How can a TANF agency ensure equal access to people with disabilities?
A TANF agency ensures equal access to TANF applicants and beneficiaries with disabilities by delivering services that: (a) are appropriate in view of their particular physical or mental impairment; and (b) provide an equal opportunity to benefit from the agency's job placement, education, skills training, employment, and other TANF activities.
In ensuring equal access to people with disabilities, TANF agencies should have comprehensive and effective screening and assessment tools in place. TANF agencies should offer to conduct an initial screening of each applicant and beneficiary to identify those individuals with possible disabilities, and inform applicants and beneficiaries that their participation in screening and disclosure of disability is voluntary. This screening should be conducted by trained staff, using validated screening tools. If there is an initial indication that an individual has a disability that may impact his/her ability to successfully complete or benefit from a current or proposed program assignment, the TANF agency should give the individual an opportunity for a more comprehensive assessment that is conducted by quailed professionals.
A TANF agency offers free screening for disabilities to all TANF applicants and beneficiaries. The TANF agency conducts screening for disabilities only upon receipt of the program participant's written, informed consent. If screening indicates a potential disability, the TANF agency offers a free diagnostic assessment conducted by a qualified clinical diagnosticians. The results of the diagnostic assessment are documented in a report that identifies the nature of the disabilities, describes the effect of such disabilities on the individual's ability to benefit from and participate in TANF activities, and includes a description of the accommodations and/or modifications that may be necessary to help the individual fully participate in the TANF program. This individualized report guides the TANF agency's provision of services to the TANF beneficiary.