Disability Inclusion

Inclusion: the active engagement of people with disabilities as service members in all levels of national and community service.

Creating an inclusive environment ultimately begins with the actions and attitudes of the individuals who are already a part of that environment. A Project Coordinator should always be thinking in terms of what people can do, not their limitations. There are several elements needed in order to create an inclusive environment.

An inclusive environment:

  • Ensures the respect and dignity of all individuals
  • Does not pry into people’s past medical histories
  • Keeps private information private
  • Fosters a safe environment in which people can speak and listen
  • Willingly and proactively provides accommodations
  • Is accessible
  • Sees a disability as another element of diversity
  • Is flexible

Remember: there is no one way to create an inclusive service environment; rather it is a continuous process that is always evolving!

Additional Online Trainings & Resources


AmeriCorps Disability Inclusion

Montana wants individuals with disabilities to serve as AmeriCorps members. The Governor’s Office of Community Service provides advocacy and outreach to address access and accommodation policies as a means to promote and expand service opportunities. Montana works hard to find ways for individuals with disabilities to share in the true spirit of volunteerism and service.

Policy
Programs that receive federal funding are required to act in accordance with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. In compliance with Federal law, all AmeriCorps programs prohibit any form of discrimination against persons with disabilities in recruitment, as well as in service. No qualified individual with a disability shall be denied the benefits of the program, be excluded from participation in services and activities or be subjected to discrimination by the program.

Reasonable Accommodation
A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a program site that will enable a qualified applicant or AmeriCorps member with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential service functions.  Reasonable accommodation also includes adjustments to assure that a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in service equal to those of individuals without a disability.  All AmeriCorps programs shall make reasonable accommodation in practices and/or procedures when the accommodation(s) is/are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability. Accommodations are “reasonable” when they are practical or feasible. The program does not have to provide reasonable accommodation that would impose undue hardship on the operation of the program.  According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an undue hardship must be based on an individual assessment of current circumstances that show that a specific reasonable accommodation would cause significant difficulty or expense.

Self Disclosure Notice

Reasonable Accommodation Policy Language

Accommodation Assessment Survey Results for the 2011 AmeriCorps Grant Year (2012 calendar year)

Accommodation Assessment Survey Results for the 2010 AmeriCorps Grant Year (2011 calendar year)


Special Needs Inclusion Toolkit

The Special Needs Inclusion Toolkit was created to assist in creating or updating your County's Emergency Operations Plan.


Survey of State Disability Policy 2010

Council of State Governments (CSG): As of May 2009, 13 states including Montana have enacted legislation requiring comprehensive mandated health benefits covering all Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)-related therapies, including speech, occupational, physical, and behavioral interventions.


Information

Think Beyond the Label is a resource focused on increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.  http://www.thinkbeyondthelabel.com/Default.aspx

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