nTIDE February 2017 Jobs Report: Americans with Disabilities Continue to Contribute to Job Gains

nTIDE February 2017 Jobs Report: Americans with Disabilities Continue to Contribute to Job Gains

Source: nTIDE February 2017 Jobs Report: Americans with Disabilities Continue to Contribute to Job Gains

by Anna Brennan-Curry | Mar 10, 2017

Kessler Foundation and University of New Hampshire release nTIDE Report – Monthly Update

Durham, NH – Employment continues to increase for Americans with disabilities, building on the solid start to the new year, according to today’s National Trends in Disability Employment – Monthly Update (nTIDE), issued by Kessler Foundation and University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD). Achieving positive employment outcomes is especially challenging for high schools that serve young adults with moderate to severe disabilities. Promising approaches are based on intervening early, coordinating educational and vocational resources, and cultivating local employers.

nTIDE: Comparison of People with and without Disabilities (February 2016 & 2017)

The February numbers indicate that people with and without disabilities are contributing to U.S. job gains. In the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Jobs Report released Friday, March 10, the employment-to-population ratio for working-age people with disabilities increased from 26.0 percent in February 2016 to 28.1 percent in February 2017 (up 8.1 percent; 2.1 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the employment-to-population ratio increased slightly from 72.3 percent in February 2016 to 72.8 percent in February 2017 (up 0.7 percent; 0.5 percentage points). The employment-to-population ratio, a key indicator, reflects the percentage of people who are working relative to the total population (the number of people working divided by the number of people in the total population multiplied by 100).

“The improvement in the proportion of people with disabilities working continues for the eleventh consecutive month,” according to John O’Neill, PhD, director of employment and disability research at Kessler Foundation. “This is the longest run of positive news since we began reporting the employment situation of people with disabilities in 2013,” he added.

The labor force participation rate for working-age people with disabilities increased from 30.2 percent in February 2016 to 31.5 percent in February 2017 (up 4.3 percent; 1.3 percentage points). For working-age people without disabilities, the labor force participation rate increased slightly from 76.1 percent in February 2016 to 76.4 percent in February 2017 (up 0.4 percent; 0.3 percentage points). The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the population that is working or actively looking for work.

“The trend in the employment of people with disabilities keeps marching upwards; of course there is still quite a ways to go,” said Andrew Houtenville, PhD, associate professor of economics at UNH.

Students with disabilities often struggle after graduating from the supportive environment of special services high schools, and are unprepared to transition into the work force. Bridge to Employment, a promising new pilot program funded by Kessler Foundation, is an example of the efforts to ease this transition for students in New Jersey who attend the Atlantic County Special Services School District (ACSSSD).

JEVS Human Services created the program to address the employment needs of the hardest to serve students. Taking a sophisticated approach, the program begins with a holistic assessment of the values, interests, personalities, and aptitudes of the students, in order to find work placements that are a good fit and provide possibilities for the students to develop—thus improving retention and reducing the long-term burden on the workforce development system. The program also connects students early on with the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS), a program collaborator, so there’s no gap in services for the students. Another key element to the program is the addition of a dedicated professional called a career navigator to help place students, in part by developing visual resumes using PowerPoint format, an engaging format for presenting their individual skills, interests, and strengths.

“We look forward to seeing how well the program fills the vital need for supports and services for high school students transitioning to the workplace,” said Elaine E. Katz, MS, CCC-SLP, senior VP of grants and communications at Kessler Foundation. “If Bridge to Employment succeeds in transitioning the ACSSSD students who are hardest to serve, this program could serve as a model for effective transition programs in other counties in New Jersey as well.”

In February 2017, among workers ages 16-64, the 4,409,000 workers with disabilities represented 3.1 percent of the total 142,437,000 workers in the U.S.

The next nTIDE will be issued on Friday, April 7, 2017. Follow the news on Twitter #nTIDE.

Join our nTIDE Lunch & Learn series, starting today, March 10 at 12:00pm EST. This live broadcast, hosted via Zoom Webinar, will offer attendees Q&A on the latest nTIDE findings, provide news and updates from the field, as well as host-invited panelists to discuss current disability-related findings and events. Rita Landgraf, Professor of Practice and Distinguished Health and Social Services Administrator in Residence, University of Delaware, College of Health Sciences, joins Drs. Houtenville and O’Neill, Michael Murray of Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and Denise Rozell, Policy Strategist at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), to discuss today’s findings as well as the positive return on advancing employment of individuals with disabilities. You can join live, or watch the recordings at: www.ResearchonDisability.org/nTIDE.  Find updates on Twitter #nTIDELearn.

