Executive SummaryIn an effort to win conservative members’ support for the Affordable Care Care Act repeal bill, House Republicans have added a work requirement for Medicaid to the measure. In this issue brief, NHeLP Managing Attorney of the DC office Mara Youdelman, Legal Director Jane Perkins, and Policy Analyst Ian McDonald detail why such work requirements “run counter to the purpose of Medicaid.” They conclude, “Work requirements would stand Medicaid’s purpose on its head by creating barriers to coverage and the pathway to health that the coverage represents.”DOWNLOAD PUBLICATION
nTIDE February 2017 Jobs Report: Americans with Disabilities Continue to Contribute to Job Gains
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.
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
– See more at: http://outsolve.com/blog/ofccp-director-blogs-about-updated-veteran-people-with-a-disability-regulations#sthash.tvtBwib0.dpuf
Karla wrote for her daughter, a high school student with cerebral palsy who, her mom points out, “will be as qualified as anyone else” when she enters the workforce. Gerald wrote to make sure we didn’t forget the continuing barriers Vietnam veterans like him still face when trying to enter or re-enter the workforce. And Mike wrote just to say thank you – for helping people “to live improved lives by having a job.”
For millions of workers around the nation, March 24 was just another Monday, the first day of another week of work. But at the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, March 24 was a special day: the day our rules expanding employment opportunities for qualified workers with disabilities and protected groups of veterans went into effect.
For my staff; for Karla, Gerald and Mike; for the hundreds of people who wrote to us supporting our proposals during the rulemaking process; and for thousands of people like them, March 24 was a day of new opportunities. In fact, leaders from the National Organization on Disability and the Easter Seals have suggested that March 24, 2014, will join the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and even Veteran’s Day as another major milestone in our nation’s journey of expanding rights for veterans and people with disabilities.
These two rules are game-changers. But change is a process, not a switch. That’s true for the contractor community, and it’s true for all of us. Thousands of people have already participated in OFCCP webinars on the new rules, and more training will be coming over the next three months.
At OFCCP, we are committed to getting this right. We know it’s important to be flexible, open and inclusive; to be good enforcers as well as good listeners. We also know that diverse workplaces are better workplaces. They are safer and fairer; they are more productive and, yes, more profitable.
Our job is to protect workers, promote diversity and enforce the law. In doing so, we facilitate the success of businesses, workers and the federal agencies that rely on contracted work. That’s good government and good business sense working together for the good of the country we serve.
Patricia A. Shiu is the director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
Registered Nurses With Disabilities: Legal Rights and Responsibilities
Leslie Neal-Boylan, PhD, APRN, CRRN, FAAN
& Michelle D. Miller, JD, MPH, RN
Purpose: The purpose of this legal case review and analysis was to determine what kinds of cases involving nurses with disabilities are typically brought to attorneys, which cases tend to be successful, and how and when a nurse with a disability should pursue legal action.
The review u sed the standard legal case analysis method to analyze legal cases that have been brought by registered nurses (RNs) with physical or sensory disabilities from 1995 to 2013. The cases span the period following the enactment of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 through the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.
A nurse attorney reviewed the background material to find every case involving an RN with a disability, excluding those with mental health disabilities or substance abuse issues. Case analysis was conducted using standard legal case analysis procedures. Fifty-six cases were analyzed.
The cases were categorized into five types of legal claims: (a) disability discrimination (84%); (b) failure to accommodate (46%); (c) retaliation (12.5%); (d) association (3.6%); and (e) hostile work environment (7%). The cases were largely unsuccessful, particularly those brought under the ADA instead of the ADAAA.
The case analysis revealed that several cases brought by RNs with disabilities using the ADA might have been successful under the ADAAA. In addition, the case analysis has provided vital information for administrators, leaders, and clinical nurses regarding when a case is appropriate for legal action. These findings from this review will help nurses recognize when they are being treated in a discriminatory way in the workplace, what their legal rights and responsibilities are, and at what point they should pursue legal action.
This review has relevance to all RNs working in clinical and academic settings who may have a congenital or acquired physical or sensory disability.
Angel Medical Center to Pay $85,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has settled a disability discrimination lawsuit with Angel Medical Center, Inc. of Franklin, NC. The hospital was charged with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by denying an employee an accommodation that would have allowed her to get cancer treatments while working full time. The hospital allegedly refused the accommodation request and then fired the nurse.
To learn more about the ADA and other laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities read “Disability.gov’s Guide to Disability Rights Laws.”
Meeting the Demands of an Expanding Health Care Workforce
If you’ve ever seen the “Because” public service announcement from the Office of Disability Employment Policy, you’ve seen Kayla Woolridge swim. While filming the PSA, Kayla, who has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, got to chatting with my staff about her career goals. Although still a few years out from college, Kayla has been thinking about becoming a neonatal intensive care unit nurse. When I heard this, I thought how great it would be if she does indeed pursue that path — because the nursing industry is going to need her.
An Ordinary, Extraordinary Day
Beginning Monday, March 24th, 2014, businesses that work with the Federal Government will be required to set goals to employ people with disabilities at a rate of 7 percent and in doing so, keep track of their progress. The new law permits companies to invite employees to self-disclose a disability, allowing the company to conduct an internal census. With this data, companies can ensure their recruiting and hiring practices do not inadvertently exclude qualified candidates with disabilities. Employee are not required to disclose a disability.
This rule change stems from an effort to combat chronic unemployment of people with disabilities. Most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in 2012:
1) The unemployment rate for non-disabled Americans stood at 8 percent, but almost doubled to 15 percent for people with disabilities;
2) The workforce participation rate for non-disabled Americans was 31.6 percent, while 76.5 percent of people with disabilities in the same age group were out of the work force entirely;
3) Median household income for a person reporting a disability was $25,420, compared to $59,411 for someone without a disability“ These numbers remain unchanged over the past 40 years despite dramatic improvements in access to physical workplaces, technology, and policy,” says attorney David Newburger, co-director of Starkloff Disability Institute. “Many people with disabilities want to work but face barriers.”