportunities. Eligible candidates include part-time and full-time students attending trade school, community college or university, participating in internships or enrolled/enrolling in other training programs within three months from May 2014, when the scholarships will be distributed by the Partnership for American Veterans Employment and Education Solutions (PAVES). The scholarship can be awarded in various increments; no minimum request will be ignored. The maximum request may not exceed $5,000 for a single application. Applicants may apply for scholarships to go towards college tuition, books, lab fees, training program enrollment, certification classes and tests, leadership programs, computers and laptops, support and counseling services or other products and services to advance education and employment opportunities. Individuals may nominate themselves or be nominated by peers, co-workers, family members or colleagues. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and a permanent resident of the U.S. Applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis, and are due March 21.

Federal Communications Commission Accepting Nominations for Third Annual Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility – Deadline March 31

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking nominations for the third annual Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility. The awards honor outstanding private and public sector initiatives that advance accessibility for people with disabilities. Awards will be given in several categories. The contest is open to any individual or entity in the public or private sector, or a combination thereof. Self-nominations and those made by a third party will be accepted. Winners and honorable mentions will receive their awards from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in June 2014. Nominations must be emailed by March 31.