Moderator: Michael Morris
Director, RRTC on Workforce Investment and Employment Policy for Persons with Disabilities
Division Chief, disAbility Initiatives Unit
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
Director, Missouri Division of Workforce Development
Missouri Department of Economic Development
Andy Winnegar and Bill Newroe
New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
New Mexico One Project
Sally Weiss and Marsha Allen
Southeast Disability & Business Technical Assistance Center
Regional Director of Workforce Development
Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh
For information about other audio conferences in this series or to listen to the archive of this conference, go to the following Web address:
Michael Morris: Welcome everyone. My name is Michael Morris and I am the Director of the Research and Training Center on Workforce Investment and Employment Policy for Persons with Disability. It's a center that is funded by NIDRR and the U.S. Department of Education. This Audio-conference is part of a 2002 Leadership Series. This is the third in the series and it is being brought to you in cooperation with the Law, Health Policy and Disability Center, of the University of Iowa College of Law, and the Center for the Study and Advancement of Disability Policy, as well as with funding through the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S., Department of Labor.
This call today is focused on the subject of One-Stop accessibility and we have brought together what we think is a great group of presenters that represent multiple states as well as we'll also be hearing from Alex Kielty, with the U.S. Department of Labor.
As all of you know, we are in the period of implementation of the Workforce Investment Act and states have made varying degrees of efforts and having varying degrees of success with including the effective and meaningful participation of individuals with disabilities through services offered in One-Stops, which is at the core of the Workforce Development system. What we hoped to provide you today, are some of the lessons learned and effective strategies, which are coming from several of the work incentive grants, which are a part of projects of the U.S. Department of Labor.
To open our presentations today, I want to first turn to Andy Winnegar and Bill Newroe with the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, who are also representing the New Mexico One project. It is one of the first twenty-three work incentive grants of the Employment and Training Administration and the U.S. Department of Labor. Andy and Bill, why don't you take it away.
Andy Winnegar: This is Andy. For those of you who can't see me, I am wearing a white shirt with a blue tie and sunflowers today. New Mexico one project started last year with a 30 month project that is $539,000 to work with the whole states of New Mexico--all the One-Stops--and helping with facility accessibility, universal accessibility and Program Accessibility. Today we'll be going over each one of those activities--physical accessibility, electronic information accessibility and Program Access.
I started off as a Tech. Act Director, when the Technology Act was first funded and a couple of years after I was Director Bill Newroe became the Director. We've been together for about ten years and we also have Julie Roybal working on the project with us and collaborators that we'll be giving credit to. We'll also be watching our time quite closely to make sure we allow everybody else their time. So, Bill?
Bill Newroe: I have been involved in first of all working in the area of physical accessibility with the One-Stop career center and work closely with the New Mexico Department of Labor who is an operator with about 23 centers in the state, covering three regions. I basically looked at the architectural barrier removal issues or distance with those centers in last year and looked at eleven centers and pretty much did compliance plan reports for them. In the process I developed what kind of what I call an ergonomics physical accessibility overview with the core services, which in other words in most One-Stop career centers, they have resource rooms where you can get access to information through the electronic and information technology.
I tried to simplify the ADAAG or the ADA Accessibility Guideline Standards just looking at doorways, entranceways, doorway features, byways and surface areas and table and desks and floor clearance spaces. The most issues we've really saw, really looked at the table heights. I observed a lot of computer cubical areas that were, you know computer trays that were difficult to access lower than 27 inches from the desk table skirts to the floor. I really recommended just using conference tables for the set-ups that we did later on. The signage also was a problem. A number of centers where the signage for anybody actually, for just knowing even how to get into the center was difficult. Of course we are looking at the room identification regarding the raise lettering in Braille figures for that. Also the job order displays and boOkayshelves and pamphlets were also difficult to access for many people.
So I made some comments and suggestions about how to adjust those different kinds of things so that everybody can access it, because if you just generally follow some of the ADAA rules, they work for everybody. You have a lot of space and openness with things easy to access. So we provided the centers with a physical area and ergonomics accessibility checklist for their career resource rooms and meeting rooms.
The other area I looked at, which is what we are doing now is working with all the operators. In our state we have two One-Stop career center operators in the state. The New Mexico Department of Labor of course has at three regions I mentioned earlier. We have a private company called RCI, or Resource Consultant Incorporated. <inaudible> ..is the Central Area Workforce Investment Center, or career centers, that is the largest population area in our state.
If you looked at all of our four regions, we have central region, a northern region a southwest region and eastern region, there is a total of about 28 centers altogether. The private contractor is now having the process of running the central, which has the most number of sites. We try to get them to buy their office furniture equipment and computer technology before they bought it so that we get them this information so that they didn't have to retro.
So the areas that we are looking at now…. <inaudible>….electronic and information technology accessibility. In that regard we've taken some of the not in complete detail, but the 508 Rehab. Act guidelines. Some of section 255, with the Telecommunication Act, and of course the section 188 of the WIA. We've put together a functional requirement assessment and reporting process for universal accessibility with the computers, the office equipment, telecommunications and training technologies in the One-Stop centers. We've put together an assessment and reporting system Julie is now doing with. I think we have evaluated centers at this point, comprehensively providing a report to the boards so we have a cooperative agreement that Andy will talk about later, not just doing this with the Career Center Operators, but it's the Boards getting this information.
We've been educating them about it prior to the functional interface, we actually provide also a package that we consider part of the Program Accessibility that Andy will go over. It's kind of like a seqeway like we offer a $2500 package that involves; a reader, voice recognition, alternative keyboards and alternative mouse, assistance in getting the ergonomics for the workstations set up, a touch screen window device, and at least a 17 inch viewing area monitor set up. An OCR or Optical Character Recognition scanning system that works in relationship to the screen reader, a word production assistance and other devices like that. Both software and hardware that they’re getting installed in one computer station in each of their career center rooms. That interested those hardware and software systems we found, staff who were working the One-Stop centers enjoy using those devices as well. It brings together the interest.
Andy is now going to talk about the Program Accessibility strategies that we are doing.
James Schmeling: This is James Schmeling in Iowa. I want to interrupt one last time with a reminder to mute your phones, it's interfering with the recording and with people's ability to hear. That was a significant complaint before. If you can mute your phone, please do that. You can do that by star 6 <inaudible> I'd like to remind you one last time to mute your phones it's star 6 star* Thank you. Go ahead.
This is ….Andy? This is <inaudible> Andy? …..This next part is going to be on Program Accessibility.
What we did is, we received award in Dec. of '01, so it wasn't that long ago, but immediately we developed our cooperative agreement with the state board and all four of our local boards as well as our operators with the One-Stop centers. Our focus is really the integrated setting within the career center, within the One-Stop, so it's for the customer, not for the employees. We didn’t have enough resources to actually go in there and look at that type of accessibility demands, but we did want to have the time to the ADA and the integrated setting drafted. So, we got everybody to buy off on that and we also go them to buy off on our concept of Job Exchange Clubs. Which is using Centers for Independent Living, or Individuals with Disabilities will have job placement or job development or successful marketing skills in putting them in the One-Stop centers to work to assist consumers to access the services. Also another benefit of this is to get the One-Stop personnel familiar with people with severe disabilities, be it physical or mental or other issues of accommodations that they may not be familiar with. Although, many of the One-Stops do have people with disabilities working there. They don't necessarily have people with these functions and so that's one thing we are going to be working on in each one of the centers.
