July 26th marks the 26th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the historic civil rights law that prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. Based upon other civil rights legislation, the ADA provides protections to individuals with disabilities regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion to ensure that they have the same opportunities to participate fully in public life. In previous blog posts, we have discussed what the ADA is and the various titles under the ADA and taken a look of the ADA over the past 25 years and into the future. The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) has been at the forefront of research related to two important areas of the ADA—Employment and Public Accommodations (i.e., universal design).
Over 30 years, NIDILRR has funded nearly 500 projects related to employment. There are currently 73 NIDILRR-funded projects related to employment. Here’s a small sample of these projects and the wealth of resources they produce:
- The Center for Knowledge Translation for Employment Research (KTER) has developed information products promoting knowledge translation strategies related to employment. The KTER Center also produces a quarterly E-newsletter, KTER Today highlighting upcoming events, valuable resources, and other important information related to the Center and its partners.
- The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Advancing Employment for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), has developed several issue briefs related to employment and economic self-sufficiency and the workforce for people with I/DD as well as an employment toolbox that contains information on career planning, job support and development, self-employment, and volunteering and internships.
- The RRTC on Employment of People with Physical Disabilities (VCU-RRTC) has produced fact sheets and research briefs on employment and people with physical disabilities; provides a wealth of information materials related to accommodations, assistive technology, customized employment and self-employment, among others; and maintains a searchable employment research database.
- The RRTC on Employment Policy and Measurement (EPM-RRTC) at the University of New Hampshire produces the monthly Trends in Disability Employment National Update (nTIDE) report in collaboration with the RRTC on Disability Statistics and Demographics (StatsRRTC) and the RRTC on Individual-Level Characteristics Related to Employment Among Individuals with Disabilities. nTIDE provides a snapshot of the national employment environment for people with disabilities based on new data released monthly from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, EPM-RRTC partnered with the Kessler Foundation and the American Association of People with Disabilities in March 2016 to launch a monthly webinar series Lunch & Learn, in connection to the nTIDE report.
These projects, among others, offer a wealth of resources for both job seekers, hiring managers, vocational rehabilitation counselors, and policy makers. Explore the NIDILRR Program Database to learn more about the grantee community.
Up next…Part 2: accessibility and universal design!