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One-Stop Centers: Service Accessibility Checklist

Discussions about accessibility frequently emphasize facilities and equipment - the physical factors that make a One-Stop usable. The U.S. Department of Labor has issued several checklists that the One-Stop system can use to assess their compliance with legal requirements for structures and devices. Accessibility of services is less concrete and readily visible but equally important. Service accessibility means that, for example, staff can use TTY machines or request interpreters; that information for customers with disabilities is available in a variety of formats and presented in a clear, understandable fashion; that emergency procedures take account of customers with disabilities; and that in general, customers with disabilities are able to equally benefit from the services of the One-Stop system as all other customers.

Under the law, it is not sufficient that the One-Stop system simply respond to requests for assistance and accommodations from people with disabilities. When local One-Stop systems design services, they are required to proactively anticipate the needs of people with various physical, mental, and sensory disabilities. This checklist provides guidelines for service accessibility as well as a summary of the most important equipment that customers need to access One-Stop resources.

Through the use of this checklist, local One-Stop systems and One-Stop Centers can help ensure they

  • comply with the law (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Provisions of the Workforce Investment Act)
  • create an environment that makes people with disabilities feel welcome; and
  • design services so that people with disabilities can fully benefit.

For information on Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity, see Section 2.

Staff Knowledge

  • Staff recognize the importance of making people with disabilities feel welcome
  • Staff have had basic awareness training on how to meet the needs of customers with disabilities
  • Staff understand that they are required to provide reasonable accommodations to customers or potential customers with disabilities, unless senior staff determine that providing such an accommodation would cause an undue hardship
  • Staff understand the obligations of the One-Stop Center under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Regulations for WIA, including:
    • people with disabilities have the same rights as anyone else to use the services of the One-Stop system
    • services and facilities must be readily accessible
    • services must be delivered in a setting that is fully integrated as possible (meaning that customers with disabilities receive services alongside customers who are not disabled)
    • Staff understand that they must make reasonable modifications in service delivery to avoid discrimination against people with disabilities, unless senior staff determine that making these modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service
  • Staff understand that the Center is required to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services to ensure that communication with customers and potential customers with disabilities is as effective as communication with other individuals, unless this would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the service or activity
  • Staff are aware that they cannot decide that an action which would allow program access by a person with a disability is unfeasible. Such decisions must be made by the designated senior staff member.
  • Staff have been trained in emergency evacuation procedures for people with disabilities, including the evacuation of persons with mobility impairments
  • Staff know how to procure and use various equipment and materials for assisting people with disabilities, including the Centers telecommunications device for the deaf (TT/TTY/TDD), accessible work stations, accessible materials, etc.

Disclosure of Disability

  • When working with customers with disabilities, staff discuss disability only as it pertains to the customers need to access employment and training services
  • Staff who are working with a customer with a disability get permission from the customer before discussing information about the individuals disability with other One-Stop staff or external individuals (e.g., other agencies)
  • When working with customers with disabilities, staff provide information to other One-Stop staff about a customers disability only as needed
  • Private office space is available for discussion of disability-related issues
  • All discussions with customers and other individuals about a customers disability take place in private; if discussions are by phone, calls are made in an area where the caller cannot be overheard
  • Policies and procedures are in place to ensure that staff do not disclose information about a persons disability to other customers
  • Staff understand that under the ADA, the One-Stop Center may ask whether a customer has a disability (under Title II), but that employers are prohibited from doing so during the job application process (under Title I). As a result, staff also understand that they may not disclose the fact that an individual has a disability to an employer without the customers permission.
  • Staff educate employers about the limits of inquiry under the ADA
  • Staff discuss with customers with disabilities the issue and implications of disclosure of disability to employers and potential employers
  • The management information systems for the One-Stop have been reviewed to ensure that access to information concerning a customers disability status, and information about their disability, is limited only to staff who require such information to effectively deliver services to the individual

Accommodation Requests

  • The One-Stop Center has procedures and guidelines for handling requests for reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures.
  • A senior management person has been designated to make determinations that a reasonable accommodation or modification is unfeasible, because it would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the program or pose undue financial or administrative burdens
  • The One-Stop Center posts clear procedures for requesting reasonable accommodations and modifications in waiting areas, the resource library, and other public areas, and includes them in writing in outreach materials.

