U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
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Delivering on the Promise: Preliminary Report
Transmittal Memo [DOC = 28K]; Cover: PDF = 203K
Table of Contents [Complete Report: HTML = 154K, DOC = 535K]
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Executive Order 13217:
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Summary of Initiatives |
Input Entities |
Federal Register Notice
- Federal Agency Actions to Eliminate Barriers and Promote Community Integration
If people with disabilities are to fully access and be a part of their communities, they must have the opportunity to work. Work is so essential that without it people with disabilities often face isolation and segregation from the very communities in which they wish to participate. The dignity, responsibility, and economic independence resulting from gainful employment is the most effective way of reducing dependency on public benefits, enhancing self-reliance, changing attitudes, and promoting community acceptance of persons with disabilities.
The multiple barriers to employment and economic empowerment of adults with disabilities include the fragmentation of existing employment services; the isolation and segregation of people with disabilities from mainstream programs and services; the lack of access to health insurance; the complexity of existing work incentives; the lack of control and choice in selection of providers and other agents; inadequate work opportunities resulting from attitudinal barriers based on historical and erroneous stereotypes; and the lack of accurate data on employment of people with disabilities needed to measure progress in eliminating barriers to their employment. The following actions are planned to help address these barriers and to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Department of Labor
Assuming that the President's FY 2002 Budget is passed in its proposed form, the following activities will be funded out of existing budgetary resources:
- DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) will initiate an Olmstead Community Employment Initiative, developing and implementing a coordinated strategy to ensure that all DOL policies and activities fully address the employment and training needs of people with disabilities who are at risk of institutionalization, or who are transitioning from institutions into the workplace and the community.
- ODEP will award Olmstead Community Employment Planning and Implementation Grants to states that (1) develop an employment focus for persons with disabilities in their Olmstead state implementation plans and activities, and (2) incorporate activities coordinating employment and related supports at the state and local level. Recipients will be consortia of nonprofit advocacy or service agencies and Local Workforce Investment Boards (Local Boards). Activities will focus on increased capacity and coordination, as well as the provision of ongoing feedback to ODEP and other DOL agencies on effective implementation strategies.
- DOL's ETA and ODEP will work together to disseminate promising practices and successful strategies being identified under the Work Incentive Grant Program, and to ensure close collaboration and the dissemination of information and technical assistance throughout the workforce system gleaned from the new ODEP Technical Assistance Grants.
- ODEP will expand the Customized Employment Grant Initiative to 10 additional sites in FY 2002. These grants support Local Boards in systematically reviewing their policies and practices in terms of services to persons with disabilities, incorporating new and innovative practices, as appropriate, and developing comprehensive models of customized employment services and supports for individuals with significant disabilities.
- ODEP will collaborate with ESA∆s Wage and Hour Division to develop training and technical assistance on increasing earnings and customized employment for individuals with significant disabilities earning commensurate wages under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and disseminate this assistance to their stakeholder networks.
- The Presidential Task Force on the Employment of Adults with Disabilities will convene the Youth Advisory Committee, composed of 15 young people (ages 14 to 28) with diverse disabilities and backgrounds to advise the Secretary of Labor and her designees (which include the Office of the 21st Century Workforce and the Office of Disability Employment Policy) on education, transition, employment, health, rehabilitation, and independent living issues affecting young people with disabilities.
- ODEP will work with other DOL agencies, the Department of Education, and other appropriate federal departments on activities that promote the transition of young people with disabilities from school to post-secondary opportunities and/or employment, including researching, demonstrating, and disseminating successful strategies for transitioning young adults with significant disabilities into employment, and initiation of policy actions and implementation ensuring such strategies are utilized within DOL programs and activities.
- Recipients of ODEP grants to fund model youth demonstration programs to increase the participation of youth with disabilities in workforce development activities will develop, implement, evaluate and disseminate new and/or improved strategies and techniques to increase youth participation and positive outcomes.
- DOL will expand self-employment, small business, micro-enterprise development, and other entrepreneurial opportunities for people with disabilities who want to transition from institutions to their communities, or who are at risk of institutionalization or segregation. ODEP, in concert with the Task Force, will develop and implement an action plan with multiple DOL agencies to promote self-employment and small business development among people with disabilities, particularly those with the most significant disabilities.
- DOL, with ODEP in the lead, will work with other agencies to increase One-Stop center employment services for people with psychiatric disabilities, including those transitioning to the community from institutions or those at risk of placement in residential facilities.
Department of Education
- ED's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) will coordinate with appropriate components within ED, state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies, and state education agencies to evaluate and improve transition services provided to youth with disabilities who are making the transition from school to work or postsecondary education.
- ED will establish a "prime study group" under the Institute on Rehabilitation Issues and develop a publication targeted to VR counselors and other service providers on transition from school to work for young adults with disabilities.
- OSERS will continue to actively enforce the new VR regulation that eliminates extended employment as a final employment outcome under the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program, so that an employment outcome may only be counted if an individual with a disability is working in an integrated setting in the community.
Department of Health and Human Services
- HHS will work with SSA, DOL, and HUD and with other federal agencies to devise and implement strategies on employment issues as part of the Interagency Council on Community Living.
- HHS will initiate a Disability Fellows Program to bring more individuals with direct experience with disability into the HHS workforce.
Social Security Administration
- The Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program is the cornerstone of SSA's current efforts to support work. Continued swift implementation of the Ticket Program is a key commitment of the President's New Freedom Initiative, and SSA is working aggressively toward that end.
- SSA will continue to work with private and public organizations in each state through grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts to provide benefit planning and assistance to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries to assist them in their efforts to work.
- SSA is expanding its corps of employment support representatives (ESRs). The ESRs are specially trained to facilitate the efforts of SSDI and SSI beneficiaries to work by ensuring that SSA's employment support policies are used to maximum effect and that the public receives full and accurate information about the effect of work on benefits.
- SSA will conduct research and demonstration projects to explore new ways to encourage the employment of SSDI and SSI beneficiaries.
Office of Personnel Management
- OPM will conduct a campaign to disseminate widely to federal employers information about hiring, retaining and working with individuals with disabilities. Among the information to be disseminated is guidance that may help agencies facilitate "telework" by individuals with disabilities.
- OPM will consider revisions to its regulations in order to allow the Social Security Administration to certify that a federal job applicant has a disability.
- OPM will revise its Employment Guide for People with Disabilities in the Federal Government to incorporate regulatory changes that allow individuals with psychiatric disabilities to become permanent federal employees, and will revise its guidance in order to make it easier for individuals with disabilities to apply for federal employment.
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Last revised: April 9, 2002