Reflections January 7, 2021 of Yesterday’s U.S. Capitol Riots

Architect of the Capitol Symbol

Reflections January 7, 2021 of Yesterday’s U.S. Capitol Riots

Those who know me/worked with me over almost 40 years of Public Policy impact, know that I have been neither the most conservative nor the most liberal. I have tried to be an honest, informational, educational voice for lawmakers to work with people with disabilities, advocates & families to craft the needed public policy and services for equal access in our communities.

While I consider myself a moderate who works hard to learn and understand both sides of an issue to help craft a useful and workable compromise, this morning I find myself seeing no compromise in the defense of our Republic and Democracy in our country.

I will not go back to our founding fathers and mothers to discuss our democracy and my current sadness on yesterday’s violent occurrences. I will simply speak of things I remember and/or I experienced – and how it illustrates disparate treatment and how we must move forward now to heal this country.

Over 30 years ago, during consideration of the Americans with Disabilities Act in Congress, people with disabilities crawled up the steps of the U.S. Capitol as it demonstrated that our crutches and our wheelchairs had limited or no access and we did not have the same rights as our neighbors in our communities.

People with disabilities have chained themselves to buses, sat in Congress, Statehouses, and government buildings to demand our rights and access – even when these rights were already in law and not being enforced or completed in the needed administrative rules. And we were arrested, dragged out in our wheelchairs – and if immovable – dragged out of our wheelchairs, taken away from our needed mobility and medical devices and arrested.

So here is my question today from an old white guy with a lifelong disability:

Why were people with disabilities arrested when we protested for our rights, but rioters who engulfed the U.S. Capitol yesterday by and large were not? They were simply herded out of the Capitol after destruction trying to stop the acceptance of the Electoral College votes for our President. (Full disclosure: so far about 50 of the thousands were arrested.)

Now, I am not a person of color, but of the thousands of persons who overran the U.S. Capitol yesterday and were not stopped or arrested by law enforcement – of all the news coverage pictures – I visually saw only one person of color. Contrast this with the many Black Lives Matter protests and the peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square near the White House who were either arrested or violently pushed out.

I’m not asking you to simply agree with me, but please quietly in your own mind and heart consider the question:  Are people with disabilities and others treated differently? Have yesterday’s riots and protests bought this treatment again into the stark light of day to be addressed? I’m just saying. . .

Former Governor/Attorney General Richard Thornburgh Dies – Bipartisan ADA Advocate

Let’s pause to remember Dick Thornburgh – who on behalf of President George H. W. Bush, worked in a bipartisan way with Democrats & Republicans in the U.S. House & U.S. Senate to help craft the Americans with Disabilities Act that President Bush supported and signed into law July 1990.
Washington Post December 31, 2020 – partial quote of complete article further below:
“…One of Mr. Thornburgh’s policy triumphs as attorney general emerged from the Justice Department’s civil rights division. He served as the Bush administration’s point man in the passage of the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act, which broadened the scope of civil rights for people with disabilities. He reassured lawmakers wary of the cost of new regulations on businesses, countering with the benefit to productivity and the economy from contributions by workers with disabilities.

The passage had been personally satisfying for Mr. Thornburgh, whose son Peter suffered from the effects of a traumatic brain injury in a car accident in 1960. The accident had also taken the life of Mr. Thornburgh’s first wife…”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/dick-thornburgh-dead/2020/12/31/b876404c-4b9d-11eb-a9f4-0e668b9772ba_story.html?s=09#click=https://t.co/Q1ewL0eoGF

Obituaries

Richard L. Thornburgh, former Pennsylvania governor and U.S. attorney general, dies at 88

By Louie Estrada Dec. 31, 2020 at 2:50 p.m. EST

Richard L. Thornburgh, a former crime-busting federal prosecutor who unflappably led Pennsylvania through the Three Mile Island nuclear crisis as the state’s two-term governor and served as U.S. attorney general from 1988 to 1991, died Dec. 31 at a retirement community in Oakmont, Pa. He was 88.

His son David Thornburgh confirmed his death but did not cite a specific cause.

In the summer of 1988, President Ronald Reagan needed to replace besieged Attorney General Edwin Meese III, who had resigned amid charges of ethics violations for mixing personal finances with government business and for allegedly helping cover up the White House’s role in the Iran-contra scandal. The administration sought a Republican with a law enforcement background and a track record of public integrity to take quick command of the Justice Department.

