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New Members Appointed to Disability Employment Advisory Committee

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez has appointed two new members, James T. Brett and Ari Ne’eman, to the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (the committee). The committee is a key provision of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Brett, who is President and Chief Executive Officer of The New England Council, an alliance of schools, hospitals, corporations, and other private organizations throughout New England working together to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the region, will serve with the group of representatives from the employer community or national employer organizations. Ne’eman, President and co-founder of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, an advocacy organization run by and for Autistic adults seeking to increase the representation of Autistic people across society, will be one of the representatives of national disability advocacy organizations for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Improving Mental Health for Workers, This Month and Every Month — DOL Blog

May is Mental Health Month, and in her May 14 Department of Labor blog, “Improving Mental Health for Workers, This Month and Every Month,” Elena Brown, special assistant in the Office of Disability Employment Policy, reflects on her recent trip to The Hague to participate in a policy forum on mental health and work sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). “Whether through an employee assistance program or a less formal method, supporting the mental health needs of workers is good for employees, employers and society at large. That was the resounding message at the forum — and an affirming one to those of us in the Office of Disability Employment Policy,” notes Brown.

Federal Partners in Transition’s 2020 Plan Discussed at Capacity Building Institute

Laura Ibañez, Policy Advisor from the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor and Melodie Johnson, Management Policy Analyst from the Office of Policy and Planning at the U.S. Department of Education, gave a federal perspective on interagency collaboration at the 9th Annual Capacity Building Institute: Improving Postsecondary Outcomes for All Students with Disabilities, on May 7 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Addressing an audience of about 200 members of interdisciplinary state teams, Ibañez and Johnson discussed their experience developing the Federal Partners in Transition’s 2020 Federal Youth Transition Plan: A Federal Interagency Strategy (2020 Plan). The purpose of the 2020 Plan is to enhance interagency coordination, develop compatible goals to improve outcomes for youth with disabilities in transition, and help the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Labor, and Social Security Administration to approach transition in a more integrated way that will lead to improved outcomes by 2020.

PEAT Publishes Q&A on Proposed ICT Rule Update

The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) has published a list of six questions and answers related to a rule proposed by the U.S Access Board to update accessibility requirements for information and communication technologies (ICT). This rule refreshes standards for electronic and information technology in the federal sector covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It also updates guidelines for telecommunications equipment issued under Section 255 of the Communications Act of 1934. PEAT compiled the Q&A list to assist those who are interested in submitting comments on the proposed rule. Comments must be submitted by May 28.

LEAD Center Releases Customized Employment FAQs

The LEAD Center has published a new resource, titled “Frequently Asked Questions: Using Customized Employment’s Discovery and Group Discovery Models to Promote Job Seeker Success in American Job Centers.” Customized Employment offers an approach consistent with the most innovative and cutting edge human resource practices. Its signature strategy, Discovery, offers an approach for job seekers with barriers to employment that is consistent with some of the most widely accepted strategies for successful career development. Customized Employment and Discovery are not necessarily appropriate or desirable for all AJC job seekers with disabilities or other complex barriers to employment, but the strategies provide non-traditional options and choices — both for job seekers and AJC staff.

Cultivating Talent for Tomorrow: The Value of Interns with Disabilities — EARN Blog

In a May 6 blog on the Employer Assistance and Resource Network’s EARN|Exchange site, Tiffany Jolliff, program specialist in the Office of Disability Employment Policy, recaps a webinar that she moderated on April 29 titled “Cultivating Talent for Tomorrow: The Value of Interns with Disabilities.” Presenters included representatives from DirectEmployers, Northrop Grumman, and Prudential Financial. All spoke about the benefits of internships for both the employers and the interns they hire. The presentation files are available along with the archived webinar.

EARN Releases May 13 Newsletter

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network’s (EARN) latest newsletter was released on May 13, featuring information on Mental Health Month, the National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme, two blogs on the importance of internships, notices on upcoming webinars, and more. EARN is a service of the National Employer Policy, Research and Technical Assistance Center for Employers on the Employment of People with Disabilities, which is funded by ODEP under a cooperative agreement with The Viscardi Center.