Besides the job exchange clubs, the cooperative agreements, we are going to be training the operators as far as working with people with disabilities. We've got a kind of neat innovative checklist that consumers are using that was developed through the University of New Mexico Developmental Disabilities program, which is called the Consumer Experience Checklist. This is where a consumer will go to a One-Stop unannounced and attempt to get services, then go through this checklist as far as different access issues as we want them to address and then all of this information, including the universal accessibility information is given back to the One-Stop operator, the state and local boards. Although we are not really functioning in any kind of oversight capacity, we are just providing of communication so corrections can be made and people can actually discuss the issues. We are seeing some discussion along that line. I guess one final thing is that our Governor is attempting to go into our new state fiscal year without a budget so if anybody has had state government operate without the legislature approving the budget I'd like feedback on how that works. But that's it for our presentation and I'll turn it over to Michael, I assume.
Michael Morris: Right. Thank you Bill and Andy. What I want to do is hold questions until the end. But ask just the other presenters whether they might have any questions for Bill or Andy and that way have just a more orderly presentation. We will have time at the end after all the presenters to take questions from all of you from across the country. In terms of the other presenters, anyone with a question for Bill or Andy, on their presentation?
Elizabeth Neidle: Michael?
Michael Morris: Yes
Elizabeth Neidle: Hi, this is Elizabeth in Pittsburgh.
Michael Morris: Go ahead Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Neidle: I had a question, which was for Andy and Bill regarding the amount of commitment, and assistance that they may or may not be getting from the New Mexico Department of Labor? What level of responsibility are they taking for One-Stop accessibility?
Bill Newroe: This is Bill, Elizabeth. We’ve actually, The Division of Voc. Rehab., which we are part of, actually has an ongoing relationship with the New Mexico Department of Labor. I participated with NMDOL in a number of groups. One is the development of their virtual information system for One-Stop career center services. Also, their JPRA reporting system, and we share information regarding how they document with their database, people with disabilities using their operations. So yes, we do have a pretty close relationship and it's been I think it's been good.
Elizabeth Neidle: Thank you.
Michael Morris: Bill and Andy, this is Michael with one question. If some of the materials that you mentioned are up on the website of the Law, Health Policy and Disability Center at University of Iowa, but if their people who wanted additional information, particularly the consumer experience checklist. How would they go about getting it?
Bill Newroe: That checklist is available in electronic format and also printout <inaudible> the number you can call if you need to reach myself, Bill or I would be the one to confer with someone on that, is 800-66 <inaudible> -2253.
Michael Morris: Can you go over that one more time?
Bill Newroe: 800-866-2253. That is our INR or Information Referral Number with the New Mexico Technology Assistance Program.
Michael Morris: And one follow up question: based on the degree that you've worked on physical communication and Program Accessibility, have you found an increase in the number of people with significant disabilities who are now actually visiting the One-Stops in New Mexico?
Bill Newroe: We have only in regard to setting it up to in the development of the consumer experience checklist. With the UNM, University of New Mexico Center for Developmental Disabilities, set up a stakeholders training team process who are quite excited about going out and developing this tool. But it was a proactive formative approach. But in terms of objectively seeing an increase, that also was in relationship like how the Division of Vocation and Rehabilitation counselors are beginning to have their clients also using …..<inaudible>….
Michael Morris: Let me move to the next presenter.
Unidentified Caller: Can I ask a question on…<inaudible>. They offered a website and I'm sorry I joined the conversation a little late. Can you give me the website again?
Michael Morris: James? The website where you found the information or many of the documents we will be talking about today can be found through the University of Iowa website, which is uiowa.edu…….
Unidentified Caller: I do have that one. I just wanted to make sure it was the same one.
Michael Morris: Right.
Let me turn next to Elizabeth Neidle, who is the regional Director of Workforce Development with Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh. Elizabeth is also with one of the twenty-three work incentive grants and is working both in western Pennsylvania and also over the line into West Virginia. Elizabeth, let me turn to you next.
Elizabeth Neidle: Okay. I'm Elizabeth Neidle and I'm with Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh. As Michael said, we are honored to be one of the first Working Incentive Grants. We had called our grant the Raise-Up Project. It is on behalf of the consortium of five Workforce Investment Boards. We are looking at increasing the capacity within One-Stop systems to better serve people with disabilities. That is kind of our mantra and mission and looking at tall the different areas.
In those five Workforce Investment areas, there are fifteen counties and approximately 26 One-Stops, which are a combination of sites, some of which are called comprehensive sites. Some of them crossover and serve multiple counties and some of them are what are called mini-center access sites. In order to serve those sites, we have five different regional coordinators who work with the different investment areas to implement activities that will enhance the accessibility for people with disabilities.
We have utilized a number of strategies and have some that we are stating to utilize now in the beginning of year two. I'm going to go through kind of a list and then I'll briefly say something about these strategies. The first thing we did was a series of focus groups with job seekers who have disabilities to try to get an idea about their knowledge and use of the One-Stop system. We are also looking at outreach to job seekers with disabilities in order to bring them in the One-Stop system. We are looking to enhance linkages between disability service providers and the One-Stop system. We are doing a website which is raiseup.org., which is now up. It is in constant add-on. We have the development of One-Stop staff expertise or staff development for the One-Stop staff as a priority. Then looking at the actual physical accessibility and somehow reach to employers and linking with the benefits counseling and BPAO grant/grantee.
So, we had sort of a large task ahead of us. As I've said, we started out looking at the focus group, not to talk too much about them. We didn't find out anything earth shattering and new. What we found out was that a lot of people who have disabilities had no idea that the One-Stop system was at all for them. The good news was that when they were asked to sort of identify what would be a model that they would like, a way for them to receive services that they would like, they really did identify what the intent of the One-Stop system is. So that was really giving us a leap-off point that really what the Workforce Investment Act would identify with something that people with disability felt would work for them if it were truly in place.
In Outreach to Job Seekers with Disabilities, we have been doing a lot of community informational presentations. The regional coordinators have been speaking with numerous organizations to enhance the opportunities for people with disabilities to know about the One-Stop system. In that they have also been working on developing a feedback loop to bring the ideas of folks with disabilities back to the One-Stops in their areas to help them improve their centers. Part of that was done through a job seeker survey, which sounded very, very similar to the consumer experience checklist actually, that what we were doing is to different organizations who serve people with disabilities. Different groups of people who are of disabilities. I guess there is a distinction there of a group, maybe a support group, or a work group vs. a group like a Goodwill or an ARC who work with people. But, in both cases, trying to get them to distribute the surveys, encourage people to go down to the One-Stop system, try the system and then to bring the responses back. So, that's been one strategy that we are just beginning to implement at this point.
We've also been looking at enhancing linkages between disability service providers in the One-Stop system and again, it's a lot of going out and talking to these different organizations and inviting them into the One-Stops. Many One-Stops in are more rural areas, don’t' even know who the service providers are in their communities. Then in our more urban areas, like Pittsburgh, there are hundreds of service providers and they would all like to be in the One-Stop if they could be, but they can't all fit in there. So, it's a question of how they all can participate in the One-Stop intent.
