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Oklahoma ABLE Tech is proud to partner with the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) to provide training and technical assistance to Oklahoma's Workforce System.
DRS delivers quality services to Oklahomans with disabilities, increasing opportunities to achieve productivity and independence. ABLE Tech connects Oklahomans with disabilities to assistive technology. Together, we invite you to "Think Accessibility" as you provide important programs and services to job seekers in Oklahoma.
Our shared goal as a Workforce System is to provide access to employment to everyone, ultimately increasing household wealth.
The partnership between DRS and ABLE Tech seeks to narrow some of the gaps in the state between individuals with disabilities and individuals without disabilities. Did you know that...
(All statistics come from the Annual Disability Statistics Compendium at www.disabilitycompendium.org.)
Oklahoma has gaps to fill when it comes to employment of individuals with disabilities. The Oklahoma Workforce System has a great opportunity to help to close those gaps.
Oklahoma ABLE Tech and Oklahoma DRS have scheduled regional Access for All Academies throughout the spring of 2015. We will present these in five parts of the state: Central, Northwestern, Northeastern, Southeastern, and Southwestern Oklahoma. We have more details about the Academies, including registration information, here.
There are several federal laws that protect the rights of qualified individuals with disabilities to participate in the workforce. Title I of The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifically protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination in employment. Federal contractors are also bound by Section 503 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act, which recently changed. The Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) also requires federal contractors to provide equal opportunity and affirmative action in hiring.
Ultimately, these laws work together to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities to play on a level playing field when it comes to finding and keeping a job. Both private and public employers must afford the same opportunities to individuals with disabilities that they offer to individuals without disabilities.
Parts of these laws apply to the parts of the Workforce System itself:
So, those of us that provide resources, coaching, training, education, and job placement assistance must also offer these programs, services, and activites to individuals with disabilities in a fair and equal way.
Technology is used more and more by employers and Workforce System partners to provide access to employment, programs, and activities. Whether it is a website with information about job coaching, an online job matching tool, or a job skills training tool, technology should be accessible to individuals with disabilities.
The ADA does not mention technology specifically. But the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education have both made it clear that the ADA covers programs and services whether they are offered via telephone, in person, or through technology.
We do have some guidance about making our technology accessible, though. Section 508 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act and Oklahoma's Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility (EITA) law both cover technology used in employment, programs, activities, and services provided using information technology.
Oklahoma ABLE Tech has created fact sheets to provide more information about some of the laws mentioned on this page. The links below go to web pages. Below, we provide PDFs of each fact sheet.