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 Disability Program Navigator: Navigator Frequently Asked Questions 

11(Advanced)  Now that I have facilitated basic disability awareness and interagency training, how can I help One-Stop staff to remember and use all of the information presented, while also continuing to learn about additional resources??

As an experienced Navigator, you most likely have facilitated quite a few trainings for One-Stop staff on a variety of topics including disability awareness, ADA and reasonable accommodations, assistive technology, local disability services, and other community resources. In the busy environment of a One-Stop where helping people find jobs is the top priority, many Navigators have had the added challenge of working with One-Stop management to find the time for training. However, Navigators have learned to take time to understand the workforce investment system, gain the trust of their One-Stop supervisors, and communicate the importance of providing guidance and resources to staff on serving customers with disabilities through training.

So, how do you help to ensure that staff remember and use the information offered in training? How do you introduce new resources and disability information to staff on a regular basis, without overwhelming them and working within the time frame allotted by One-Stop management? As valuable and needed as disability training is for One-Stops, the major challenge can be how to help staff incorporate this new knowledge into their everyday work with customers. They may remember to refer an individual to a Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC) if a customer is worried about losing benefits while working. However, it may be difficult to remember to suggest Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS) or Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE) to a beneficiary who is struggling to gain employment due to several barriers. In another instance, it may be exciting for staff to initially learn about all of the new adaptive equipment, but as they get back into their everyday work, they may easily forget how to explain the various adaptive technology options or feel they don’t have enough time to show customers how to use it.

Below are some strategies you may want to implement to assist One-Stop staff to transfer the knowledge they’ve gained through training into their everyday work. In reviewing the strategies, think about other ways in conjunction with training in which you can impact on a systems level and find ways to help staff consistently put new information into practice.

  • DPNs are creating easy-to-use Desktop Guides for each One-Stop staff person to have on hand, briefly describing the most beneficial resources, with a description of appropriate candidates for services and referral/contact information.
  • DPNs are also creating user-friendly Desktop Guides for the adaptive equipment to have available at the front desk, resource rooms and accessible work stations. These easy-to-use guides have pictures of each device or software, a description of how the adaptive equipment works and who may benefit from using it, as well as simple steps on how to launch the software or use each device.
  • DPNs are working with their Local Workforce Investment Board staff and One-Stop management to implement disability awareness training into new-hire orientations, as well as making it a part of their policy guidelines to provide disability-related trainings to all staff on a yearly, bi-yearly or quarterly basis.
  • DPNs are sending out weekly resources to One-Stop staff through e-mail and newsletters, offering one-pagers on valuable resources like the Job Accommodation Network, frequently asked questions on the ADA, local community resources and services, and success stories of people gaining employment through the One-Stops.
  • DPNs are accessing and sending out “30 Second Trainings” which cover basic information about disability and employment issues. These 30 Second Trainings serve as a conduit to reinforce information learned during a more formal training session and/or as a means to provide general information to multiple staff and partners in a convenient and accessible medium.
  • DPNs are attending monthly One-Stop staff meetings and having time on the agenda to share resources, reiterate valuable information from past trainings, and share challenges and successes of people with disabilities using the One-Stops.
  • DPNs are using case studies or real scenarios in their trainings to help One-Stop staff to think creatively, problem solve as a team, and put information into practice.
  • DPNs are creating packets of materials or ‘Toolkits’ for staff to have on hand for customers and employers on Social Security Work Incentives, Employer Resources and Tax Incentives, ADA and Accommodations, and many other topics of frequent interest.

  RESOURCES:

The following resources have been developed by grantees within both the Disability Program Navigator and Work Incentive Grant projects. These resources are available in the Library of the grantee collaborative workspace of the One-Stop Toolkit website (www.onestoptoolkit.org). This is a password protected site. If you are a DPN and do not have a username and password to access these documents, please send an e-mail to Laura Gleneck at lgleneck@ndi-inc.org

Library: Top DPN Maturity Model Resources; Disability Expertise
http://www.onestoptoolkit.org/library/libraryCategory.cfm?classnumber=20001.0

  • Desktop Resource Guide for Job Seekers with Disabilities
    Kevin Nickerson, DPN with the State of New York, developed this front-and-back-page desktop resource guide for One-Stop staff on community agencies that provide supports and services for job seekers with disabilities. It includes a list of agencies, the services that they provide, contact information and whether it is a partner agency.

Library: Top DPN Maturity Model Resources; Accessibility
http://www.onestoptoolkit.org/library/libraryCategory.cfm?classnumber=20002.0

  • AT Plug In and Start Guide
    This document was developed by Miranda Kennedy, when she was a DPN with the State of Colorado, as a quick reference guide on how to plug in Assistive Technology and get it started. It was developed as a reference for One-Stop staff and is located by the accessible workstation and can be accessed by customers as well.