Registration and Orientation

  • Staff offer every customer assistance with filling out forms and application materials
  • When signing up for orientation, everyone is asked whether they will need assistance or accommodations to participate
  • If a person needs assistance in filling out registration or intake forms, this is done one-on-one in a private room, where the individuals responses will not be overheard
  • If customers are asked whether they have a disability, this is asked of every customer, and asked in writing, not verbally
  • If the One-Stop Center has special programs for people with disabilities, this information is given in writing, so that people with disabilities dont have to inadvertently disclose by writing down information that is given orally
  • Information in orientation sessions is explained slowly and clearly, with plenty of time and opportunities for questions
  • As required by WIA regulations, every orientation session includes a presentation of customers rights to nondiscrimination and equal opportunity, including the right to file a complaint,
  • Clearly understood procedures for requesting reasonable accommodations and modifications are included in writing and reviewed verbally during orientation
  • A list of the One-Stops auxiliary aids and services for communication, assistive technology devices, and material in accessible formats is provided in writing and reviewed verbally during orientation

Service Delivery

  • People with disabilities are served in integrated settings; people with disabilities participate in the programs and services of the One-Stop Center alongside people without disabilities
  • If people with disabilities are served separately from other customers, doing so meets the legal requirement that this be necessary in order for people with disabilities to have opportunities as effective as those provided to other customers
  • If permissible separate programs exist at the One-Stop Center, people with disabilities are not required to participate in such programs
  • People with disabilities have the access to the full range of core, intensive, and training services available to all customers, and are not served exclusively via services from Vocational Rehabilitation
  • The eligibility criteria for intensive and training services do not discriminate against people with disabilities, either overtly or inadvertently [by design or in effect]
  • All customers are routinely asked if they will need some type of accommodations or special assistance to take full advantage of One-Stop services
  • All customers are routinely offered the option of meeting with staff in private offices
  • Information is presented in a way that is understandable to people who have limited or no reading skills
  • Information that is presented orally is also available in writing for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and for people whose learning style requires reinforcement of items in writing
  • Services are designed so that individuals who are not knowledgeable, comfortable with, or able to use electronic technology (i.e., computers) can fully benefit from One-Stop services
  • Quiet work space is available for people with Attention Deficit Disorder and hearing impairments to thoroughly read and comprehend materials

General Communication Requirements

  • The One-Stop Center has taken appropriate steps to ensure that communication with customers and potential customers with disabilities is as effective as communication with other customers
  • One-Stop staff regularly ask all customers if they need information in alternative formats, or need help understanding information
  • One-Stop staff regularly inform all customers that communications aids and services are provided upon request
  • The One-Stop Center has a procedure for responding to requests for auxiliary aids and services. This procedure includes a mechanism for determining that if an aid or service must be substituted for one that was requested, the aid used was equally effective
  • The One-Stop Center has identified a source for sign language interpreters, and can respond quickly to interpreter requests

Work Stations and Equipment

  • Accessible work station: At least one computer work station for customers has been designed to be as universally accessible as possible for customers with disabilities. [See guidelines and examples of accessible electronic work stations elsewhere in this section].
  • Large monitor: For people with low vision, the center has a 19" - 21" monitor with a moveable mounting arm that provides increased character size and a clearer, sharper image
  • Screen enlargement capability: The center has computers that allow users with low vision to enlarge the print on the monitors screen
  • Voice output capability: For people with visual disabilities and reading limitations, the center has a work station that can read text on the screen and convert the text into voice output; computer has a headphone jack and headphones
  • Flatbed scanner: The center has a scanner that can convert a paper document into electronic format [useful for people who access information through voice output and/or need documents converted to Braille]
  • Trackball: The center has a work station with a trackball as an alternative to a mouse. [This is useful for customers who have gross motor skills but lack fine motor skills]
  • Alternative keyboard: For people with a variety of disabilities, including those with limited use of their hands and those who tire easily, the center has a modified version of the standard keyboard that allows key selection by variable hand and finger motion
  • Word prediction software: The center has word prediction software that enables the user to reduce the number of keystrokes used in typing
  • Large keyboard caps and keyboard orientation aides: For customers with low vision, the center has a work station with key markings that enlarge letters and numbers on the keyboard
  • Braille printer: The center has a Braille printer for use by customers and staff
  • Height adjustable table: Work stations and work tables include height-adjustable tables for use by wheelchair users
  • Tape recorder: A tape recorder is available for customers who have difficulty taking notes to tape presentations and discussions, and for staff to make audio recordings of written material
  • Portable Assistive Listening Device: The center has a portable assistive listening device available for individuals with mild to severe hearing loss. [These devices increase the loudness of the speaker while reducing background noise.] [Information on work station requirements are based in part on information from Assuring Access to Job Seekers with Disabilities in Missouris One-Stops, which is incorporated into Missouris state workforce plan. This information was furnished by Missouri Assistive Technology. Guidelines and examples of accessible work stations and assistive technology are contained elsewhere in this section.]

