The Northeast ADA Center is dedicated to supporting implementation of the ADA for all individuals, organizations, businesses, and communities. Our goal is to help build a society that is fully integrated, and provides equal opportunity and participation of individuals with disabilities. We accomplish this through a comprehensive dissemination and technical assistance plan and through the projects listed below:
Capacity Building & Outreach
The Northeast ADA Center will extend outreach and capacity building efforts through the ADA Trainer Network. The ADA Trainer Network has proven to be an efficient, sustainable and cost-saving approach that serves to empower local ADA stakeholders to target relevant training and intervention within their local communities. Building on the existing network of trainers, this project will address the need for greater flexibility in creating targeted training interventions and providing support for long-term change at the local level. The Northeast ADA Center will continue to offer the basic ADA Trainer Network curriculum to the existing network, although the programs will be deconstructed into modules that can be customized into unique training offerings to meet the needs of local constituents and diverse audiences. We will create a web-based tool for network members to create these customized trainings based on topics, audience, and preferred level of audience participation. The Northeast ADA Center will also offer an Advanced ADA Trainer Network program to select members of the ADA Trainer Network Program. Members of the Advanced Network will receive additional support to pursue community change in specific areas that they identify as critical for their local communities. All members of the ADA Trainer Network will receive ongoing professional development opportunities through participation in online communities that will feature discussion boards and web-based training on topics such as marketing training events, creating fee structures for training, and other consulting skills. In years two through four of the grant we will create additional training modules for use by the network. The Northeast ADA Center is partnering with several regions in the ADA National Network to offer this program across the country. For more information, please contact the Northeast ADA Center's TA staff.
The Northeast ADA Center will offer two employment- focused training programs during this grant cycle. The Just-in-Time Program: Research on employment -related training initiatives indicates that traditional training has not been effective in reaching mid-level managers and supervisors. During the 2011-2016 grant cycle we will build on the successful Just-in-Time Program with interested employer partners. This program empowers change agents within employer organizations to steward a Just-in-Time Toolkit (JITT) that provides important information on managing people with disabilities to front-line managers and supervisors. The Toolkit is hosted on a unique website for each employer partner so that it can be tailored to meet the needs of each organization. The Northeast ADA Center is partnering with several regions in the ADA National Network to implement this program for interested employers across the country. If you would like to become an employer partner for the Just-in-Time Program, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online Training on Employment
Online coursework has been proven to be an effective method for reaching dispersed stakeholders. Over the next five years we will expand our online offerings to provide training on employment issues for employers, job seekers, and disability service providers. We will announce training opportunities on our events page. We will offer four courses per year in years 2-5 of our grant cycle. Potential topics include regulatory issues, reasonable accommodation issues, talent management, disability disclosure and inquiry, incorporating disability into diversity planning, integration of people with disabilities into workplace culture and recruitment and retention efforts. If you have specific interests in any of these topics, please don't hesitate to email us at email@example.com.
The social, economic and demographic context of ADA implementation has changed significantly over the past two decades, resulting in a new set of training imperatives. Consider the following:
- Recent national disaster and other crisis events have surfaced the need for disability inclusive emergency management services (National Council on Disability, 2009).
- About half of the veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan re-entering civilian life will do so with a disability (Tanielan & Jaycox, 2008).
- As society becomes more automated, accessible IT is essential to the social and economic self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010).
These and other issues call for training offerings that respond to the ever-changing complex experience of disability in America. To meet the needs of ADA Stakeholders in Region II, the Northeast ADA Center will offer training on Emerging Issues during the 2011-2016 grant cycle. Compliance in Emergency Management: The Northeast ADA Center will add a continuity plan module to the program entitled Business Continuity Awareness for Human Service Providers that focuses on maintaining key services in the event of a disaster. We will also create a curriculum to assist emergency responders in serving people with disabilities in emergency situations. Compliance in Access to Informational Technology: To address the need for accessible IT in all areas of ADA enforcement, we will develop a curriculum targeted at Title I, II, and III with a focus on the benefits of assuring web accessibility. Workplace Inclusiveness for Veterans with Disabilities: We will apply findings from research conducted with HR professionals and veterans during our last grant cycle to the creation of in-person and online learning experiences for veterans with disabilities and for employers to encourage effective hiring and retention of veterans with disabilities. . The first will be designed for an employer audience and will address building strategies to ensure that workplaces are disability inclusive for veterans with disabilities. The second will be designed for an audience of veterans with disabilities and will address the key points these individuals need to know to assert their rights as employees or jobseekers with disabilities. The third will be designed for family members of veterans with disabilities and will address what family members need to know to support a veteran with a disability in re-integration into work life. Each training will be accompanied by an online toolkit to create a blended learning opportunity.
New Regulations Training
The Northeast ADA Center will implement a minimum of four trainings per year on new Department of Justice (DOJ) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations. We will update all training materials to reflect new regulations published by the DOJ and EEOC. We will also create a curriculum around the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) in conjunction with our partner United Spinal. To support this larger effort, Center staff will create a webinar series on specific ADAAG design and code issues and a series on Title II and Title III regulations. The Northeast ADA Center will create and disseminate informational briefs on the new EEOC regulations.
Advanced Topics (Next Steps Programs)
The series of 26 "Next Steps" programs focusing on emerging issues and specific topics beyond the ADA created during the previous grant cycle will continue to be made available through on demand sessions via traditional or distance formats. For more information about the trainings available as part of this project, please visit http://www.northeastada.org/t-next-step.cfm.