Mr. Thornburgh, who was tall, with a boyish, round face and horn-rimmed glasses, seemed an ideal candidate. Schooled in engineering and law, he was widely seen as methodical, effective and cool under extreme pressure.

As the U.S. attorney for western Pennsylvania from 1969 to 1975, he won convictions against organized-crime figures as well as police chiefs, city council members, mayors and other public officials who collectively took millions of dollars in bribes from mobsters.

For Mr. Thornburgh, the biggest professional challenge came not in a courtroom but rather in a trial-by-fire in crisis management when, as governor, he helped avert pandemonium during the Three Mile Island crisis in 1979, the most serious nuclear power plant accident in U.S. history.

He arrived in Washington amid high expectations to take control of a Justice Department reeling from Meese’s tenure.

Mr. Thornburgh served in the Reagan Cabinet for five months, then was asked to remain as attorney general in the new administration of George H.W. Bush even though some Republican leaders expressed doubts about his conservative bona fides. He was widely regarded as a GOP moderate, especially in contrast to Meese, a blunt and polarizing campaigner against abortion rights and affirmative action, and on other cultural flash points.

In the ensuing three years as U.S. attorney general, Mr. Thornburgh led the Justice Department during its investigation of the bombing of Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, as well as cases involving Colombian drug cartels and global money-laundering operations.

But the glare of national media scrutiny, harsh battles of political partisanship and legal turf wars took a toll on Mr. Thornburgh’s “Mr. Clean” reputation.

His department faced scrutiny for its slow pace — compared with those of state prosecutors — in pursuing prosecutions of Charles H. Keating Jr. and other fraudsters in the multibillion-dollar savings-and-loan crisis that had cost millions of Americans their life savings.

Mr. Thornburgh also was accused by congressional Democrats of protecting the White House in a tangled scandal dubbed “Iraqgate.” It appeared to involve members of the American and Italian governments, a multibillion-dollar bank fraud in the Atlanta branch of an Italian bank, and an arms buildup by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq amid the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.

One of the bankers went to prison for his role in making illicit loans. But the Justice Department, under Bill Clinton’s attorney general, Janet Reno, issued a report in 1995 absolving members of the Bush administration of misconduct.

One of Mr. Thornburgh’s policy triumphs as attorney general emerged from the Justice Department’s civil rights division. He served as the Bush administration’s point man in the passage of the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act, which broadened the scope of civil rights for people with disabilities. He reassured lawmakers wary of the cost of new regulations on businesses, countering with the benefit to productivity and the economy from contributions by workers with disabilities.

The passage had been personally satisfying for Mr. Thornburgh, whose son Peter suffered from the effects of a traumatic brain injury in a car accident in 1960. The accident had also taken the life of Mr. Thornburgh’s first wife.

Richard Lewis Thornburgh was born in Rosslyn Farms, a prosperous suburb of Pittsburgh, on July 16, 1932. His family consisted almost entirely of engineers and Republican Party stalwarts.

He received a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Yale University in 1954 and graduated three years later from the University of Pittsburgh law school. He spent most of his early legal career with the law firm of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart in Pittsburgh.

He said the car accident that killed his wife, the former Virginia Hooton, and severely injured his son prompted soul-searching about his future.

He was remarried in 1963 to a former schoolteacher and three years later sought public office, running for the U.S. House of Representatives on a platform that included advocating for civil rights initiatives and de-escalating U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He lost the race.

In 1969, the newly elected Republican president, Richard M. Nixon, named Mr. Thornburgh the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

His diligence in prosecuting cases caught the attention of higher-ups in Washington and, in 1975, he was elevated to assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division. The next year, he helped create the public integrity section to investigate allegations of political corruption.

In 1978, he won the gubernatorial race against former Pittsburgh mayor Peter F. Flaherty. Nothing in the campaign could have prepared him for what unfolded eight weeks into his first term.

On the morning of March 28, 1979, while meeting with state lawmakers about budget issues, Mr. Thornburgh received a phone call that there had been an accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, located on a sandbar in the middle of the Susquehanna River about 10 miles downstream from the state capital, Harrisburg.

A chain of events involving mechanical failure, design flaws and human error led to the partial meltdown of the reactor core in Unit 2 at the nuclear power plant.

