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ODEP and LEAD Center Promote Knowledge Translation

December 19, 2017

On November 29th, the LEAD Center and U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) hosted a discussion with LEAD Center’s Knowledge Translation (KT) Consortium. Featured speakers in this virtual meeting included leadership from the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA), National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) and National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB), who all focused on the opportunities created by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for the inclusion of youth and adults with disabilities into workforce services and activities. The KT Consortium convenes annually, bringing together select federally-funded Training and Technical Assistance (TA) Centers. Each TA Center in the KT Consortium addresses different aspects of employment, career readiness and development, transition, and accessibility for youth and adults with disabilities, each with its own unique mission. There are currently more than 20 federally-funded research, training and technical assistance centers in the KT Consortium, each profiled on the LEAD Center website.

Diane Drew, Executive Director of NAWDP; Ron Painter, Chief Executive Officer of NAWB; and Julie Squire, Policy Director and General Counsel at NASWA, all profiled their organization’s history, mission, and priorities. This was followed by a general discussion of the supports, resources, and technical assistance available from KT Consortium members, as well as opportunities for collaboration related to WIOA implementation. These national organization leaders also highlighted the most significant changes they have seen since the implementation of WIOA. KT Consortium members then shared ways in which their WIOA-related activities could support members of NASWA, NAWDP, and NAWB.

The interactive discussions enabled all who participated to learn more about each other’s work and opened doors to future collaborations.

TA Centers and federal partners that participated in the meeting represented the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and Employment and Training Administration (ETA); the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (HHS); the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL) and National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR); the Social Security Administration (SSA); and the Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE).