We provide consulting and analytical support in the policy area of employment of people with disabilities. Our capabilities include labor economics, program evaluation, cost-benefit analysis, information system evaluation and design, and technical assistance. Targeted policy efforts include improving the accessibility of jobs, making the hiring process more accessible to people with disabilities, and improving the reasonable accommodation process.
Our clients of include the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the Department of Veterans Affairs. We have a Blanket Purchase Agreement with ODEP to provide coordination, leadership, and support in all aspects of surveying, analyzing, assessing, and producing reports, projects outcomes and deliverables that promote ODEP’s strategic goal to increase employment outcomes for people with disabilities.
We also have experience with the Department of Veterans Affairs including several major program evaluations of the outcomes of a wide range of disability and health care programs for veterans with disabilities including disability compensation and pension, compensation for survivors, home loans, and specially adapted housing.
Labor Market Trends and Analysis
We conducted a systematic review of research on disability and employment trends, extracting and extending data and results from numerous studies and evaluations to assemble and complete larger datasets that span numerous studies over a 20 year period. We also conducted our own analysis of labor trends and demographics of people with disabilities. Our reports for the Changing Demographics and Trends That Affect the Workplace Project are listed below:
Along with our team of researchers, civil rights analysts, and disability policy analysts we assessed affirmative action policies applicable to people with disabilities and disabled veterans and made recommendations for changes to the respective regulations. The policies pertain to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 503) and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). Volume I: Data Sources and Models, provides quantitative analysis of disability statistics using the Census American Community Survey and reviews different affirmative action programs (link: www.etc.). Volume II: Modernizing the Affirmative Action Provisions, identifies certain provisions in the Section 503 and VEVRRA regulations that should be modernized.
Affirmative Action for People with Disabilities: Quantitative Analysis and Goals
Description and Analysis of Policies and Practices Related to Section 503 (PDF
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Examples of Practices: Federal Affirmative Action Programs for Qualified Individuals with Disabilities and Qualified Disabled Veterans (PDF
On line Application Systems - Technical Assistance Guide (PDF
Accessible Technology (AT)
We support the DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy with coordination, leadership and support in developing and disseminating technical assistance materials on accessibility and usability of information technology with assistive technology that reinforces the business case or value proposition of “return on investment” to enhance and/or improve employment and community living for people with disabilities.
We reviewed the literature on AT and the impact of AT on quality of life, employability and earnings, and the rehabilitation process. We surveyed the types of AT devices available for workplace integration. We also assessed available tools for measuring functional independence.
Veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities
We conducted a major evaluation study of VA’s disability compensation program as a follow on to recommendations of the Dole-Shalala Commission and the Veterans’ Disability Benefits Commission. The study addressed the impact of disability on employment, earnings, and quality of life. Dr. George Kettner, President of EconSys, testified before the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, US Senate, on the results of this study. We also analyzed participation in VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program and identified options for a new transition benefit. The transcript of Dr. Kettner’s testimony can be found below.
Dr. Kettner – VA Disability Compensation Testimony
Web Accessibility Standards
Accessibility is the measure of how well web-delivered content is processed by assistive technology and how easy it is to access the web-delivered content by people with disabilities. We evaluated several hiring websites on their accessibility based on Section 508 standards for web-based applications.
In a task order for ODEP to provide assistance in expanding customized employment the we conducted research to validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) of personnel who conduct customized employment development and implementation, including job development, negotiation with employers concerning employment, and systems leadership for customized employment activities.