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Disabilities — Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Return-to-Work Programs

April 9, 2015 Comments off

Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Return-to-Work Programs (PDF)
Source: Mathematica Policy Research

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability and Employment Policy (ODEP), which leads the nation’s efforts to develop and influence policies and practices to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities, has a keen interest in the employment of workers who experience the onset of a disability. As part of its mission, ODEP is interested in promoting successful return-to-work (RTW) strategies that will result in lower public assistance costs for taxpayers, lower personnel costs for employers, and higher incomes for workers with disabilities.

To support this objective, Mathematica Policy Research conducted a review and analysis of existing research, data, and other relevant material to provide a comparison of the cost and benefits of implementing an RTW program in the private sector. More specifically, we compared the costs and benefits of retaining an employee who experiences disability onset to the costs and benefits of permanently losing a valued trained employee and incurring the expense and time of recruiting and developing a replacement employee. In doing so, we assessed whether the net benefits of RTW investments are positive from the perspectives of the employer, the worker with a disability, and taxpayers, and from a societal point of view.

We first provide some relevant background on workers experiencing disability onset and exiting the labor force; the consequences for workers, taxpayers, and employers; and the potential promise of RTW supports.

Reducing Poverty in the United States: Results of a Microsimulation Analysis of the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute Policy Package

March 30, 2015 Comments off

Reducing Poverty in the United States: Results of a Microsimulation Analysis of the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute Policy Package
Source: Urban Institute

A package of five policies—a transitional jobs (TJ) program, a $10.10 minimum wage, expanded earned income tax credits, a tax credit for senior citizens and people with disabilities, and expanded child care subsidies—could cut the national poverty rate by at least half. Using the TRIM3 microsimulation model and the Supplemental Poverty measure, the analysis shows the national poverty rate falling fall from 14.8 percent to either 7.4 percent or 6.3 percent, depending on the take-up rate assumed for the TJ program. Poverty is greatly reduced for all age groups and race/ethnicity groups.

UK — Adult autism strategy statutory guidance published

March 30, 2015 Comments off

Adult autism strategy statutory guidance published
Source: Department of Health

The statutory guidance updates original guidance issued under the Autism Act 2009 and the subsequent adult autism strategy. It accounts for progress and updates to the strategy made since 2010, and recent legislation like the Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014.

The guidance sets out requirements for local authorities and NHS organisations. It reminds them to work together and with partners, for example, in the criminal justice system or helping people with autism into employment. It provides clarity about what they have to do to meet the needs of adults with autism, including preventative support and safeguarding.

The guidance demonstrates the government’s commitment to people with autism, their families and carers, and explains what support they should expect from local authorities and NHS organisations.

The Future of Home Health Care: Workshop Summary (2015)

March 26, 2015 Comments off

The Future of Home Health Care: Workshop Summary (2015)
Source: Institute of Medicine/National Research Council

Individuals with disabilities, chronic conditions, and functional impairments need a range of services and supports to keep living independently. However, there often is not a strong link between medical care provided in the home and the necessary social services and supports for independent living. Home health agencies and others are rising to the challenges of meeting the needs and demands of these populations to stay at home by exploring alternative models of care and payment approaches, the best use of their workforces, and technologies that can enhance independent living. All of these challenges and opportunities lead to the consideration of how home health care fits into the future health care system overall.

On September 30 and October 1, 2014, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council convened a public workshop on the future of home health care. The workshop brought together a spectrum of public and private stakeholders and thought leaders to improve understanding of the current role of Medicare home health care in supporting aging in place and in helping high-risk, chronically ill, and disabled Americans receive health care in their communities. Through presentations and discussion, participants explored the evolving role of Medicare home health care in caring for Americans in the future, including how to integrate Medicare home health care into new models for the delivery of care and the future health care marketplace. The workshop also considered the key policy reforms and investments in workforces, technologies, and research needed to leverage the value of home health care to support older Americans, and research priorities that can help clarify the value of home health care. This summary captures important points raised by the individual speakers and workshop participants.

Disability insurance plans: trends in employee access and employer costs

March 4, 2015 Comments off

Disability insurance plans: trends in employee access and employer costs
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Short- and long-term disability insurance programs replace some of the wages lost by people who cannot work because of a disabling injury or illness that is not work-related. Short-term disability insurance typically covers periods lasting less than 6 months, and long-term disability insurance lasts for the length of the disability or until retirement.

Those workers who are unable to work due to injury or illness and who do not have disability insurance coverage through their employers may seek benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The number of SSDI claimants has grown over the past decade as younger workers and those in relatively low-skill, low-pay jobs have applied for benefits. This has prompted interest in the amount of coverage for workers in employer-provided disability insurance programs. This issue of Beyond the Numbers examines trends in employer-provided disability insurance coverage over time, explains the basic terms of coverage for typical plans, and estimates the costs to private employers.

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations-Movie Theaters; Movie Captioning and Audio Description

March 3, 2015 Comments off

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations-Movie Theaters; Movie Captioning and Audio Description
Source: Mercatus Center (George Mason University)

With this Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) the DOJ proposes amendments to Title III of the ADA concerning captioning and audio description services at movie theaters.1 Title III of the ADA applies to places of “public accommodation,” such as movie theaters, restaurants, schools, and doctors’ offices.2 These covered entities are prohibited from discriminating against any individual “on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation.”3

In particular, Title III of the ADA prohibits public accommodations, such as movie theaters, from affording unequal or lesser service to individuals with disabilities.4 As a result, these entities must “ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently . . . because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services.”5

Accessible Crowdwork? Understanding the Value in and Challenge of Microtask Employment for People with Disabilities

March 2, 2015 Comments off

Accessible Crowdwork? Understanding the Value in and Challenge of Microtask Employment for People with Disabilities
Source: Microsoft Research

We present the first formal study of crowdworkers who have disabilities via in-depth open-ended interviews of 17 people (disabled crowdworkers and job coaches for people with disabilities) and a survey of 631 adults with disabilities. Our findings establish that people with a variety of disabilities currently participate in the crowd labor marketplace, despite challenges such as crowdsourcing workflow designs that inadvertently prohibit participation by, and may negatively affect the worker reputations of, people with disabilities. Despite such challenges, we find that crowdwork potentially offers different opportunities for people with disabilities relative to the normative office environment, such as job flexibility and lack of a need to rely on public transit. We close by identifying several ways in which crowd labor platform operators and/or individual task requestors could improve the accessibility of this increasingly important form of employment.

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