One of the really nice outcomes of that has been a linkage between the Centers for Independent Living and the Project. The Centers for Independent Living have worked with us to help us provide co-trainers for our regional coordinators, people who have disabilities who are also expert trainers to talk to the different One-Stop staff and actually give One-Stop presentations. These presentations have been very, very well received. It would initially strategy to have the One-Stops identify the areas that they've wanted to have training, that they felt that they were doing sell in some areas and which areas they wanted to enhance their knowledge.
Another project that we have been working on that has just gone out is an Alternative Formats HandboOkay. On the website, that handboOkay is on there so people can download it. They can also call us for an alternative format. The one that's on the website is sort of a generic national version. What I would suggest that people do with that would be to look at the areas where it talks about having things done in Braille. If you were giving it to a particular One-Stop, you would look at what is local to that One-Stop's area and insert their information there so that you are not only looking at 1-800 numbers in places in California or Colorado. Then there is some very good national resources on the website <inaudible>
Is everybody Okay? (Laughs.) Keep going.
So, that is some of the projects we've been looking at on linkage. The Raise Up website, which is raiseup.com is really the development of a website which is to be used a springboard for job seekers and employers to access localized resources related to the employment of persons with disabilities. It is to go hand in hand with the website ad the job linkage resources in the actual One-Stop. So, it is not actually helping people find jobs, its helping people find the resources and supports they need to keep a job. That has been really a big piece of work for people, and as I said that it is up so www.raiseup.org site.
I was also talking about One-Stop staff development, which has been again a large project; we've done a lot of different training's. Today we've done over 35 training's in the different sites. They range in topics from alternative formats, addressing facts and myths of disabilities, ADA, Workforce Investment Act, Universal Access and what that means. That has been really enhanced with the addition of having co-trainers who have disabilities presenting with us and again I urge everybody to look at ways that they can do that if they have the opportunity. We were able to pay the co-presenter a stipend through a grant through the DBTAC and again call your local DBTACs because the DBTACs are all different and have different grants. The DBTACs has been a huge resource for us.
The other piece of this was the enhancement of physical accessibility. We had a very small amount of money in our original grant and it was $2,000 per comprehensive site. At the time that we did the project, we expected to have 12 sites. As I said, we now have over 20 sites. For the first 12, we did $2,000 enhancement. At this point and time most people are using that for making sure that their front door is fully accessible. Many people their side doors were accessible, but their front doors were not, which just isn't as friendly as it could be.
One of the other things I want to talk to you about is some of the things that have been done by the state of Pennsylvania, which I think is unique. One of them is something called Visual Interpreting Services, which is actually a research project to determine the feasibility, reliability and acceptability of remote interpreting services for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. They are doing a pilot study with two sites in Pennsylvania. One is Westmoreland County, which is part of our territory region area. The other one is in Wilkes Barre. The visual interpreting service partners are CERMUSA, which is the Center for Excellence Remote and Medically Under Served Areas, St. Francis University, Hiram G. Andrews, National Telerehabilitation Service System, and the Team Pennsylvania Career Link.
Also in term of physical accessibility for the site, there is a system within the state of Pennsylvania that does self-assessment. What they do, is they send out a self-assessment form to each site before it opens and as it's opening the site is responsible to look at the self-assessment and then return the self-assessment back and then the state sends somebody down to review this. So, then they have what's called a Formal ADA Compliance Review Team, which is a CART team. They do a very serious review and they have people from the Centers for Independent Living on that team along with people from the state and local service provider. The CART review looks at multiple things. It looks at parking, entrances, signs, communication, public areas, rest rooms, telephones, elevators, resource rooms, emergency exits and a whole lot of different areas. Then they do a plan to address any deficiencies. They will not become chartered by the state unless they have addressed all of those areas. So that has been a very positive thing in Pennsylvania.
In West Virginia the sites are much newer than they are in Pennsylvania. So they are still working on that process. For six counties, they have one physical site. Then they have two sites where people can walk in on certain days and see a counselor but their borrowing space. So, they are kind of learning as they go. They expect to have the mobile sites, physical sites by the end of this coming year. So, that's a work in progress.
That is, I think everything that I have to say.
Michael Morris: Thank you Elizabeth. Does any of the presenters want to ask Elizabeth a question?
Bill Newroe: Yes, this is Bill. Elizabeth, you mentioned at the beginning Mini access sites in the One-Stops, can you give a little more information regarding that?
Elizabeth Neidle: Yes I can. There are actually called Mini Center sites. What they are is the state identified originally primary One-Stop sites, which bring in all of the partners. Then there were places that wanted to be centers, but were not picked and then they applied with the state to be what's called a mini-center. Then, the state is actually putting representation from the employment service organizations into those sites as well as representation from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and then any other service providers. Then those sites must be fully accessible. They must have access to the state computer system and they must be able to do all of the same reporting procedures. So, there is a site in the library, our Carnegie Library, which is our large library system. There is actually as site within the main Goodwill Industries Facility. So, those are the kinds of places they are in.
Michael Morris: Thank you. Any other questions from the presenters before we move on?
Alex Kielty: Elizabeth, this is Alex Kielty. I was wondering if there is a possibility that a Hart review is being conducted in other states and if you have any thoughts or ideas in terms of replicating that model?
Elizabeth Neidle: I think is could be done if it was, if the sites in the states wanted to implement it. It s a pretty intensive process and I really commend the state, T & TA office for doing it. The One-Stops really feel that it is quite a process. They have different review teams come in and nobody passes on the first try.
Alex Kielty: And was this something established by, did you say by the state Department of Labor, or was it something that was worked on through collaboration with the state director of Voc. Rehab?
Elizabeth Neidle: I believe it was a collaborative process with the state and also through the Office of Voc. Rehab and through the Centers for Independent Living and there are some other partners that I am not mentioning. I don't have the list in front of me. I can certainly get more information on that to anybody who is interested and who sends me an e-mail that they are interested. The full review and checklist and then also the pre-review and checklist I can send to you Alex if you are interested.
Michael Morris: Elizabeth, why don’t you also send it to us and we'll put it on the University of Iowa website, where people have found the other materials as well.
Elizabeth Neidle: We will do that.
Michael Morris: Okay, let me go then to our next presenter. We have Sally Weiss and Marcy Allen, with the Southeast DBTAC Disability in Business Technical Assistance Center. They are going to share with us a online course, which is free and which many people have begun to access in terms of new training resource. Sally let me turn over to you.
Sally Weiss: Thank you Michael. At your service, welcoming customers with Disability. Is a self-paced online course aimed at frontline staff at One-Stop centers. It was developed by the Southeast DBTAC with funding from the US Department of Labor and NIDRR. It's focus is on the principal of good customer services when working with customers who have disabilities. The objectives of the course are to increase understanding of the needs and experiences of people with disabilities, teach staff how to modify standard customers service practices to meet the needs of the person with the disability and develop basic etiquette for interacting with the customer who has a disability and show how to comply with the statutes regarding to service with people with disabilities. Particularly the ADA in section 508.
The course has twelve sections. The six consist of basic information, plus five individual case studies and a section on resource. It takes about four hours to complete all of the modules.
