By Kyle Ingram and James B. Reed
Eight legislators and legislative staff from four Western states gathered on June 20 at NCSL’s Denver office for a one-day workshop to discuss state policy related to workforce development and employment for people with disabilities.
The workshop developed as an outgrowth of the NCSL and Council of State Governments (CSG) joint task force and resulting "Work Matters: A Framework for States on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities." Workshop participants explored the policy options collected within the Work Matters framework and shared their perspective on state and regional policy priorities.
Many themes emerged from the workshop with regional significance, including:
- Exploring policies that mutually benefit people with disabilities and veterans, including veterans with service-connected disabilities.
- Ensuring reliable and affordable transportation access for people with disabilities in urban and rural settings.
- Addressing issues surrounding benefits navigation and supporting individuals transitioning from benefits to employment.
These themes will serve to inform NCSL’s ongoing disability and employment work and assist NCSL as it works with its partners on the State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED) initiative, a collaborative effort of NCSL, CSG, Women in Government and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.
Through this partnership, NCSL is able to offer assistance in your state to develop employment policies to increase the participation of people with disabilities in the workforce.
For more information about the Western States Workshop, the Work Matters framework, the SEED initiative, and specific assistance for your state, contact NCSL’s Jim Reed or Kyle Ingram.
Jim Reed is group director of the Energy, Environment and Transportation Program at NCSL.
Kyle Ingram is a policy specialist at NCSL specializing in disability employment issues.