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Free Tool to Assess Workplace Technology Accessibility — PEAT Enhances TechCheck
The ODEP-funded Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) has enhanced TechCheck, a free, interactive tool that helps organizations evaluate their accessible workplace technology efforts and find resources to develop them further. TechCheck gives users a confidential benchmarking “snapshot” of the current state of their workplace technology, recommended accessibility goals and steps they can take to achieve them. Updated features of the tool include automatic scoring and a customized list of resource links based on user responses, making TechCheck a natural step for employers seeking to build or fine-tune an accessible workplace technology initiative.

ODEP Highlights Apprenticeship with #ApprenticeshipWorks Video Series
Apprenticeship is an important strategy for job seekers looking to punch their ticket to the middle class and for businesses seeking skilled workers who can flourish in the global economy. Today, apprenticeship programs also extend beyond traditional trades, thriving in high-growth industries like information technology and healthcare. ODEP’s #ApprenticeshipWorks Video Series features apprentices with and without disabilities (Recruits) and their apprenticeship sponsors (Sponsors) talking about how apprenticeship works for them and how it can work for other job seekers and businesses across the country. Videos are available in English and Spanish with captioning and audio introduced versions.

New EFSLMP Resource: Pilot Provider Transformation Manual
The Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) has released its Pilot Provider Transformation Manual. The new manual is intended to help guide and support provider organizations interested in transforming their service delivery models to have an Employment First emphasis on competitive integrated employment. The new manual features eight modules covering several key components of successful systems change, based on ODEP’s Criteria for Performance Excellence in E1st Provider Transformation. This Pilot version is ready for use, so please download the manual and share it broadly with your networks and colleagues who are working on Employment First systems change.

EARN Promotes Disability Employment Strategies for Small Businesses
“Small Business & Disability Employment: Steps to Success” is a toolkit created by the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN). This resource provides practical guidance for small businesses on how to recruit and retain qualified people with disabilities. It also describes approaches business associations — including but not limited to local chambers of commerce and business leadership networks — can use to educate their members on the issue and raise awareness in their communities. Highlighting innovative and sustainable strategies, the “Steps to Success” provides a platform for the exploration of best practices for increasing the capacity of small businesses to employ people with disabilities.

JAN Study Shows that Workplace Accommodations Remain “Low Cost, High Impact”
The most recent annual “Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact” study conducted by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) indicated that the majority (59 percent) of workplace accommodations cost nothing, while for those that do, the typical small expenditure pays for itself in the form of reduced workers’ compensation and training costs and increased productivity and morale. Employers in the JAN study, which has been conducted since 2004, represented a range of industry sectors and sizes and contacted JAN for information about workplace accommodations, the ADA, or both.