The programs and practices highlighted below were developed by Job Corps staff to better serve applicants and students with disabilities. These may not be current practices, but remain posted to give centers ideas of what may be possible. If you have a promising practice you would like to share please, contact your Regional Disability Coordinator.
R1. Disability Coordinators
- The AM/DC has a special
education teaching credential and was previously a special education teacher.
- The HWM/DC has 10-years’ experience working as a psych-nurse with an
in-patient treatment facility that included adolescents. Her background and experience is helpful in
understanding the accommodation needs of students with mental health
- The center has a full time DC.
R2. Applicant File Review
- The center embeds AFR-related email documentation in the
actual electronic AFR Log.
- The center created a quality assurance form to ensure all required items are included in the file when submitting a recommendation of denial.
- The HWM/DC holds a weekly meeting with outreach and admissions staff to provide status updates on files and will ask for assistance contacting applicants during this time if needed.
R3. Reasonable Accommodation
- Individual assessments for accessibility are
conducted for all students who are wheelchair users. Several staff members
including the health and wellness manager, safety officer, and maintenance
manager accompany the student throughout the center to determine and find
solutions to accessibility issues. Since maintenance and safety staff
participate in the assessments, many of the issues can be corrected
- The CMHC provides testing for students who may
have learning disabilities and has interns who can also provide testing. She
also assists with updating testing or conducting new testing to support
students who may need accommodations to take the GED test. Treatment plans
developed by the CMHC include accommodations and she is also an active member
of both reasonable accommodation committee teams.
- The center has mental health interns who are
able to provide testing for students who may have learning disabilities or
DC sends weekly emails to staff on accommodations, such as tips on implementing
- The center uses industrial earmuffs designed for
ear protection, to accommodate ADD/ADHD and other easily distracted students.
Students remain on task for longer periods of time. Local GED testing center
has adopted this practice after observing its effectiveness.
- A cooking timer is used for ADD/ADHD students
that have a recommended accommodation of shortened assignments. The time is
adjusted according to the accommodation recommendation. The reward for working
the entire time can be drawing time.
center provides information in multiple formats and many resources to educate
students about accommodations in the workplace; as well as directly connecting
students with disabilities to community resources that will assist with
continuation of supports after the Job Corps program.
staff works with students with disabilities transitioning out of the program
and their future employers to ensure their accommodation needs are met.
- The center holds regular transition RAC meetings using a checklist form the DC created that considers transition-related needs including transportation, health care, modified tools, support groups, benefits counseling, etc.
- The center created an electronic tracking system for accommodation effectiveness reviews that calculates due dates for each student's review and generates automatic reminders for instructors and counselors to complete and submit forms.
- Access VR staff comes on center monthly to meet with students in CTR and provides information on disclosure and accommodations in the workplace.
AM/DC, the high school reading teacher, and the school psychologist/counselor
all have certifications in special education. The high school reading
teacher provides special education assessments, updates IEPs, provides 1-on-1
tutoring, and helps obtain accommodations for HSE exams and/or alternate
assessments when needed.
- The center has a designated “Literacy Lab” where
additional reading support is provided each day at noon, and after school hours
on Wednesdays. The lab is staffed by a counselor with a master’s degree
in Special Education.
- In addition to the required notification of new or updated APs, the DC’s weekly email notification to staff also contains a column that indicates when the student’s next ESP is scheduled, indicating that the instructors’ accommodation effectiveness review should be completed as well. The Counseling Manager also has a system of emails to each staff member reminding them of when accommodation effectiveness reviews are due.
- The HWM/DC sends out a daily report to each Residential Advisor with a list of students on each floor of the dorms. The list alerts the Residential Advisor if the student has an AP, has tips for how to approach a student having a difficult time, and directions to follow in case of a crisis. This report is sent out daily as RA assignments change daily.
- APs are printed and included in each students’ residential file for easy access to RA staff.
- The HWM/DC participates in transition panels to discuss any accommodation needs prior to a student attending CTR.
- In Work-based, there is a sign-off sheet for both students and the DC to verify that students with accommodation plans have all their RA information (e.g., copy of accommodation plan, handouts on rights of individuals with disabilities related to disclosure in the workplace) needed for possible accommodations on the job.
R4. Introduction to Center Life
- The PM/DC provides a slide show on disability awareness the first week students are on center
- During orientation, all students receive information from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) website on accommodations and disability in the workplace.
- There is a strong focus on disability awareness/inclusion during CPP. The special education teacher/disability coordinator conducts a week long class for all students as they enter academics. The class covers the following topics: learning opportunities and strategies, thinking skills, and learning disability awareness. During this time students fill out a learning styles inventory, and watch the video "Fat City", which is a training video on understanding learning disabilities.
- Each Monday during the student business meeting a PowerPoint includes a picture of the DCs’ and students are reminded to speak with them if needed. During a recent student assembly, the AM/DC provided a PowerPoint presentation entitled “I Have a Disability and I am Still Successful” that focused on disability awareness.