In designing the course content, our goal was to help frontline One-Stop staff understand the needs of people with disabilities and to become comfortable and effective in serving them as customers. We wrote the course as a how to companion for access for all a resource manual for meeting the needs for One-Stop customers with disabilities, produced by the Institute for Community Inclusion. We wrote it as though the people taking the course had good intentions, but little or no personal experience with people with disabilities or with any of the law and regulations governing access in non-discrimination.
We asked questions that lead in each of the six sections on basic information. Who are customers with disabilities? How do I welcome them? Disability etiquette, how do I treat someone with a disability? How does a center provide universal access? How can I tell if my One-Stop center is readily accessible? What types of reasonable accommodations or program modifications might need to be made? What do federal laws and regulations say about the rights of customers with disabilities? Each section has interactive self-correcting quizzes that allow users to test their knowledge. They also have sidebars with additional information such as access checklists, fax sheet fun, people first language and information about specific access and non-discrimination statues.
The next five sections are case study. Each study focuses on a different type of a disability and allows the user to explore the types of reasonable accommodations program modification and access features the customer with visual, physical, cognitive, hearing or psychiatric disabilities might require in order to benefit from the program and services offered at a One-Stop center.
The case studies were based on information provided by individuals with one or more of the disabilities per trade. They all have interactive questions and answer section and each case study has a listing of links to additional resources on specific disabilities.
The twelfth and final section contains a glossary of terms and has a list of course references.
The course was launched on Feb. 18th of this year and the reception has been extremely positive. In addition to the 601 individuals who've taken the course so far, we've also received a request for permission to use the course from Florida Board of Elections and Tennessee Headstart program. The 601 people who've taken the course to date, a little more than half of them are One-Stop staff, including 181 frontline staff, 70 managers and 40 supervisors. So far six people have identified themselves on logging in as customers. Thirty-six as Directors of employment programs and the remainder, which is nearly half, have identified themselves as working as Rehab. Counselors, trainers, ADA specialists, or other similar disability and employment related occupations. As of March 15th, one hundred and three have chosen to provide feedback on their experiences in the course. The main reason for taking the course was for professional development. Twenty-four of those giving feedback worked at a One-Stop center. Seventy-nine individuals or three-quarters of the people submitting feedback forum worked elsewhere, primarily as Rehab. Specialists. 27% of those taking the course who'd given feedback had either no experience with individuals with disabilities or had less than one years experience. 28% had between two and ten years experience and 40% of the individuals reported had more than ten years experience working with people with disabilities. Given the high number of individuals with extensive disability experience were very, very pleased that in terms of overall satisfaction. 80% said they were very satisfied. An addition 18% said they were somewhat satisfied and only 2% said they were dissatisfied. In general all the users reported that the course met their needs and found that the case studies and the quizzes were very, very helpful.
The fact that some of the individuals with two or more years of disability experience found the course interesting and informative, points to a widespread need, even in the disability community for more cross disability information. Other topics they would see offered include ADA training, in-depth treatment of all disabilities, use of adaptive equipment, more on confidentiality of information and a case study illustrating an appropriate referral to Voc-Rehab.
We invite you to try the course for yourself. It's on the materials posted on the website. We’re working on getting a shorter domain name, but right now you can try it at the url listed on the website which is: www.scdbtac.org/distanceEd/web/AtService/index.cfs .
Now my colleague, Marsha Allen, as the other part of our team will talk about the design in access features of our online course. Marsha?
Marsha Allen: This is Marsha Allen. The At Your Service web course was designed to be useful and accessible to the widest audience possible. With this, the web course conforms to the web content accessibility guidelines 1.0, established by the World Wide Web consortium, also known as the W3C. These guidelines explain how to make Web content accessible to people to disabilities benefit all users through three priority checkpoints: priority one, let's be satisfied for basic accessibility; priority two, should be satisfied through significant accessibility barriers; and priority three, may be satisfied to improve overall accessibility. This web course conforms to level triple A of these guidelines, which are available at the W3C website; www.w3.org. This means all priority one, two and three checkpoints have been satisfied by the web course.
The web content guidelines also define two major themes for web accessibility. One, insuring graceful transformation; and two, making content understandable, and navigable. To achieve these goals, several general navigation aids are used in this web course, such as keyboard shortcut navigation, course buttons, navigating between course sections and navigating the section content. The course offers keyboard shortcuts for course navigation and some frequent used links. The shortcut keys are noted a letter and with the key and the corresponding letter. Please note that there is variable support among browsers and systems for using these shortcuts. Apparently Internet explorer 4.0 or above, but not Netscape Navigator allows the user to select the appropriate attention key. This attention key also varies but is usually command for Macintosh machines, alt for Windows machines. Select a letter; L is used to log on to the course form, only on the course homepage; J to jump to the page content, P to go to the previous section, N to go to the next section; R to go to the course resources; A to go to the course feedback; and Q to go to the quick guide or course navigation. Also realize that since technology changes so rapidly that besides the above technique of using the command, plus the letter key, there may be other systems which could different shortcut methods or perhaps even allow the shortcut key to be used by itself.
The course offers course buttons on the top of each course page after the course title are the buttons that are respectively named pages; course feedback, course index and resources. When your are viewing one of those pages, that button is not visible to enforce the location to the user. <inaudible> course section page after the section title there appears a counter to tell you your relative position in the web course, such as in section one of twelve. There is a left arrow, or previous section link that takes you to the previous section, the web course, a right arrow or next section link takes you to the next section. Also supplemental course pages., they require you to use the back go back, or previous page function to your browser and these are clearly marked in the upper right hand corner.
Lastly, navigating within the section content, links are provided to take the user to the associated page information. Some links may not be visible to some users of graphical browsers. Section links are programmed in on the page that they are particularly helpful for people using non-graphical or text browsers and people who are using alternative tech knowledge, such as the screen reader to access the computer. The first one on the page is a jump the page context links. It takes you over the course navigation and directly to the title or text of the page. This is a hidden link. This is also a section 508 requirement for web accessibility. Some course pages have all the page topics listed first as direct links within that page through just scrolling. There is also a back to top link at the end of the page content and also at the very last line of the page to let you know that there is no more to that page and will take you back to the top of the page.
Just a couple of other accessibility features that we have utilized in this course is separating structure from presentation by using a Cascading Style Sheet. We have tested the course with style sheets turned off render it still usable. It has been tested and a variety of browsers from Netscape to Explorer to Opera as well as on utilizing popular screen reader technologies. And on browsers such as links.
The information that I described is listed in the document provided on the website. And that is all on the web course accessibility.
Michael Morris: Okay. Thank you Sally and Marsha. I just want to repeat the phone number for people who are not familiar with the DBTAC. Anywhere in the country you can call 1-800-949-4232, which will connect you to one of the ten DBTACs that are in your area. Again, as Sally mentioned the website, it's a long one to access this self-paced course, but its www.seDBTAC.org/distanceEd/web/AtService to get to the course.
Let me, in watching the time, let me move next to Alex Kielty, with the Department of Labor and for some comments and then we'll go on to Rick Beasley with the Missouri Division of Workforce Development. Alex?
Alex Kielty: Hi, I am Alex Kielty and I work in the Department of Labor in Employment and Training Administration. I head up disability and Employment Policy unit several years now on as the One-Stop center system in working on policies related to enhancing services to people with disability that enter the Workforce system.