Library: Top DPN Maturity Model Resources; Accessibility
http://www.onestoptoolkit.org/library/libraryCategory.cfm?classnumber=20002.0

  • AT Computer Hardware/Software Quick Start Guides
    This Assistive Technology guide was developed by the Round III Work Incentive Grant project, Governor's Workforce Investment Division, in West Virginia and contains quick start guides for hardware and software on the accessible computer. Note, this is a large Word document (3.1 MB).

Library: Navigator Resources; Sphere of Influence
http://www.onestoptoolkit.org/library/libraryCategory.cfm?classnumber=20008.0

  • Navigator Newsletters
    Access the link above and scroll through the resources listed. In this section there are multiple examples of Newsletters that have been created by Navigators as a way to disseminate disability and employment related information to One-Stop Career Center and partner agency staff.

The following resources have been developed by the National Training and Technical Assistance Provider for the Disability Program Navigator Initiative. These resources are available on the DPN Technical Assistance and Training Website http://www.dpnavigator.net/
This site is maintained by NDI Consulting Inc. If you have comments and/or suggestions about the technical assistance and training website please e-mail D.J. Diamond at ddiamond@ndi-inc.org.

Resources: Navigator Resources; Sphere of Influence
http://www.dpnavigator.net/pages/resources_a6.html

  • Mental Health Resource Guide
    This Mental Health Resource Guide was designed to serve as a quick reference guide for One-Stop Career Center Staff and Employers as a means to provide information about mental health in the work place.

Resources: Navigator Resources; DPN 30 Second Trainings
http://www.dpnavigator.net/pages/30_second.html

  • A 30-Second Training is a quick fun Power Point slide show that is electronically sent out to One-Stop Career Center and Partner agency staff and can be completed in a very short amount of time hence, 30-Second Trainings. They provide disability and employment information usually with a resource link for those that are interested in furthering their knowledge and expertise.

Resources: State Lead Resources; DPN Orientation and Training Materials
http://www.dpnavigator.net/pages/resources_b3.html

  • Dreamland One-Stop Career Center
    This case scenario was developed by the National DPN Technical Assistance and Training provider to use with both Navigators and One-Stop staff as a training tool to help stimulate discussion about the best way(s) to serve customers with disabilities.

Resources: State Lead Resources; DPN Orientation and Training Materials
http://www.dpnavigator.net/pages/resources_b3.html

  • Perspective Navigator Case Scenario
    This hypothetical case study was developed for DPN projects to use with perspective DPN applicants to help identify their problem solving skills. This case study can also be used with One-Stop staff as a training tool to help stimulate discussion about the best way(s) to serve customers with disabilities.

Resources: Navigator Resources; Sphere of Influence
http://www.dpnavigator.net/pages/resources_a6.html

  • Strategies for Developing Relationships and Collaborating with Employers
    This resource is a compilation of examples of practices and strategies used by Navigators nationwide to build and enhance relationships with employers and the business community.

Resources: Navigator Resources; Sphere of Influence
http://www.dpnavigator.net/pages/resources_a6.html

  • Strategies for Marketing Workers with Disabilities to the Employer Community
    This resource contains guidance on providing information to the Employer Community about hiring and retaining individuals with disabilities as well as tangible resources for employers who are interested in learning more about hiring individuals with disabilities.
Below is a list of supporting materials (handouts) taken from the 2009 Social Security Work Incentives 4-Part Webinar series. These handouts can be compiled and shared with One-Stop Career Center staff as a quick resource guide on Social Security Work Incentives. To access the resources listed below, please access the following link http://www.dpnavigator.net/pages/tr_13.htmland click on the appropriate links under the “Resources” sections.

Handouts used during Part I : Navigating the SSA Website and the DPN ’s Role as a Resource
  • SSA Resource – Sample Handouts and Tools
  • Social Security Application Introductory Letter
  • Road to Rehab Brochure
  • How to Apply for Benefits
  • Good Record Keeping

Handouts used during Part II : General Overview of SSA’s Work Incentives and How to Use this Information
  • SSA Series DPN Tools
  • SSDI Work Record

Handouts used during Part III : SSA Resources and Specialists to Know and Use – Nuts and Bolts
  • SSA List of Specialists
  • SSA Series Part III DPN Alphabet Soup
Handouts used during Part IV : Other Resources – State Incentives and Programs that Enhance Successful Employment
  • 16 Links for Financial Empowerment
  • Other Employment Support Programs

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.