NOTE: The statistics in the National Trends in Disability Employment Update are based on Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, but are NOT identical. They’ve been customized by the University of New Hampshire to efficiently combine the statistics for men and women of working age (16 to 64). NTIDE is funded, in part, by grants from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) (9ORT5022-02-00 & 90RT5017) and Kessler Foundation.

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility, and long-term outcomes – including employment – for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit www.KesslerFoundation.org.

About the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire

The Institute on Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) was established in 1987 to provide a coherent university-based focus for the improvement of knowledge, policies, and practices related to the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. For information on the NIDILRR-funded Employment Policy and Measurement Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, visit www.ResearchonDisability.org.

For more information, or to interview an expert, contact:

Carolann Murphy, 973.324.8382, CMurphy@KesslerFoundation.org

Self-Directed Care May Help People with Serious Mental Illness Take an Active Role in Their Recovery

Source: National Rehabilitation Information Center | Information for Independence

Serious mental illnesses (SMI) are conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression. People with serious mental illness often receive traditional mental health services funded by Medicaid, such as medications or psychotherapy. These services may help reduce SMI symptoms, but they may not be effective enough to help people with SMI participate fully in their communities. Self-directed care (SDC) is a new and alternative approach to traditional care for people with SMI. In one version ofSDC, people with SMI can request funding through their provider for nontraditional goods or services that they need to achieve their wellness goals. For example, someone in an SDC program could request funding for a gym membership, a bus pass, or clothes for a job interview. In a recent NIDILRR-funded study, researchers looked at the types of SDC requests people with SMI made while participating in such a program and their reasons for making the requests. The researchers also wanted to find out how often people with SMI requested nontraditional items through SDC, and the most common wellness goals that people with SMI hoped to meet by making those SDC requests.

Researchers at the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Community Integration and Participation for Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities (TU Collaborative) looked at data from 120 participants enrolled in a larger study about SDC. The participants were adults with a SMI (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression) who were receiving Medicaid-funded mental health services in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Half of the participants took part in an SDC program and half received usual care. For this study, the researchers focused on the 60 participants who were offered the SDC program. The SDC program participants were paired with a recovery coach who explained the program and helped them set personalized wellness goals. The coach also reviewed the participants’ current mental health services with them and encouraged them to decide whether or not they were satisfied with their current services and whether or not they wanted to request any nontraditional goods or services. The participants who decided to request a nontraditional item submitted a written justification explaining how the requested item would help them achieve specific wellness goals. The participants also submitted the estimated costs to the behavioral health managed care agency for approval. All of the SDC requests were approved. After approval, the participants were given debit cards to purchase their requested items.

The researchers looked at how many participants requested nontraditional items, how many requests they made, how long it took to make their first request, and what types of items were most often requested and the wellness goals those items addressed. The researchers found that:

  • Almost all SDC participants (87%) requested at least one item, with an average of about 10 items requested per person.
  • On average, it took the participants about 3 months to make their first request after they joined the SDC program.
  • Participants made requests to improve broad wellness goals in diverse areas including: Self-Care; Domestic Life; Mobility; and Community, Civic, and Social Life.
  • The most common specific wellness goals that SDC requests addressed were: managing diet and fitness, using public transportation, and handling stress. Most of the participants made requests related to more than one wellness goal.
  • The participants with schizophrenia requested more items related to managing their health and fitness, such as gym memberships. The participants with bipolar disorder and depression made more requests related to reducing stress, such as paying the electric bill or legal fees related to a divorce.

The authors noted that traditional, medically-oriented mental health services may not fully meet the individual needs of people with SMI. Traditional care may also put people with SMI in a passive role regarding their care. This approach to SDC can give people with SMI a more active role in their recovery by letting them identify and request the goods and services that they feel would be most relevant to their personal wellness. SDC may also help people with SMI overcome financial barriers, such as the inability to pay for a bus pass, which might prevent them from fully participating in valued activities like employment and social gatherings. The ability to participate in meaningful activities, in the long run, may beneficially impact overall health and wellbeing. It may be beneficial for behavioral health agencies and policymakers to broaden the definition of “medical necessity” to include nonmedical goods and services that individuals with SMI feel are important for achieving wellness goals. This study did not test the effectiveness of SDC; it just looked at the types and number of requests that people made. Also, the SDC program was new, and the types and number of requests could change as the program matures.  More research is needed to evaluate the long-term impact of an SDC approach to mental health services.

