The Administration for Community Living’s (ACL) Administration on Disabilities (AoD) is pleased to announce funding of a new Disability Employment Technical Assistance Center that will provide AoD grantees with the tools and resources they need to more effectively help individuals with disabilities achieve meaningful employment with competitive wages in integrated settings. The Employment TA Center will be a comprehensive source for disability employment information, resources for AoD grantees, and will maximize knowledge transfer across programs by identifying and providing training on innovative, promising, and emerging practices. The five year contract (one base year plus four option years) at $710,920 per year has been awarded to the Lewin Group starting on September 30, 2020.
This coordinated effort supports ACL’s core belief that employment in competitive, integrated settings is a critical component to community living and provides a pathway for people with disabilities to achieve economic mobility. AoD Commissioner Julie Hocker stated: “In the year 2020, we celebrate several important milestones including the 30th anniversary of the ADA, the 45th anniversary of the Protection and Advocacy System, the 50th anniversary of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, and the 100th anniversary of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. We look forward to building on the lessons learned from the past as we collectively work together to ensure Americans with disabilities fully participate in our nation’s workforce.”
The Disability Employment Technical Assistance Center will be a cross-program, evidence-based training and technical assistance center that will help AoD grantees (including Centers for Independent living, State Developmental Disabilities Counsils, University Centers for Excellent in Developmental Disabilities, State Protection and Advocacy Systems, and Traumatic Brain Injury State Partnership Programs) further expand their knowledge, skills, and partnerships to increase their collective impact within their communities and states. This initiative reflects a collaborative approach that will help further align AoD programs on a common goal and help strengthen the broader disability network.
Over the next five years, the center will:
- Partner with AoD grantees and actively engage with them on the planning, implementation, analysis, and evaluation of the work of the Center;
- Conduct a comprehensive landscape analysis of the current disability employment initiatives of AoD grantees;
- Foster innovation and grantee action by providing direct and high-quality technical assistance to AoD grantees to increase their demonstrated capacity to carry out activities that will help people with disabilities seek and retain competitive, integrated employment;
- Develop and disseminate a variety of resources ( e.g., fact sheets, trainings, webinars) that cover a wide range of topics and programmatic services to help AoD grantees improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities; and
- Establish and maintain a resource clearinghouse that will serve as the primary hub of information on disability employment for the AoD programs and will ensure the programs have access to high-quality materials and resources to assist them in improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities.
Visit the ACL website for more information on the center.