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 Disability Program Navigator: Navigator Frequently Asked Questions 

3(Basic)  How do I help the One Stop Career Centers understand that I am there to help improve the system and not ‘monitor’ what they are doing wrong?


Updated version: (DPN Bi-weekly FAQ - 6-12-06 . Modified from the 2005 DOL -SSA DPN FAQs )

Introducing a systems change initiative to your workforce investment system may be initially challenging since it implies to the administration that the system needs changing. The One-Stop Career Centers and local Workforce Investment Board staff may not understand your role as a ‘systems change agent’ and may question some of your recommendations to improve the system. Therefore, it is important to continually demonstrate that you are a team-player who is committed to learning about the workforce investment system and available to answer any questions about the Disability Program Navigator Initiative. Regularly remind management that the purpose of learning about the One-Stop Career Center system is so that you may accurately market the services in the community and in doing so, may have suggestions on how to more effectively serve individuals with disabilities on various levels of service. While it may be necessary at times to substantiate your recommendations with guidelines from the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Section 188 Disability Checklist and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), presenting an actual situation in which a procedural change will directly affect a job seeker’s access to services is often a more compelling approach.

  • For example, a job seeker who has disclosed dyslexia enrolls in a computer course at your One-Stop Career Center and has requested the instruction manuals on audio cassette. This presents an opportunity for you, as the Disability Program Navigator, to research the cost and procedure of having the computer manuals recorded, as well as the chance to meet with the instructors on the accessibility of the course. After compiling the information, demonstrate to management how the audio books would allow the job seeker to access the computer course to meet his/her employment goals, as well as how the recordings would improve access for individuals with a variety of disabilities in the future.
     
  • In another example, a job seeker who is deaf-blind has exhausted both core and intensive services in looking for employment and now wishes to explore the possibility of training. The One-Stop Career Center is not familiar with providing accommodations for customers with disabilities throughout their eligibility process for training and does not know how to administer the screening test. You suggest meeting with the customer and WIA Training Counselor to explore the type(s) of accommodations he will need to take the examination. The customer requests a tactile sign language interpreter and the use of his own assistive technology to complete the test over a period of three sessions (which will allow for adequate interpreter breaks). After the customer passes the test and is found eligible for training, you take the opportunity to share this information with all One-Stop Career Center staff in helping them to understand that exploring accommodations with job seekers with disabilities is an individualized process, especially in determining eligibility for training. You may also take this opportunity to meet with One-Stop Career Center management to discuss further how this process of exploring accommodations for customers with disabilities in determining eligibility of services may be further clarified in a written reasonable accommodation policy.

For more information on the WIA Section 188 guidelines and the ADA :

  • WIA Section 188 Disability Checklist - http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/crc/section188.htm The United States Department of Labor, Civil Rights Center (CRC) in cooperation with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Disability and Employment Policy (ODEP), has developed this "WIA Section 188 Disability Checklist." The Checklist is designed to ensure meaningful participation of people with disabilities in programs and activities operated by recipients of financial assistance under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), including those that are part of the One-Stop delivery system. Section 188 of WIA(WIA Section 188) ensures nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for various categories of persons, including persons with disabilities, who apply for and participate in programs and activities operated by recipients of WIA Title I financial assistance.

    WIA Section 188 Disability Checklist: Appendix – Examples of Practice
    http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/crc/section188.htm#appendix
    This Appendix to the Section 188 Disability Checklist includes examples of policies, procedures and other recommended steps that LWIA grant recipients can take to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to WIA Title I programs and activities. These "examples of practices" are not mandatory requirements. They do not create new legal requirements or change current legal requirements. Instead, they suggest ways in which LWIA grant recipients might meet their obligations to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to those programs and activities. Descriptions of possible approaches in this Checklist should not be construed to preclude States from devising alternative approaches to meeting their legal obligations.
     

  • One-Stop Toolkit Tools and Resources: Statutes and Regulations - http://www.onestoptoolkit.org/regulations.cfm
    Major statutes and regulations governing the rights of people with disabilities in social, civic and work life including information on the ADA and WIA.
     
  • Job Accommodation Network: ADA Hotlinks and Document Center - http://www.jan.wvu.edu/links/adalinks.htm
     This section of the JAN website includes resources and links to information on ADA law, ADA technical assistance and other materials, and ADA enforcement.
     