Mr. Thornburgh urged residents in the surrounding area to remain calm as he tried to get a grasp on what was happening at the plant. Using his prosecutorial questioning skills to cut through contradictory information during the early days of the crisis, he determined that the situation wasn’t as bad as some had feared but that government officials needed to remain vigilant.

After engineers regained control of Three Mile Island, Mr. Thornburgh led President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter on a tour of the facility to help put a jittery public at ease.

Mr. Thornburgh spent many more years working on the Three Mile Island cleanup efforts, but he also focused his attention on the state’s declining industrial-based economy. He cut personal and business tax rates and balanced the state’s budgets for each of his eight years in office. He also helped forge partnerships to lure technology companies.

“He really understood the evolution of the old economy of coal, iron and steel to the new economy of finance, real estate and technology,” said G. Terry Madonna, a political scientist at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. “After Three Mile Island, which he handled brilliantly, with calm and deliberate decision-making, his job approval soared.”

Prohibited by state law from running for a third term, Mr. Thornburgh was soon in Washington as the newly appointed U.S. attorney general.

In 1991, he left the Justice Department when Senate Republican leaders persuaded him to run in a special election for the U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania after the death of John Heinz (R-Pa.) in a plane crash. Painted as a Washington insider, he was defeated in a stunning upset by Harris Wofford, a former president of Bryn Mawr College, who rode anti-Bush sentiments to victory.

Survivors include his wife, the former Ginny Walton Judson of Oakmont; three sons from his first marriage, John Thornburgh of Wexford, Pa., David Thornburgh of Philadelphia and Peter Thornburgh of Pittsburgh; a son from his second marriage, William Thornburgh of Pittsburgh; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Mr. Thornburgh, who became counsel to the law firm K & L Gates in Washington, continued to give speeches about the value of holding elective office.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport,” he said in a 2009 address at the University of Pennsylvania. “And politics is an honorable calling. All of us must exercise the opportunity to contribute to improving and sustaining higher levels of performance in public life. This involves much more than simply voting or even being part of a focus group or responding to poll questions. And it is just as important in contests for the local school board as in those for higher office.”

Results of The Direct Support Workforce and COVID-19 National Survey 2020

The Direct Support Workforce and COVID-19 National Survey Report 2020

The Institute on Community Integration and the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals collaborated to lift up the voice of the direct support workforce. The aim of this study was to gather evidence about the experiences of the direct support workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic and to inform efforts to better prepare for future waves of this pandemic.

Acknowledgments

Funded by grant #90RTCP0003 from the National Institute on Disability Independent Living Rehabilitation Research and cooperative agreement #90DDUC0070 from the Administration on Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Please contact Jerry Smith with questions.

Download a PDF version of the Results of the Direct Support Workforce and COVID-19 National Survey 2020

This survey was conducted jointly between the Institute on Community Integration and the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals

https://publications.ici.umn.edu/community-living/covid19-survey/overview

https://ici-s.umn.edu/files/iJphkG6fcN/dsp-covid-survey-results

Research News @Vanderbilt – New research documents how COVID-19 multiplies stress and trauma for people with disabilities

The COVID-19 pandemic has induced stress in everyone this year, but for those marginalized by disabilities, and especially those already dealing with social inequity and poverty, the pandemic has dealt additional blows. https://t.co/0SksYj9uKm

DisabilityStatistics@disabilitystats·“As disabled people and scholars ourselves, we noticed that the disability community… [was] being uniquely impacted by the pandemic'” – Find new research out of @VanderbiltU here –http://ow.ly/wjFP50CtD0I

12/16/2020 2PM–National Webinar with Ohio Presenter–Learning and Leading: Service Delivery to Job Seekers in a Virtual Environment

**CLICK ON LINK JUST BELOW TO SIGN UP FOR 12/26/2020 2PM VIRTUAL WEBINAR WITH PRESENTER FROM OHIO–Area 14 Workforce Development Board, Athens, Meigs, Perry Counties**

https://olderworkers.workforcegps.org/resources/2020/12/09/18/34/Learning-and-Leading-Service-Delivery-to-Job-Seekers-in-a-Virtual-Environment

Learning and Leading: Service Delivery to Job Seekers in a Virtual Environment

WorkforceGPS is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA).

