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 Disability Program Navigator: Navigator Frequently Asked Questions 

7(Basic)  How can I help to ensure program access on all levels of One-Stop services for individuals with a wide range of disabilities and needs??

Now that you have begun to address physical access, the focus on individuals being able to ‘get in the door’ shifts to individuals being able to fully participate in all aspects of One-Stop services. Program access involves the ease in which customers with a broad range of disabilities and needs can navigate through the One-Stop system. It begins with a customer’s initial interaction with front desk staff and intake department, and continues on with the job seeker’s ability to use the resource room, participate in workshops and employer recruitments, and access printed materials. It means that customers with disabilities are found eligible for intensive and training services just as often as customers without disabilities, as well as are referred to other resources when more specialized support services are needed.

Assessing how different departments in your One-Stop operate and respond to a diverse population of job seekers is an ongoing process. The Service Accessibility Checklist (http://www.communityinclusion.org/onestop/section3.pdf) in the Access for All manual can provide some direction when considering how user-friendly your One-Stop services are for a variety of job seekers. Keep in mind that it may be more difficult for staff to know how to accommodate individuals with non-visible disabilities, including learning disabilities, mental health disorders and traumatic brain injuries. Collaborate with local/regional service providers, like the Department of Mental Health and the Traumatic Brain Injury Association, to hear suggestions on how to ensure program access for individuals with hidden disabilities. Although you can work together with your One-Stop administration to help prepare to meet the needs of a diverse population, you will probably tackle certain aspects of program accessibility as they are uncovered in actual situations. One way to address these challenges is to arrange staff training. Tap into your community resources and expertise to coordinate an interesting training series to include some of the following topics:

  • One-Stop’s obligations under ADA , the Rehabilitation Act & WIA
  • Understanding why the One-Stops should serve individuals with disabilities
  • Issues on disclosure and reasonable accommodations
  • Understanding how to use the adaptive equipment and technology available in your One-Stops
  • Accommodating Customers with Hidden Disabilities
  • How to provide materials in alternative formats
  • Learning about valuable community resources

To learn more about these topics:

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.