I just want to share with you some of the things that we have been working on. I think you've heard really example of how a number of very strong representatives involved in projects that we are administered from the Department of Labor and really appreciate the comments from New Mexico <inaudible> Elizabeth Neidle and with the Southeast DBTAC. We had issued n April 2002 a training and employment and information notice that has been posted on the Iowa website that Michael mentioned earlier. That information notice is 1699 and includes a variety of information that would be important to the One-Stop center system. It includes the full text of non-discrimination regulations related to the Workforce Investment System as well as checklists involving facility reviews and mission reviews. It also includes other pertinent information impacting requirements of the Workforce Investment System. In addition, recognizing the importance of increasing access to the One-Stop centers system and the fact that we did not have the full capability of fully providing technical assistance in that regard.
We entered into a inter-agency agreement with the Disability Business and Technical Assistance Centers. We're refunding that for our second year and have been very grateful for their involvement in provision of training to the Workforce system. The self-paced tutorial that was just described is a wonderful example of the work that they do. I think that this has been a very productive and very helpful joint collaboration. As many of you know, they have been involved in training on the ADA in section 504 for many, many years to both private and public entity.
We've also established within our regional offices, Disability Coordinators who have worked closely with Voc-Rehab and many instances in states related to their area. We also have representatives that are in the regional offices that are involved with our work incentive grants. They are important components of the working and training process and ongoing learning and training process within the Department of Labor and within the Employment and Training Administration. We feel that their involvement is very integral to successful changes and enhances to the Workforce system in moving forward.
I also wanted to mention something else that we hadn't commented on and that is JobLine, which is the ability to provide phone access to people with disabilities who are blind. Early on in the development of accessibility within the One-Stop system, we had an access team and worked with the National Federation on the Blind, who had pointed out the lack of accessibility of our America's Job Bank and other career kit technologies, particularly to people who are blind. At that stage of development, our software was not as perfect as it is currently. We also considered it a universally accessible feature that could be very helpful to many people who might not have access to the Internet. JobLine creates the possibility for accessing over the phone all of the jobs that are on America's Job-bank, which is well over a million jobs on any given day and it is updated daily. It has been <inaudible> through <inaudible> operations where various states approximately 40 states have purchase access to JobLine and made it available to customers of the Workforce system. It varies in terms of it's availability, I believe in different states. But, we can also provide more information on JobLine that could also be put up on the Iowa website.
I also of course want to mention the Work Incentives program, that Elizabeth Neidle and New Mexico also received grants under the Work Incentives program. We are in the process of awarding a new round of Work Incentive grants. This is a 20 million dollar grant program that has been appropriated for the last three years now. We have been funding thirty month grants <inaudible> being 23 grants that were awarded and we will be awarding another twenty to twenty-five grants in the near future and we will be conducting another grant solicitation sometime after July of this year. So I alert you to watch out for information on those grants if you are from the Workforce system or if you are an organization that serves people with disabilities and work closely with the local Workforce Investment Board. We hope to provide funds that would also be available through assistive technologies and make assistive technologies more available within the One-Stop system.
I've also done a pilot in Minnesota involving remote interpreting services and I very much look forward to hearing more about the pilot sites in Pennsylvania that Elizabeth mentioned earlier.
Items with regard to <inaudible> we are working with a contractor to develop a promising practices website that will include technical assistance items and a variety of technical accessibility to the One-Stop center system. We will be including on that site, things as direct access, through the self-paced tutorial that was mentioned earlier in hopes of other things that will be helpful to the One-Stop center system to make sure that it is accessible. We are continuing to work on an accessibility guide for the One-Stop system, which has been in process for quite some time as this point. We continue to work on it, with Solicitor’s Office. It is much more of a comprehensive guide rather than a user friendly guide to frontline staff, it will serve a somewhat different purpose than the other assistive assistance pools that are currently being developed.
I'd like to mention at this point as well, guides that have been developed by the institute for Community Inclusion and have been used by many of the Disability Business and Technical Assistance Center staff as well as, been very well received by the One-Stop system and that's access for all. That is also available through the Institute for Community Inclusion website. It's full text in more than likely may be up on the Iowa website as well. Since we are mentioning some URL's, I'd like to mention the disability online website that we host here at Labor. It www.wdsc.dol.eta.gov/disability It's another long one, but I'll repeat it briefly. It's http://www.wdsc.dol.eta.gov/disability and you can access the doc here as well as link to the disability Business and Technical Assistance Centers, the University of Iowa, and a host of other information links. It happens to be one of the most used websites within the Employment and Training Administration, which is really a testament to the amount of information that is available through it. There are one-pagers on all of the twenty-three Work Incentive Grants that have been awarded to date and we will continue to put more information up on that website.
I just wanted to mention one other item and actually I have covered most of the areas that I wanted to cover. Oh I know, it was related to Welfare to Work we'll be putting out a technical assistance guide soon on hidden disabilities, on serving hidden disabilities that have been experienced in the Welfare to Work and TANF populations and how to serve these individuals. That is going to print shortly and we hope that that would be issued and available to the public in the not too distance future. That is about it from here from and just want to thank Michael and the people at the University of Iowa for all of their assistance to us in facilitating and getting information out to the Workforce system on accessibility. Thank you.
Michael Morris: Thank you Alex. Again, in the interest of time, because I want to leave a lot of time for questions we'll hold any questions for you and let me turn next to Rick Beasley, who is Director of the Missouri Division of Workforce Development within the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Before Rick starts, again let me urge people to please mute their phones with star, 6, the number 6, star, even the slightest shuffling of papers picks up on this system and gets distracting. Rick are you there?
Rick Beasley: Yes I am.
Michael Morris: Okay, let me turn to you.
Rick Beasley: Okay, I am proud to be here to be able to share with you all some of the things the great state of Missouri has been able to do to ensure accessibility for all it's citizens. I'd like to share with you the policy that our state Workforce Board implemented back in February of 2000. It was from work that accessibility; the accessibility team had developed only of our half of our state Workforce Board. Back in 1998, the State Counsel established an accessibility team and the team represents, the members of that team represent the Department of Economic Development, the Division of Workforce Development, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation within that department also the Division of Adult and Basic Education, the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, the Division of Employment Security. We also have a Governors Counsel on Disability, as a member of this team, and we have also have the Missouri Assisted Technology Project, who are members. I also forgot to include the Division of Rehabilitation Services for the Blind--the Missouri Division of Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, which is also, is a member of this team.
Originally this team's role was to conduct One-Stop assessments and report the findings back to the One-Stop executive committee, which is a subcommittee of the State Board. There were also responsible for developing disability awareness and assisting technology training recommendations to the Committee. They were also to act as a resource on disability issues for local career service partners and then to develop accessibility and assistive technology standards for the career centers. The team actually went out and assessed all 35 career centers across the state, but again it was there to look at ADA, ADAAG standards and see if they architecturally accessible, but then provide information on assisted technology to a local partners. Our finding found that we needed to develop some standards and see if our local, or actually our state board would pass those standards, which in a sense it did. The State Board actually approved architectural standards, or actually what we call accessible standards that include architectural and assessable standards for the career centers. These are the requirements that each local full service career center must have in place. It is also a part of the contractual process with local boards here in the state of Missouri.
