KentuckyWorks Morehead Community Conversation Update

A Community Conversation held in Morehead, Kentucky on February 27, 2017 identified two major projects local volunteers determined would provide significant initiative to promote the transition of youth from school to work. One was the development of a Project Search like activity and remains in the early stages of development. The other is an employer engagement project referred to as the Inclusive Community Project for which a significant amount of progress occurred during the reporting period. 

The employment of people with disabilities is a result of the interaction between the supply of people with disabilities who wish to work and the demand for workers having a disability who can perform job duties with, or without, reasonable accommodation.  We have traditionally concentrated on efforts to increase the supply of potential workers while ignoring, if not avoiding, attempts to stimulate demand.  The Inclusive Communities Project, developed through the Morehead community conversation, seeks to stimulate demand by engaging employers and educating them about the significant benefits that can be derived by helping their community support the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the community. — Jeff White, KentuckyWorks Project Director

Step One

Details: Ensure Accessibility – The staff of the business will conduct an accessibility study to look at the extent to which their physical plant or business is accessible and make changes where reasonable

Activities during the Reporting Period: KentuckyWorks obtained and modified an accessibility survey based upon the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. The product is ready for use and is available on our web page here.

Step Two

Details: Plan for Success – The business must allow one of KentuckyWorks’ affiliated provider agencies to conduct a survey of their operations in order to identify customizable tasks.

Activities during the Reporting Period: A majority of agencies in the area have indicated a desire to participate. The next step is the development of an online, customized employment “refresher course” to enable employment specialists to do their best work.

Step Three

Details: Provide a welcoming environment – Staff of the employer will complete online training designed to help them welcome and interact with both coworkers and customers with disabilities.

Activities during the Reporting Period: KentuckyWorks designed and piloted the training during the reporting period. Minor content changes are in process. The next step is to convert the presentation to be fulfilled independently on our web page.

Step Four

Details: Show the Results – The business can proudly display the project logo on their entryway and throughout their business, using their newly earned knowledge to take advantage of the fact that 87% of the public claim they are likely to support a business employing people with disabilities.

Activities during the Reporting Period: We have completed the project logo design. The next step is to create and manufacture marketing materials.

The work plan calls for KentuckyWorks staff to design and manufacture materials and learning tools. The actual implementation of the project is the responsibility of local volunteers and provider agencies. The Morehead Mayor and the Rowan County Judge Executive strongly support this project.