CO Medicaid Infrastucture Grant - Volume 1 Issue 1 June 2011 - Work = Opportunity - The MIG Employment Work Group Newsletter

Think Beyond the Label Grows in Relevance to Employers

Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) programs throughout the country pooled resources to develop the Think Beyond the Label (TBTL) campaign. The web page, nationally televised commercials, print advertisements, and brochures have created awareness among employers on the business case for hiring individuals with disabilities.

Last month, the campaign added a new resource to the web page -- the Hire Gauge Return on Investment estimator -- which calculates the potential incentives and organizational benefits from diversifying the workforce in the area of disability. Experiment with this new feature at this link:

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DVR and Americorps: Bridging the Employment Gap

The Colorado MIG and Serve Colorado have been teaming up to spread the word about National and Community Service participation for Coloradans with disabilities.

With job participation rates hovering around 21%, people with disabilities face many barriers to employment including limited resumes and employment gaps, lack of “soft” skills, insufficient references, and a lack of work experience. National and Community Service through the AmeriCorps programs provides an opportunity to address these barriers and gain the skills and resources that lead to becoming successfully employed.

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Newsletter Spotlight

While October was National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEA), the importance of increasing participation in the workforce among individuals with disabilities is significant every month of the year. Kathy Martinez, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Office of Disability Employment Policy, offered these reflections upon the completion of this year's campaign. More Details.

Updates from the Work Groups

The first AmeriCorps – DVR tele-training was held on Oct 25, 2011 with 15 DVR counselors joining in. Titled, “Bridging the Employment Gap: Community Service and Work Experience”, the counselors learned about AmeriCorps programs, opportunities, benefits of participation, and potential impacts to social security benefits. This training was so well received, the presentation team will be offering it again in December. A similar presentation for community service providers will also be offered in December. For more information about this training contact Sue Fager at or 303.866.3336.

With the training on Federal and State Work Incentives in December, the sub-group has been hard at work soliciting registration forms from interested agencies and organizations. At this month’s meeting, participating agencies were selected and confirmations will be sent out soon. A cross-section of potential participants includes: Centers for Independent Living, Mental Health agencies, TANF service providers, a youth homeless shelter, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and others. The CO MIG is looking forward to the expanded expertise these Work Incentive Specialists will bring to Coloradans with disabilities who would like to learn more about Social Security’s work incentives.


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For more information about the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant or the Buy-In Program for Working Adults with Disabilities, visit