CPSD Responds to WIOA Advisory Committee Report

CPSD believes that the fully realized implementation of the WIOA Advisory Committee Report recommendations will result in a dramatically different system of CIE employment supports from what is available today. It recognizes that such a system will necessitate time and the full participation of all key stakeholders to effect change. In order to ensure on-going, continued commitment to this expansive degree of systemic reform, CPSD calls for the on-going accountability of those most responsible by:

  1. Requiring an Annual Report to Congress on the status and progress of implementing the WIOA Advisory Committee’s Recommendations; and,
  2. Requiring the involvement of the Office of Management and Budget in the shift to paying for different outcomes through system modernization and alignment

To begin the more immediate implementation of the WIOA Report Recommendations, CPSD calls for:

  1. An Interagency Task Force be established within 100 Days of next administration, to include the Office of Management and Budget

Congress should direct the formation of an interagency task force to develop an implementation plan for these capacity-building steps for increasing CIE and advancing economic self-sufficiency. At a minimum, this task force should include representatives from: DOL (ETA and ODEP), ED (RSA, OSEP), HHS (SAMHSA, CMS, ACL), SSA, DOJ, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and Treasury. (p. 19)

  1. Congress to pass legislation for multi-year phase out of FLSA Section 14 c subminimum wage provision

Congress should amend Section 14(c) of FLSA to allow for a well-designed, multi-year phase-out of the Section 14(c) Program that results in people with disabilities entering CIE. (p. 107)

  1. The Creation of a third party evaluation of Source America and increased data reporting of Ability One

Congress should authorize an independent third-party evaluation tasked with studying the implementation of the recommendations as submitted herein, and submit a report that identifies and recommends additional policies that may be required to implement the changes necessary to reform the JWOD Act as indicated above. (p. 60)

  1. An analysis in detail of the requisite alignment of Federal Systems

Congress should reauthorize IDEA and the Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act to align with WIOA and expand responsibilities of programs funded through the Act in order to support early paid work experiences for youth with the most significant disabilities.  (p. 23)

  1. An OMB review and analysis and recommendations for improved interaction of the benefits system with employment outcomes

Read CPSD’s Full Response HERE.

CPSD Holds Briefing on Competitive Integrated Employment and Subminimum Wage Report

Washington, D.C. (October 14, 2016) – The Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination (CPSD) held a briefing yesterday in response to the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (ACICIEID)’s report on integrated competitive employment for youth and adults with disabilities and subminimum wage. The event addressed the Advisory Committee’s recommendations on practices and policies for reforming employment infrastructure for people with significant disabilities.

“CPSD strongly supports the recommendations in the ACICIEID Report, and urges the Congress and the next Administration to work aggressively toward its implementation,” said Barb Trader, Executive Director of CPSD. “Yesterday’s highly productive and robust conversation highlighted many of the economic challenges of our day facing the disability community due to inequities within our employment structure. Swift implementation is not only the right thing to do, it is imperative for the health and well-being of our society. We cannot afford one more generation of people with disabilities living in poverty as a result of massive unemployment.”

The briefing represented a critical first step in overhauling an antiquated, unequal system. To learn more about determining priority areas and strategies for driving implementation of the Advisory Committee recommendations, contact Julia Bascom at jbascom@autisticadvocacy.org.

Briefing: Strategies to Drive Implementation of ACICIEID Advisory Committee Report Recommendations – Thursday, October 13, 2016

Join the Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination (CPSD) for a briefing and discussion on the recently released final report developed and published by the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (ACICIEID).  The purpose of the briefing is to provide a summary of the final report and to facilitate an initial dialogue concerning its contents.  This briefing will be held on Thursday, October 13th, 2:00 – 4:00 PM, at the National Youth Transition Center, 2013 H. St., NW.

This past month, ACICIEID released the committee’s final report.  The committee’s final report consists of recommendations on practices and policies that would result in increased opportunities for integrated competitive employment for youth and adults with disabilities and responsible reforms aimed at decreasing the utilization of 14c waivers allowing for the compensation of sub-minimum wage.

