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Finding the Starting Line PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Hoff   
Friday, 01 February 2013 00:00

The primary goal of the Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) is to double the employment rate for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by 2015. To figure out whether or not this goal is being achieved, state teams need to determine where they are starting from – i.e., what is the current employment rate that the state team is trying to double. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. Simply put, many state intellectual or developmental disability systems do not collect data on individual employment outcomes. Even if the system does collect this data, not every individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a state (even those served by public systems), may be captured in data that are available. As a result, many state AFP teams have spent considerable time on how to come up with a baseline number, and struggled with
how to determine it.

Read More Here

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 March 2013 18:27
 
Getting THE Number PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Hoff   
Friday, 21 December 2012 02:42

One of the questions that continuously arise among policymakers, legislators,service providers, and individuals with disabilities is determining the employment rate for individuals with disabilities.  Identifying such a rate is important both in the scope and extent of the issue, and also to measure progress at both an overall societal level and within individual service systems. While on the surface, coming up the answer to such a question may seem simple, it can actually become quite complicated for a variety of reasons.

 Read More here

Last Updated on Friday, 21 December 2012 02:49
 
President Obama Engages with Youth with Disabilities PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jenny Levet   
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 19:50

As President Obama has so often said, change in America happens from the bottom up.  It happens when people organize, speak out, and have a seat at the table.

Recently, President Obama met with some youth with disabilities. He wanted to hear their thoughts about the future of disability policy. So, he sat down with participants from the American Association of People with Disabilities internship program. These future leaders spent their summer in DC, interning with various organizations.

Today, we are pleased to release a video that recaps that meeting. Watch it on YouTube here:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/08/24/president-obama-engages-youth-disabilities

The video has been provided by www.whitehouse.gov.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 September 2012 21:22
 
A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jenny Levet   
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 14:56

NGA News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 15, 2012

Contacts:  Jodi Omear, 703-474-2668/ Krista Zaharias, 847-217-3209

NEW NGA CHAIR ANNOUNCES YEAR-LONG INITIATIVE
Delaware Governor Markell Takes Reins of Association; Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin Becomes Vice Chair

WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA—Delaware Gov. Jack Markell officially became chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) today during the closing session of the NGA Annual Meeting. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin was named vice chair.

Gov. Markell announced his chair's initiative, A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities <http://www.nga.org/files/live/sites/NGA/files/pdf/CI1213BETTERBOTTOMLINE.PDF>; which aims to increase employment among individuals with disabilities.   Specifically, the initiative will focus on the employment challenges that affect individuals with intellectual and other significant disabilities and the role that both state government and business can play in facilitating and advancing opportunities for these individuals to be gainfully employed in the competitive labor market.

"The bottom line is that there are so many people with disabilities who have the time, talent and desire to make meaningful   contributions to interested employers," Gov. Markell said. "More companies are recognizing that creating greater economic opportunity for these workers improves their own bottom line as well. It doesn't matter whether you were born with additional challenges to face or – in the case of our wounded veterans for example – acquired them later in life. What matters is what you   have to offer."

Successfully achieving this goal will require not only attention to appropriate training, job placement and work-based support, but also advancing best practices and meaningful engagement of the business community.   This includes informing the business community about how productive, loyal and valuable these individuals can be to both the company's culture and its bottom line.

A major emphasis of the initiative will be on people who have significant intellectual and developmental disabilities and may require supports like job coaches and personal attendants in order to live and work in the community. The chair plans to convene governors, businesses, disability leaders and other thought leaders throughout the year to share ideas and move forward with support for this population.

"It's inspiring to see how many leaders from the public and private sectors are committing themselves to this cause and pledging to work together on something that builds both economic and social capital. There are major employers in every state who recognize the value of creating opportunity," Gov. Markell  said. "Let's bring the attention of the public and private sectors to bear this year to create meaningful opportunities for these future employees and the companies that will grow from their efforts."

In addition to providing governors and other state policymakers with better policy options to assess the environment in their state and strategies designed to support this population, the initiative will:

*   Create a blueprint for businesses and states that identifies best practices and outlines steps that can be put in place to increase employment of people with disabilities; and

* Heighten awareness and launch a campaign to help governors put in place the practices that fit best in their states' efforts to increase employment for people with disabilities.

The goals behind A Better Bottom Line:   Employing People with Disabilities <http://www.nga.org/files/live/sites/NGA/files/pdf/CI1213BETTERBOTTOMLINE.PDF>; will draw support from several sources. Last month, Gov. Markell joined a dozen senior leaders of some of the nation's largest companies and bipartisan federal leaders inlucding Senator Tom Harkin, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and Congressman Pete Sessions, vice chair of the House Committee on Rules and co-chair of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus, to announce a public-private partnership to remove obstacles to employing people with disabilities.

The final Annual Meeting session concluded with a session focused on supporting entrepreneurial activity and remarks by   Steve Blank, author of The Startup Owner's Manual. To view video and news from the Annual Meeting, click here.<http://www.nga.org/cms/meetings>;

The nation's governors will reconvene in Washington, D.C., February 22-25 for the 2013 NGA Winter Meeting. For more   information, visit www.nga.org.

###

Founded in 1908, the National Governors  Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation's governors and one of   Washington, D.C.'s, most respected public policy organizations. Its members are the governors of the 55 states, territories and commonwealths. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing and implementing innovative solutions to public   policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices. For more information, visit www.nga.org.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 September 2012 19:42
 
AFP Announces the Selection of APSE to Lead Employment First, Employment Now Project PDF Print E-mail
Written by maggie nygren   
Monday, 02 July 2012 14:18

July 2, 2012 (Washington, DC)

The Alliance for Full Participation (AFP), a consortium of national organizations in the developmental disability community, has awarded a two-year national cooperative agreement to APSE in support of the AFP’s employment vision of doubling the number of people with developmental disabilities in integrated employment by 2015.

Founded in 1988, APSE (formerly known as the Association for Persons in Supported Employment) is a national organization with an exclusive focus on integrated employment and career advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

The major activities of this project are to educate and inform relevant audiences and stakeholders on a national level, support state team activities, and to compile state-based data to report on the status of inclusive employment in the US.  APSE will also support existing state teams and the development of new teams.

“The cost-benefit planning that APSE plans to integrate into their project will be a powerful tool. Having hard return-on-investment data could be the tipping factor for systems change,” said board member Lisa Burck of NADSP.  Board member Jim Gardner of CQL affirmed that “ASPE has a clear strategy to connect local chapter expertise with state team needs in a manner that would develop personal connections and networks.”

The Alliance for Full Participation was founded in 2003 by a consortium of national organizations in the developmental disability community.  In 2005, the AFP hosted a national summit on the theme of Many Voices, One Vision.  In 2011 with the addition of a number of new national partners, a second national summit, Real Jobs–It's Everyone's Business, was held. This conference followed several years of work by teams representing multiple stakeholders working in their states to double the number of people with developmental disabilities in integrated employment by 2015.

More information about APSE can be found at www.apse.org

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 18:47
 
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Employment is important for people with disabilities because we want to work, make money and accomplish our goals and aspirations. When we work, we’re contributing valuable skills to our communities. AFP’s focus on employment for people with disabilities will have the nation and our states understand the importance of employment, freedom, justice and equality. Chester Finn, President
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