ILR School

K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability Collection

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The Yang-Tan Institute (formerly the Employment and Disability Institute) conducts research and provides continuing education and consultation on many aspects of disability in the workplace. Since 1968, researchers and practitioners with expertise in disability have helped companies, labor organizations, government agencies, schools, and communities throughout the United States and abroad to accommodate and integrate individuals with disabilities.

Our team consults with business and industry, policy makers, educators, disability advocates, and rehabilitation practitioners, to provide technical assistance, training, and research in:

  • ADA, Accommodation & Accessible IT
  • Community Inclusion
  • Disability Benefits and Work
  • Disability Statistics Research
  • Educational Achievement & Transition
  • Employment and Disability Research
  • International Disability Research
  • Workforce Development


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 364
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    Worksite wellness and dIsability: Annotated bibliography
    Joseph, Jeffrey; Cook, LaWanda (2013-12-13)
    This document represents an attempt to evaluate the current literature available on worksite wellness, with a specific focus on disability issues. The articles included in this document represent three strands of literature that were investigated in order to understand the intersection of disability and worksite wellness. The issues addressed by these articles include the effectiveness and benefits of worksite wellness/health promotion broadly: health promotion initiatives for people with disabilities, as well as laws that impact disability in workplace wellness programs. In evaluating the literature on these topics, it was noted that there is an array of literature that deals with each of the topics, and that demographic and legal changes have increased the availability of literature addressing these issues. The articles listed and discussed below represent just a fraction of the relevant literature; however, they provide a foundational understanding of these issues and are representative of the larger body of related literature.
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    In Memory of Thomas P. Golden
    K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability (K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, 2021)
    Within these pages are memories and messages of dozens of people whose lives Thomas Golden touched. Thomas left this world, or "winged" as his wife Janel characterized it, on November 1, 2020, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He battled this disease as he lived his life, with a positive outlook and concern for his family, friends, and his Yang-Tan Institute (YTI) community. This memory book was lovingly prepared by his friends and colleagues. To best view it electronically, please set the viewing mode in Adobe Acrobat to “Two Page View” and check “Show Cover Page in Two Page View.” This will provide the best book viewing experience in Acrobat.
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    WIOA Title I partnership development for vocational rehabilitation professionals: A curriculum guide
    O'Sullivan, Kate; Osmani, Kimberly J.; Romero, Kristal; Saleh, Matthew; Spangler, Don; Showalter, Thomas (Institute for Educational Leadership, 2020)
    This guide is one of a series of resources developed by Y-TAC to help VR professionals expand and strengthen transition services avail-able to eligible youth, ages 16-to-24. Prepared for Y-TAC by the National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC) and the K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Dis-ability at Cornell University’s School of Indus-trial and Labor Relations (ILR), this document is informed by 23 in-depth conversations with VR and workforce officials in 14 states, who graciously offered their time and insights. The programs and practices described throughout this guide as well as quotes and success stories were gathered through interviews. The guide contains the following parts: Part I: An overview of Title I of WIOA, with emphasis on youth activities and potential connections to Title IV VR services. Part II: A detailed look at the characteristics of the 16-to-24 year old out-of-school youth (OSY) population, including effective strategies for recruitment, engagement, and training. Part III: A primer on partnership formation, including research-based practices and numerous examples from the field. The guide was informed by 23 in-depth conversations with VR and workforce officials in 14 states, who graciously offered their time and insights.
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    Initial impact of Section 503 rules: Understanding good employer practices and the trends in disability violations among federal contractors: Final Report
    Enayati, Hassan (2020-06-15)
    In March 2014, new regulations went into effect related to the implementation of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Section 503), setting new requirements for federal contractors and subcontractors, related to non-discrimination and affirmative action in the employment of qualified individuals with disabilities. The overall goal of this project is to understand the initial impact of these regulations on employer practices and consequently on the employment environment for individuals with disabilities. The study uses both existing administrative and field survey data to achieve three supporting objectives: 1) understand the characteristics of firms with and without evidence of a disability violation under EEO laws; 2) examine the initial impact of changes to Section 503 regulations on the observed patterns of employers with disability violations; and 3) build an understanding of effective practice and policy as contractors have initially responded to Section 503 regulations.
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    Empowering neurodiverse populations for employment through inclusion AI and innovation science: Policy and practice brief
    Bruyere, Susanne; Chang, Hsiao-Ying (Vicki); Saleh, Matthew (2021-07)
    To explore what barriers and facilitators exist for neurodiverse job seekers, this report summarizes a study conducted by researchers from the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University, in partnership with the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, on experiences in the employment interview and at work from multiple stakeholder perspectives (Autistic individuals, service providers, and employers).
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    Connecting Practices to Outcomes: Lessons from the Federal Sector Workplace - Preliminary Findings from the Federal Employee Focus Groups
    von Schrader, Sarah; MacDowell, Kate (2021-03-30)
    [Excerpt] Employment inequity for Americans with disabilities remains a significant problem. To explore and remedy this inequality, the Cornell University Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, in partnership with key federal partners, is working on a three-year project entitled, “Connecting Practices to Outcomes: Lessons from the Federal Sector Workplace.” This project uses federal sector secondary data and qualitative focus groups to assess the impact of employer practice adoption on the retention, advancement, separation, and the workplace perceptions of individuals with disabilities.
