In partnership with the Lewin Group and the Administration on Disabilities, TASH is pleased to announce its engagement in the establishment of a National Disability Employment Training and Technical Assistance Center, funded through the Administration on Disabilities (AoD) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL). The National Disability Employment Training & Technical Assistance Center will provide training and technical assistance to AoD grantees across programs as well as evidence-based tools, skills, and collaboration opportunities. The Center will support the grantees to demonstrably improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities and to assist AoD’s network in playing a more significant role in facilitating systems change, promoting competitive, integrated employment (CIE), and facilitating socioeconomic advancement of individuals with disabilities.
“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,” stated Julie Hocker, Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities. “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 mission of the Center will be focused on working with AoD’s network of disability partners to assure that all individuals with disabilities are given the appropriate focus and attention they deserve to help them achieve optimal employment and economic self-sufficiency. To implement AoD’s vision for the new Center, TASH and the Lewin Group have worked intentionally to build an extraordinary cadre of national partners, subject matter experts in disability employment systems-change, and leaders among AoD’s network of grantees who have demonstrated tremendous leadership in improving employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. TASH will strategically collaborate with these partners to support federally-funded disability grantees by:
- Providing information, tools, resources, skill-building, and learning opportunities that all AoD grantees can use to effectively address the challenges of disability employment programs;
- Designing specialized T/TA to meet the unique needs of the various types of AoD grantees including Centers for Independent Living (CILs), State Developmental Disabilities Councils (DD Councils), University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs), State Protection & Advocacy entities (P&As), and Traumatic Brain Injury Grantees (TBI Grantees), with a particular emphasis on CILs and DD Councils;
- Promoting sharing and knowledge transfer across the AoD grantee network through peer-to-peer exchange;
- Ensuring meaningful involvement and input of individuals with disabilities in T/TA activities through effective engagement activities; and
- Meeting the unique interests, roles, and needs of different types of grantees and various stakeholders through maximizing the resources, leveraging technology, and employing a variety of adult learning strategies.
“The establishment of the new National Disability Employment Training & Technical Assistance Center offers a new approach for arming AoD’s grantees with state-of-the-art tools, strategies, and vision to enhance their role in the implementation of effective systems change efforts to increase employment and economic outcomes for individuals with disabilities at the local and state level,” describes Serena Lowe, Senior Adviser to TASH and the new Center. “Our intent is to create a dynamic, high-impact, results-oriented collaboration that accelerates innovation and brings to scale the tried-and-true strategies and practices that we know through years of evidence lead to improved employment opportunities and economic choices for individuals with differing abilities.”
You can also read the Administration for Community Living press release on the creation of the Center here.