Labor Department Expands Disability Employment Initiative
Federal officials are looking to promote changes in state policies and systems in order to increase competitive integrated employment among people with disabilities.
The U.S. Department of Labor said it has selected 10 states and Washington, D.C. to participate in its National Expansion of Employment Opportunities Network, or NEON, initiative.
The states chosen will receive “consulting, capacity building support and ongoing mentoring” to help support their efforts to boost competitive integrated employment, the Labor Department said.
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NEON, which originated in 2019, has focused until now on helping five national disability groups — ACCSES, ANCOR, The Arc, the Association of People Supporting Employment First and SourceAmerica — develop strategic plans to increase employment among those they serve.
“The addition of 10 core states and the District of Columbia to the National Expansion of Employment Opportunities Network will help support policymaking and other efforts to make competitive integrated employment a reality for more people with disabilities,” said Taryn Williams, assistant secretary for disability employment policy at the Labor Department. “Now, effective practices used by service providers can support strategies such as blending, braiding and sequencing of funding, strategic planning, benefits counseling and effective data collection and analysis to promote greater workplace equity.”
The “core states” selected to participate in NEON are California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.
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