Dear CPSD Members –
As we look back at our accomplishments over the last several months and forward to our plans for the upcoming year, we continue to find ways to promote CPSD’s mission and core values. This newsletter serves as a recap of CPSD’s major work, as well as news related to membership and upcoming events.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
Thursday, March 15, 1:00 PM – CPSD Board Meeting, 1825 K. St, Suite 600
CPSD ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD OFFICERS:
Congratulations to Heather Sachs, National Down Syndrome Congress, who has been tapped as CPSD’s Vice President, and to Curtis Richards, Institute for Educational Leadership, who will serve as CPSD’s Treasurer. Other officers will be announced shortly. Thanks to Heather and Curtis for serving the disability community in these important leadership roles!
2018 CPSD POLICY PRIORITIES
Several CPSD members joined the CPSD board in November to craft CPSD policy priorities for 2018. Overwhelmingly, we stand by the commitment to advance competitive integrated employment (CIE) as an overarching goal. Details of how that will play out are outlined in the attached review.
As a reminder, CPSD works both with Congress and with administrative agencies to seek regulatory and legislative solutions that make CIE outcomes more likely. All CPSD members are invited to get involved by participating in planning meetings and in meetings with agencies and Hill offices. Please plan to participate in the Policy Workgroup Meetings the first and third Thursdays of each month, 1:00 PM. You should be receiving notices of each meeting – if not, contact Chris Rodriguez (firstname.lastname@example.org) to make sure you are on the list.
CPSD POLICY UPDATES
CPSD has been extremely busy since our last update in August. Below are some highlights of our major activities, by topic area:
Advocacy to protect the WIOA regulations and guidance defining competitive integrated employment: There has been strong advocacy by the sheltered workshop providers association and AbilityOne/SourceAmerica to rescind guidance and open the WIOA regulations defining competitive integrated employment (CIE). This has included lobbying the Department of Education (DOEd) to revisit the guidance and regulations as part of their “Regulatory Reform Process” to review and rescind all “unnecessary and burdensome” regulations in compliance with President Trump’s Regulatory Reform Executive order. They also have been actively lobbying members of Congress to pressure DOEd to rescind the guidance and regulations. In August, 45 members of the House sent a letter to DOEd urging them to rescind the CIE guidance and the regulations. In response to this letter, CPSD has played a leading role in advocating in support of these regulations and guidance, including:
- Coordinating a response letter sent to Secretary DeVos in support of the regulations and guidance and their alignment with the WIOA statute and Congressional intent, joined by numerous other national disability organizations (September 2017)
- Met with DOEd leadership about our strong support for the regulations on two occasions (October 2017 and again in January 2018).
- Met with over a dozen members of Congress to educate them about the WIOA regulations and guidance and the disability community’s strong support for them, (meetings also included APSE, CSAVR, National Federation of the Blind, and the National Council on Disability) (November and December 2017)
- Pulling together a small working group to consider solutions to some of the concerns raised during DOEd meetings (January 2018)
Advocacy around implementation of the WIOA Advisory Committee Report: CPSD has continued to prioritize implementation of the WIOA Advisory Committee Report. CPSD has been leading the advocacy to push forward the recommendations in the report, including by:
- Holding a Congressional briefing entitled “WIOA: Advisory Committee Recommendations and Opportunities for Legislative Action” on October 2, 2017, co-sponsored by Senator Casey (D-PA), Senator Hassan (D-NH), and Representative Harper (R-MS) and Representative Langevin (D-RI) of the Bi-partisan House Disability Caucus. This is the first Congressional briefing that has been held on the Report. More than 100 individuals attended the briefing, including staff from more than 35 Congressional offices.
- Meeting with leadership from the Department of Labor (ODEP, Wage and Hour Division and Employment and Training Administration) to discuss our priorities for implementation of the WIOA Advisory Committee Report and hear updates on DOL’s progress (September 2017). We agreed to try to meet quarterly and are working on scheduling a next meeting to discuss implementation of the Report, as well as implementation of Section 511.
Advocacy around Olmstead Enforcement in States’ Employment Systems: On December 21, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) withdrew its guidance, “Statement on Application of the Integration Mandate of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Olmstead v. L.C. to State and local Governments’ Employment Service Systems for Individuals with Disabilities.” Rescission of the guidance was a result of lobbying by the sheltered workshop provider association as part of DOJ’s Regulatory Reform process. CPSD has led advocacy to respond to this rescission by:
- Developing and releasing a statement immediately condemning the rescission of the guidance (jointly with CCD Rights Task Force) (December 26, 2017)
- Drafting and coordinating a letter to DOJ from the disability community expressing our concerns about the rescission of the guidance (jointly with CCD Rights Task Force), with over 225 national and state disability organizations joining (Jan. 8, 2018)
- Participating in a meeting with leadership from DOJ’s Civil Rights Division about priorities of the disability community and concerns about the rescission of the Olmstead employment guidance (Jan. 9, 2018)
- We have requested a meeting with the Department of Education (OSERS, OSEP and RSA) to discuss implementation of WIOA, particularly Section 511.
- CPSD Policy Workgroup engaged in a half-day strategic planning and priority setting meeting on November 14, 2017. The decisions from this meeting have been driving the Policy Workgroup’s activities.
Update on CPSD Products Related to WIOA Implementation
Through a contract with IEL, one of CPSD’s original members, CPSD has been working on two projects that should provide valuable assistance for those concerned with WIOA implementation. David Mank, Professor Emeritus and Chair of the WIOA Advisory Committee, conducted interviews with key informants in order to learn more about the experiences of young people in transition, the extent to which service delivery has been impacted by Section 511, and what stakeholders identify as actions that could be taken to prevent and/or ameliorate transition strategies and/or outcomes inconsistent with CIE. This project culminated in a white paper with recommendations to be used by training and technical assistance providers, self-advocacy organizations, and parent organizations to help them proactively prevent identified pitfalls in the implementation of Section 511 as well a webinar to announce the project, which was attended by more than 100 stakeholders.
CPSD also developed a summary of the groundbreaking report developed by the Advisory Committee Report on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (ACICIEID) commissioned by Congress in the Workforce Investment Opportunities Act 2014 (WIOA). This summary report was developed for use primarily by vocational rehabilitation counselors, transition teachers and other direct service workers, people with disabilities, and their family members). A version of this report was used for the WIOA Advisory Committee Congressional briefing. Alison Barkoff is the lead author of this report.
Both reports will be publicly released later this year.