During the committee’s two year tenure, CPSD and many CPSD members participated in the committee’s public meetings by providing testimony concerning a number of areas of expertise related to competitive integrated employment and the importance of moving away from the practice of sub-minimum wage.

All are welcome to participate in this discussion to help determine priority areas of implementation and strategies for driving implementation of the Advisory Committee recommendations for reform. Please RSVP by Monday, October 10, 2016.

To read the committee’s final report, please click here.

 

EVENT: Discussion on Access Issues for in Air Travel for Passengers with Disabilities – September 29, 2016

CPSD, in partnership with member SEIU, wishes to invite you to join us for lunch and a discussion of opportunities to improve services for air travelers with disabilities that have been opened up in the recent reauthorization of the FAA.

The recently passed short-term FAA reauthorization has two provisions that create possibilities for collaboration around improved access in air travel for passengers with disabilities.

  • Section 2107 mandates a GAO investigation into “Training Policies Regarding Assistance for Persons with Disabilities.” It will examine “air carrier personnel and contractor training programs regarding the assistance of persons with disabilities.”
  • Section 2108: Establishment of a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee on Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel.  Among the issues addressed by the Reg-Neg is “carrier reporting of disability service requests.”

SEIU represents thousands of airport service workers who provide services to passengers disabilities, as regulated by the Federal Air Carrier Access Act. Most are employees of contractors hired by airlines, and face difficult circumstances confronted by many outsourced workers, such as low wages, poor training, and high turnover. In fact, many receive a sub-minimum “tipped” wage, even though they may not solicit tips. These conditions make it difficult for passengers with disabilities to receive services in a manner that [in the words of the ACAA] “safeguard[s] the safety and dignity of passengers.”  We have in fact identified an increase over recent years in the volume of complaints filed pursuant to the ACAA and an increase in outsourcing of these service jobs.

The GAO report and the Reg-Neg may very well address two sides of the same problem: airlines’ reporting of requests for service; and the problems encountered by the passengers who receive – and the workers who provide – services.

These provisions may create potential for collaboration to improve services for passengers with disabilities and the training of those who provide such services.  If there is interest, can we identify:

  • Areas of mutual interest in the issue?
  • Ways to approach the GAO to ensure its study addresses our mutual concerns? (The timeline on the study is short – 9 months)
  • Ways to collaborate when the FAA reauth again comes before congress?

Where: SEIU, 1800 Massachusetts Ave., N.W. Washington, DC 20036

When: September 29rd, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

RSVP: By September 16th to Ebony Johnson at ebony.johnson@seiu.org, 202-730-7048.

2016 TASH Conference November 30 – December 2, 2016

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CPSD Releases Brief on Successful Employment Outcomes for Youth with Significant Disabilities

CPSD WIOA and Seamless Transition-0

Washington, D.C. (June 14, 2016) – The Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination (CPSD) today released The Implications of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act for Seamless Transition of Youth with Significant Disabilities, a policy prepared by Richard G. Luecking, Ed.D.  The brief highlights how emerging research and models of transition to employment illustrate the possibilities of ensuring that successful adult employment can be more the norm than the exception for youth, aged 14-24 with significant disabilities. Evolving federal transition and disability employment policy also presumes and supports that all individuals with disabilities are employable. The brief  illustrates how the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) can create a path to a seamless transition to competitive, integrated employment for youth with significant disabilities. Read full brief here.

For more information on the brief, contact Dr. Luecking at lueckingr@gmail.com.

CPSD Briefing: Presuming Employability and Best Practices under WIOA: Seamless Transition to Work for 14 – 24 Year-Olds with Significant Disabilities

CPSD_logo_small

The Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination invites you to attend a briefing:

Presuming Employability and Best Practices under WIOA:

Seamless Transition to Work for 14 – 24 Year-Olds with Significant Disabilities

June 14, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

188 Russell Senate Office Building

Author: Rick Luecking, Ed.D.

