The Americans with Disabilities Act Turns 24

On July 26, 2014, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will mark its 24th anniversary. The ADA, passed in 1990, is the milestone civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life. The ADA levels the playing field for people with disabilities and assures equal treatment and opportunities for people with disabilities on the job, in school, in the community, in transportation and telecommunications and more.

Interested in learning more about the ADA? The following resources are some of the many available to access more information.

ADA.gov: The U.S. Department of Justice’s ADA.gov website, run by the agency’s Civil Rights Division, provides a comprehensive overview, information and technical assistance about the Americans with Disabilities Act, links to federal and state resources and a toll-free information line.

The ADA National Network: The ADA National Network includes 10 regional centers nationwide that offer information, guidance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act. Funded by a grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), the ADA National Network is a tremendous resource on all things ADA and is designed to serve businesses, government and individuals at local, regional and national levels. Each region offers free and confidential resources, information, training and information specialists to help get your questions answered about the ADA. Find the regional center near you at adata.org or call the toll-free voice or TTY line 1-800-949-4232.

ADA Anniversary Toolkit: Each year the ADA National Network’s Southeast ADA Center creates an ADA Anniversary Toolkit to connect individuals, businesses and the media to ADA tools, resources and events nationwide to celebrate the ADA Anniversary. Explore the toolkit at adaanniversary.org.

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Website and ADA Webpage: ODEP’s ADA web page links users to information and resources about the ADA as it relates to work and employment. The ODEP website also includes many resources regarding employment and the ADA.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) ADA Library: ODEP’s Job Accommodation Network, which provides free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations, hosts an ADA Library with information about the law and amendments.

TaxAccess: National Disability Institute in collaboration with the Southeast ADA Center and as part of its work on the MyFreeTaxes project, hosts the TaxAccess project and website. TaxAccess provides a “safe place” for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site coordinators and volunteers to asks questions and access resources regarding the ADA to better serve taxpayers with disabilities.

Resources for Real Economic Impact

Benefits 

Preparing Clients for a visit with their WIPA Provider

When referring individuals to a WIPA provider to learn more about work and the impact on their public benefits, it is important that the individual has the appropriate information for the meeting. NDI has created an informational handout containing a checklist to get started and prepared for a meeting with a WIPA Provider.

Employment 

The Role "Credit" plays in the Employment of People with Disabilities

The archive of this Disability Employment Initiative/Workforce One webinar will provide workforce development professionals information on the role credit plays in the employment of people with disabilities. The webinar covers:

  • What credit is and how it is established.
  • The ways that credit can directly impact employment.
  • Strategies for educating and supporting job seekers with disabilities and/or multiple challenges to employment in establishing and/or rebuilding credit.

Taxes and Tax Preparation 

MyFreeTaxes Testimonials

The MyFreeTaxes Partnership is a collaborative national initiative of three core partners - United Way Worldwide, Goodwill Industries International, and National Disability Institute - sponsored by the Walmart Foundation. Since 2009, MyFreeTaxes has helped millions of low- to moderate-income individuals and families increase financial stability through in-person traditional, volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) and online self-tax preparation through www.MyFreeTaxes.com. View testimonial videos to learn how MyFreeTaxes is helping move financial stability to the forefront for taxpayers across the country.

Financial Education 

Better Money Habits

Bank of America and the Khan Academy have developed BetterMoneyHabits.com, a website containing easy-to-understand videos and practical financial tips and tools to help build better money habits. The videos are fact-based and conversational and show how small changes can make a big difference. BetterMoneyHabits.com is available to everyone, whether they're a Bank of America customer or not. With engaging, informative resources at their fingertips, people can learn better financial practices that best suit their family's goals. To learn more, please visit www.bettermoneyhabits.com.

Asset Development 

Self-Employment - An Asset Building Strategy for Individuals with Disabilities

At a time when more than 8 million individuals are self-employed in the U.S., self-employment has emerged as a unique way to build assets. For individuals receiving SSI, there are work incentives that may allow an individual to build assets in a business and maintain their SSI-Medicaid eligibility. Learn more about self-employment for persons with disabilities and available resources.

Public Policy 

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Passed by Congress, Improves Training and Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

On July 9th, the U.S. House of Representatives, passed H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a bill that makes critically needed investments in our nation's employment services, workforce development, vocational rehabilitation and adult education programs. Having already passed the U.S. Senate on June 25, 2014, WIOA has cleared all legislative hurdles and it is expected President Obama will sign the bill into law in the near future.  

Learn more about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

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Issue 6 - July 2014 

In This Issue

The Americans with Disabilities Act Turns 24

Benefits: Preparing Clients for a visit with their WIPA Provider

Employment: The Role "Credit" plays in the Employment of People with Disabilities

Tax Preparation: MyFreeTaxes Testimonials

Financial Education: Better Money Habits

Asset Development: Self-Employment - An Asset Building Strategy for Individuals with Disabilities

Public Policy: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Passed by Congress, Improves Training and Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Program Spotlight:  LEAD Center Community of Practice to Promote Employment and Economic Advancement

Upcoming Events

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Program Spotlight 

LEAD Center Community of Practice to Promote Employment and Economic Advancement

LEAD Center LogoThe LEAD Center, in collaboration with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), established a Community of Practice on Employment and Economic Advancement to provide peer-to-peer mentorship, training, and technical assistance to Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and their local American Job Centers (AJCs). Ongoing trainings and discussions will support economic advancement for CIL and AJC customers that are seeking employment and/or engaged in the workforce. The goals for the Community of Practice are to:

  • Create a sustainable forum to enable staff at CILs and AJCs to learn from each other and work collaboratively to improve the employment and economic advancement of customers with disabilities.
  • Provide training and technical assistance to CIL and AJC staff to build their capacity to implement economic advancement strategies that remove barriers that keep people with disabilities from getting and keeping jobs.
  • Develop and disseminate guidance to educate and train job seekers and the people who support them at AJCs and CILs so that they can get support to become employed, retain employment, and become financially secure.

In March, the LEAD Center led the first discussion forum with the five CILs (Disability Rights and Resources in Birmingham, Alabama; IndependenceFirst in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Paraquad in St. Louis, Missouri; Montana Independent Living Project in Helena, Montana; and Community Resources for Independent Living in Hayward, California). The participating CILs collaborated with AJCs and the LEAD Center in a first-of-its-kind pilot project in 2013. The new Community of Practice builds on the progress and best practices learned from last year's pilot to address financial challenges that create barriers to obtaining and maintaining employment, which impede the financial stability of people with disabilities across both systems.

Learn more about this and other LEAD Center initiatives at LEADCenter.org.

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Upcoming Events 

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