ETA-Webinar

Virtual

Wednesday, December 16, 2020 2:00 PM ~ 3:30 PM ET

With the decreased ability to deliver in-person services during the COVID-19 pandemic, workforce and training organizations have met this challenge through delivering online services.  This webinar will highlight promising practices and feature organizations that have successfully used virtual platforms to deliver workforce development services to jobseekers.  

Description

This webinar follows the kick-off Learning and Leading Recovery webinar held on November 18, that presented the important role the workforce system has in supporting job seekers and businesses through the economic recovery from the pandemic.

Moderator(s)

Eric Nelson, Director, Office of Special Initiatives and Demonstrations, U. S. Department of Labor,  Employment and Training Administration

Presenter(s)

Michele Martin, Senior Associate, New Start Career Network, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development

Laurie McKnight, Director, Area 14 Workforce Development Board, Athens, Meigs, Perry Counties (Ohio)

Demetria “Lynn” Strickland, Executive Director, Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC)

Yahoo Finance – How autonomous vehicles are changing the future of accessibility

Please See Below:

*Link to Video First

*Next Written Transcript

Yahoo Finance Video

How autonomous vehicles are changing the future of accessibility

Thu, December 3, 2020, 3:34 PM EST

The Sight Tech Global conference is a virtual non-profit event that brings together the top technologists working on AI-related technologies that are having a huge impact on accessibility, especially for the blind and visually impaired. TechCrunch Editor and Reporter Kristen Korosec spoke Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired CEO Bryan Bashin, Foundation for Blind Children CEO Marc Ashton and Waymo Product Manager Clem Wright about how autonomous vehicles are changing the future of accessibility.

Video Transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: Let’s talk now about the future of accessibility for the differently abled. Our friends over at TechCrunch spoke to the nonprofit Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired about how self-driving cars are going to be impacting accessibility. Take a listen.

– As a blind person myself, I can’t independently get into a car and drive. So right now, I have to get into TNC with a person who may or may not have a status with COVID. Autonomous vehicles offer the chance to have no COVID exposure. That’s going to be with us for a few years. So I think first and foremost, that’s what people think of. And there are a couple of other advantages.

Despite what we like to say, there is still a lot of discrimination against the now almost 10,000 blind Americans who use guide dogs. Autonomous vehicles will not have that discrimination. Anyone gets in the vehicle. And maybe most profoundly, there’s a kind of deeper social equity.

Sometimes we just don’t– as blind people, we don’t want another person to be in our business. We want to just go somewhere. We don’t have to answer questions. We just want to get there, be independent. And so, that equity of being able to go, just like anybody else on a mission, is really profound and will be a huge advance.

KRISTIN MYERS: Marc, I’m wondering what your viewpoint is. Are there accessibility barriers that you think that autonomous vehicles are in a unique position to remove?

MARC ASHTON: I think with all technology, you know, when we have first speech– text to speech software, it was, you know, clunky and what have you. But technology has brought it leaps and bounds over the last couple of decades. And I think with autonomous vehicles, the technology is going to move very quickly. And any problems that do come up with accessibility, I think that technology will be able to solve.

I mean, it’s the ability for just putting the features that some of these autonomous vehicles are doing, which is like a beeping– the ability of the rider to beep the car’s horn so they could find the vehicle, for the Braille inside the vehicle, for the vehicle to explain to the rider where they are at any given time, how far they are to the distance. All that is progressive. So they keep adding these features as they get feedback from riders, but also, just from the community in general.

And a lot of those features, to be quite frank, are just as helpful for sighted people. Being able to find your car by touching the button on your iPhone is pretty global. And so, [INAUDIBLE] great. And I think one of the most of things about autonomous vehicles is just the safety factor, just the, you really aren’t getting in a car with a stranger, you know? And we all love ride hailing, and it’s been a great transformation.

But you’re still getting in a car with a stranger. And some people, that’s very uncomfortable with. And they don’t know that person that you can’t– especially if you’re visually impaired, they can’t identify that person later. And so, I think it’s a very– non-driver could be a big safety factor.

KIRSTEN KOROSEC: So why don’t you, then, walk us through the– how Waymo has approached, not just the design of its vehicle, but importantly, also, the ride hailing app, which is known as Waymo One in the Chandler area, but to make it accessible to all user groups, and in this case, specifically for blind and low vision users.

CLEM WRIGHT: Sure. Yeah, that’s a great list [INAUDIBLE] and definitely a number of things that we’ve talked about and you and I have discussed as well.