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    Empowering Neurodiverse Populations for Employment through Inclusion AI and Innovation Science (B-6970) (Raise C-Access Phase 1 Grant Final Report
    Bruyere, Susanne M. Dr.; Chang, Hsiao-Ying Vicki; Saleh, Matthew C. (2020-08-31)
    The unemployment and underemployment of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have been well documented, and traditional approaches to the interview process identified as one area that poses multiple barriers that disadvantage qualified candidates with autism. This report summarizes research conducted by researchers from the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University, in partnership with the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, examined employment experiences from the perspective of Autistic people, employers, service providers, and educational institution representatives who work with people with autism. The goal of the research is to explore and depict insights into factors that influence the interview process and job success. This study is part of a series of studies that is part of an NSF C-Accel study to Vanderbilt University entitled Empowering Neurodiverse Populations for Employment. The current study included semi-structured individual and focus group interviews with employers with autism affirmative hiring programs, community employment service providers, and educational representatives (career counselors) who have experience of hiring and working with individuals with ASD people on employment, as well as ASD people. A total of 23 individuals participated in the study through group or individual interviews. Content analysis, triangulation, inter-rater tests were performed to captures the themes and agreement of the findings. The findings suggest that employers, Autistic individuals, and service providers are consistent in experiencing challenges and opportunities that influence the interview and employment experience of Autistic individuals, although from different perspectives. Particularly, ASD people have interview preparation and support, and that employers demonstrate knowledge of neurodiversity and willingness to alter the traditional interview process aids the interview and job success. Employers that we interviewed were all involved in autism hiring programs. Therefore, their responses often highlight the utilization of strategies that minimize challenges that are often reported by Autistic individuals during interviews. While these organizations are more cognizant of the needs of Autistic applicants/employees, the employers' comments suggest that many managers continue to need support even after autism awareness training. Their comments also underline a potential issue; that is, human resource (HR) professionals or managers who know the needs of Autistic applicants may not always be present to support these applicants or to influence the hiring decision.
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    Serving Justice-Involved Youth with Disabilities
    Saleh, Matthew C.; Cook, LaWanda (2020-06-01)
    Disability is an important intersectional identity in juvenile justice trends. Youth with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, and mental health disabilities are more likely to be involved in the juvenile justice system or multiple systems, and intersecting identities can increase the risk of justice involvement, particularly when disability overlaps with other identities associated with higher rates of discipline or justice involvement, such as race and lower socioeconomic status. This points to the importance of practitioners being aware of personal and systemic barriers that may influence youths’ experiences and outcomes related to key transition points. Youth with disabilities often require more intense and individualized services during and after justice involvement, and overall have poor post-release education and employment outcomes. Many youth experience challenges in obtaining resources and navigating multiple systems, necessitating additional transition support as they pursue life outcomes. Locating and reaching out to justice-involved youth with disabilities served by multiple systems is a known challenge. Success in this area requires strong collaborations between state and local government agencies, and the community partners and stakeholders who support youth upon release. In this policy brief, the authors discuss barriers and evidence-based practices in locating, serving, and supporting justice-involved youth with disabilities, focusing on efforts to re-engage youth with their former setting (school, home, and community), while also preparing them for future education, employment, independent living, and reducing the risk of recidivism through appropriate resources, services, and supports.
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    Small organizations and Title I of the ADA: A survey study in Region 2
    Chang, Hsiao-Ying Vicki; von Schrader, Sarah; Strobel Gower, Wendy (2019-04-09)
    While both small and large employers cite barriers to employing and advancing individuals with disabilities, some issues are more common among smaller employers than their larger counterparts. The purpose of the current survey study is two-fold: 1) to understand the barriers to effective implementation Title I of the ADA among small employers, 2) to identify effective ways to educate and support small employers as they implement the ADA. We began survey development with a literature review and a set of interviews with leadership or HR professionals who implement Title I within the small organizations. Through these interviews, we identified themes related to the implementation of the employment provisions of Title I of the ADA. The survey includes questions that examine organizational policy and processes, topical areas of interest, ways of accessing information, and respondent/organizational characteristics. The survey respondents were from New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands (representing Region 2). The survey results highlighted the need to (1) establish a basic understanding of the terms, including disability and reasonable accommodations, (2) provide more guidance on practical implementation of the Title I, (3) support systematic information gathering and an accommodation process that considers small business work setting, (4) promote disability awareness at the workplace and among human resources personnel.
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    Research summary: Anxiety and Depression from Adolescence to Old Age in Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Uljarević,, Mirko; Hedley, Darren; Rose-Foley, Kitty; Magiati, Iliana; Cai, Ru Ying; Dissanayake, Cheryl; Richdale, Amanda; Trollor, Julian (2019-01-01)
    [Excerpt] Our team recently published a journal article reporting on a study that looked at the relationship between anxiety and depression, age, sex (male, female), and autism symptoms in autistic adults. So far there has been little research into mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression across the lifespan of autistic individuals. To inform and provide appropriate supports we need to better understand the challenges experienced by autistic individuals and looking at mental health across the lifespan can help us do that. It is also important to understand what factors can be related to good and poor mental health, so we can investigate that relationship and understand it.