WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced a total of $8,422,574 in continued funding for organizations that develop models, provide technical assistance and share best practices to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
"Individuals with disabilities have skills and experiences that employers need," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "These federal grants will help connect these workers with employers and put them on the path to economic self-sufficiency."
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; 2) The WorkPlace Inc. in Bridgeport, Connecticut; 3) the TransCen Inc. in Rockville, Maryland; 4) the University of Illinois at Chicago in Chicago; 5) the University of Missouri — Kansas City in Kansas City, Missouri; 6) The University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma; 7) the Integrated Recovery Network in Los Angeles and 8) the World Institute on Disability in Berkeley, California. Each of the recipients is leading a consortium working 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 Corp. in Morgantown, W.Va., is receiving $2,499,901 to operate the Job Accommodation Network. 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 Institute for Educational Leadership in the District of Columbia is receiving $1,099,984 to operate the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth. 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. These funds will support the LEAD Center's ongoing efforts to conduct policy and research initiatives focused on improving employment outcomes and economic advancement for individuals with disabilities. Additionally, these resources will enable the LEAD Center to continue developing policies and guidance on best practices in retention and return-to work, customizing employment, and conducting policy analysis to ensure that American Job Centers nationwide are able to effectively serve job seekers with disabilities.
- The Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America in Arlington, Virginia, is receiving $950,000 to operate ODEP's Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology. PEAT is a multifaceted initiative working to advance the employment, retention and career advancement of people with disabilities through the development, adoption and promotion of accessible technology.
ODEP works to increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities by developing and influencing policies and practices. For more information, visit http://www.dol.gov/odep/.