The accessibility policy covers three titles: one is the legal requirements, the second is access standards and the third is implementation. The legal requirements cover the Workforce Investment Act, Section 188, that also covers the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II, Existing Facilities, it also covers Missouri State Statue 199.863, and so it covers all the legal aspects that the Workforce Investment Boards must have in place, in the departments they must work with within the state of Missouri.
Access standards cover Architectural Access, and Program Access. And the requirements for Architectural Access state that each One-Stop shall be housed in a facility that meets American's with Disabilities Act Access Guidelines ADAAG. The Program Access covers that each One-Stop shall provide Program Access, including communication access as required by the WIA and ADA, and unlike Architectural Access there are no national standards for the program and communication access. Missouri has developed and adopted the following standards to assist One-Stop career centers and comply with communication access requirements under the WIA and the ADA. So, the Program Access covers telephonic, computer data, print materials and REO communication, so that can include amplified telephones, TTY with printout, hand-free speaker phones with large keypad. As far as computer data and sound, that can be large monitor with moveable arm, screen enlargement software, screen readable software, trackball, alternative keyboards, high and adjustment tables, large keyboard caps and orientation aids, print material that can include a tape-recorder, electronic enlargement, alternative formats, REO communication, can be a portable listening device, caption display, ability to provide a full range of communication options; i.e. sign language, real time captions. So, those are the accessible standards that each career center must have in place.
Implementation, we identify again architectural barriers. We state that architectural barriers should be removed and access features added as necessary for ADAAG compliance in our career centers. Basic assistive technology, meeting the standards of Section Two should be purchased and installed in each One-Stop career center to insure access. Each One-Stop and One-Stop facility cell life should have written plans in place in how will accommodate the Program and Architectural Access needs of persons with disabilities. These must be done by July 1, 2001.
We're also in the standards, are that our policy actually put in place for training to be provided, so that same accessibility team has been developing training, dealing with architectural barriers to stereotypes to provide customer service with those with disabilities as well as training on how to use the equipment. As a matter of fact here recently we just sent out accessibility training schedules and our second round of compliance issues for the policy to determine to insure that all the career centers have the equipment that are needed or that are require within the policy. I will state that the policy is a part of the contractual piece of the local boards so our compliance pieces that we can sanction up to in relinquish funding if we find that certain career centers are not in compliance with the policy that we have put in place here in Missouri. But we have been working very diligently with our local partners within the state to insure equal access for all Missourians whether they are able or disabled. We have a number of partners that have been working with us and helping us provide the training and our goal is to have the training completed by within the next twelve months in all areas of architectural equipment as well as customer service. So, those are some of the things we have put in place here in Missouri. How we have done that is working with collaborative efforts with all our partners and everyone coming to the table and help funding this aspect of it. You can't say we haven't gone through our trials and tribulations our fights and drags-outs, but I think we have put some things in place here in Missouri that help us to help those who are in need of assistance.
So, that's where I'll end.
Michael Morris: Okay. Thank you Rick, and again, looking at the time now, rather than limiting questions to the presenters on the panel, those of you listening across the country, we've had presentations from individuals in the states of New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Missouri as well as an update from Alex Kielty within the Employment and Training Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor. To facilitate this question and answer period, let me set up a few ground rules. First is please identify yourself and second, please identify whether your question is to a specific presenter today or you'd like to have the question taken up by the full panel of presenters--sort of an open-ended answer.
Let me to make this a little bit easier, since we have people from over 30 states online and over one hundred different locations, let me start by asking that for the first questions. If we will test everyone's geography, if you are east of the Mississippi river, why don't we start there and see if we might take this up in some orderly way. Anyone want to pose the first question?
Rosemary Lamb: This is New York; we are east of the Mississippi river last time I checked. This is Rosemary Lamb. I'm with the New York State Office of Advocate for Person's with Disabilities in New York. I think this question goes to Alex Kielty. The utilization of America's Job-Bank, one of the question that had emerged I think pretty recently, coming to our attention is that there are some concern about full accessibility of America's Job-Bank and the fact the Workforce Investment systems are being encouraged to utilized that system. There's been some concern voiced about whether all people with disabilities have full access to that system and so I was just wondering if this is an issue that other states are bringing to the U.S. Department of Labor as well.
Alex Kielty: This is Alex Kielty. To be honest, I haven't heard that very recently in recent years. It's been really two to three years since I have heard that comment. I'd be very glad to facilitate any concerns you have in getting that to people within our technology unit to highlight as well as I'd be interested in knowing what your concerns are as well. It would be very helpful.
Rosemary Lamb: Okay, as I said, this is information that is new to us as well. So, I don't have a good overview at this juncture that I could send to you but as soon as we receive that, we should bring that to your attention Alex, is that correct?
Alex Kielty: That would be great.
Rosemary Lamb: Okay, thank you.
Michael: Thank you. Next question. Anyone else east of the Mississippi. Okay, why don't we go west of the Mississippi.
Rich Sanders: Michael, this is Rich Sanders in Alaska.
Michael: Hi Rich.
Rich Sanders: I have a question directed to Rick Beasley in Missouri there. First of all, I just want to congratulate them on an excellent program there. I have followed it quite a bit in my job. When it come to certifying and de-certification, have you run into people who after working with them, they still aren't compliant, they haven't turned in their things by July 1, 2001, and have they been de-certified, or has there been a process towards that? Secondly, when you were able to give those standards, how did you get the funding for it together? Was it a collaboration amongst people? Or, was there one agency leading the way?
Michael Morris: Rick are you there?
Rick Beasley: Hear me now? Let me provide this information. As far as the funding is concerned, actually with a number of people that discuss the funding issues, but the Division of Workforce Development actually is providing the majority of the assistance and then the local boards themselves providing the assistance. From the local perspective, you may have a number of individuals or partners that are assisting in bringing in equipment or services to the table. Some of it could be in kind. As far as the compliance issue, there are a number of areas that are not up to where they should be. Instead of taking a heavy hand, we are working with them very diligently to become in compliance. What we did find was that when you are able to identify specific item for the partners, they were able to then react in a way that helped them become more understanding of what is actually needed within the policy that we do hve. So, this has worked for us, I have a staff person, Juanita Davis who is our state, what I consider our EO officer for WIA and is responsible for working with David Baker, with Missouri Assisted Technology, Diane Green with Voc-Rehab, to provide the training, to provide the technical assistance to those areas and getting them in compliance. I don't like to take a heavy hand in how we do things here, but we have had a number of partners that have been very helpful and helping identify and really willing to work. So, as far as the funding, it goes back to that--as far as equipment the local boards and then the Division of Workforce Development had provided, but you had Rehabilitation Services for the Blind provide some assistance, you had Missouri Assisted Technology provided a loan program that helps those local boards get the necessary equipment there. I would actually say that out of the 14 Workforce areas that we have, the majority are in compliance and out of the 35 career centers, I would say more than 95 percent are probably in compliance with our policy.
Rich Sanders: That's great. Thank you, Rick.
Michael Morris: Thank you. Next question, anyone?
Stanley Wolf: Yes, my name is Stanley Wolf, and I am in Anchorage Alaska. I am a consumer student that is aiming to be an accessibility consultant. I'm a quadriplegic and I will direct these questions and comments to anyone willing to respond.
