New ODEP Policies in Practice Profile — Amir Rahimi
Meet Amir Rahimi, Communications Manager at the ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia, Inc. (ECNV), a community resource and advocacy center run by and for people with disabilities. Amir, who is blind, manages ECNV’s social media accounts, maintains the center’s website and writes news releases, as well as doing development and fundraising work. “Seeing the difference ECNV makes in people’s lives, that my colleagues make — helping people with disabilities find employment and housing and live independently — it makes me happy,” Amir said. “That’s what I love about my job.”

PEAT Talks: Neurodiversity & Workplace Technology — Archived Webinar
This PEAT Talks presentation, recorded on July 20, 2017, featured Emily Shea Tanis, PhD. She is a longtime PEAT contributor, PEAT Policy Think Tank member, and the Associate Director of the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities. During the webinar, Shea Tanis discussed why technology and information access is a critical right for everyone, and how technology solutions are changing employment opportunities for people with cognitive disabilities.

“Skills to Pay the Bills” Helps Youth Achieve Workplace Success
“Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success,” is a curriculum developed by ODEP focused on teaching “soft” or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities. Created for youth development professionals as an introduction to workplace interpersonal and professional skills, the curriculum is targeted for youth ages 14 to 21 in both in-school and out-of-school environments. The basic structure of the program is comprised of modular, hands-on, engaging activities that focus on six key skill areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism.

Job Accommodation Network Workplace Accommodation Toolkit Provides Resources for Businesses
The Job Accommodation Network’s suite of products includes an online tool to help businesses successfully recruit, hire and retain applicants and employees with disabilities. The Workplace Accommodation Toolkit includes sample accommodation procedures, examples of policies and forms from leading U.S. businesses, training presentations, roleplay videos, and best practices for creating an inclusive workplace for people with disabilities. The Toolkit provides inclusive practices at various phases of the employment life cycle for hiring managers and supervisors, human resource professionals, accommodation consultants, and allies of employees with disabilities.

Business Strategies That Work: A Framework for Disability Inclusion
While many employers open their doors to all qualified individuals, including those with disabilities, not all are familiar with how to ensure a disability-inclusive workplace. To help, ODEP developed “Business Strategies That Work: A Framework for Disability Inclusion.” Developed with input from a range of employers with exemplary track records in disability employment, this resource outlines numerous promising policies and practices for recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing qualified individuals with disabilities, all framed around seven core components of an inclusive workplace.

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