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Universal Access Services for Customers with Disabilities Disability Program Navigator Initiative

Universal Access Services for Customers with Disabilities Disability Program Navigator Initiative

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Universal Access Services for Customers with Disabilities Disability Program Navigator Initiative

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  1. Universal Access Services for Customers with DisabilitiesDisability Program Navigator Initiative Presented by: Maggie Leedy, Lead Navigator, Maryland 240-283-1564

  2. Goals of WIA • To increase employment, retention and earnings • Increase occupational skill attainment • Improve the quality of the workforce

  3. WIA - Key Principles • Streamlining Services • Empowering Individuals • Universal Access • Strong Roles for Private Sector and Local Boards

  4. Physical Accommodations • JAWS screen reading software - installed in all resource centers and classrooms • Windows 2000 and above – Screen Reader Software and Screen Magnifiers • Classroom materials available in alternative formats which include Braille, large print and on disk

  5. Physical Accommodations • MontgomeryWorks information available in large print and Braille at front desk • Interpreters provided upon request • All computer stations adjustable • 5 Partners providing disability employment services

  6. In-house Initiatives • Disability awareness survey - developed and conducted for all MontgomeryWorks staff • Disability awareness training - designed and conducted for all MontgomeryWorks staff • Disability Update newsletter – written and distributed quarterly

  7. In-house Initiatives • Deaf Culture training - including common signs used in One Stops • JAWS Training for all Computer and Resource Staff • Depression Awareness Training • Montgomery Youth Works ODEP grant to expand services to youth w/ disabilities

  8. In-house Initiatives • Ongoing technical assistance with MontgomeryWorks staff • Evaluating Customer Service • Continuous Quality Improvement

  9. Community Activities • Site survey and accommodations assistance from Director of ADA Information Center • Project College Bound - Hosted 33 students with chronic disabilities from, a summer college prep program offered by the Adolescent Employment Readiness Center at Children’s Hospital

  10. Community Activities • US Chamber of Commerce – National Workforce Forum - Setting a National Agenda for Increasing the Employment of People with Disabilities • National Disability Mentoring Day - Sponsored Kick-off breakfast for the American Association of People with Disability’s for Montgomery County Public Schools students

  11. Community Activities • Indiana Leadership Conference – Facilitated team building day for Indiana Work-One Center and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation personnel as they moved toward to co-location • Next Step Program - Montgomery County Public School’s information program for parents of graduating students in Special Ed. Presented on MW services

  12. Community Activities • St. Luke’s Back to Work Program – Presented on MW services • Interagency Developmental Disabilities Workforce Development Task Force – Member • DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy - National Teleconference presentation entitled: The Workforce Investment Act: Creating Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities

  13. Community Activities • National Center on Secondary Education and Transition - Presented for the Capacity Building Institute on Creating Youth Systems that Include Youth with Disabilities • National Association of Workforce Boards Annual Meeting – Disability Services at MontgomeryWorks

  14. Information Sharing • Montgomery County Mental Health Collaboration Council on Transition • Partner Meeting on Benefits InfoSource, co-located service to provide information and assistance to recipients of SSI and SSDI benefits on how to manage benefits and return to work

  15. Recommendations • Get buy in from the top, One Stop and Workforce Investment Board Directors • Create Awareness that disability is not a separate issue • Focus equally on attitude/programmatic and physical accommodation

  16. Recommendations • Be proactive, not reactive • Ask for and use feedback from Disability Community • Inform the Disability Community about services

  17. Recommendations • Be a Positive Role Model • Join Community Organizations • Invite people into your One Stop, host breakfast, staff, information meetings and tours

  18. Recommendations • Have Fun! • Be Flexible • Remember, this is a continuous process…

  19. Disability Program Navigator • Want are we? • What do we do? • Where do we work? • How benefits from our services?

  20. Jointly Sponsored by: U. S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration & Social Security Administration Office of Program Development and Research

  21. Historical Perspective Old Paradigm • Disability = Defective • Defects need to be Fixed • If you can’t be “fixed”, services are denied • You have a disability you go to VR

  22. New Paradigm Disability, like race and gender is a natural part of the human experience. We should not try to “fix” people rather, we should fix the environment so it is effective for everyone.

  23. Goals of Navigator Initiative: • To maximize access for persons with disabilities within the one-stops • Increase customer satisfaction of persons with disabilities within the one-stops • Assist in the increased employment of persons with disabilities • Enhance economic empowerment of persons with disabilities

  24. What is a Navigator? • Resource • Facilitator • Problem-Solver • Systems Change Agent • Relationship/Capacity Builder

  25. Reason for Navigator Position • Facilitate seamless and comprehensive services for persons with disabilities within the One-Stop Career Centers • Provide assistance in “navigating” the variety of programs and services

  26. Reason for Navigator Position • Serve as a resource to the one-stop staff and the disability community • Conduct outreach to the disability community and organizations that serve them

  27. Navigator Functions • Identify and address the needs of people with disabilities seeking training and employment • Facilitate Universal Access to the One-Stop System for persons with disabilities

  28. Navigator Functions • Provide training on issues and programs related to people with disabilities • Conduct outreach to the disability community on resources available through One-Stop Career Center system

  29. Navigator Functions • Development of relationships with mandatory partners and other service systems • Develop linkages and collaborate with employers, employer organizations, and community service providers

  30. Navigator Functions • Identify and assist with implementation of solutions to physical, communication and/or program access challenges • Identification of resources and connecting seekers with these resources

  31. Navigator Functions • Presentations to disability-related organizations, school systems, etc., to educate them about the workforce development system

  32. Navigator Knowledge • Social Security Administration Programs • Department of Labor Programs • Workforce Issues • Education • Housing • Transportation • Assistive Technology/Accommodations

  33. Navigator Position vs. … Case Manager: • Don’t “carry” a caseload • Do work with both customers and case managers to ensure excellent customer service

  34. Navigator Position vs. … Benefits Planning and Outreach Specialist • Do not provide benefits counseling • Do refer individuals with disabilities to Benefits Planning and Assistance Counselor

  35. Navigator Position vs. … Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist • Don’t provide one-one case management • Do work collaboratively with VR to serve persons with disabilities

  36. Benefits of Navigator position: • One-Stop Disability Resource • Time Saver • Linkage of organizations in disability community