  • United States Department of Justice ADA Home Page - http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/
    This website includes a wealth of information and resources on the ADA including a list of other Federal agencies with ADA responsibilities, ADA publications that cover general topics, business and non-service providers, state and local governments and ADA stories to mention a few. The site also includes an ADA Technical Assistance Program (http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/taprog.htm), which provides free information and technical assistance directly to businesses, non-profit service providers, state and local governments, people with disabilities, and the general public. It also lists the Toll-Free ADA Information Line (Call to obtain answers to general and technical questions about the ADA and to order technical assistance materials: 800-514-0301 (voice) 800-514-0383 (TDD).
     
  • ADA Basic Building Blocks - http://www.adabasics.org/
    The "ADA Basic Building Blocks," a project of the ADA & IT Technical Assistance Centers, is a free introductory web course on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) that explores the legal requirements and spirit of the ADA. The course is designed to provide you with the basic principles and core concepts of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The specific course objectives are:
  • Discuss the purpose of the ADA using a civil rights framework.
  • Identify the five titles of the ADA.
  • Define the general nondiscrimination requirements of the ADA.
  • Explain each nondiscrimination requirement using 1-2 real-life examples.
  • Identify the defenses or limitations of each nondiscrimination requirement.
  • Become familiar with various resources for information on the ADA.
  • Earn a "Certificate of Completion and CEU or CRCC credits".
  • ADA & IT Centers - http://www.adata.org/centers.aspx
    The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) has established ten regional centers to provide information, training, and technical assistance to employers, people with disabilities, and other entities with responsibilities under the ADA. The centers act as a "one-stop" central, comprehensive resource on ADA issues in employment, public services, public accommodations, and communications. Each center works closely with local business, disability, governmental, rehabilitation, and other professional networks to provide ADA information and assistance. Programs vary in each region, but all centers provide the following:
    • Technical Assistance
    • Education and Training
    • Materials Dissemination
    • Information and Referral
    • Public Awareness
    • Local Capacity Building

    In addition to ADA services the centers assist individuals and entities in better understanding related disability legislation which may impact their rights or responsibilities. Information on the Rehabilitation Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, Workforce Investment Act and others can typically be provided by a Center. Of special interest to those with involvement in education settings will be materials and technical assistance developed to assist in efforts to make educational experiences accessible to all participants. This includes assuring accessibility not only to the physical site of the entity, but also of the programs and technology used in the experience. This includes building accessible web pages, assuring that distance learning programs are accessible and assuring that technology purchases are those which are best able to work with assistive devices used by people with disabilities.
     
    • At Your Service: Welcoming Customers with Disabilities - http://www.wiawebcourse.org/
      This online self-paced course is designed to help those employees responsible for initial customer contact to develop a better understanding of the needs and experiences of people with disabilities. Present how to adjust general customer service standards to meet the needs of the customer with a disability. Develop basic etiquette for interacting with a customer who has a disability. Show how to comply with statutes regarding service to people with disabilities, particularly the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 . The course content is self-paced and organized into 11 sections, which are referred to as "topics". Each topic consists of one to five pages of relative information and real-life examples while the last page contains multiple-choice or true/false questions to help you "Enhance Your Knowledge". Where possible, relevant court cases and additional "Tell Me More" resources are cited. A "Glossary of Terms" and "Resources" are also available for reference. The eleven topics of the course in order are:
      1. Welcoming People to the One-Stop ; Disability Facts
      2. Disability Etiquette
      3. Access for Everyone
      4. Making a One-Stop Accessible; Universal Access
      5. Reasonable Accommodations
      6. Non-Discrimination at the One-Stop; Disability Rights
      7. Blind and Low Vision Case Study
      8. Physical Disability Case Study
      9. Cognitive Disability Case Study
      10. Deaf and Hard of Hearing Case Study
      11. Psychiatric Disability Case Study

      Although the At Your Service course was developed for front line staff in the One-Stop, it would be of great benefit to any Navigator to test their knowledge and build their understanding of working with customers with disabilities. There is no fee to take the course; however, when you access the website, you will need to create a course user login.

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    Note to DPNs: If you have comments, suggestions or questions relating to the above topic, please email DJ Diamond at ddiamond@ndi-inc.org . They may be added to this FAQ and the archived one on the One-Stop Toolkit website.