LEAD Center Releases Brief on the ABLE Act and Employment
The LEAD Center has released a brief titled, “The ABLE Act and Employment: Strategies for Maximizing the Effectiveness of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act as a Tool for Financial Stability and Employment Outcomes of People with Disabilities.” This brief demonstrates how provisions in the ABLE Act can be combined with federal benefit services and other federal programs and initiatives to further competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities. The brief contains a list of the provisions of the ABLE Act, their impact on the financial self-sufficiency and employment opportunities of persons with disabilities, and recommendations on how to best utilize the ABLE Act to maximize these outcomes.

American Job Centers and Digital Access: A Guide to Accessible Information and Communication Technology
Within the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is a provision stating that all comprehensive American Job Centers (AJCs) and affiliated sites must be physically and programmatically accessible to individuals with disabilities, including information and communication technology (ICT) designed, procured, maintained, and used by AJCs, as outlined in WIOA’s Section 188. For many AJCs, addressing accessible technology issues may be new territory. With that in mind, the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) and the LEAD Center worked together to create “American Job Centers and Digital Access: A Guide to Accessible Information and Communication Technology.” This guide is designed to promote the importance of ICT accessibility issues and point out helpful “how to” resources to help AJCs ensure that their ICT is accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. It also includes an Appendix featuring a glossary of commonly used definitions and acronyms.

Mental Health at Work — Mental Health Month Blog
In observance of Mental Health Month in May, Betsy Kravitz, Business Development Specialist in the Office of Disability Employment Policy, posted “Mental Health at Work” on the U.S. Department of Labor’s blog site. Reflecting on her experiences in the workplace as a person with bipolar disorder, Kravitz discussed the importance of accommodations and employer support to the mental wellness of all employees.

PEAT Blog Celebrates Global Accessibility Awareness Day
In celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), the ODEP-funded Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) compiled a list highlighting some of their favorite actionable quotes from PEAT contributors, including accessibility experts, employers, government entities, disability advocates and others. Pulled from a variety of PEAT resources, the quotes explore the challenges of implementing accessible technology, as well as the great promise it holds for removing workplace barriers for employees and job seekers with disabilities.

NCWD/Youth Offers Publications on Mental Health Needs of Youth
Youth with mental health needs often face unemployment, underemployment, and discrimination when they enter the workforce. Employment data show that individuals with serious mental illness have the lowest level of employment of any group of people with disabilities. The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) offers several publications that outline practical information and resources for youth service practitioners. In addition, they provide policymakers, from the program to the state level, with information to help them address system and policy obstacles in order to improve service delivery systems for youth with mental health needs.

New from the Ask JAN Blog
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has posted two new entries on the Ask JAN blog. In “Reading Made Easier,” Sarah Small, JAN Consultant on the Cognitive/Neurological Team, described some new technology that she had the opportunity to test at the annual California State University Northridge (CSUN) Assistive Technology Conference. Melanie Whetzel, JAN Lead Consultant on the Cognitive/Neurological Team, wrote “May is Mental Health Awareness Month,” in which she presented information on mental health disabilities, including examples of effective accommodations in the workplace.

Latest EARN Newsletter Now Available
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) has issued its May 17 newsletter, highlighting information on DiversityInc’s 2017 list of “Top 50 Companies for Diversity,” the “Right Direction” mental health employer resource, upcoming web events, and more.

For more information, go to www.dol.gov/odep.