The One-Stop Disability Access Checklist: Determining Accessibility in Facilities and Provision of Services
The information and survey contained in this document will enable most One-Stop Career Centers to do the required self-evaluations and to plan to meet the accessibility needs of customers with disabilities who come to One- Stop Career Center's for services.
Accessibility is an on-going process. Technology, standards, and needs are constantly changing. Architectural accessibility codes of twenty years ago were a few pages long. Today, most codes are well over a hundred pages. Rather than look at this process as a static one, view it as an on-going process that is as much a part of your system building as staff development, budgeting and organizational development might be.
The attached checklist will enable your One-Stop Career Center to conduct a thorough self-evaluation and transition plan. Consider it a management tool that will help you to assess what you have already done to facilitate equal opportunity for people with disabilities and to plan what needs to be done in the future. The checklist addresses requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended as well as those under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The purpose of a self-evaluation is to allow you to gather information regarding your organization's level of accessibility in one place and at one time. A good self-evaluation will capture your strengths and weaknesses. It will allow you to develop a concrete plan, based on real data, to increase the level of accessibility in your program.
A transition plan accomplishes the same goals in terms of architectural accessibility. A good transition plan will identify priorities for barrier removal and will assist you in developing an annual plan continuing to do so.
In developing these tools, we have tried to simplify complex issues while maintaining the integrity of the goal of accessibility and the requirements of the law. Questions regarding specific situations for specific programs will arise and should be expected. Call your appropriate State DOL agency or local agency resource for additional information.
Developing Career Centers that are totally accessible to people with disabilities is critical for many reasons. By the year 2000, one in five Americans will have some type of disability due partly to the aging of our population. More significantly, for those of working age, is that people are surviving illness and injury at far greater numbers and expecting to resume work in some form. Societal attitudes have changed toward greater acceptance of workers with disabilities than previously. Yet, people with disabilities report widespread unemployment or underemployment. Citizens with disabilities not working are estimated to be a the 70 percent level.
As the One-Stop Career Centers reach advanced levels of integration with a broad group of agencies, the system will be expected to serve the full range of the American population -- from early teens to the elderly. Increasing numbers of people with disabilities will be coming to the One-Stop System as we become a significant part of service delivery in employment, training and educational services.
In order to better serve customers with disabilities, it is necessary to involve the disability community in your planning and development process. Begin by contacting disability organizations. If you need assistance in identifying your local organizations, please contact Jim Downing at 202-693-3821, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The checklist is designed to be self-guiding. The point is to successfully be able to serve customers with disabilities and attract those customers.