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Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities to Meet April 27-28, 2016

The next meeting of the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (the Committee) will take place on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, and Thursday, April 28, 2016. The meeting will be open to the public on Wednesday, April 27 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM EDT. On Thursday, April 28, the meeting will be open to the public from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT. The meeting will take place at the U.S. Access Board, 1331 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004-1111. On April 27 and 28, the four subcommittees of the Committee will report out on their work since the last meeting of the Committee. In addition, the entire Committee will discuss recommendations regarding the AbilityOne® program. Also, the Committee will consider recommendations regarding the certificate program under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The whole Committee will also discuss next steps and timelines for the final report. The public comment period of the meeting will take place on April 27 from 2:45 PM to 3:45 PM EDT. Instructions for submitting comments can be found in the Federal Register Notice. The deadline for submitting comments is April 15.

LEAD Center Issues Resources to Use in Reviewing State WIOA Unified or Combined State Plans from a Disability Perspective

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires the Governor of each State to submit a Unified or Combined State Plan to the Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL) by April 1, 2016 that outlines a four-year strategy for the State’s workforce development system to provide services and supports that assist all job-seekers in securing good jobs while providing businesses with skilled workers. States must have approved State Plans in place to receive funding for the six core programs under WIOA. In order to ensure that these Unified or Combined State Plans address the needs of individuals with disabilities, as required by WIOA, the LEAD Center has created two guides that can be used by local and state Workforce Development Boards, disability-related stakeholders, and workforce partners as a tool when reviewing their state’s plan from a disability perspective. Also provided are the LEAD Center’s Review of 10 Unified and Combined WIOA State Plans and a link to a Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 14-15 published on March 4, 2016 by DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA).

Employment First Policy Established by Governor’s Executive Order in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed Executive Order 2016-03 — Establishing “Employment First” Policy and Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Pennsylvanians with a Disability. Through its participation as a Core State in ODEP’s Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP), the implementation of this policy reflects an outcome of the work in Pennsylvania under its Employment First technical assistance plan and as part of its Vision Quest work in FY2015. As stated in the text of the Executive Order, “Pennsylvania government is actively committed to promoting improved competitive integrated employment outcomes through its involvement as a core state selected by the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy’s Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program.” ODEP congratulates the state of Pennsylvania for its commitment to expanding competitive integrated employment opportunities for Pennsylvanians with disabilities through the establishment of this Employment First policy, and is gratified to have had the opportunity to work with them in this important effort.

Latest EARN Newsletter Now Available

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) has issued its March 16 newsletter, featuring information on an EARN policy brief on EEOC’s Section 501 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the “Side by Side” social media campaign, Brain Injury Awareness Month, future webinars, and more.

OPM Presents Webinar for Federal Employees on Adult Dependent Caregivers — March 24, 2:00-3:30 PM EDT

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will present a webinar on “Work-Life Supports for Federal Employees with Adult Dependent Care Responsibilities” on March 24, 2:00-3:30 PM EDT. About 25.8 million family caregivers provide personal assistance to individuals 18 years or older who have a disability (physical and/or cognitive) or chronic illness. During this webinar, participants will learn critical information related to workplace, education, health care, and transportation supports for federal employees and their dependents and/or other family members with disabilities or health conditions. Speakers include Carol Boyer from the Department of Labor and Doris Rippey from OPM.

SSA Hosts WISE Webinar on Ticket to Work and Financial Independence — March 23, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will host a National Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) webinar on March 23, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT. The webinar “Make it Happen: The Ticket to Financial Freedom” is aimed at those who receive Social Security disability benefits, and will present experts who will discuss how Ticket to Work and other work incentives can help with goal setting to reach financial independence. Participants will gain basic financial knowledge such as budgeting and expense tracking, and learn about tax benefits and asset building. Registration is available online or at 866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY).