Job Accommodations Network
The Job Accommodation Network (“JAN”) at West Virginia University, a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) of the U.S. Department of Labor, has awarded a contract to the Law, Health Policy & Disability Center (LHPDC) at the University of Iowa College of Law. The contract award is for one first year and is renewable for up to four additional years (subject to the availability of funding). The LHPDC is to study workplace accommodations, employment trends, and retention of workers with disabilities. The center will assist JAN to assess information provided by employers, people with disabilities, and their family members, on topics such as job accommodations, self-employment, and small business opportunities.
“JAN’s efforts importantly support the employment, including self-employment and small business ownership, of people with disabilities. JAN is the most comprehensive resource available for job accommodations,” said Peter Blanck, UI Kierscht Professor of Law, director of the LHPDC, and principal investigator of the project.
The LHPDC will examine the ways JAN enhances job opportunities of people with disabilities through information on accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Dr. Deborah. J. Hendricks, project manager of JAN noted, “JAN is a service of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy in collaboration with the Center for Disability Information at West Virginia University and private industry throughout North America. It provides critical information to employers and individuals with disabilities on accommodations.”
Currently, there are approximately 32,000 phone inquiries received by JAN at WVU each year. The LHPDC will conduct telephone interviews of requests for job-related accommodations, small business and self-employment services, educational and training accommodation, information and referral requests, and requests for marketing materials.
The LHPDC will conduct follow-up interviews with participating JAN customers. The information gathered via the interviews will include items such as: caller demographics; overall satisfaction with services provided; status of accommodation, whether implemented, decision pending, or rejected; the costs associated with making the accommodation; satisfaction with the information provided; satisfaction with the accommodation made; estimated benefits and other impacts resulting from the accommodation or information provided; and employment outcomes for the individual with a disability.
As one of the first comprehensive studies focusing on the results of the information gathered by JAN, the project will provide detailed information on accommodations in the employment environment. The LHPDC and JAN will report findings to policy makers and the Department of Labor. With collaboration from JAN and approval from ODEP, the LHPDC will generate articles and presentation materials for the public.
The Law, Health Policy & Disability Center is a leader in law, technology, education and research, focused on improving the quality of life for persons living with disabilities. Based at the University of Iowa College of Law, with satellite offices in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere, the Center concentrates on public policy and its impact on persons with disabilities. For more information on this and other center projects, see http://disability.law.uiowa.edu.
The Job Accommodation Network is a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) of the U.S. Department of Labor whose mission is to provide leadership to increase employment opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities. For more information on JAN, see http://www.jan.wvu.edu/ and for more information on this service and other programs visit the ODEP website at http://www.dol.gov/odep.