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Madelyn James UIC - College of Education Special Education Doctoral Student August 24, 2009 Summer 2009 Research Internship with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD)www.cityofchicago.org/Disabilities
The Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) was established in 1990 as a cabinet level department by Mayor Richard M. Daley. The main office is located in Chicago City Hall at 121 N. LaSalle Street, Room 1104. MOPD has a field office located at 2102 W. Ogden. Karen Tamley is the Commissioner of MOPD. Deputy Commissioner Joe Albritton, was my direct supervisor.
MOPD’s mission is to “promote total access, full participation and equal opportunity for people with disabilities of all ages in all aspects of life. It seeks to accomplish this mission through a multi-faceted approach that includes systemic change, education and training, advocacy and direct services”.
MOPD’s Programs & Services • Disability Resources • Public Information and Education • Training Services Unit • Accessibility Compliance • Youth Programs
The primary focus of my research internship was the Employment Services Unit that provides: Employment Counseling and Training to Job Seekers, Consultation and Technical Assistance to Employers, Social Security Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) outreach and education MOPD’s Programs & Services
There is a need for employment related services to be made available to people with disabilities, particularly in under resourced communities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported for the month of June that unemployment was at a record high level of 14.3% for people with disabilities versus 9.5% for people without disabilities. The month of July showed a 15.1% unemployment rate for people with disabilities versus 9.9% for people without disabilities this was the second month in a row of record high levels. (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2009). Bureau of Labor Statistics, (2009). New monthly data series on the employment status of people with a disability. (DHHS Publication No. ADM 90-1679). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved on August 22, 2009 from http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsdisability.htm
MOPD “Call to Work” Grant The Employment Services Unit was preparing to reapply for the “Call to Work” multi-year grant from the department of Social Security Administration through SSA’s Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program. • MOPD’s “Call to Work” grant provides: • benefits planning, • employment resources and assistance to people with disabilities who wish to be employed. • The grant also provides resources and assistance to employers who are seeking qualified job applicants.
MOPD Research Questions • What communities or populations should “Call to Work” target for direct services and information assistance? • Are the media outreach and dissemination of information approaches effective for the targeted populations? • Are the benefit analysis consultations effective in promoting job seeking for the targeted population?
Methods • Population “Call to Work” serves the entire city of Chicago with an emphasis on four targeted populations or communities • Youth with Disabilities • African American and Hispanic communities • People living with HIV/AIDS • People with Developmental Disabilities
Data sources • 2000 Census • MOPD attendance list of workshops • # of “Tickets to work” issued by zip code • Bureau of Labor Statistics • Metro Chicago Information Center (MCIC), • American Community Survey (ACS • Chicago Department of Public Health • Illinois Interagency Coordinating Council on Transition
Procedure • Defined and developed research on the need in target populations • Compared “Tickets to work” by zip code to four target populations/communities • Compared city target populations to state and national target populations
Analysis • The “Ticket to Work" vouchers indicated that a broader catchment area for providing services and developing collaborations (than the 2000 census) should be considered. • Nationally, there has been a significant increase in the percentage of Hispanic youth who have a disability (Wagner, Cameto & Newman, 2003). Also, the primary home language for more than 50% of Hispanic youth with disabilities is a language other than English (Wagner, Cameto & Newman, 2003). It was recommended that the Youth Community Work Incentive Coordinator should be a bilingual staff member.
Identify one major ah-ha you had about doing that research. • Collecting data for people with disabilities and unemployment is a very recent phenomena, February 2009. This makes it difficult to track patterns of unemployment that are not significantly influenced by the current financial crisis. The definitions for certain disabilities vary across national, state and local municipalities.
Identify one dilemma you had • Trying to impartially analyze and collect the data while working within the department.