The issues I've run into in my personal experience in One-Stops is one that the signage is not clear. You go in to the One-Stop and it is difficult to find out who the receptionist is. The various partners in that One-Stop often are not clearly identified, you know whether it is DBR or Adult Public Assistance, etc. Another problem I have been having is that the generally, the work services at the computer spaces themselves are very small in size; there is virtually no room whatsoever next to the computer. So, there is very little work surface. Unencumbered work surface to work with and this could be accommodated with a rolling table that various people could use throughout the facility. One thing that was available at both One-Stops I've been at here in Anchorage is that the adjustable keyboards did have the ability to have a left and right mouse use. But, it needs to be noted that some adjustable keyboard trays do not have that ability and it's essential for someone who may need a left mouse use. Also, I've encountered locked restrooms, where you have to go the reception area to get a key to go to the restroom. This may or may not comply with the ADA. I've encountered this at two One-Stops here in Anchorage. In one of the instances, the restrooms were about 50 ft. away, yet this is less of a problem than the other One-Stop I was in where the restroom was several hundred ft. away from the location of the key, which would be more of a problem. Then, another issue that I found is that when you do have an issue that needs to be brought to the attention of someone at the facility, a person needs to be sure that they are bringing that issue to the proper person of the facility. That person may not be an individual within one of the partners, a person within DBR or a person within Adult Public Assistance, etc. It seems to be brought to the attention of a person that is in overall charge of the facility. And that's the end of my questions and comments.
Michael Morris: Well, let me ask in terms of response. Bill and Andy, do you want to talk about how you handle that in New Mexico? Some of those issues?
Bill Newroe: You've basically overviewed very similar issues that we've found common to many centers regarding signage, work surfaces, locked bathrooms just a general awareness of use. I recommend that you have a pretty good overview form your own understanding to make that available to the local boards for the centers that they oversee. And institute it in a way that kind of like what Rick is talking about too, that we've developed a consumer checklist that has some similarities to what you've experienced too.
Michael Morris: Rick in Missouri, how would some of those issues be dealt with?
Rick Beasley: Well I got the just of what I guess he was saying. We have local EOC officers who are within the regions that work with Juanita and the accessibility team and address those issues. An example, we were just down, the group was just down in Springfield to do accessibility training and customer awareness. At the same time that they were there, they also take a walk through to just point out areas where they may find some areas of concern. You know I try to work with them. I would think that you would want to engage all the part at the local level and bring everyone to the table to be able to address the issues. Like I said, not in a way that it is regulated, in a sense that it has to be, but there is a way of regulations, not that you have to do, but just how you do it. I think that what we have found, that if you have been known to identify and work with them and especially when you are talking about the tables. For me, this has been one of the most learning experiences that I have ever been involved in, because you then step out and look on the other side on how people have to work within certain limitations. For us, when you looking at those small tables, you want to be able to point that out to them in a way that they have a better understanding. So, you can address it from those issues.
Michael Morris: Great. Elizabeth? Anything you would add in Pittsburgh?
Elizabeth Neidle: This is Elizabeth. The only thing I would add, is I think that what I am hearing is that looking for a way to get the information about the experiences that you are having at the One-Stop backed by the people who can change it and make the sites more accessible. So, if people went to it thinking they are stuck with what's accessible and then somebody comes in who needs the accommodation of the site and is finding that what was done did not really work, there needs to be feedback in order to get that information to the people who can make those changes and then those people need to be responsible. That is something that our coordinators have been working very hard to do. Part of it is actually getting people into the One-Stops to get feedback. So, I think that's one thing, I think also it's very important to be working with the different groups of operators or management teams of the One-Stops to be looking at specifics such as signage, such as alternative formats, such as the space between the reception and the restrooms, etc. That those are all things that need to be looked at right away in terms of physical accessibility within each site. I think that's all I have to add on that.
Michael Morris: Okay, thank you Elizabeth. Did we have another question out there?
Brad Gillespie: This is Brad Gillespie in Anchorage Alaska.
Michael Morris: Okay.
Brad Gillespie: I the job center Operations Supervisor with the Department of Labor. I wanted to assure Mr. Wolf that we have taken clear note about his comments and my boss and I have other people that have access to that are direct members of the local operators consortium. They are on the local Workforce Investment Board and we will definitely share his points that he brought up. I would encourage him to consider possibly attending a local Workforce Investment Board meeting and give him direct feedback if he was interested in doing so. I will take his information that he has given us directly to the operators’ consortium that we have here in the local board and encourage them. They are already at work on many of these issues. We appreciate that feedback and we took very specific notes on his comments.
Michael: Terrific, thank you. Another question, or comment?
Dave Hanson: Yes. This is Dave Hanson from the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities in the city of Chicago. We are trying to address this issue on a local level. My question is regarding results and measuring results. Our Mayor’s Office for Workforce Development produces results regarding numbers of individuals that go through the One-Stop centers, the type of assistance that they receive and the successful placements. But I am wondering, and maybe this question is directed to Rick and maybe Elizabeth in terms of your programs in producing results in terms of people with disabilities that have gone through the centers, the types of assistance and the positive placements?
Michael Morris: Rick, can you start?
Rick Beasley: Well, in Missouri under out statewide system that is called Toolbox, we can collect information on those who come into the system. Let me fist kind of describe what Toolbox is. Toolbox is our case management system. The Division of Workforce Development also does Job Core, Wagner-Peyser, Veterans, Welfare to Work, a number of NAFTA/TAA, .so that case management system is all rolled into those programs and their systems are rolled into in, except Job Core, we still have that, still out there. But, Wagner-Peyser and NAFTA and all that, everything is inside Toolbox. So, we are able to track the information when people come in and get registered for service. It enables us to be able to break out categories of who has been served. The one thing when we first were going through this process of putting these polices in place was that how do we get the disabled community to come to the career centers. You know, it's like that movie, if you build it they will come. We've had to take that approach to put it in place. We've had difficulties. It's not peaches and cream here in Missouri. We are still trying. We want to make sure that we serve everyone. When we put the policy in place, we sent it out to the Independent Living Centers, we sent it out to the Commission on the Deaf, we sent it out to Rehabilitation Services for the Blind Commission, we sent it out to have everyone commenting and giving us their input. So, how we track is through the information that we have through our toolbox system.
We also have satellite centers that are a sense "may not have all the necessary partners there to be able to gather than information" and that is where we are struggling as well, but we are still trying. We always ask our partners to, and when I say partners, I mean Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, and the Governors Counsel on Disability, and the Missouri Assistive Technology. I cannot say enough for al the work that they have done with us. I mean they have really worked hard--and when you talk about partners coming to the table they really came and helped us. We are still working with them to help us get over the humps in some of the areas on collecting the information, but our Toolbox system is able to get that information for us and report out back to us.
Michael Morris: Elizabeth, any comment to the question from Chicago?
Elizabeth Neidle: I have some comment. Not a lot of comments. We’re working on how to track information as to how people are being served within the One-Stop. I think at this point and time the Title I providers are all tracking individual information and sending It in through the Workforce Investment Boards that they have, so each Workforce Investment area collects different data.
One of the challenges is that some are more comprehensive centers where we have a larger variety of service providers and partners, some of whom provide Title I services, some of whom provide general community services that are not funded by WIA dollars that we need to learn to pool all of that information together so that we are tracking how many people with disabilities are being served and what the outcome of that data is as a group as opposed to each individual pocket is collecting different information. So, that is actually one of the priorities that we are working on is coming up with was that our sites can use common ways of gathering their information. So, I like Missouri, but we are not quite there.
