[nfb-talk] Fwd: [FedAccessibility] FW: Harkin Report - High Expectations: Transforming the American Workforce as the ADA Generation Comes of Age [2 Attachments]

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Fri Sep 27 00:23:16 UTC 2013

>--- Forwarded Message ---
>From: Mowitz, Alyssa (HELP Committee) [mailto:Alyssa_Mowitz at help.senate.gov]
>Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2013 1:57 PM
>Subject: Harkin Report - High Expectations: 
>Transforming the American Workforce as the ADA Generation Comes of Age
>Harkin Unveils Report on the ‘ADA Generation,’ 
>Offers Bold Steps to Improve Employment of Young 
>People with Disabilities and Fully Realize the ADA’s Promise of Equality
>Thursday, September 26, 2013
>***Please find attached both a PDF and Word version of the full report***
>Harkin Report Shines Spotlight on Barriers to 
>Employment, Sets High Goal for Increasing 
>Workforce Participation of the ‘ADA Generation’
>WASHINGTON, D.C.­U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), 
>Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, 
>and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today released a 
>report on the ‘ADA Generation’­the young men and 
>women who have come of age since the Americans 
>With Disabilities Act was enacted­that offers 
>bold steps to improve the employment of these 
>young Americans as they seek competitive 
>employment. Chairman Harkin was the Senate 
>author of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.
>“The enactment of the Americans with 
>Disabilities Act, 23 years ago, helped grant the 
>promise of equality to Americans with 
>disabilities. But today, more work remains to be 
>done to knock down one of the last remaining 
>barriers­the gap in workforce participation that 
>exists for millions of young adults,” Harkin 
>said. “A ripe opportunity exists for Congress, 
>the federal government, and the business 
>community to work hand-in-hand to make 
>competitive, integrated employment the first 
>choice for individuals with disabilities. The 
>goals of equality of opportunity, full 
>participation in American society, independent 
>living, and economic self-sufficiency are the 
>birthright of this young generation, and we must 
>work together to ensure this promise is met.”
>Chairman Harkin’s report identifies four key 
>areas of opportunity to improve support for 
>members of the ADA generation as they seek 
>competitive employment. These areas are:
>§  Increasing support for high school students 
>as they plan for their transition into the workforce
>§  Improving the transition of the ADA 
>generation as they enter postsecondary education and the labor market
>§  Changing the assumptions in disability 
>benefit programs that discourage young people with disabilities from working
>§  Leveraging employer demand, correcting 
>misconceptions about employing people with 
>disabilities, building strong pipelines from 
>school to the competitive workforce, and establishing supportive workplaces.
>Harkin also sets a high­but achievable­benchmark 
>for increasing the workforce participation of 
>young people with disabilities, to 250,000 by 
>2015. In 2011, Harkin worked with the U.S. 
>Chamber of Commerce to establish a goal of 
>increasing the workforce participation of people 
>with disabilities by more than 20 percent, from 
>4.9 million workers to six million workers by 
>2015. To accomplish these goals, Harkin 
>reiterates that that the public and private 
>sectors must work together to provide young 
>adults of the ‘ADA Generation’ with quality work 
>and internship experiences while they are still in school.
>Harkin also calls for enactment of several key 
>pieces of legislation­including a 
>reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act­ 
>(WIA)­to create opportunities and incentives for 
>young people with disabilities to work. The HELP 
>Committee recently passed by a bipartisan vote 
>of 18-3 a WIA bill that reauthorizes the 
>Rehabilitation Act, including vocational 
>rehabilitation (VR) programs. Harkin worked on a 
>bipartisan basis to make improvements to the 
>Rehabilitation Act­Title V of WIA­aimed at 
>making sure that young people with disabilities 
>have increased preparation and opportunities for 
>competitive, integrated employment. The bill 
>requires state VR agencies, in conjunction with 
>local educational agencies, to make 
>“pre-employment transition services” available to students with disabilities.
>The bill will also require individuals under the 
>age of 24 with a significant disability to make 
>a serious attempt at competitive, integrated 
>employment­including getting pre-employment 
>transition services and utilizing VR 
>services­before he or she can consider working 
>at a segregated workshop or sheltered employment 
>setting. For individuals who are currently in 
>sheltered employment settings, the bill will 
>increase opportunities to move into competitive, 
>integrated employment by requiring ongoing 
>career counseling, information, and referrals 
>about programs that offer employment-related 
>services and supports. Updates to the bill also 
>focus on creating better alignment of government 
>programs at the national level that are focused 
>on employment and independent living for people with disabilities.
>Read Chairman Harkin’s 
><http://www.harkin.senate.gov/documents/pdf/52446704c3501.pdf>full report here.
>attachments on the web
>via web post 
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