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EEOC Issues Regulations on the Federal Government’s Obligation to Engage in Affirmative Action for People with Disabilities
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published regulations on Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, explaining what federal agencies must do to comply with their legal obligation to engage in affirmative action in employment and otherwise serve as “model employers” for individuals with disabilities. The regulations do not impose any obligations on private businesses or state and local governments. The rule consolidates existing requirements from a variety of sources, such as the existing requirements that federal agencies have written reasonable accommodation procedures and seek out qualified job applicants with disabilities. The regulations set goals for federal agency workforces of 12 percent representation for individuals with disabilities and 2 percent for individuals with “targeted” disabilities. The regulations also require federal agencies to provide personal assistance services to employees who need them to perform basic human activities at work, such as eating and using the restroom. To give agencies sufficient time to come into compliance, the rule will become effective on January 3, 2018. EEOC also will provide agencies with training and technical assistance to support their compliance efforts.

CDE’s #DisabilityMentoring Twitter Chat Scheduled for January 12, 2:00-3:00 PM ET
The countdown continues toward the Campaign for Disability Employment’s (CDE) next Twitter chat featuring special guest Derek Shields, co-chair of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition. Held in honor of National Mentoring Month and “I Am a Mentor Day,” the chat will take place January 12, 2:00-3:00 PM ET. It will focus on career mentoring and its role in the employment success of people with disabilities, and is co-sponsored by the ODEP-funded CDE and its member organization the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). To participate in the Twitter chat, please use the hashtag #DisabilityMentors.

Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program Community of Practice Webinar — January 11, 3:00-4:00 PM ET
Don’t miss the next Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) Community of Practice webinar, “Provider Transformation from a Rural Perspective,” to be presented by Dwayne Webb, Program Director, Day and Employment Services, St. John’s Community Services. Mr. Webb will explain how St. John’s Community Services was able to transition from a workshop to an environment that focuses on helping people with disabilities obtain competitive integrated employment. The webinar will be held January 11, 3:00-4:00 PM ET.

PEAT Talks: Teaching Accessible eRecruiting as a Business Strategy — January 19, 2:00-2:30 PM ET
Learn how educational institutions are bridging the hiring gap for new graduates with disabilities by educating Human Resources professionals online about common barriers to access. Rachel Kerrigan will join PEAT to discuss how Perkins School for the Blind and Harvard Extension School have partnered to provide a free online course titled “Introduction to Inclusive Talent Acquisition” for hiring managers and recruiters. The curriculum includes PEAT’s own TalentWorks tool, which provides key resources to help employers make their eRecruiting technologies accessible. The PEAT Talk will be held January 19, 2:00-2:30 PM ET.

ODEP Releases Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program Overview Video
As an introduction to the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP), the Office of Disability Employment Policy has released an overview video about the program. The video, hosted by ODEP policy advisors Richard Davis, Andy Arias, and Rose Sloan, explains the concepts of Employment First and competitive integrated employment, discusses the EFSLMP and its accomplishments so far, and outlines the benefits of the program and how to become involved.

Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects Grant Opportunities Announced from NIDILRR
Two new grant opportunities from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) have been announced under the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects Program (DRRP). The purpose of the DRRP is to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities. Eligible applicants include nonprofits; state, county, city, or town governments; institutions of higher education; and Native American tribal governments and organizations. The two grant opportunities are for the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects Program: Community Living and Participation (Research), and the Disability and Rehabilitation Projects Program: Community Living and Participation (Development). Both grant opportunities close on February 21. To stay current on NIDILRR grant opportunities, please visit and search: NIDILRR or 93.433.