Moderator: Michael Morris, CPSD Board, executive director, NDI

Panelists: Teriana Cox, Washington, DC and Rebecca Salon, director, Project LEAD

Emerging research and models of transition to employment illustrate the possibilities of insuring that successful adult employment can be more the norm than the exception for youth with significant disabilities. Evolving federal transition and disability employment policy also presumes and supports that all individuals with disabilities are employable.

Join CPSD as they release The Implications of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act for Seamless Transition of Youth with Significant Disabilities. The briefing will discuss what a seamless transition to competitive, integrated employment looks like for youth with significant disabilities.

RSVP by June 10 to Grace Shamlian: GShamlian@wpllc.net.

Light refreshments will be served.

The briefing is made possible through the generous support of the Ruderman Family Foundation.

 Ruderman Logo

CPSD is an advocacy network of national organizations representing individuals with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities. We work to promote the independence of and employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities.

www.thecpsd.org

CPSD Provides Comments on SourceAmerica’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Regulatory Request to Senate

Comments may also be accessed here.

May 4, 2016

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander
Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP)
United States Senate
SD-428 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

U.S. Representative Patty Murray
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP)
United States Senate
SD-428 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray:

As an advocacy network of national organizations representing persons with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities, we write to express our concerns with the actions that Source America has requested that Senators take on behalf of their organization in regards to influencing the regulatory process for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

The crux of our work is to promote major systemic reform of the nation’s disability laws and programs so that people with significant disabilities can become employed, live independently in an inclusive community, and rise out of poverty. SourceAmerica has made a number of requests to Congress that prove problematic, are counter to the intent of WIOA and are in direct opposition to what CPSD advocates for on behalf of people with significant disabilities. We ask that you allow the regulatory process to continue without congressional intervention and to respect the thousands of public comments that have been received by the Departments of Education and Labor with respect to WIOA implementation. CPSD’s rebuttal to SourceAmerica’s misguided requests are as follows:

CPSD opposes any exception in WIOA regulations that would allow employees with disabilities to be segregated from other employees without disabilities

Placing individuals with the most significant disabilities in segregated work units is counter to Title IV of WIOA and proposed regulations that pertain specifically to this population and that have been developed, with bipartisan agreement, specifically to divert them from these settings. SourceAmerica’s “ask” suggests that those with the most significant disabilities should be segregated by suggesting that the definition of competitive integrated employment (CIE) be changed to allow for the segregation of these individuals by omitting the phrase “work unit.” CPSD would like to remind Members of Congress of [one of the primary] the intents of WIOA – which is to increase the employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities or other individuals with significant disabilities in competitive integrated employment. The regulations provide reasonable clarification of what is included in the WIOA and assures that work placements are not in violation of Olmstead by assuring that employees are placed in the “most integrated setting.” In the case of WIOA, an integrated setting means that employment:
(ii) Is at a location—
(A) Typically found in the community; and
(B) Where the employee with a disability interacts for the purpose of performing the duties of the position with other employees within the particular work unit and the entire work site, and, as appropriate to the work performed, other persons (e.g., customers and vendors), who are not individuals with disabilities (not including supervisory personnel or individuals who are providing services to such employee) to the same extent that employees who are not individuals with disabilities and who are in comparable positions interact with these persons; and
(iii) Presents, as appropriate, opportunities for advancement that are similar to those for other employees who are not individuals with disabilities and who have similar positions.
(Authority: Sections 7(5) and 12(c) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; 29 U.S.C. 705(5) and 709(c))

Under the law, there is no sub-definition of work unit; it is simply a referral to the fact that integration must occur within the work unit as well as the workplace as a whole. The segregation of individuals with disabilities has been shown to be detrimental to individuals with disabilities – it denies an adult with a disability the opportunity to make meaningful job choices. Almost all of the options within a sheltered workshop are unskilled, low-wage jobs with few, if any, benefits. The limited array of employment choices directly impacts an individual‘s capacity to live a full, rich life as an active, tax-paying member of the community. When discussing the concept of choice as it applies to people with disabilities, the central conclusion should be that all people, even those with the most significant disabilities, have the right to enjoy the same choices and options as other people in society.

