This section of the Inclusive Virginia website provides information and resources for adult education practitioners on the legal responsibilities of serving adult learners with differing abilities.
This Act prohibits discrimination against an individual who is a participant in a program or activity that receives funds under this title, because of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, national origin (including limited English proficiency), and citizenship status.
The LEAD Center, a technical assistance contractor for the U.S. Department of Labor, created the Section 188 Guide, Promising Practices in Achieving Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide. This guide provides updated information and technical assistance that can help American Job Centers and their partners in the workforce development system meet the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity requirements for individuals with disabilities in Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. This Reference Guide includes examples of promising practices that can help promote equal access for individuals with disabilities to the American Job Center (One Stop) system.
There are several programmatic aspects to consider when working with learners with disabilities. From marketing and outreach to registration to program accessibility, learners with disabilities should feel included and supported. The Section 188 guide helps address best practices and regulations for programs. Below are some highlighted areas of interest for programming.
- Marketing & Outreach: Recruitment materials should contain “positive images of individuals with disabilities” (Section 1.2, p. 9).
- Registration: Program staff should ask all learners if they need assistance during the registration process. Learners may need help filling out forms or may require one-on-one assistance in a private setting (Section 1.6.2).
- Confidentiality & Disclosure: Programs should have written policies and procedures in place to assist staff when a learner self-discloses a disability. Keep in mind self-disclosure is voluntary and should remain confidential (Section 1.6.4).
- Collaboration with Partners: To best serve the needs of learners with disabilities, programs should have ongoing partnerships with agencies “that have experience working with individuals with disabilities…to ensure equal opportunity and nondiscrimination” (Section 1.4, p. 13).
- Accommodations: “Programs are required to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities to ensure equal access and opportunity…The process of identifying and providing…accommodation[s] should be done as quickly as possible to avoid delaying access to services” (Section, 2.2, p. 32-33).
- Architectural Accessibility: All facilities, including “the construction and design,” should be accessible to learners with disabilities (Section 2.7, p. 43).
- Program Accessibility: The program as a whole entity should be accessible to learners with disabilities. This includes, but is not limited to, “making reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures…[and] providing auxiliary aids or services, including assistive technology devices and services, where necessary” (p.1, footnote 2; definition from 29 CFR 38.13(b) p. 87142).