In the 8 years since the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was passed into law, the American economy has profoundly changed. Major structural changes among industries, companies, and contractors have accelerated thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and new economic policies from the Biden Administration. Throughout these tumultuous years, American Job Centers (AJCs) / America’s Job Centers of California (AJCCs) have been crucial for the delivery of workforce services to thousands of workers. As the labor force participation rate for workers with disabilities rapidly increases to historical highs, jobseekers with disabilities need supports and services that will meet their needs and help them earn an income. However, the working professionals at AJCs/AJCCs may not have received any formal training on disability etiquette, accessibility, assistive technology, or best practices.
This webinar offered a high-level overview of proven practices and lessons learned for serving jobseekers with disabilities through the workforce development system. Attendees learned from a subject matter expert who has collected simple, practical, and cost-effective solutions to help advance opportunities for jobseekers with disabilities.
Philip Kahn-Pauli is the Policy and Practices Director of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of the community. He educates leaders at the federal and state level about best practices to expand opportunities for people with disabilities. Kahn-Pauli coordinated the development and distribution of the People with Disabilities at Work resource guide, the Finding a Job as a Person With a Disability in Los Angeles Toolkit, and numerous other resources for jobseekers with disabilities as well as policymakers. He frequently organizes accessible webinars on best practices, which are attended by workforce boards, agencies, VR, disability organizations, public officials, artists and more – reaching a national audience of more than 2,000. Kahn-Pauli also speaks at national and regional conferences for workforce boards, agencies and professionals.
Kahn-Pauli serves as the co-chair of the Employment and Training Task Force of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD). He works with more than 110 national disability organizations to impact federal policy and move the disability employment agenda forward at the national level. At the state level, Kahn-Pauli advocates for cost effective solutions, replicable models and school-to-work transition programs for youth with disabilities.
Kahn-Pauli’s career in disability began with several years of work at a local nonprofit focused on traumatic brain injury. He holds a master’s degree in social policy and philosophy from the George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver.