by Patti White, Adult Topics Committee
In September 2016, the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) and the Learning Disabilities Association of American (LDA) established a collaborative relationship to promote the employment of people with disabilities through inclusive work practices. This collaborative alliance will conduct outreach, education, and technical assistance activities that promote reasonable accommodation and retention of individuals with disabilities.
More specifically, JAN and LDA agreed to work together to carry out four (4) activities:
- Collaborate on the planning and promotion of best practices, including but not limited to blog articles, FAQ documents and Skype videos.
- Promote and disseminate information on JAN resources to LDA, its affiliates, and stakeholders through the LDA website and other activities.
- Provide technical assistance to LDA, its affiliates, and its stakeholders regarding replicable policies and effective practices regarding workplace accommodations, the ADA as Amended, and other disability-related legislation.
- Conduct other activities, as may be mutually agreed upon in writing that promote reasonable accommodation and retention of individuals with disabilities.
JAN represents the most comprehensive job accommodation resource available. It is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.
From Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurs, JAN has served customers across the United States and around the world for more than 25 years. Its consultants are leaders and innovators on disability employment issues, and all have earned at least one master’s degree in their specialized fields, ranging from rehabilitation counseling to education and engineering.
JAN is one of several services provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Its development has been achieved through the collaborative efforts of ODEP, West Virginia University, and private industry throughout North America. JAN’s trusted consultants offer one-on-one guidance on workplace accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related legislation, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities. Assistance is available both over the phone and online. Those who can benefit from JAN’s services include private employers of all sizes, government agencies, employee representatives, and service providers, as well as people with disabilities and their families.
JAN’s website at http://askjan.org/ includes a multitude of resources, and can be viewed in either English or Spanish. The resources are categorized for employers; individuals; and others, which include rehabilitation and medical professionals, union representatives, and attorneys. Additionally, there is an ADA library and an “A to Z of Disabilities and Accommodations” page, where users can look for information by disability, topic, or limitation.
Other resources include JAN’s training opportunities, including podcasts and webcasts as well as in-person training events.
The website also includes a Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR), a system designed to let users search for appropriate and effective accommodations based on their individual needs and essential job tasks, or for use in educational settings. JAN encourages users to contact a JAN consultant using their toll-free telephone number if they need additional information not found using SOAR.
LDA and JAN look forward to combining their online and other resources to increase the capacity of both organizations to better serve the population of adults with learning disabilities in employment and education settings.