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State Governments: What Can We Do? Join the Conversation for Change

Many state governments across the country are recognized as model employers and leaders in effective employment strategies and outcomes resulting in the successful hiring, retention and promotion of people with disabilities. Some states recognize aspirational or directed executive orders or laws as best practices, while other prefer better education and training of hiring managers. And still others identify legal hiring preferences as the key to successful employment outcomes. We are interested in learning about these best practices being utilized by state governments in order to improve the employment of people with disabilities in every state throughout the United States.

As you contribute to this dialogue, please consider the effective practices in your state, how success is measured, including recruitment and hiring goals when answering the following questions:

  • Question 1:
    What policies, programs and practices have been enacted (or are under discussion) to support individuals with disabilities in gaining state employment? What has your state done (or what is under discussion) to encourage private employers to hire and retain individuals with disabilities?
  • Question 2:
    What state agencies, programs and organizations do you believe are most important to be involved in successful efforts to increase the employment of individuals with disabilities in state government and in the private sector?

Please take the time to share your thoughts and submit your ideas. Don't forget to vote and comment on ideas contributed by others. Only your user name will be associated with your contributions, not your organization or affiliation. Click here for directions on how to change your user name.

For further instructions on how to participate in this dialogue, visit How to Get Started.

For links to resources on existing state government disability employment best practices, to learn more about why this dialogue is taking place and why you should participate, visit Learn More about This Dialogue.

Hiring

Establish key elements and support their practice

Government as a model employer is old enough as a strategy that DoL should be able to identify key elements and provide technical assistance and tools to support effective implementation. Some key elements going forward would seem to include: Establishing baseline metrics -- how many people with disabilities are in a government unit's work force Evaluating the existing environment -- what do job seekers with disabilities ...more »

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Hiring

Identify and foster use of best strategies and practices

The idea of government (federal, state and local) serving as a model employer of individuals with disabilities is not new. Most past efforts have come up short but efforts in recent years seem to be better grounded. Its time to evaluate what's working and can and should be replicated; what could work better, if refined or improved; and what doesn't work and is likely a waste of time and money.

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Reasonable Accommodation

Support the Supporters through coordination

In any endeavor to support those with special challenges, much of the success or failure lies in how well agencies can support the supporters. Coordinating support for caregivers as well as those in need is key. It's fine to have accommodating equipment or technology at school, but there is an underlying expectation that the caregiver will forsake careers and employment to do things like take the kid to school, run ...more »

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Hiring

Virtual and Simulated Environments for Job Skills Training

There was a time when simulated environments had zero value for job training because the simulated environment bore little or no resemblance to its corresponding real-world counterpart. Not any more. In today's world of digital imaging, the actual job site can be digitally photographed and rendered in a scaled representation. The PWD who could not manage a job in a Home Depot because of difficulties remembering/navigating ...more »

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Hiring

Actionable and Measurable Hiring

This idea might sound redundant. However, I would like to quickly beg the reader to focus more on the context than the semantics. We all know that for a long time, especially since the passage of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law, the federal government along with state governments have been advocating for--and encouraging employment of people with disabilities. I would even rephrase the concept as hiring ...more »

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