Taking lessons from the High Impact Collaboration, the IVMF, in partnership with the Bob Woodruff Foundation, will develop a transcript and video/audio selection of BARRIERS AND BREAKTHROUGHS: Employing Veterans with Disabilities. Based on the day's events, this will serve as a resource to employers, government, and nonprofit organizations that are looking to better serve veterans with disabilities through careers and meaningful employment.
The video and transcripts will be the product of a collaborative effort of the IVMF, Bob Woodruff Foundation, and some of the leading private sector employers and supporting organizations, whose activities during the conference event will be reflected throughout the transcript and videos. They will share leading practices, lessons learned, and innovations tied to the recruitment, assimilation, retention, and advancement of veterans with disabilities in the workforce. It will represent a response to calls for a shared resource for employers, both large and small, to adopt a strategic and sustainable approach to advancing veterans with disabilities in the civilian workforce, and helps foster employment and economic opportunities for this population.
The videos and transcripts will include topical areas such as employer challenges accompanied by tools and resources to overcome those challenges; leading practices around recruiting, onboarding, providing accommodations, for those experiencing TBI, PTSD, physical barriers, and sensory disabilities; employee assistance programs; and partnering with small businesses.
The IVMF and Bob Woodruff Foundation have strong relationships through the private sector. By leveraging those relationships, they will not only distribute these videos and transcripts to participants from the high impact collaboration, but use them as tools to recruit other firms and non-profits to the mission of supporting U.S. veterans with disabilities through meaningful employment.
The BARRIERS AND BREAKTHROUGHS: Employing Veterans with Disabilities transcripts and videos will be released later this year. The findings will be disseminated to High Impact Collaboration participants, who will be encouraged to share the information with their networks, and will be made available free of charge to the general public via the BWF and IVMF websites. In addition, these findings, recommendations, and practices will be disseminated to future collaborations engaged in veteran employment as resources to improve the outcomes and practices of BWF grantees, and to ensure they have the most current robust information available. To follow up on the findings and to inform future activities, BWF and IVMF will distribute a survey to collect information and feedback from transcript and video recipients.
There are 22.5 million veterans in the United States, including more than 2.5 million Americans who have served in uniform since 2001. Experts estimate that more than 30% of these newly returning service members will transition into civilian life with an enduring physical and/or psychological disability as a result of their service (Institute for Veterans and Military Families).
Employment prospects for veterans, especially those with physical or hidden injuries, are murky, with myriad complexities ranging from inadequate physical accommodations to the potential impact of post-traumatic stress (PTS) on post-combat careers. Yet even for those with life-altering injuries, statistics indicate veterans are likely to be employed in the long term at higher rates than their non-veteran peers with disabilities.
To ensure employment remains an achievable reality for disabled veterans, the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) partnered with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) to convene a High Impact Collaboration(tm) titled, "BARRIERS AND BREAKTHROUGHS: Employing Veterans with Disabilities." At the two-day forum, public and private sector experts gathered to discuss current assumptions and obstacles to employment for veterans, and presented leading practice policies and programs that have had an impact on service members and veterans with disabilities transitioning to civilian employment. Attendees included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs; non-profit leaders, such as the National Organization on Disability (NOD); and corporate executives from General Electric, JPMorgan Chase & Co., BAE Systems and Accenture, among others.
In communities across the country, the Bob Woodruff Foundation and IVMF seek employers, potential grantees, and nonprofit organizations to apply the best practices shared via the transcript and video/audio selection of the High Impact Collaboration: "BARRIERS AND BREAKTHROUGHS: Employing Veterans with Disabilities."
The Bob Woodruff Foundation is offering financial and operational support to implement and disseminate the transcription and audio services and plans to leverage media contacts and subsequent charitable investments to expand that reach.