UPDATE: Since I’m In to Hire launched earlier this month it has gained world-wide attention and commitments from international business leaders that they’re In to Hire, too.
Some of the highlights:
- Pledging “I’m In To Hire” Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities – Forbes
- Hiring People with Disabilities Isn’t Just the Right Thing to Do – It’s Good for Business – The Daily Beast
- Think Beyond the Mailroom for Disability Hiring – Huffington Post
- Billionaire Urges Disability Hiring – Disability Scoop
- Initiative Aims to Hire Adults with Disabilities – HuffPost Live
Here’s our original post from October 8, 2014:
I’m In to Hire – a campaign of Best Buddies International and the Institute for Corporate Productivity – is designed to promote the business benefits of hiring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and motivate employers to create a more inclusive workplace.
Founded by Best Buddies International and rooted in an Institute for Corporate Productivity report, I’M IN TO HIRE unifies the voices of employers and employees alike in support of hiring the 85% of people with developmental disabilities who do not have a paid community job. Get the facts, download the report, and pledge to start hiring at www.imintohire.org!
The U.S. Department of Labor has released the Economic Picture of the Disability Community Project, a joint initiative between DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, Employment and Training Administration, Chief Economist, Office of the Secretary, and the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). The data produced are based on CEA analysis of the Census Bureau’s 2010-2012 American Community Survey, matched to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2012-2022 occupational projections. “Expect.Employ.Empower.with Data,” a blog authored by Heidi Shierholz, the Labor Department’s Chief Economist, and Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, highlights some of the disability employment data and its significance for the U.S. workforce.
Six by ’15 is about working together to make things happen. That’s why we’re happy to post this story from the Minnesota Association of People Supporting Employment First.
This is Minnesota’s Story: The End of the Beginning
On June 11, 2007, a group of more than 100 leaders representing government, education, community-based service providers, business, and disability advocacy organizations gathered in Chaska, Minnesota to begin planning a coordinated strategy to increase the competitive employment and economic development goals of Minnesotans with a wide array of disabilities.
The goals outlined in the summary report of the summit (later known as the Employment First Manifesto) were to:
- Establish Minnesota as a national leader in promoting the employment of adults with disabilities.
- Continue an ongoing dialogue and connection among Minnesota’s Employment First champions.
- Launch an Employment First vision and public policy for all Minnesotans living with disabilities.
- Launch “Communities of Practice” Demonstrations.
- Develop training & technical assistance resources to redirect and execute an Employment First vision.
Over 2000 copies of the Manifesto were printed and disseminated. In addition the Manifesto was downloaded over 10,000 times. Employment First was defined for the first time and this definition was used in nearly every other Employment First Policy or Executive Order around the country over the next 7 years.
The MN Employment First Coalition went on to host 4 more summits, 3 statewide conferences, and many more listening sessions, and they were the leaders in continuing the dialogue among Employment First Champions.
The MN Employment Training and Technical Assistance Center was founded in 2009 and has been providing training and technical assistance across the state of MN and in many other states ever since. In addition, part of at least two state funded grant projects included Employment Communities of Practice.
Thank you to the MN Employment First Coalition for making this once impossible dream a reality. Now the hard work of implementing this policy must begin.
In January of this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released new rules regarding home and community-based services (HCBS). The new rules and new definition of community living represent a historic change in the Medicaid program and opportunity to improve the system of community supports in every state. Home and community-based services include non-residential services like supported employment. David Mank, Director of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, wrote this guest post about the intersection of community living and employment.
CMS recently issued new rules defining home and community based services. The language in these regulations emphasize person centered planning and “creates a more outcome-oriented definition of home and community based settings, rather than one solely on, geography or physical characteristics”. CMS indicates its intent is to ensure that people have access to the benefits of community living and full opportunity to be integrated in their communities. CMS has also indicated this applies to all settings, including day program settings and will issue further guidance in the future.
The clear possibility is that this change will result in continued movement toward individualized jobs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. And, is entirely aligned with the “Six by 15 Campaign”. Increasingly, integration is being defined in terms of how people spend their time and what choices people are free to make rather than the location of a building, or the number of people that live there. Community living is about choices and freedom of movement in the typical spaces of community. Translating this to how people spend their day time, can only result in increased opportunities for community jobs for everyone that might want one.
Learn more at HCBSadvocacy.org.
