WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced a total of $9,721,837 in continued funding for organizations managing consortia that develop models, provide technical assistance and share best practices to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
"We must provide every opportunity for people with disabilities — and more fully integrate them into the workforce and into the economic life of the nation," said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "These grants will help better connect people with disabilities with employers who can greatly benefit from their skills and experience."
The recipients and the amount of funding they are receiving are:
- The Add Us In initiative will receive a total of $2,774,116. The eight recipients who are participating in this initiative are: 1) the National Organization on Disability in New York, N.Y.; 2) the WorkPlace in Bridgeport, Conn.; 3) the TransCen Inc. in Rockville, Md.; 4) the University of Illinois in Chicago, Ill.; 5) the University of Missouri in Kansas City, Mo.; 6) the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.; 7) the Integrated Recovery Network in Los Angeles, Calif.; and 8) the World Institute on Disability in Berkeley, Calif. The goal of the Add Us In initiative is to identify and develop strategies to increase the capacity of small businesses, including those in underrepresented and historically excluded communities, to employ youth and young adults with disabilities.
- The West Virginia University Research Corporation in Morgantown, W.Va., is receiving $2,499,901 to operate the Job Accommodation Network (JAN). JAN is a free and confidential consulting service that provides individualized worksite accommodation solutions and technical assistance spanning the complete range of disabilities and job functions to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability-related legislation. It also provides information about self-employment and small business ownership opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
- The National Technical Assistance, Policy, and Research Center for Employers on Employment of People with Disabilities at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., will receive $1,299,250. This consortium will continue its efforts in managing a consortium charged with: conducting research, assisting the department in developing and promoting employer-focused policies, disseminating information and providing technical assistance to employers and employer organizations.
- The Institute for Educational Leadership in the District of Columbia is receiving $1,099,997 for the National Technical Assistance and Demonstration Center on Preparing Youth with Disabilities for Employment. These funds will be used to continue the center's work building capacity within and across youth service delivery systems to improve employment and postsecondary education outcomes for youth with disabilities. The center will have three areas of focus going forward: 1) career exploration, management and planning; 2) youth development and leadership; and 3) professional development.
- The National Disability Institute in the District of Columbia is receiving $1,098,573 to operate the National Center on Leadership for Employment and Advancement of Citizens with Disabilities (LEAD Center). These funds will support the LEAD Center's ongoing efforts to conduct policy and research initiatives focused on improving employment outcomes, including job retention, for job seekers with disabilities. Additionally, these resources will enable the LEAD Center to continue developing policies and guidance on best practices.
- The Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) in Arlington, Va., is receiving $950,000 to operate ODEP's Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology Center (PEAT), formerly known as the Accessible Technology Action Center. PEAT facilitates and promotes the use of accessible technology in the hiring, employment, retention and career advancement of individuals with disabilities.
The Office of Disability Employment Policy provides national leadership on disability employment policy by developing and influencing the use of evidence-based disability employment policies and practices, building collaborative partnerships and delivering authoritative and credible data on employment of people with disabilities. For more information, visit http://www.dol.gov/odep/.