– Yes

CLEM WRIGHT: So, we do think of– our overall approach is not to think of, here are a couple of features that we’re going to build just for low vision users or for users with other disabilities. It’s about thinking about the entire user journey from the first time you install the app and start onboarding with Waymo, to getting dropped off at your destination and every step in between, and thinking about what the needs are at those different points in the journey. And different people are going to have different needs. And we want to make sure we meet those throughout.

So, a number of things that Brian called out, like finding the car at pickup, finding the destination and drop-off, really massive challenges. And we found that in– by doing user research with users with a diverse– diverse abilities, we’re able to pick out certain needs and build certain features that then help everyone.

So for example, the honking the horn feature that Marc called out, this was something that we did build. We were more originally, hey, this is something that we know that low vision users are going to need. So we built this out, and we tested it. And we actually were running a separate usability study, a totally different feature, for all sighted users in this study. And they were trying to find the car pick-up, just as part of the flow.

And we accidentally left the honk horn feature on. It was just a prototype phase at that point. And the person– so I was like, oh, I need to find the car. They honked the horn, and the car was pulled up around the back of the hotel where we were testing.

And it was a huge lightbulb moment for me, where it was like, oh, yeah, obviously, this is going to be helpful for everyone. And we’ve seen that time and again in a number of different features we’ve built, where we’ll think of more extreme needs that people with disabilities may face and brainstorm features around them, but then realized, hey, this is something that affects everyone.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD)12/03/2020–Commemorative Event 12/04/2020–11 am-12:45 pm EST

https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities-3-december/idpd2020.html

International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), 3 December 2020

IDPD 2020

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is annually observed on 3 December to promote the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities and to take action for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society and development.

This year, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities will be commemorated throughout the week of 30 November- 4 December in conjunction with the 13th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

The theme this year is “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”.


International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Commemorative Event for IDPD 2020: Action Toward a Disability-Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post-COVID-19 World”
4 December 2020 (11.00 am-12:45 pm EST)

The event will include representatives of Member States, UN offices, organizations of persons with disabilities, civil society, and the private sector. It will emphasize the importance of disability-inclusive responses to COVID-19 and take stock of progress in “building back better,” including addressing the global policy framework on disability-inclusive development newly adopted by the General Assembly Third Committee this past November. The event will also address the tools of the UN system. These include hose developed for the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy, the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, UNWomen and the World Bank. It will also focus on important steps taken by civil society and the private sector to “build back better” in a disability-inclusive manner.


Draft Agenda

Co-Moderators: Mr. Gopal Mitra, Senior Officer, Disability Team (EOSG) and Ms. Abia Akram, Chair, Asia Pacific Forum on Women and Girls with Disabilities (Civil Society)

Global Action: Strengthening the international framework on disability-inclusive development: disability-inclusive response to Covid-19 and “Building Back Better Toward an Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post-COVID-19 World

  • Introduction: Under-Secretary-General Ms. Ana Maria Menendez, EOSG.
  • President of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, E. Minister Luis Gallegos, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ecuador (Ecuador)
  • Third Committee Resolution on Inclusive Development for and with Persons with Disabilities/ E. Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo, Permanent Representative, PM of Philippines
  • H.E. Ambassador Kennedy Gastorn, Permanent Representative, PM of Tanzania
  • The Co-Chairs of the Group of Friends of Persons with Disabilities (Mexico and New Zealand), H.E. Ambassador Juan Sandoval, Deputy Permanent Representative, PM of Mexico

Video “ON DISPLAY GLOBAL short compilation 2020” by Heidi Latsky Dance

Vision for Action on the Ground: Tools for Building Back Better Toward an Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post-COVID-19 World:

  • Next steps for the implementation of the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy, the EOSG Mr. Gopal Mitra, Senior Officer, Disability Team (EOSG)
  • UNWomen A.H. Monjurul Kabir, Global Adviser, UN Coordination, Gender Equality and Disability Inclusion/Intersectionality, UN Women
  • United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD): Ola Abualghaib, Technical Secretariat for the UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF)
  • World Bank Charlotte V. McClain-Nhlapo, Global Disability Advisor, World Bank
  • Civil Society/organizations of persons with disabilities: Hannes Juhlin Lagrelius, World Blind Union, Co-chair, General Assembly of Partners-PCG Persons with Disabilities (representative of civil society/organizations of persons with disabilities)
  • Private Sector/Foundations: Yosuke Ishikawa, Nippon Foundation

Respondent: Mr. Cabra de Luna Miguel Angel, EESC Observer to the UNTFSSE, to provide his comments concerning the presentations.