Another twitter chat celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month! On October 28 from 2:00-3:00pm ET, join the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for a discussion of the role of the federal government as a model employer of people with disabilities. EEOC Chair Jenny Yang and Commissioner Chai Feldblum will answer questions during the hour-long chat.
“We hope this Twitter Chat provides useful information about what the EEOC is doing to increase the employment of people with disabilities at all levels of federal service,” said EEOC Chair Yang. “The EEOC is committed to ensuring our nation’s workplaces are inclusive of all people without regard to disability, race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, or genetic information and family medical history, beginning with the federal workplace.”
“As a long time devotee of Twitter, I am thrilled to have an interactive discussion about what the EEOC is doing, and what more it can do, to help people with disabilities find and retain good jobs in the federal government,” said Commissioner Feldblum.
Submit question using #EEOC4NDEAM. The EEOC invites queries regarding the hiring, promotion and retention of people with disabilities in the federal government and suggestions on how agencies can increase the number of people with disabilities in the federal workforce.
On October 14, ten people from across the country were honored as Disability Employment Champions of Change at a White House ceremony for their efforts to expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The ten were chosen for their extraordinary work to make workplaces more accessible and to create employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
The honorees include a veteran with a disability who runs his own organic egg business; managers from Walgreens, Procter & Gamble, and Microsoft who have taken steps to boost disability employment within their ranks; and the founder of a company that helps ensure accessibility in digital systems used by businesses.
Many disability leaders from across the nation were in attendance of this event including AUCD’s Andy Imparato, Symme Trachtenberg from the Philadelphia LEND and Bill Kiernan from the UCEDD in Boston.
The White House regularly spotlights community leaders from across the nation as part of its “Champions of Change” series.
On Wednesday, October 15th, the Center for Disabilities Studies at the University of Delaware – in cooperation with the Delaware Departments of Health an Social Services, Education, and Vocational Rehabilitation – hosted a Disability Mentoring Day. Liz Weintraub, a policy staff from AUCD, gave the keynote address, speaking about her experiences in job-seeking and how she found her jobs though networking. She told the audience of students with disabilities, “don’t settle for just any job, just because you have a disability. Find a job that you are happy in.” After Liz spoke, the students had opportunity to job shadow at different locations in the community of Newark, Delaware, to see what kind of jobs they might like to have. Watch this video about Disability Mentoring Day here. At the end of the day, students and mentors gathered again to hear Governor Markel speak about the power of believing in people with disabilities. “Our expectation for young people with disabilities is that they get job exploration experiences like Disability Mentoring Day,” Gov. Markell said. “We know that young people who participate in such transition services are more engaged in planning their careers and will be ready for the world of work.” Watch a Q&A with Governor Markell.
In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month the Labor Department (@USDOL) and the Social Security Administration are hosting a live Twitter Chat on their efforts to improve employment opportunities for millions of qualified workers with disabilities. The chat will start on Friday, October 24 at 12:00 PM ET using #DEchat.
Join Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez and her colleagues from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program about Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and what these rules mean for workers with disabilities. These new regulations require federal contractors to take deliberate steps to recruit, hire, and retain people with disabilities. The new rules also allow individuals to voluntarily self-identify as a person with a disability.
You can submit your questions in advance by using that same hashtag or by sending an e-mail to OFCCP-Public@dol.gov. If you can’t make it to the chat, a full recap will be posted on the DOL blog next week.
Last year, the Office of Personnel Management announced that in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, people with disabilities were hired at a higher percentage than at any point in the past 32 years. Additionally, people with targeted disabilities were hired at a higher percentage than at any time in the past 17 years. This success has also led to more people with disabilities serving in federal service than at any time in the past 32 years.
“People with disabilities are a vital part of the federal workforce, as we are better able to serve the American people because of the talents and experience they bring to the table.” said OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. “Since President Obama issued his Executive Order in 2010, we’ve made substantial progress in hiring and retaining people with disabilities over the past three years. This work is enabling the federal government to continue to develop as a model employer for people with disabilities.” Read more…
News like this is why the Six by 15 Campaign is seeking six governors or mayors to make disability hiring commitments like the President’s Executive Order. If you haven’t yet, join our effort by endorsing the campaign today!
The new “Who I Am” PSA features nine real people with disabilities. Rather than be defined by disability, these individuals are the sum of their many life roles — which includes working in jobs they love.