The NTAR Leadership Center, housed at the Heldrich Center and established in September 2007, was a collaboration of partners with expertise in workforce development, disability and employment, economic development, financial education and benefits planning, and leadership development. The NTAR Leadership Center's mission is to increase the employment and economic independence of adults with disabilities by promoting engaged and sustained leadership and partnerships within and among states. Key strategies and initiatives undertaken by the Center included:
Knowledge Development and Dissemination. The NTAR Leadership Center conducted research driven by the needs of policymakers and practitioners, including topical issue briefs and special topic studies of promising and evidence-based workforce practices and strategies to move adults with disabilities into employment. Beginning in 2010, the Center focused its research agenda on the disability implications of an aging workforce. This research effort looked to identify actions that can be undertaken to increase the employment of mature workers with disabilities. Research identified what is currently known about the impact of increasing incidences of disability in the labor supply on the policies and practices of the U.S. public workforce system. Through conversations with noted scholars, business leaders, and national experts in the area of disability and aging, the Center sought to identify how best the workforce system can respond to and serve increasing numbers of mature workers with disabilities with the goal of developing a set of actionable policy, research, and technical assistance recommendations.
Technical Assistance to State and Local Policymakers. The NTAR Leadership Center facilitated information exchange, continuous learning, and the sharing of promising practices and strategies to state and local policymakers interested in putting these practices to work. The Center offered a range of technical assistance services such as topical teleconferences and webinars that are available free of charge. Beginning in 2010, the NTAR Leadership Center focused its technical assistance services on supporting and initiating stronger and more robust universal design strategies for the public workforce development system – specifically the public One-Stop Career Center system. Through its partner, the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts, the Center worked with a select group of states to create models of physical and programmatic universal design and access within the workforce system and then to develop and disseminate technical assistance materials and activities nationally.
Knowledge Exchange. The NTAR Leadership Center website served as a vehicle for knowledge exchange and information sharing, and provided a wide array of users with information, research, and learning tools needed to design policies and partnerships that strengthen state and local leadership efforts to improve the employment and economic self-sufficiency of people with disabilities.
Disability Implications of an Aging Workforce: Developing an Action Strategy
Using Medicaid Funding to Support the Employment of People with Disabilities: A Federal Framework