To Learn More

The TU Collaborative website features several resources on self-directed care including factsheet, a guide to creating self-directed care programming, and a self-advocacy planning tools.

The NIDILRR/SAMHSA-funded Center on Integrated Health Care and Self-Directed Recovery is dedicated to advancing knowledge and utilization of innovative models to promote health, recovery, and employment among people with mental health conditions. The Center’s website features resources for practitioners, policymakers, and self-advocates interested in SDC.

To Learn More About this Study

Snethen, G., Bilger, A, Maula, E.C., Salzer, M.S. (2016) Exploring personal medicine as part of self-directed care: Expanding perspectives on medical necessity. Psychiatric Services In Advance, 2016, 1-7. This document is available from the NARIC Collection under Accession Number J74076.

Date published:

2017-03-15

Kessler Foundation Signature Employment Grants

Kessler Foundation

Signature Employment Grants yearly to support  non-traditional solutions  that increase employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

Our success is in stimulating ideas from the field that spark new models that are adaptable to replication and scalability, and may be models for policy change. Kessler Foundation’s flexible funding dollars encourage organizations to pursue promising approaches and concepts beyond what they might have done without our support.

What We Fund  Signature Employment Grants are awarded nationally to fund new pilot initiatives, demonstration projects, or social ventures that lead to the generation of new ideas to solve the high unemployment and underemployment of individuals with disabilities. Preference is given for interventions that overcome specific employment barriers related to long-term dependence on public assistance or advance competitive employment in a cost-effective manner.

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Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) Program: Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research

Deadline: May 9, 2017
Award Ceiling: $750,000
DRRP: Knowledge Translation

The purpose of NIDILRR’s Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) which are funded through the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, is to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities, including international activities, to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities, and to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Rehabilitation Act). Under this particular DRRP priority, applicants must propose activities aimed to 1) add new knowledge in the area of knowledge translation, 2) promote the use of NIDILRR-funded work that is relevant to the needs of intended audiences; and 3) support the knowledge translation endeavors of NIDILRR grantees and other NIDILRR-funded knowledge translation centers.

 

Reaching People in Multiple Languages

Source: Reaching People in Multiple Languages

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) envisions an America in which all populations will have an equal opportunity to live long, healthy, and productive lives. NIMHD is committed to supporting research and communications efforts to improve cultural competency and health literacy. We offer this portal as a resource to our stakeholders who work with health disparity populations with limited English proficiency (LEP) to help improve language access to health information produced by NIH and other federal agencies.

How NIMHD Plans to Reach People in Multiple Languages

Dr. Pérez-Stable: Bridging Health Gaps through Language Access

Health Information in Multiple Languages

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National Rehabilitation Information Center | Information for Independence

People with disabilities may have more complex healthcare needs than people without disabilities. Receiving regular healthcare can help people with disabilities avoid preventable health problems, but they may have difficulty getting necessary medical or dental care. Their health insurance may not cover all of their needs, or they may encounter other barriers such as a lack of transportation to get to the doctor’s office. As a result, they might put off or skip getting necessary care putting them at risk for expensive health emergencies. In a recent NIDILRR-funded study, researchers looked at how commonly working-age adults with and without disabilities delayed or skipped needed healthcare services. The researchers wanted to find out if community-dwelling, working-age adults with disabilities were more likely to skip needed care than those without disabilities, even if they had insurance. The researchers also wanted to see if people with certain types of disabilities or health issues were more likely to skip needed care than people with other types of disabilities, and what the reasons were for delaying or skipping care.