Michael Morris: Okay. Another question? Anyone out there?
Dick Rose: Yes, this is Dick Rose with the Developmental Disabilities Planning Counsel in New York State. I just wanted to ask the folks from New Mexico if there was a kind of a compiled package of all the technical specifications on the their accessible software package and where we would get that?
Bill Newroe: Yes, this is Bill. The answer is just give me a call. We also made some of that available too, to the website with Iowa. That information, in terms of the, we have a matrix that is in regards to checklist matrix that it fits with the requirements of the 508 Section 255, so I also have that available. You can call me directly at 800-866-2253 or also check out the Iowa website. That number again is 800-866-2253.
Michael Morris: Another question?
Rich Sanders: This is Rich Sanders in Alaska again. I have a question for Alexandra and its in regards to that Welfare to Work guide on hidden disabilities. Is that going to be available on a website to print-off, or where will it be coming from.
Alex Keilty: I believe it would be available and we will make sure to get it to all our Work Incentive <inaudible> highlighted on our own website. We will get it out. I am certain that Welfare to Work will also put it on their website and it will be downloadable.
Rich Sanders: Great. Excellent.
Michael Morris: Any other questions?
Mike Peluso: This is Mike Peluso from the New York Client Assistance Program. Just a general question. Have the projects been involving or partnering with state client-assistance programs or protection advocacy programs for beneficiaries of Social Security?
Michael Morris: Okay. Let's try Bill and Andy in New Mexico; are you working with the P & As at all?
Bill Newroe: Yes, we have a relationship with the P & A through the Boards. That system working with us for many years through the Technology Assistance Program and we also work together through the local board. If there are any complaints that definitely is relative to that program.
Michael Morris: And what was also mentioned by the person asking the question the Client Assistance Program, which may not be connected with the P & A, although in many states it is.
Bill Newroe: Right. Our work with P & A is not necessarily connected to CAP. They have their own process with the state board and the local board.
Michael Morris: How about Elizabeth. Are you working at all with the Client-Assistance Program, or the P & A's in Pennsylvania?
Elizabeth Neidle: We're working very minimally with them at this point. They are on different work groups and different stages at the state level. At this point we've not really linked our grant activities with them other than to know of them and know referral basis and so forth.
Michael Morris: Okay, and in Missouri, have they been part of your working team?
Rick Beasley: You know Mike; I think they have been involved through the Missouri Assistive Technology Project. That's with the Governor's Counsel on Disability, out of the Department of Labor, and Dave Baker, who is a Project Leader over there, and I forget the Directors name over there, she'll kill me.
Michael Morris: Diane Golden.
Rick Beasley: Diane Golden yes. Diane is outstanding and David too. As I am thinking through their Assistive Technology Project, this is how we work with them.
Unknown Speaker: Thank you, just a plug for a viable partner.
Michael Morris: Good, good. Let me pose, this is Michael Morris as moderator; let me pose a question to the panelists. We've spent a lot of time on questions about physical accessibility and certainly a lot of question and interests around technology access, probably the area that is least understood is how to achieve effective participation in terms of Program Accessibility. Specifically, I want to draw your attention to the use of ITA, Individual Training Accounts. Has any of the projects, that three states that are on this panel, had an opportunity to look at access in terms of the ITAs?
Bill Newroe: This is Bill Newroe. We’re in the process of developing through job exchange clubs that operate in the One-Stop career centers through the Independent Living Centers. We haven't accomplished that yet. We are getting there in the next six months.
Michael Morris: Great. Elizabeth have you been able to access ITAs in Western Pennsylvania, or your work in West Virginia?
Elizabeth Neidle: Actually, ITAs are being used pretty extensively in some of our One-Stops. More people with disabilities they are usually being written in coordination with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Then the funding of the ITA seemed to be being split amoungst different partners.
Michael Morris: Okay. And Rick, I know you are at the state level, but have ITAs in some way been brokered for people with disabilities?
Rick Beasley: Well, I hope they have. I am sorry that I am not aware if they've been included, but one thing we have done is to provide an integration process. We have a team that is doing that with our local boards and so I think it would include the ITA, and so I can't speak and say that one way or the other.
Michael Morris: Okay, very good.
Bill Newroe: Michael, can I actually pose another question is. That Individual Training Accounts aren't our training funding, but also on the job training dollars is another area that we see more extensive funding cooperation between DDR and the One-Stop operator counseling system. Do you see a distinction between OJT dollars and ITA dollars?
Michael Morris: It would depend very much on local decisions as to allocation of resources but both would be funding that would definitely be beneficial to job seekers with disabilities.
Bill Newroe: Yes, and so what we've seen is that the DDR counselors here in New Mexico really are collaborating more with OJT dollars.
Michael Morris: Interesting.
Bill Newroe: I found more counselors doing that process.
Michael Morris: Okay. We probably have a time for one or two last questions. Anyone else out there, east or west of the Mississippi.
None. Okay, then let me ask if there’s are any further statements from any of the panelists. Anything you’d like to add?
Bill Newroe: This is Bill and Andy from New Mexico. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share what we’re learning.
Michael Morris: Great.
Unidentified Female Caller: This is New York. We just wanted to say thank you for having the conference call in. Thank to the presenters for taking the time.
Michael Morris: Terrific. Thank you.
Well let me do this. Let me remind everyone that this is one in a series of teleconferences. The next one will be on April 25th and for those of you who are interested in issues on Welfare reform, particularly TANF recipients with disabilities, that is the focus. You can register through the University of Iowa website. This particular call the transcript in about two weeks time will be up on the site as well. I believe you can also listen to this through the website and want to as was just mentioned thank each of the speakers for the work that they are doing and they’re sharing their efforts that access for people with disabilities in the One-Stop system. I'd also like to thank Alex for your work with the Work Incentive Grants and Sally and Marsha for the development within the DBTAC system of the Self-Paced Course and urge people to take a look at that. If they haven't seen it, tremendous resource to be shared with staff within the One-Stop systems nationwide.
Let me thank the University of Iowa for hosting us and Alex. was that you?
Alex Keilty: I just wanted to mention one last thing as well, and that is that we are working on an issuance related to the Ticket to Work program. I certainly hope that the One-Stop system will be an active Employment Network in the Ticket to Work program and that that will foster as well, increases and access to the Workforce system as well as assistive technology, but also bring tremendous improvements to programmatic access as well. So, I just want to mention that.
Michael Morris: I should, in adding to that is those of you who might have missed the previous audio-conference in this series, it did focus on the Ticket to Work and we did have presentations from the Social Security Administration and Maximus who's working on setting up the employment networks around the country. That will also be available through the University of Iowa website.
A last mention for people, we have mentioned several times the Institute for Community Inclusion and their publication which is being used in many One-Stops for training and its materials. They have a brand-new website which is sponsored by the Office of Disability and Employment Policy within the Department of Labor. You can reach it at www.onestops.info i-n-f-o. It's a brand new site and you can download that publication there. It was mentioned several times in this call. Thank you all and we hope you'll be participating on some of the future audio-conference series. Thank you.