Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities to Meet January 27-28, 2016
The Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (the Committee) will hold its seventh meeting on January 27-28, 2016 via webinar. The meeting will be open to the public and will take place each day from 1:00-5:00 PM EST. During the meeting, the Committee’s four subcommittees will report to the whole Committee on their work since the submission of the Interim Report and their areas of focus for the Final Report. There will be a public comment period on January 27, 3:30-4:30 PM EST. Instructions on submitting comments can be found in the Federal Register Notice. Members of the public wishing to participate in the webinar must register by January 15, 2016.
Workforce Recruitment Program Launches 2016 Database
The 2016 Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) database was launched on December 15, 2015. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the WRP is the premier resource of college students and recent graduates with disabilities, from over 300 campuses nationwide, who are seeking summer or permanent employment in federal agencies and private companies worldwide. Anyone with a .gov or .mil email address can access the WRP database directly by signing up as an employer at www.wrp.gov. Every candidate is Schedule A eligible, and the database is searchable so employers can find job candidates with the specific skills they require. Employers in the private and non-profit sectors can gain access to the WRP through the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN). DOL Deputy Secretary Chris Lu penned a blog, “Diversify Your Workforce,” about the using the WRP as a key tool to meet disability inclusion goals.
Employment First Technical Briefs Now Available from LEAD Center
The Office of Disability Employment Policy and the LEAD Center have released three Employment First Technical Briefs for anyone working to implement Employment First in their state, region, or agency. Technical Brief #1: “Connecting the Dots: Using Federal Policy to Promote Employment First Systems-Change Efforts,” provides a robust summary and overview of public policy, regulations, rules, and informational bulletins that support employment outcomes and employment first for youth and adults with disabilities. Technical Brief #2: “Federal Legal Framework that Supports Competitive, Integrated Employment Outcomes of Youth and Adults with Significant Disabilities,” highlights various legal actions by federal enforcement agencies that have significant implications for how states prioritize and deliver services for individuals with disabilities. Technical Brief #3: “Criteria for Performance Excellence in Employment First State Systems Change & Provider Transformation,” provides guidance to states that are involved in systems change efforts aimed at improving competitive, integrated employment outcomes of youth and adults with disabilities.
PEAT Publishes December Newsletter
The ODEP-funded Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) has issued its December newsletter which features a preview of PEAT’s role at the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN), as well as new guest blog posts by accessible technology thought leaders Denis Boudreau of Simply Accessible and Shawn Henry of the World Wide Web Consortium. The issue also promotes two upcoming PEAT Talks webinars on topics including “Accessibility and the Seven Principles of Universal Design” and “Raising the Bar on Accessibility.”
National Disability Rights Network and U.S. Department of Labor Enter Agreement that Assists Workers with Disabilities
The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) has formed an agreement with the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The agreement concerns Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act which permits employers to pay wages less than the federal minimum wage, after receipt of a certificate from the DOL, to individuals whose earning or productive capacity is impacted by a physical or mental disability for the work that is to be performed. Ensuring proper implementation, oversight, and enforcement of the section 14(c) subminimum wage program is a key component to protecting the rights and preventing the exploitation of workers with disabilities. The agreement demonstrates the commitment of the WHD and NDRN to protect these rights.
Bob Williams to Join Administration for Community Living as Deputy Commissioner, Administration on Disabilities, and Director, Independent Living Administration
In January 2016, Bob Williams will join the Administration for Community Living as Deputy Commissioner, Administration on Disabilities, and Director, Independent Living Administration. Currently, he is the senior advisor to the deputy commissioner for retirement and disability policy at the Social Security Administration and a key leader of several interagency initiatives to create greater opportunities in career paths, employment, and economic mobility for people with significant disabilities.
Occupational Safety & Health Administration Seeks Comments on Preventing Retaliation Against Whistleblowers
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is seeking public comments on a draft document, “Protecting Whistleblowers: Recommended Practices for Employers for Preventing and Addressing Retaliation,” intended to provide guidance to employers on preventing retaliation against whistleblowers. Comments will be accepted until January 19, 2016 and will be considered by OSHA when preparing the final document for issuance.
U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services Request Comments on Policy Statement on Family Engagement Practices
The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) are requesting comments on a draft policy statement on the implementation of effective family engagement practices from the early years to the early grades. It is the Departments’ position that when families and the institutions where children learn partner in meaningful ways, children have more positive attitudes toward school, stay in school longer, have better attendance, and experience more school success. To further this position, the Departments will release a policy statement on the implementation of effective family engagement practices in early childhood and learning programs. Comments are requested on the draft statement to inform the final document through December 21, 2015 by emailing comments to ECD@acf.hhs.gov.