Materials

  • The One-Stop Center has basic orientation materials in alternate formats (large print, Braille, audio-tape, text on computer disk, etc.) and has also identified resources to quickly obtain other materials in alternate formats upon request
  • Materials are available in formats that account for a variety of learning styles, and are also accessible to people who have limited or no reading skills (e.g., pictures, videos, audio-tapes)
  • Paper materials are presented in contrasting colors (e.g., black and white)
  • Videos for customers are closed-captioned
  • The One-Stops website is fully accessible to people with disabilities and Bobby approved. [A free service that analyzes web pages for their accessibility to people with disabilities www.cast.org/bobby]

Evacuation Procedures

  • There is a mechanism for ensuring that people who are deaf or hard of hearing are aware of an activated fire or smoke alarm
  • There is an established emergency evacuation procedure that addresses the needs of people with disabilities, including persons with mobility impairments

Marketing Materials and Outreach

  • Marketing materials mention people with disabilities as one of the groups that One-Stop Centers serve
  • Pictures and graphics in marketing materials include positive images of people with disabilities receiving services with other customers
  • The One-Stop Center indicates that it is an equal opportunity employer/program and that auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities in recruitment brochures and other materials. These materials also indicate the telephone number of the centers TDD/TTY or relay service
  • A list of the One-Stops auxiliary aids and services for communication, assistive technology, and material in accessible formats is provided as part of outreach materials
  • As part of its efforts to provide universal accessibility, the One-Stop Center does outreach to people with disabilities, as required by WIA regulations. This includes such activities as:
    • Advertising in media that targets people with disabilities
    • Sending notices about One-Stop activities to community groups, organizations and associations that people with disabilities participate in
    • Consulting with community groups, organizations, and associations about ways in which the One-Stop Center can improve its outreach and services to people with disabilities
    • Off-site presentations to the general public by One-Stop staff are held in locations that are fully accessible for people with disabilities
    • Presentations to the general public include a discussion of customers rights concerning nondiscrimination and equal opportunity, as required by WIA regulations

Access to Transportation

  • If the service delivery area has public transportation, the One-Stop Center is in a location that provides optimal public transportation access so that people with disabilities and others who do not drive can easily reach the center
  • Any One-Stop materials that contain driving directions, also include public transportation directions, and/or other transportation options for individuals who do not drive. This includes directions contained on the One-Stop web site.
  • If the service delivery area is not served by public transportation, the One-Stop Center has taken steps to ensure that individuals who do not drive, including people with disabilities, have access to the full range of One-Stop services. This can include developing transportation options and resources, delivering services in satellite locations, etc. See section 12 on Transportation for suggestions

Notice on Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination

  • The One-Stop Center posts notices in the waiting area, resource library, and other public areas that outline rights and protections for people with disabilities and other individuals, including the right to equal opportunity, accessible services, and complaint procedures. These posters comply with the required wording in the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity regulations, and include the contact information of the Equal Opportunity Officer
  • The required notice about nondiscrimination and equal opportunity is :
    • Included in orientation materials made available to every customer
    • Included in handbooks and manuals
    • Included in marketing materials
    • Disseminated in internal communications
    • Placed in each customers file
    • Provided in accessible formats
    • Provided to applicants for employment and employees
    • Provided to unions or professional organizations that hold collective bargaining or professional agreements with the One-Stop
    • Provided to sub-recipients or subcontractors that receive WIA Title I funds from the One-Stop

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination Regulations

  • The One-Stop Center has an Equal Opportunity Officer, who is a senior level employee, as required by WIA regulations
  • The Equal Opportunity Officer fulfills all the requirements of this position including:
    • Serving as the liaison with the U.S. Department of Labor Civil Rights Center
    • Monitoring the One-Stop Centers activities and written policies to ensure compliance with all applicable laws pertaining to nondiscrimination and equal opportunity
    • Receiving and investigating any complaints concerning possible discrimination by the One-Stop Center
    • Reporting directly to appropriate officials (including the state WIA director and Governors WIA liaison) about equal opportunity matters
    • Participating in ongoing training concerning nondiscrimination and equal opportunity
  • One-Stop management and staff are aware of and follow the requirements contained in the states Methods of Administration (MOA) for Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity under WIA
  • Services, programs, and facilities are reviewed at least annually to ensure that the One-Stop and its services are nondiscriminatory and provide equal opportunity for customers with disabilities

Record Keeping Requirements

  • Logs of complaints alleging discrimination are kept by the One-Stop Center, as required by law
  • The disability status (when known) of all customers and applicants for services is recorded. This information is stored in a way that ensures confidentiality.