To support the Workforce Innovation Cohort on Disability and Employment, the Customer Service team addressed the following challenge question: How might we ensure individuals with disabilities experience seamless customer service across WIOA programs?  Leading resources examined and the subsequent products developed by the team are posted here to help maximize organizational learning.

States representing the Customer Service Team were the following:  Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

Customer Service Team Cohort Capstone Product

WIOA Innovation Customer Service Self-Assessment Tool: This self-assessment tool can assist states and/or regions gauge how their existing customer service delivery across WIOA program partners are working and where improvements can be made to be better aligned.This information can be used to help identify staff training needs.

Customer Service Training Plan Framework: A cross-partner training plan framework that outlines the objectives, needs, strategies, and curriculum considerations to be addressed to further increase the capacity of staff providing services.

Customer Service Team Cohort Resources

1. How Can I Help?:  It’s a simple question, but an open-ended question that not enough people dare to ask because it generally leads to a need to act, to do something, to change something.  This short blog from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), written for employers, offers practical guidance that can be applied to ALL employees and customers to help jump start a conversation about whether there is a need for additional support.

2. Serving Customers with Disabilities: Tools for Success : This customer service toolkit includes a webinar presented by Mid-Atlantic ADA Center and TransCen Inc. on disability awareness topics.  Additional supplementary resource links can also be used to support front-line American Job Center staff to provide a positive customer service experience for people with disabilities.  Overall, this toolkit can be used independently or for group training across WIOA core program partners in your state or local area.

3. Many Hands Make Employment Work: Collaborations Between VR Agencies and Workforce Development Boards to Provide Work-Based Learning Experiences: – A 16-page December 2018 report prepared by Mathematica Policy Research providing examples of collaboration between state VR agencies and local workforce development boards to provide work-based learning experiences to students with disabilities.

4. Minnesota Adult Basic Education Disability Website: The Minnesota Department of Education and PANDA collaborated to create the Minnesota Adult Basic Education (ABE) Disability website.  Each of the disability categories listed on this site includes an overview of the disability, classroom challenges, and instructional strategies as a continued resource.  Other support features are also incorporated.