Web Accessibility in the States

By Dina Klimkina, Dexter Horne, and Jorden Jones

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require government agencies receiving federal funding to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to persons with disabilities. However, a 2018 study by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation found that only 59% of state websites passed accessibility standards, while 9% of state websites were highly inaccessible.


Utilizing Public Sector Apprenticeships to Improve Employment Outcomes

By Dexter Horne, Senior Policy Analyst

Prior to his inauguration, President Joe Biden pledged to invest $50 billion in workforce training, including a substantial investment in the national Registered Apprenticeship Program that would “exponentially increase the number of apprenticeships in this country.” Concurrently, the House passed a bill in November — which has now received its second reading in the Senate — that would invest nearly $4 billion over five years in apprenticeship program expansion. These promises and actions at the federal level show that, in a country challenged by recession and high retirement rates, policymakers believe that apprenticeships are viable employment solutions.  

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Building Resilience: How Inclusive Apprenticeship Programs Are Responding to COVID-19

By Elise Gurney, Senior Policy Analyst

Work-based learning experiences – like apprenticeships, job shadowing, and internships – serve a vital role in helping youth with disabilities transition into the workforce. In particular, they allow youth to develop job skills, identify strengths and career interests, and build their resumes. Yet, just like school-based learning, work-based learning has faced significant disruptions due to COVID-19. While some work-based learning can be easily transitioned to an online format, other programs pose greater challenges. 

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National Apprenticeship Week

By Christina Gordley & Dexter Horne

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is November 8-14, 2020! The week is a nationwide celebration sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor to unite business leaders, job seekers, educational institutions and other vital partners to show their support for apprenticeships. National Apprenticeship Week allows apprenticeship sponsors to highlight the benefits of apprenticeships and exhibit the ways in which they can provide a gateway for individuals to join the workforce. States can benefit too; the wide range of public and private apprenticeships showcased during this week serve as models for the types of programs that could be implemented at the state level.

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Kentucky Paves the Way for Public Sector Apprenticeships

By Sydney Geiger, Program Manager

Kentuckians work for the government at a rate slightly higher than the national average — 16.2%. Based on application trends, however, that percentage might decrease. According to a report from the National Association of State Chief Administrators, the number of applicants for state government jobs has decreased by 24% from 2013 through 2017.[1]

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Inclusive Apprenticeships: How States are Supporting Skills Training for People with Disabilities

By Elise Gurney, Senior Policy Analyst

Apprenticeships are on the rise. Employers are increasingly turning to apprenticeships to build strong pipelines of talent, and states are investing in apprenticeships as important workforce development tools. Inclusive apprenticeships – that is, apprenticeships that provide skills training to people with disabilities – provide additional benefits. In particular, they can help employers and states increase the hiring and retention of people with disabilities. States are taking a number of approaches to make apprenticeship programs more inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities.

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Telework: Ensuring Inclusion During COVID-19 & Beyond

By Elise Gurney, Senior Policy Analyst

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the percentage of Americans who work remotely has increased from roughly 15% to 50%. The transition to telework has required everyone to adjust, but it has posed unique challenges for some people with disabilities. On December 17th, The Council of State Governments’ (CSG) National Conference session, “Telework: Adapting to the COVID-19 Economy”  explored these challenges, and showcased strategies that state governments, local governments, and the private sector are using to accommodate employees with disabilities amid new telework conditions and beyond. The session also premiered CSG and the State Exchange on Employment & Disability’s new report “Disability-Inclusive Telework for States“.

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Disability Employment Etiquette National Conference Session

SEED Title Slide

Individuals with disabilities bring unique talents, skills, and perspectives to the workplace. The benefits of including more individuals with disabilities in the workforce are numerous, including higher workplace morale, a more inclusive workplace culture, improved operational performance, productivity, creativity, and profitability, and a reduction in turnover, not to mention more financial stability and other benefits to the worker with disabilities. However, sometimes employers and policymakers may not be adequately tapping into this skilled pool of employees due to a lack of knowledge on how to engage and work with individuals with disabilities.

On Friday December 11, 2020 at 2pm ET, The Council of State Governments (CSG) will host a “Disability Employment Etiquette” session as part of the CSG 2020 National Conference REIMAGINED.

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California Proposition 22 Overturns Employee Classification for Rideshare and Delivery “Gig Workers“

By Dina Klimkina and Bobby Silverstein

On Nov. 3, roughly 58.6% of California residents voted to approve California Proposition 22, which classifies app-based drivers working for rideshare and delivery companies — like Uber and Lyft — as “independent contractors” instead of “employees.” Workers are only classified as employees if a company sets drivers’ hours, requires acceptance of specific ride or delivery requests or restricts working for other companies. Proposition 22 also requires rideshare and delivery companies to provide their drivers with certain minimum benefits and protections from discrimination.

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