Housed at the West Virginia University College of Education and Human Services, the Job Accommodation Network, known as JAN, is the nation’s leading source of free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.
Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.
“JAN serves as a critical bridge between employees with disabilities and employers, said CEHS Dean Gypsy Denzine. “Providing opportunity by fostering inclusivity is a core value of our College and is embodied by the work that JAN does.”
According to D. J. Hendricks, Director of the Center for disability Inclusion and JAN’s Project Director, WVU is the ideal place for such an organization, based not only on its geographic location, but also because of the level of expertise that the University provides.
“Our consultants specialize in different disabilities and can help employers evaluate their work environments and provide accommodations to meet individual employee needs,” Hendricks said. “JAN also helps service providers, people with disabilities, family members, and advocates for the individual understand the accommodation process and what specific accommodations could be used in their circumstances.”
JAN, which was founded in 1983, recently received a $12.7 million funding renewal for the next four-and-a-half years from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. JAN’s consultants provide job accommodation technical assistance for any type of disability, any job, and any kind of business. The funding renewal allows JAN to continue its services, including offering the most current information to clients, conducting training sessions throughout the country, and producing informational videos.
“While we originally got the JAN project because of our ability to manage large databases, JAN has stayed at WVU because of the knowledgeable, competent and highly dedicated people who work on the project,” Hendricks said. “The variety of academic disciplines here at WVU provides invaluable resources to our organization. The rehabilitation counseling, communication sciences and disorders, special education and engineering programs all feed directly into the work we do.”
Each year, JAN’s 30 employees answer more than 55,000 inquiries through its toll-free hotline and online chats. For more information about JAN, visit AskJAN.org.
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