CPSD asserts that referrals to the AbilityOne Program and State Use Programs must not be considered as acceptable employment outcomes, as they do not represent competitive integrated employment.

The point of prohibiting Vocational Rehabilitation agencies from counting referrals to sheltered workshops as successful closures is to limit the use of these models, as they segregate the individuals that are served from the rest of the working population, limiting their exposure to the rest of society and their ability to develop skills that would enable them to obtain real jobs in typical job settings. Furthermore, individuals with the most significant disabilities are rarely employed on these contracts and are overwhelmingly placed in day habilitation programs. CPSD does not support any proposal that would expand of change the definition of “most significant disability.” Specifically, the law nor proposed regulation makes no direct reference to Ability One and therefore, the request for the exception –that other disability service providers would not receive – is inappropriate. Therefore, We ask Congress to uphold the intent of WIOA Title IV as agreed to in the legislation.

Given that Source America is the subject of a federal grand jury investigation “corruption and cronyism in what sources say could be the biggest fraud case ever in a U.S. government agency” (CNN), it would be wise to let the regulatory process unfold without undue influence from those whose interests are not always aligned with those who are served by the workforce system. Provided this, in combination with our rationale above, we ask that you allow the regulatory process to continue without your intervention and to respect the thousands of public comments that have been received by the Departments of Education and Labor with respect to the WIOA.

CPSD appreciates your continued support to help thousands of individuals with the most significant cognitive disabilities receive the training, support and transition services needed so they become employed in competitive, integrated employment. This is the path forward to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities can meaningfully participate in society, live in inclusive setting and gain the independence they desire.

Sincerely,

Trader

Barb Trader
Chair, CPSD

cc: United States Senate

CPSD Provides Comments on SourceAmerica’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Regulatory Request to House of Representatives

Comments may also be accessed here.

May 4, 2016

U.S. Representative John Kline
Chairman, Education and the Workforce Education and the Workforce
Committee Committee
United States House of Representatives
2176 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

U.S. Representative Bobby Scott
Ranking Member, Education and the Workforce Education and the Workforce
Committee Committee
United States House of Representatives
2176 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Kline and Ranking Member Scott:

As an advocacy network of national organizations representing persons with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities, we write to express our concerns with the actions that Source America has requested that Members of the House of Representatives take on behalf of their organization in regards to influencing the regulatory process for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

The crux of our work is to promote major systemic reform of the nation’s disability laws and programs so that people with significant disabilities can become employed, live independently in an inclusive community, and rise out of poverty. SourceAmerica has made a number of requests to Congress that prove problematic, are counter to the intent of WIOA and are in direct opposition to what CPSD advocates for on behalf of people with significant disabilities. We ask that you allow the regulatory process to continue without congressional intervention and to respect the thousands of public comments that have been received by the Departments of Education and Labor with respect to WIOA implementation. CPSD’s rebuttal to SourceAmerica’s misguided requests are as follows:

CPSD opposes any exception in WIOA regulations that would allow employees with disabilities to be segregated from other employees without disabilities

Placing individuals with the most significant disabilities in segregated work units is counter to Title IV of WIOA and proposed regulations that pertain specifically to this population and that have been developed, with bipartisan agreement, specifically to divert them from these settings. SourceAmerica’s “ask” suggests that those with the most significant disabilities should be segregated by suggesting that the definition of competitive integrated employment (CIE) be changed to allow for the segregation of these individuals by omitting the phrase “work unit.” CPSD would like to remind Members of Congress of [one of the primary] the intents of WIOA – which is to increase the employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities or other individuals with significant disabilities in competitive integrated employment. The regulations provide reasonable clarification of what is included in the WIOA and assures that work placements are not in violation of Olmstead by assuring that employees are placed in the “most integrated setting.” In the case of WIOA, an integrated setting means that employment:
(ii) Is at a location—
(A) Typically found in the community; and
(B) Where the employee with a disability interacts for the purpose of performing the duties of the position with other employees within the particular work unit and the entire work site, and, as appropriate to the work performed, other persons (e.g., customers and vendors), who are not individuals with disabilities (not including supervisory personnel or individuals who are providing services to such employee) to the same extent that employees who are not individuals with disabilities and who are in comparable positions interact with these persons; and
(iii) Presents, as appropriate, opportunities for advancement that are similar to those for other employees who are not individuals with disabilities and who have similar positions.
(Authority: Sections 7(5) and 12(c) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; 29 U.S.C. 705(5) and 709(c))