Concept Note

Register here for the event


Resources

UNDIS

United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy (UNDIS)
The UNDIS provides the foundation for sustainable and transformative progress on disability inclusion through all pillars of the work of the United Nations: peace and security, human rights, and development. The Strategy enables the UN system to support the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and other international human rights instruments, as well as the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Agenda for Humanity, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

FYI: Free Workshop Series: Community Conversations with Al Condeluci

Community Conversations  
Hosted by The Center for Disability Empowerment  
The Center for Disability Empowerment (CDE) is pleased to offer a series of free workshops designed to explore ways to help communities to become more inclusive and welcoming to all of its citizens. Studies show that people who have important relationships in their lives are happier, healthier, safer and achieve more in life. We know that vulnerable people including elders, people with disabilities and economically disadvantaged people have less social capital and are at great risk for social isolation.These virtual trainings will examine social capital and explore ways for communities to help people build more opportunities for relationships. We encourage community leaders, businesses, civic organizations, schools, faith-based communities, individuals with disabilities and their families to join us for this important discussion!  Attached you will find a flyer with more information on each session and registration links.  
-Susan Hetrick, Executive Director
The Center for Disability Empowerment 
(Click here for Registration) Al Condeluci Event Series Flyer

COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS: Building Inclusive Communities:

LINK TO WEBINAR SERIES REGISTRATION:
https://files.constantcontact.com/32eca873801/b98b385e-6ecf-49a9-b4bf-19bbe7d8e2a2.pdf

Link To Center For Disability Empowerment: http://www.disabilityempowerment.net/

Webinar 12/03/2020 – Registered Apprenticeship: Job Seekers with Disabilities Please Apply!

Registered Apprenticeship: Job Seekers with Disabilities Please Apply!

Thursday, December 03, 2020 — 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET

BACKGROUND: With funding from the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) at the U.S. Department of Labor, LEAD Center is continuing its work (a) to promote equal opportunity within the broader workforce system for youth and adults with disabilities; (b) to advance the development of inclusive career pathways using the interactive Road to Inclusive Career Pathways on the LEAD website; (c) to support economic advancement and financial literacy for youth and adults with disabilities; and (d) to provide up-to-date data to the field on employment and related outcomes for people with disabilities.

Led by Social Policy Research Associates(link is external) and National Disability Institute(link is external), the LEAD Center – known formally as the National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities (LEAD) – brings together a range of organizations, thought leaders, and best-practice innovators to expand policy, employment, leadership, and economic advancement opportunities and outcomes for all people with disabilities.
http://www.leadcenter.org/
https://www.nationaldisabilityinstitute.org/projects/lead-center/

http://www.leadcenter.org/webinars/registered-apprenticeship-job-seekers-disabilities-please-apply

Webinar: Registered Apprenticeship: Job Seekers with Disabilities Please Apply!
Thursday, December 3, 3:00-4:00 P.M. EDT
Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, mentorship, and a portable credential. For job seekers with disabilities, apprenticeship offers a model that promotes on-the-job learning and program supports that can offer a viable pathway to a well-paying career.

This webinar will offer an introduction to registered apprenticeship. We will share what distinguishes apprenticeships from other types of work-based learning, explore the benefits for all stakeholders, share different models, and highlight promising programs from the field. We’ll be joined by Mitchell Harp and Melissa Stowasser from Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC, and Cindy Lennon from Able-Disabled Advocacy in San Diego, CA.

Participants will learn:
*How registered apprenticeship benefits individuals, employers, and programs
*What comprises the essential components of an apprenticeship program
*How to differentiate apprenticeship from other work-based learning models
*How to locate apprenticeship programs available in their region and make referrals
Join us for the webinar:
Registered Apprenticeship: Job Seekers with Disabilities Please Apply!
Thursday, December 3, 2020, 3:00-4:00 P.M. EDT

FYI: NCD Report on AbilityOne federal employment program and Printed & Audio Congressional Staff Briefings

Background: the National Council on Disability (NCD) is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. NCD is comprised of a team of Presidential and Congressional appointees, an Executive Director appointed by the Chair, and a full-time professional staff. (“Read more about the NCD team“)   

https://ncd.gov/

Below, in NCD’s charge of advising the President, Congress, and federal agencies, it has released a report: 

 “Policies from the Past in a Modern Era: The Unintended Consequences of the AbilityOne Program & Section 14(c)” 

The summary of the report and links to the report are further below. Immediately below is a summary of Congressional staff briefings and links to those briefings both in print and as audio recordings. 

