In 2008, the National Disability Program Navigator (DPN) Program Office began to identify DPN promising practices to share with the WIA system nationwide. Both a series of videos titled, "Disability Program Navigators: Making the Connections For Job Seekers with Disabilities," and a series of information briefs named, "DPN Promising Practices," have been developed which highlight successful strategies and promote positive employment outcomes to job seekers with multiple challenges to employment, including individuals with disabilities. By disseminating effective practices throughout all of DOL /ETA programs and initiatives via a new Workforce3One website page https://disability.workforce3one.org/, please click here » dedicated to disability and employment, the American Job Center system can continue to improve service delivery to all job seekers. Currently, three videos and five information briefs have been developed, with more in progress.
Please note that you must be a registered user of Workforce3 One. If you are not already, registration is free and will provide you with ongoing access to resources and information of importance to workforce professionals.
Disability Program Navigators: Making Employment Connections for Job Seekers with Disabilities
This video highlights how the Navigator facilitated an Integrated Resource Team within a American Job Center (Worksource Center, Portland, Oregon) to blend and braid resources around the employment needs of an individual job seeker with disabilities. This video tells the story of how the IRT approach was successful in assisting a job seeker who is deaf to receive training at his local community college and a paid internship, with the goal of finding a higher paying job.
Disability Program Navigators: Coordinating Quality Employment Services for Disabled Veterans
This video highlights how the Navigator facilitated a American Job Center (MontgomeryWorks, Wheaton, Maryland) in becoming a more universally accessible and welcoming service system, where job seekers with a range of disabilities and/or other multiple employment challenges receive integrated services that result in quality employment. The video tells the story of how a disabled veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder and other disabilities received services at the American Job Center that resulted in a job.
Making Employment Connections for Youth with Disabilities
The video highlights how Minnesota's WorkForce Centers established Youth Zones to serve youth and young adults, including those with disabilities, ages 14-24. Youth and young adults ages 14-24, particularly those with disabilities, do not readily access Minnesota's Workforce Centers because they are not perceived as being youth or disability friendly, and are rather viewed as being for adult use only. Youth Zones were established to provide a physical and virtual space for all youth and young adults, ages 14-24, to gain the knowledge and skills to conduct a successful job search and select a career path.
Promising Practices…Quality employment for disabled veterans
An increasing number of disabled veterans are returning from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury and other mental and physical disabilities resulting from their tours of duty. If the American Job Center plan to meet the challenges of serving the increasing number of disabled veterans seeking employment services, there needs to be collaboration and coordination between the public workforce investment system and programs that serve disabled veterans. This information brief highlights the successful strategies of Navigators partnering with the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program and Local Veterans Employment Representative staff to provide access to the full array of services available to disabled veterans through the public workforce investment system.
Promising Practices... Supporting job seekers with multiple challenges to employment
Since the inception of the DPN initiative in 2003, DPNs have focused on the coordination of integrated services to job seekers with multiple challenges to employment. With considerable knowledge on resources within the public workforce investment system and in the community, Navigators often see the "big picture" or the many pieces needed to form the puzzle. This information brief highlights the use of Integrated Resource Teams, which represent one significant approach DPNs are using to bring together multiple partners across service systems helping to build teams who work together to combine resources and help job seekers reach employment.
Promoting Economic Self-Sufficiency of Job Seekers with Disabilities
Navigators throughout the country have developed and implemented successful strategies in the public workforce investment system to promote the employment and economic self-sufficiency of persons with disabilities. DPNs are helping to improve access to financial education, home ownership, entrepreneurial programs and use of the Earned Income Tax Credit to expand economic opportunities to job seekers with disabilities. One successful strategy involves the Navigator's role in facilitating American Job Center to become Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites. This information brief highlights strategies, resources and examples on how the American Job Center system can better support job seekers with low - incomes during tax season.
Achieving a more welcoming, integrated and accessible American Job Center system
As one of the key principles of WIA, universal access offers the promise of a welcoming, integrated, and user-friendly system. All job seekers should be able to independently tap into all available employment services, resulting in fewer requests for specialized assistance and more efficient use of staff resources. Under WIA and the ADA, reasonable accommodations are provided upon request; however, American Job Center aim to streamline services so that a wide-ranging population of job seekers have direct access to resources, programs and activities. This information brief highlights how Navigators throughout the country are helping to expand universal access in American Job Center for a more diverse population of job seekers, including job seekers with disabilities.
Maximizing the Self-Sufficiency of Youth with Disabilities in the American Job Center System
While the transition into adulthood can be a time of uncertainty, youth who have the support and resources to navigate important life choices can build strong foundations for their futures. For youth who do not have a support system or who experience an array of challenges, the transition can be difficult with long-term effects. Given the evidence linking education and work experience to higher levels of self-sufficiency, there has been increasing focus on improving services to transitional youth (ages 14-24), particularly youth who are disadvantaged. In order to begin to gain equal momentum in school, work and independent living, youth service providers need a greater awareness of the experiences of youth with disabilities and more substantial training on available resources. This information brief highlights how DPNs are helping American Job Center, schools and local youth programs across the country gain this level of awareness and support in helping to advance youth with disabilities and/or other challenges in education and employment.
Connecting with the Business Sector on the Advantages of a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce
This Brief highlights replicable and successful strategies for ways to: incorporate topics on diversity, including tapping into the potential market of the disability community, onto the agenda of employer roundtables, business luncheons, employer focus groups, and Business Service meetings within the American Job Center; collaborate with the local chapters of the Chambers of Commerce, Human Resource associations, job fair organizers, and others in the business sector to integrate disability into a wide spectrum of statewide and local diversity initiatives.