Under the law, there is no sub-definition of work unit; it is simply a referral to the fact that integration must occur within the work unit as well as the workplace as a whole. The segregation of individuals with disabilities has been shown to be detrimental to individuals with disabilities – it denies an adult with a disability the opportunity to make meaningful job choices. Almost all of the options within a sheltered workshop are unskilled, low-wage jobs with few, if any, benefits. The limited array of employment choices directly impacts an individual‘s capacity to live a full, rich life as an active, tax-paying member of the community. When discussing the concept of choice as it applies to people with disabilities, the central conclusion should be that all people, even those with the most significant disabilities, have the right to enjoy the same choices and options as other people in society.

CPSD asserts that referrals to the AbilityOne Program and State Use Programs must not be considered as acceptable employment outcomes, as they do not represent competitive integrated employment.

The point of prohibiting Vocational Rehabilitation agencies from counting referrals to sheltered workshops as successful closures is to limit the use of these models, as they segregate the individuals that are served from the rest of the working population, limiting their exposure to the rest of society and their ability to develop skills that would enable them to obtain real jobs in typical job settings. Furthermore, individuals with the most significant disabilities are rarely employed on these contracts and are overwhelmingly placed in day habilitation programs. CPSD does not support any proposal that would expand of change the definition of “most significant disability.” Specifically, the law nor proposed regulation makes no direct reference to Ability One and therefore, the request for the exception –that other disability service providers would not receive – is inappropriate. Therefore, We ask Congress to uphold the intent of WIOA Title IV as agreed to in the legislation.

Given that Source America is the subject of a federal grand jury investigation “corruption and cronyism in what sources say could be the biggest fraud case ever in a U.S. government agency” (CNN), it would be wise to let the regulatory process unfold without undue influence from those whose interests are not always aligned with those who are served by the workforce system. Provided this, in combination with our rationale above, we ask that you allow the regulatory process to continue without your intervention and to respect the thousands of public comments that have been received by the Departments of Education and Labor with respect to the WIOA.

CPSD appreciates your continued support to help thousands of individuals with the most significant cognitive disabilities receive the training, support and transition services needed so they become employed in competitive, integrated employment. This is the path forward to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities can meaningfully participate in society, live in inclusive setting and gain the independence they desire.

Sincerely,

Trader

 

Barb Trader
Chair, CPSD

cc: United States House of Representatives

Impact of WIOA on the TEAM Act

A trio of bills called the Transitioning towards Excellence in Achievement and Mobility (TEAM) legislation were introduced in Congress in February of 2011. Per the original summary of the bill, “each of the three bills, the TEAM-Education Act, TEAM-Employment Act, and TEAM-Empowerment Act, are intended to strengthen accountability, clarify expectations, expand flexibility and align systems to ensure that publicly-funded assistance is effectively utilized to support one uniform goal – ensuring that every youth with a significant disability has the opportunity, encouragement and support to become gainfully employed in an integrated setting, pursue a post-secondary education, and contribute to and engage in meaningful ways in typical community settings once they leave high school.

Click here to access CPSD Ruderman Fellow David Hoff’s analysis of the impact of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) on the TEAM Act. The document analyzes the TEAM Act in light of the passage of WIOA in July 2014. Summaries for each bill are taken from the original summaries for each of the bills when they were introduced, with comments provided regarding the impact of WIOA. In terms of WIOA, the most significant portion of TEAM is the Employment Act, as it proposed changes to the Rehabilitation Act, which is the Title IV of WIOA. Therefore the impact on the TEAM Employment Act has been analyzed in detail. The impact of WIOA on the other two TEAM bills is also provided.



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