Source: National Rehabilitation Information Center | Information for Independence

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Civic Engagement Toolbox For Self-Advocates | Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Right now, many people are getting involved in political advocacy for the first time. People are going to town hall meetings and making phone calls to their members of Congress. They’re writing letters and using social media to organize advocacy groups.This new wave of political advocacy is incredible. And people with disabilities need to be a part of that. That’s why we’re pleased to announce a new series of plain language toolkits. These toolkits focus on the basics of civic engagement. Civic engagement means actively participating in our democracy. In a democracy, regular people choose, or elect, who gets to be in government. The people we elect should listen to our concerns and advocate for us in the government. But when they don’t do that, we have the right to make our voices heard. In short, civic engagement means:learning about how the government works, andmaking sure that the people we elect to government listen to us.They Work For Us: A Self-Advocate’s Guide to Getting Through to your Elected OfficialsThe first toolkit is “They Work For Us: A Self-Advocate’s Guide to Getting Through to your Elected Officials.” This toolkit is about:who our elected officials are, andwhat strategies self-advocates can use to get our voices heard by the people we elect to represent us.They Work For Us covers:Who our elected officials areHow to contact your elected officialsStrategies, scripts, and templates to help you effectively communicate with your elected officialsHow to use social media for political advocacySome parts of the toolkit are available as short stand-alone fact sheets. Click the links below to download the toolkit and fact sheets as PDF files. The PDFs are screenreader-accessible.They Work For Us: A Self-Advocate’s Guide to Getting Through to your Elected OfficialsFact Sheet: How to Call Your Elected OfficialsFact Sheet: In-Person Meetings with Elected OfficialsFact Sheet: Sending Elected Officials Emails, Letters, and Faxes

Source: Civic Engagement Toolbox For Self-Advocates | Autistic Self Advocacy Network

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MDABLE: MARYLAND ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience)

ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) makes it easier than ever to save money for all of your disability-related needs. More independence, greater financial security and a better quality of life – that’s the future Maryland ABLE is building. MD ABLE accounts are a new way to help individuals with disabilities save money and pay for qualified disability-related expenses without jeopardizing federal means-tested benefits such as SSI or Medicaid. Governor Hogan signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience

Source: MDABLE

ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) makes it easier than ever to save money for all of your disability-related needs.

More independence, greater financial security and a better quality of life – that’s the future Maryland ABLE is building. MD ABLE accounts are a new way to help individuals with disabilities save money and pay for qualified disability-related expenses without jeopardizing federal means-tested benefits such as SSI or Medicaid.

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Human Development Institute: H+W – HealthMatters

Source: H+W – HealthMatters

The Health & Wellness Initiative at the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky has partnered with the authors of HealthMatters curriculum from the University of Illinois at Chicago to provide a statewide roll out of online based training for staff around the state to become instructors within their community supports for the HealthMatters program. This evidence-based curriculum includes everything community based organizations need to run successful health promotion program for individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Participants have reported feeling healthier, feeling better about themselves, and have started incorporating what they’ve learned from the health promotion programming into their daily lives.  Within the HealthMatters pages and links, you will find valuable resources for your HealthMatters programming. Please use these resources to make your programming as fun and effective as possible!

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Resubmissions Revisited: Funded Resubmission Applications and Their Initial Peer Review Scores

“My first submission got an overall impact score of 30. Is that good enough? What’s the likelihood I’ll eventually get this funded?”, or, “My first submission was not even discussed. Now what? Does anyone with an undiscussed grant bother to resubmit? And what’s the likelihood I’ll eventually get this funded?” In a past blog we provided some general advice and data to help you consider these types of questions, and obviously the answers depend on specifics — but even so, based on your feedback and comments

Source: Resubmissions Revisited: Funded Resubmission Applications and Their Initial Peer Review Scores | NIH Extramural Nexus

In a past blog we provided some general advice and data to help you consider these types of questions, and obviously the answers depend on specifics — but even so, based on your feedback and comments we thought it would be informative to offer high-level descriptive data on resubmission and award rates according to the first-time score, that is, the overall impact score on the A0 submission.

Here we describe the outcomes of 83,722 unsolicited A0 R01 applications submitted in fiscal years 2012 through 2016. Of these, 69,714 (or 83%) were “Type 1” (de novo) applications, while 14,008 (or 17%) were “Type 2” (or competing renewal) applications.

Let’s begin with looking at award rates: as a reminder, award rates are the total number of awards divided by the total number of applications. Figure 1 shows the award rate of these A0 applications broken out by type 1 (de novo) vs type 2 (competing renewals). (If you’re interested in looking at new and competing renewals in aggregate, for this and the following figures, these are shown in the Excel file we’ve posted to the RePORT website.)

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