NCD policy briefings to Congressional staff on AbilityOne Report  

https://ncd.gov/events/2020/ncd-abilityone-series

NCD conducted a comprehensive analysis of the AbilityOne Program to determine whether it promotes Congress’ goal of improving employment opportunities for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. Today, the program is made of a government-appointed Commission and staff, three central nonprofit agencies (CNAs) that facilitate the program, and over 500 participating nonprofit agencies that hire people who are blind or have significant disabilities to sell goods and services to federal agencies. 

NCD’s AbilityOne briefing series provided Congressional staff members with NCD’s latest report, Policies from the Past in a Modern Era: The Unintended Consequences of the AbilityOne Program and Section 14(c), including its major findings and recommendations.report findings and recommendations regarding the 82 year-old federal disability employment system. It includes an optional primer on AbilityOne for those less familiar with the program, followed by an overview of the report findings and recommendations, and explored report findings at greater depth. 

Oct. 22, 2020 – Ability One Primer 

NCD provided an overview of the AbilityOne program for those desiring a better understanding of the federal disability employment system. 

Audio recording of event
Transcript of delivered remarks as prepared 

Oct. 22, 2020 – NCD Report Overview 

Audio recording of event
Transcript of delivered remarks as prepared 

Oct. 29, 2020 – AbilityOne and National Disability Policy Goals 

Audio recording of event
Transcript of delivered remarks as prepared 

Nov. 5, 2020 – AbilityOne and National Disability Policy Goals 

Audio recording of event
Transcript of delivered remarks as prepared 

Policies from the Past in a Modern Era: The Unintended Consequences of the AbilityOne Program & Section 14(c)  

https://ncd.gov/publications/2020/policies-past-modern-era

October 14, 2020 

FULL REPORT (PDF)
FULL REPORT (DOC

Related Report (2019): A Cursory Look at AbilityOne 

SCOPE AND PURPOSE: NCD conducted a comprehensive analysis of the AbilityOne Program to determine whether it promotes Congress’ goal of improving employment opportunities for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. Today, the program is made of a government-appointed Commission and staff, three central nonprofit agencies (CNAs) that facilitate the program, and over 500 participating nonprofit agencies that hire people who are blind or have significant disabilities to sell goods and services to federal agencies. 

NCD’s report raises the following concerns about the AbilityOne Program: 

  • Despite increased program revenue earned through sales to the Federal Government, employment for people who are blind or have significant disabilities has steadily declined since 2011 – While overall program sales have increased, the number of employees and total direct labor hours from the employment of people who are blind or have significant disabilities have declined since FY 2011. The percentage of overall program revenue paying wages to people are blind or have with significant disabilities has also declined each year since FY 2011. 
  • The program undermines current national disability policy goals to create competitive integrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities – The program is a federally sanctioned segregated jobs system from 1938 that reinforces distinct employment paths for people who are blind or have significant disabilities that may result in subminimum wages. The program relies on an outdated societal landscape that existed prior to a public right to education and other core civil rights for people with disabilities. For this reason, only approximately four percent of employees hired under the program exit the program to enter competitive, integrated employment each year. 
  • Repeated concerns about transparency and conflicts of interest remain unaddressed and undermine confidence in the program – While the CNAs continue to seek opportunities to increase program revenue, past scrutiny and criticism from Congress, the Government Accountability Office, its own Inspector General, and the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities remain unresolved. The CNA program fee remains exempt from federal restrictions on its use allowing it to fund executive salaries and lobbying expenses. In addition, NPAs have the discretion to decide which employees have significant disabilities, however NCD’s interviews and site visits with NPAs raised concern that they lack the capacity, skill, and knowledge to objectively evaluate the skills of their workers with disabilities. 

NCD concludes the report by advising Congress to transition the outdated AbilityOne Program into a new requirement under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act that will incentivize federal contractors to hire a percentage of people who are blind or have significant disabilities at competitive wages and provides recommendations to successfully transition the current 45,000 AbilityOne employees into competitive, integrated employment.