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January/February 2010 Issue

Ask the Navigator

Submitted by Margaret Mulligan

Q:  I’m looking for training about employment and people with disabilities.  Money and time are tight.  Any suggestions? 

A:  Yes!  JAN, the Job Accommodation Network, has recently posted its 2010 schedule.  No need to leave your office or open a checkbook!  These 1-hour webinars are offered at no cost, and JAN webinar registration is quick and easy!  I recommend you sign up early, as there are a limited number of spaces and they usually go quickly.  Sign up for one or for all!

February 9, 2010 - Current Events in Accommodations

March 9, 2010 - Accommodation Ideas for Employees with Traumatic Brain Injuries

April 13, 2010 - Employer Best Practices

May 11, 2010 - Accommodations for Individuals with Mental Health Impairments

June 8, 2010 - Assistive Technology Update

July 13, 2010 - ADA Update

August 10, 2010 - Employer Best Practices

Don’t forget that your Navigator is still around and available to provide training and technical assistance! Also, check our Calendar of Events for additional training opportunities. 

Have a question for the Navigator?  Submit it to
Please reference “Ask the Navigator” in the subject line.

New Resources for Businesses

Submitted by Leigh Jones

Accommodating Employees in STEM Fields
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has prepared a publication as a way to share accommodation situations and solutions for STEM related jobs. To view this publication, visit JAN's website.

Poster Series
The Campain for Disability Employment has started a "What Can You Do?" Poster Series.This series of seven posters display positive messages about disability and employment. The posters speak to different auidences including businesses, employees, youth people with disabilities and the general public. Use these posters to help spread the word that at work, it's what people can do that matters. To view or download these posters, visit the What Can You Do website.

Tax Incentives
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has put together general guidance about tax incentives related to accessibility and employment of individuals with disabilities. It includes information on the disabled access credit, Architectural and Transportation Barrier Removal Dedcution, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Program. To view this general guidance, visit JAN's website.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit Website
The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration has updated its Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) website to include a new brochure and updated forms. The WOTC is a Federal tax credit incentive that Congress provides to private-sector businesses for hiring individuals from twelve target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. The main objective of this program is to enable the targeted employees to gradually move from economic dependency into self-sufficiency as they earn a steady income and become contributing taxpayers, while the participating employers are compensated by being able to reduce their federal income tax liability. Visit the updated WOTC website.

Essential Workplace Skills Webinar Series

Submitted by Sara Muempfer

In April of 2008, the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor provided the Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD) with grant funding to participate in The National Technical Assistance and Research Leadership Center to Promote Employment and Economic Independence for Adults with Disabilities (NTAR Leadership Center).  NTAR is part of a national effort to improve employment for adults with disabilities.

In addition to receiving leadership guidance, technical assistance and resources through NTAR participation, MDOD provided Harford Community College with funding to create a series of 6 webinars focused on essential workplace skills. These webinar trainings will work towards increasing the success of employed individuals with disabilities and are available at no cost.

Below are the dates and topics that will be covered in the Essential Workplace Skills webinar series. All of the webinars will be from noon - 1 p.m.

January 22, 2010 - Communication of Accommodation Concerns

January 28, 2010 - Effective Interpersonal & Communication Skills

February 12, 2010 - Resolving Conflict for Job Success

February 23, 2010 - Human Resources, Your Supervisor and You Part I

February 25, 2010 - Human Resources, Your Supervisor and You Part II

TBD - Strategies for Overcoming Barriers to Employment Success

March 11, 2010 - Goal Setting for Job Retention & Advancement

Through Maryland’s Community College network, this series will be made available to businesses interested in providing this training to their existing workforce, to include employees with and without disabilities.   In addition, these trainings will be marketed to the workforce development community for utilization in One-Stop Career Centers, Division of Rehabilitation Services field offices, community service providers, community college career services offices and other interested organizations who would like to provide their job seekers with Essential Workplace Skills training. 

Webinars will be archived for future use.  To register for one or all of the webinars, visit and click on “register” next to the title of the webinar you wish to attend. For more information regarding this webinar series, visit MDOD's website or contact Sara Muempfer ( or 443-248-3583).

No Spare Marylander: Anne Arundel County

Submitted by Sara Muempfer

On December 16, 2009, the Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD) and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) held the latest “No Spare Marylander” Workshop for job seekers with disabilities at the Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, MD.   

This full day Workshop was a collaborative effort between the staff of the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation (AAWDC), DLLR, MDOD, Maryland’s Disability Program Navigators, and the Division of Rehabilitation Services.  In addition, Anne Arundel County community members and the Executive Director of the Eastern Shore Business Leadership Network participated in Workshop panel presentations and break-out sessions. 

Executive Director of the AAWDC, Kirkland Murray, welcomed Workshop participants and provided the group with a brief economic overview of the Anne Arundel County region; to include the many, diverse job opportunities due to Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) at Ft. George G. Meade.  Next, MDOD Secretary Catherine Raggio led personal discussions with each of the Workshop participants about their perceptions, goals and ideas about employment.  George Failla, Deputy Secretary Director of MDOD, led an interactive “Jeopardy” game about the history and timeline of disability laws and their important impact upon employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Following this discussion, three employed individuals with disabilities shared their personal success stories.  All of these individuals showcased each of their unique personal histories and how they used resources, tools and plain old perseverance to achieve their goals.

During lunch, a panel consisting of local agency leaders talked about Workforce Center, DORS and Benefits Counseling services for people with disabilities within their respective agencies.    In addition, participants were informed about the Schedule A hiring authority that assists job seekers with disabilities to potentially obtain federal employment noncompetitively.  Finally, the Executive Director of the Eastern Shore Business Leadership Network, a business-led organization working to increase employment opportunities of individuals with disabilities on the Eastern Shore, spoke to Workshop participants about employer expectations, helpful hints in landing a job, and tips to keeping a job.

The afternoon activities consisted of break-out sessions to include a “ready-to-go” resume, federal job application and employment education and tips, mock interviews and benefits counseling for job seekers wanting to work while maintaining health benefits.

Participants walked away from the Workshop energized to continue their job search… with a flash drive to include their updated resume and several other job readiness resources and a professional portfolio to keep track of their job search documents.