- The CMHC and the DC conduct hands-on workshops for students to promote disability sensitivity and awareness.
- The center has several colorful brochures on common disabilities including learning disabilities and ADHD.
- The CMHC developed learning disability and ADD brochures ("Do I Have a Learning Disability?") that provide information on the disability and how to get accommodations on center.
- Job Accommodation Network (JAN) information is posted on some bulletin boards advising students about services that are offered
- The center has an Enova board that displays students' successes and center programming including information about inclusion and Disability Employment Awareness Month. They have also purchased signage displayed in wellness that supports respect and inclusion of all students.
- The Special Education Teacher/DC creates and distributes a quarterly disability newsletter to staff and students. The HWM/DC reviews a PowerPoint with all new staff during their orientation training that discusses the center Disability Program and their role in providing RA.
- The sign language interpreters used by the
center have started a sign language learning and deaf awareness club. The Special Education Teacher/DC
coordinated staff and student activities for NDEAM including a student field
trip to Puerto Rico Industries for the Blind.
- During Autism Awareness Month, the center held an Autism Conference.
- During Autism Awareness Month, Center DC handed out puzzle pieces to staff and students to decorate and were to create an Autism Awareness tree on the center wall.
- The center holds a monthly disability disclosure
workshop which is a collaborative effort between the center, their local
Vocational Rehabilitation office, and other disability partners.
- The center hosts the Snow Dogs, a local
wheelchair basketball team, and engages the students in activities related to
- During weeks 1 and 2 of CPP, students are given a “Disability Awareness Activity Packet” and
encouraged to use it as a resource and complete some of the activities in the
packet during free time. The packet is also available in the Literacy
- The HWM/DC translated Disability Program-related materials into Spanish.
- The center displays flyers identifying the DCs and Disability Program-related posters in Spanish.
R5. CIS Disability
Data Collection and Accommodation Plans
- The HWM maintains detailed outcomes data (e.g.,
academic and career technical gains, separation category, etc.) for students
with disabilities. She then uses this data to compare outcomes for students
with disabilities to those students without disabilities. She also looks at
disability specific (e.g., learning disability, mental health disability) data
to see if there are disabilities that may need more focus or are being served
with increased frequency by the center. This data is used to guide staff
- Autism Awareness Month Activities: 1) During staff professional development day, the DC presented a PPT and a YouTube videos on Autism; 2) On "National Autism Awareness Day," April 2, staff & students wore blue.
- Inclusion Drives Innovation event was hosted with Iowa Works Department. The Center Director did opening statements and shared with area employers information of successes with our disability population on our center. The center also offered tours of the Material Handling and Facilities Maintenance program to look at moving forward with future apprenticeship opportunities.
- The center has a charter school on center with a resource instructor who is able to do Woodcock Johnson (academic performance) testing for students who may have learning disabilities. The resource instructors then refer the student to a testing psychologist if needed.
- The center's charter school does evaluations of student's suspected of have a learning disability.
- The center has created an internship program with the University of Southern California (USC). A USC student (doctoral level) will have a one-semester practicum in psychological assessment and will be doing psychological and educational testing on center. The intern's work benefits the center with more than 1,000 hours of cost-free services under the license and supervision of the CMHC.
- The center continues to have an agreement with the South Western Community College (SWCC) to provide services to students with disabilities that can include testing for those students suspected of having a learning disability.
- The center has a partnership with the local community college. Students suspected of having a disability are referred to the community college for further evaluation and assessment.
- The center has a contract with Somerset Mental Health Services to provide psychological testing services for students suspected of having learning disabilities.
- The center has entered into a partnership with the Sacramento Public Library Literacy Service Program who will provide the center with two trained tutors from AmeriCorps. The tutors come on center for two hours, Tuesday thru Friday, to work with small groups of trainees whose reading skills are below fourth grade level. Tutorial hours are incorporated into student's regular class schedule, during the first two periods of the day. Eight trainees, two groups of four each, participate in this voluntary program.
- The center provides on-center WBL sites for VR clients. In return, VR provides necessary services for Job Corps students.
- The center has an MOU with the local department of vocational rehabilitation (VR) who has a residential training center within 15 miles of the center. The Job Corps center can co-enroll 10 students that may come to the Job Corps center for classes, go to the VR center for classes, or be placed completely at one center or the other based on the student's goals and needs. When one of the VR center's students co-enrolls at Job Corps, the VR center provides any accommodations needed to assist the student and transports the students to the center.
- The VR center has case managers that conference call with the Job Corps center's career counselors on a monthly basis and VR case managers make visits to assist their students as needed. VR has assigned a case manager that comes to the center bi-weekly to screen any students interested in VR services based on a referral and assessment done by the center's disability coordinator. After meeting with the student, VR arranges a tour of their center and any testing that may need to be done (e.g., psychological). The VR center also assists with placement services and provides disability training to students and staff yearly at no cost.
- VR comes on center every week to sign up students for services and provide orientation.
- The center has developed a linkage with VR. VR does evaluations, case management, evaluates IEPs, and make recommendations about reasonable accommodations.
- The center established a partnership with VR. A VR representative comes to the center weekly to conduct group orientations and enrolls students. VR also provides adaptive equipment, tutors and assists with GED preparation.
- VR attends weekly disability assessment meetings on center. They provide input on assessment, placement, and referrals and will interview students regarding academic and career technical planning and help set up an individual program to help students succeed in Job Corps. Multiple disciplines on center attend the weekly disability accommodation meetings.
- The center has established a very dynamic relationship with the VR that has an office on center. Their representative has been instrumental in providing accommodations, evaluations, skills assessments, and assistive technology, when appropriate.
- The center has a contract with a local medical center for free psychiatric services; psychiatry residents rotate through center to complete their last year of residency training. Job Corps is considered part of the community outreach program, which is mandatory for psychiatry residents. The center mental health consultant oversees this program and meets weekly with the physicians.
- The center collaborates with a local state agency for people with severe mental disabilities. Students can receive free psychiatric services and medication and are assigned case managers who attend staff meetings on center.
- The center conducts outreach to local veterans with disabilities. They have made connections with local veteran agencies and provide the necessary accommodations for veterans who are enrolled.
- The center is a member of the Inland Empire Disabilities Collaborative, a networking group of community organizations that help build collaborative relationships to better serve people with disabilities.
R7. Referral Process
- The center has a “Referral SOP,” that includes specifics on staff responsibilities and procedure.
R8. Readily Achievable Barrier Removal
R9. Staff Training
- As a standard practice, when the center replaces fixtures and hardware, they are being replaced with those that are ADA compliant (e.g., levered door knobs, accessible toilets, etc.). The center also retrofits buildings when funds are available or allotted for those projects.
- Each year students from the Certified Nursing
Assistant trade select a disability and complete the Americans with
Disabilities Act Checklist for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal and evaluate
the center's physical accessibility by touring the center as an individual with
the selected disability.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act Checklist
for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal has multiple photographs of areas on
center where improvements can be made.
- During the past 2 years, the center has
completed some low-cost goals on the Accessibility Plan (e.g., installed curb
cuts at the front entrance of center; adjusted door closers; and rearranged all
classroom furniture to allow adequate aisle space for student with a mobility
- The center installed a 3rd security rail to the
wheelchair ramp leading into the cafeteria and procured funding for Braille
signs to be installed in classrooms, recreation rooms, and offices.
- To improve accessibility, maintenance staff has installed handrails in the female and male bathrooms, a table was reserved for wheelchair seating in the cafeteria, and safety mapped the most accessible route for a wheelchair to navigate the center.
- The center has created curb cuts, ramps, added accessible parking spaces, installed signage to direct people to accessible bathrooms, and utilized one of the center’s trades to help reconfigure a few bathrooms on center to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility standards. Additionally, the center obtained a large print magnifier, adaptive keyboard, colored overlays, reading pens, and text to speech technology.
- Students from all the trades on center participated in completing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Checklist for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal for each building on center. Students from the Business trade created cover sheets and bound all 23 binders. Improvements made from the center accessibility plan in the past two years included:
- Water bottle fill areas that meet ADA requirements
- Men’s bathroom in the Education Building was made ADA accessible including ADA toilet stalls with grab bars, urinals, lavatory sinks, and lavatory guards under the sinks
- Lavatory guards installed in Dorm 2 and 3
- Doorknobs were updated to be ADA compliant
- Lever doorknobs installed in the main entrance
- Carpenter’s Shop restroom made ADA accessible
- The center has used outside speakers to provide disability-related training.
- The local Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired conducted an all-staff and student training on interacting with people who are blind prior to the arrival of a student who is blind.
- The center has created an innovative way to provide disability training and increase staff use of the Job Corps disability websites. Staff are required to answer questions/take a quiz using the disability websites as their resource. Each department has a different set of questions to answer. When they have completed the quiz they turn it into the disability coordinator for review. This form also gets turned in and forwarded to Human Resources.
- The Disability trainer on center tries to implement or provide tools for accommodating students throughout the center. During the training a laminated card is given to all staff as a resource guide. The areas covered are: broad subject areas, ADD and ADHD, Asperger's, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The card resources include: websites (including Job Corps Disability), local and national contacts. The purpose was/is to have resources readily available to all staff, from instructors to RA, and Drivers to Cafeteria.
- The center has developed an interactive Social Skills Training (SST), including activities to help students understand what it's like to have a disability and how to use "people first language" when referring to someone with a disability.
- The center mental health consultant provides a formal presentation to all new students on learning disabilities. He shows a video called "Fat City" and then encourages discussion afterwards. The video is user friendly and involves interviews with people who have learning disabilities.
- The Human Resources Manager created an online tracking and training system called Moodle. It allows her to post content in the platform, create quizzes to ensure the information is understood, ensure access for evening staff, and track who has completed each training. She gives incentives to departments on center if they are compliant with required trainings. Incentives are also given to new hires if they complete new hire training prior to their orientation meeting.