Collaboration - Empowerment - Capacity-building

Welcome to the RAISE e-news letter, designed to identify and share resources that the Rehabilitation Services Administration Parent Training and Information Centers (RSA-PTI) can use and share with families.

Executive Editor: Peg Kinsell

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In This Issue

RAISE, the National Resources for Access, Independence, Self-Advocacy and Employment is a user-centered technical assistance center that understands the needs and assets of the RSA-PTIs, coordinates efforts with the TA provided by PTI centers and involves RSA-PTIs as key advisors and partners in all product and service development and delivery.

RAISE is funded by the US Department of Education to provide technical assistance to, and coordination of, the 7 PTI centers (RSA-PTIs). It represents collaboration between the nation's two Parent Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) and the seven Regional PTACs.

Find your Parent Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)

This Month... A Special Focus on Service Learning and Volunteerism

"Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve... You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) website has a special section on disability

"Participating in a national service program offers members a unique opportunity to develop personally and professionally. Research has proven that those who participate in service increase their understanding of how they can address social challenges. Being a national service member also provides opportunities for enhanced problem solving skills, ability to work in teams and planning abilities.

In 2013, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) released the most compelling research to date establishing an association between volunteering and employment in the United States. Key findings on the connection between volunteering and employment include the following:
  • Volunteers have a 27 percent higher likelihood of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers;
  • Volunteers without a high school diploma have a 51 percent higher likelihood of finding employment than non-volunteers;
  • Volunteers living in rural areas have a 55 percent higher likelihood of finding employment than non-volunteers.
CNCS also found that volunteering is associated with an increased likelihood of finding employment for all volunteers regardless of a person's gender, age, ethnicity, geographical area, or the job market conditions.

According to CNCS, volunteering can help people find employment because:
  • Volunteering increases an individual's networks and connections;
  • Volunteering increases an individual's experience or useful education, skills, and training; and,
  • Volunteering helps to create a positive impression in a competitive job market.
For people with disabilities, engaging in national service provides an additional opportunity - it can help shift perceptions and show others that people with disabilities can be service providers, as well as service recipients.. 
 Click here to visit CNCS's special section
on disability and service now >>

Be the Change      

This short video on volunteering from the Pillar Nonprofit Network offers youth perspective on the impact of a volunteer experience


Sometimes, effective communication requires taking action.  At RAISE, we love this simple idea and want to encourage ALL young people to be part of the dialogue on social change.

One of the largest global organizations for young people and social change,'s members in 130 countries tackle volunteer campaigns that impact poverty, discrimination, the environment and more.

This unique web resource engages more than 5.3 million young people to get involved in a cause - any cause - at any time and anywhere.  Their motto: "We make the world suck less."

The site includes information on hundreds of campaigns for social change that take the idea of community engagement to a national level.  Activities are ideal for a single student, a class or a whole school.

One exciting campaign targets on-line hate speech, another addresses communication with your local board of education. We love their Volunteer Vision Board for a summertime project.

Check out now >>
Does Your Business or Company Offer Internships? How Inclusive Are They?
Here is a resource from top business magazine, Forbes, that will help organizational and company leaders examine policies and practices to promote inclusion and diversity.

We love Inclusion TIP #36: "Review your internship program to include inclusion and diversity goals."

Here is what they say:

"If you have interns in your organization, you know that they contribute greatly to your workplace goals and add energy and new perspective to team efforts. Take a few moments to explore your internship program to ensure that those who have joined your team to lend their talents are valued both for their ideas and hard work as well as their cultural differences; doing so can provide a unique opportunity to bring in and mentor diverse candidates who may continue on with your organization as team members after their internships are completed.

Explore how your organization can leverage its internship program to promote diversity as a core value of its mission on at

Learn more about diversity-minded organizations such as Minority Access Incorporated that run internship programs and connect students of all backgrounds to organizations like yours, and explore options such as recruiting from HBCUs and community colleges that are known for inclusion and prioritization of the needs and goals of diverse populations." 
Are you still looking for more good ideas and information on the topic of community service, national service and civic engagement?

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Final Rules     

The U.S. Departments of Labor and Education have collectively issued five rules to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

President Barack Obama signed WIOA into law two years ago.  The landmark legislation is designed to strengthen and improve the public workforce system and help get Americans, including youth and those with significant barriers to employment, into high-quality jobs and careers and help employers hire and retain skilled workers.