Connecting Service to Employment for Members of All Abilities

Participating in national and community service is one way for people with and without disabilities to gain valuable experience and skills toward employment. The National Service Inclusion Project is currently looking for success stories from service members with disabilities about how his or her service experience has linked them to full or part time work. If you are a service member with a disability who would be interested in sharing your story of your transition from service to employment, please submit your story here.

Below is Michael Agyin’s story of how his service experience led to his current position within the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood and Community Service.

During his term of service in 2000-2001 with National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), Michael Continue reading

How do you encourage disclosure and create inclusive service environments?

As your service program works to become more inclusive of members all abilities, consider what you can do to create an environment where service members with both apparent and non-apparent disabilities would be comfortable disclosing their disability and requesting reasonable accommodations if needed.

Hidden or non-apparent disabilities may include physical or mental health related conditions that are not readily visible to others. This may include, but are not limited to: specific learning disabilities, diabetes, epilepsy, low vision, hard of hearing, heart disease, and chronic illness.

    It may be difficult for some service members with disabilities to decide whether or not to disclose their Continue reading

    The Benefits of Collaborating with National and Local Disability Organizations and Communities

    As national service programs work to expand their networks and include individuals of all abilities, it is important to consider the benefits of partnering with disability organizations within your communities.

    The benefits of collaboration can enhance both your service program and the disability organization you partner with as you work toward mutual goals.

    By a national service program collaborating with a disability organization, benefits to national service programs include:

    • Speaking about national service at a disability-focused event, conference or job fair.
    • Having staff at a disability organization inform specific constituents about opportunities to serve Continue reading

    Disability and Inclusion related sessions at the 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service

    “The 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, taking place June 22-24 at the Moscone Center – West in the heart of San Francisco, is the world’s largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders from the nonprofit, government, and corporate sectors. This year’s theme —”Civic. Energy. Generation.”— reflects the tremendous excitement in our nation today as people of all ages and backgrounds unify in a powerful movement to bring about social change.”

    Learn more about the 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service and register.

    The National Service Inclusion Project will be conducting a pre-conference training, an immersion learning session and two workshops focused on disability and inclusion in national and community service at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service. Information and descriptions of each session is listed below:

    Pre-Conference: Getting Buy-in: Crafting Partnerships that Fully Embrace Inclusion
    Monday, June 22: 8:00 am- 4:00 pm — Participants of all levels welcome

    People with disabilities are now, more than ever, engaged in community service or volunteering. Whether responsible for Continue reading

    Mental-Health Related Disabilities and Reasonable Accommodations

    Picture 6May is National Mental Health Month. Given that AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Learn & Serve programs have service members with non-apparent disabilities, including members with mental health related disabilities, information and suggestions for providing reasonable accommodations are shared provided below.

    According to the National Institute of Mental Health “an estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older—about one in four adults—suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. When applied to the 2004 U.S. Census residential population estimate for ages 18 and older, this figure translates to 57.7 million people.”

    Mental health related disabilities “refer collectively to all diagnosable mental [conditions]…[which] are characterized by Continue reading

    Inclusive AmeriCorps Week Projects

    Six Days, Six Ramps 2008

    6 Days, 6 Ramps 2008

    The third annual AmeriCorps Week is taking place May 9-16, 2009. AmeriCorps Week “provides the perfect opportunity for AmeriCorps members, alums, grantees, program partners, and friends to shine a spotlight on the work done by members–and to motivate more Americans [including individuals with disabilities] to serve their communities.”

    Celebrations of service are being planned throughout the country and below are two examples of AmeriCorps Week events that are inclusive of people with disabilities.

    6 Days, 6 Ramps

    The fifth annual 6 Days, 6 Ramps project will take place this year from May 8-10 and then May 15-17. “6 Days 6 Ramps is Continue reading

    Inclusive Interviewing for National and Community Service Programs

    Via magnusfranklin's Flickr photostream

    Via magnusfranklin's Flickr photostream

    As applications to join your service program increase, and the interview process continues, this is the perfect time to brush-up on information regarding inclusive interviewing.

    As a result of feedback from the field, the National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP) will be providing an informative and interactive discussion to guide you in conducting inclusive interviews.

    What are questions that you can and can’t ask? What if someone discloses a disability on their application or during an interview? What are strategies to ensure that all applicants know your agency provides reasonable accommodations?

    Please be a part of this presentation and discussion about conducting inclusive interviews both in-person and at a distance.

    Join us on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 from 3 PM – 4 PM EST (2 PM Central, 1 PM Mountain, 12 PM Pacific).

    Our presenters this month are both from the National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP) (see their biographies, below): Continue reading