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U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Round of Disability Employment Initiative Grants
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced the availability of approximately $15.6 million in grants intended to increase the participation of youth and adults with disabilities in federally funded education and training programs. DOL’s Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) will make the grants — ranging from $1.5 to $2.5 million each — available to state workforce agencies to develop flexible and innovative strategies to engage more people with disabilities in employment services. DOL anticipates awarding eight grants for at least one project for each of the following target populations: adults with disabilities (ages 18 and older), youth with disabilities (ages 14-24) and individuals with significant disabilities (ages 14 and older). Since 2010, DOL has awarded more than $109 million in grants through the DEI to 43 state workforce agencies in 27 states to improve education, training, and employment outcomes of youth and adults with disabilities. The deadline to apply is August 1, 2016.

U.S. Department of Labor Announces ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grant Competition
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has announced the ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion grant competition for registered apprenticeship. Ranging from $700,000 to $3.2M each, the ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grants will help states to integrate apprenticeship into their education and workforce systems; engage industry and other partners at scale to expand apprenticeship to new sectors and populations; support the state’s capacity to conduct outreach and work with employers to start new programs; provide support to expand opportunities for at-risk youth, women, people of color, Native Americans and individuals with disabilities, groups typically under-represented in registered apprenticeships; and implement state innovations, incentives, and system reforms. Grant applications must be received by September 7, 2016.

United Spinal Association Welcomes Deputy Assistant Secretary Sheehy
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy delivered the keynote address at United Spinal Association’s “Roll on Capitol Hill” Legislative and Policy Conference this week in Washington, D.C. Sheehy spoke to people with disabilities as well as clinicians and key United Spinal Association leadership, staff and stakeholders regarding ODEP priorities and initiatives for disability employment.

Connecting to Inclusive Service and Volunteerism: Why Youth with Disabilities Should Engage in AmeriCorps
On June 9, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and NCWD/Youth hosted a webinar entitled “Connecting to Inclusive Service and Volunteerism: Why Youth with Disabilities Should Engage in AmeriCorps.” Speakers at the webinar discussed the benefits of volunteering, the steps youth service professionals can take to help young people with disabilities identify and secure volunteer opportunities, how national service programs like AmeriCorps can be an excellent pathway for transitioning youth with disabilities to career success, and current research regarding alumni outcomes.

PEAT to Hold Twitter Chat on the ADA and Accessible Workplace Technology — July 7, 2:00-2:30 PM EDT
The Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) will hold a Twitter chat on July 7, 2:00-2:30 PM EDT, on “ADA and Accessible Workplace Technology.” Bobby Silverstein will discuss how the ADA applies to accessible workplace technology, and the related May 23 Department of Justice (DOJ) Supplemental Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SANPRM). Participants can join this real-time Twitter conversation by following and tagging their posts with the hashtag #PEATtalks.

LEADing to Employment Information Brief: Funding for Assistive Technology – Transitioning from Secondary School to VR and Work
The LEAD Center has published a LEADing to Employment Information Brief, “Funding for Assistive Technology – Transitioning from Secondary School to VR and Work ,” exploring ways assistive technology (AT) can follow people with disabilities from secondary school to post-secondary education, vocational rehabilitation and employment. LEADing to Employment Information Briefs provide a summary on topics useful to people with disabilities who are pursuing employment and economic advancement.

LEAD Center Releases Monthly Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability
The LEAD Center’s Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability is a monthly update focusing on the intersection of disability, employment, and health care policy. The Policy Update provides policymakers, disability service professionals, individuals with disabilities, and their families with information about relevant policy developments regarding Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and related topics, with a focus on improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. The June 2016 update features stories on the new Ohio and Tennessee ABLE Account programs, CMS-approved HCBS transition plans for Kentucky and Ohio, final regulations for implementing the nondiscrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and more.

Latest EARN Newsletter Now Available
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) has issued its June 27 newsletter, featuring information on the National Organization on Disability’s 2016 list of Leading Disability Employer Seal Winners, an Office of Personnel Management Proposed Rule for “Disabled Veteran Leave,” upcoming training events, and more.