National Technical Assistance and Research Center to Promote Leadership for Increasing Employment and Economic Independence of Adults with Disabilities (NTAR Leadership Center)

April 5, 2016

Development and management of a national center to promote leadership to improve the employment prospects and independence of adults with disabilities.

The NTAR Leadership Center, housed at the Heldrich Center and in operation from September 2007 to June 2013, was a collaboration of partners with expertise in workforce development, disability and employment, economic development, financial education and benefits planning, and leadership development. The NTAR Leadership Center's mission was to increase the employment and economic independence of adults with disabilities by promoting engaged and sustained leadership and partnerships within and among states. Key strategies and initiatives undertaken by the NTAR Leadership Center included:

  • Knowledge Development and Dissemination. The NTAR Leadership Center conducted research driven by the needs of policymakers and practitioners, including topical issue briefs and special topical studies of promising and evidence-based workforce practices and strategies to move adults with disabilities into employment. In 2010, NTAR refocused its research on the disability implications of an aging workforce. This research effort looked to identify actions that could be undertaken to increase the employment of mature workers with disabilities, including what is currently known about the impact of increasing incidences of disability in the labor supply on the policies and practices of the U.S. public workforce system, on the role of the medical professional in the work disability process, and the role that community colleges play in getting aging workers back into the labor market.
  • Technical Assistance to State and Local Policymakers. The NTAR Leadership Center facilitated information exchange, continuous learning, and the sharing of promising practices and strategies to state and local policymakers interested in putting these practices to work. NTAR offered a range of technical assistance services such as free topical teleconferences and webinars. Beginning in 2010, the NTAR Leadership Center targeted its technical assistance services on supporting and initiating stronger and more robust universal design strategies for the public workforce development system, specifically the public One-Stop Career Center system. Through its partner, the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts, NTAR worked with a select group of states to create models of physical and programmatic universal design and access within the workforce system and then look to develop and disseminate technical assistance materials and activities nationally.
  • Knowledge Exchange. The NTAR Leadership Center website and social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook) served vehicles for knowledge exchange and information sharing, and provided a wide array of users with information, research, and learning tools needed to design policies and partnerships that strengthen state and local leadership efforts to improve the employment and economic self-sufficiency of people with disabilities. All publications are now archived and available on the Heldrich Center website.


Aging Workforce: The Role of Medical Professionals in Helping Older Workers and Workers with Disabilities to Stay at Work or Return to Work and Remain Employed

Aging Workforce: Challenges for the Health Care Industry Workforce

Collaborating and Coordinating with Employers

Disability Implications of an Aging Workforce: Developing an Action Strategy

Employer Strategies for Responding to an Aging Workforce

Entrepreneurship for Veterans with Disabilities: Lessons Learned from the Field

Final Report of the State Leaders Innovation Institute

Great Recession and Serving Dislocated Workers with Disabilities: Perspectives from One-Stop Career Centers and Rapid Response Coordinators

Impact of Federal Policies on an Aging Workforce with Disabilities

Interaction of Workforce Development Programs and Unemployment Compensation by Individuals with Disabilities in Washington State

Integrating Job Opportunities for People with Disabilities into State and Regional Economic and Workforce Development Strategies

Leading the Way: The First Year of the State Leaders Innovation Institute (executive summary)

Leading the Way: The First Year of the State Leaders Innovation Institute (complete report)

Leveraging State Economic Development Resources to Create Job Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Moving TANF Recipients with Disabilities to Work: Examples of State Strategies

Public Workforce System: Serving Older Job Seekers and the Disability Implications of an Aging Workforce

Ready and Able: Addressing Labor Market Needs and Building Productive Careers for People with Disabilities through Collaborative Approaches (complete report)

Ready and Able: Executive Summary

Ready and Able: Introduction

Ready and Able: Chapter 1 - Challenging the Conventional Wisdom: National Employer Collaborations

Ready and Able: Chapter 2 - Winning Together: A Sector Strategy Model

Ready and Able: Chapter 3 - Preferred Solutions: How Job Brokers for People with Disabilities Meet Employer Need

Ready and Able: Chapter 4 - Career Tracks: Placing Skilled College Students and Graduate with Disabilities through Partnerships between Employers, Colleges and Universities, and Intermediaries

Ready and Able: Chapter 5 - Bridging Workforce Gaps: Hiring People with Disabilities through Local and Regional Collaboratives

Ready and Able: Chapter 6 - Catalysts: Business-Affiliated Organizations Leading Disability and Employment Partnerships

Ready and Able: Conclusion

Ready and Able: Endnotes

Ready and Able: Reader's Guide to Terms and Governmental Systems Used in this Report

Ready and Able: Appendix - List of Interviews

States as Model Employers: Strategies for Moving People with Disabilities into Careers in State Government

Strategies for Including People with Disabilities in the Green Jobs Talent Pipeline: Roundtable Proceedings

Using Braided Funding Strategies to Advance Employer Hiring Initiatives that Include People with Disabilities

Using Labor Market Data to Improve the Job Prospects of People with Disabilities

Using Medicaid Funding to Support the Employment of People with Disabilities: A Federal Framework

Work Category
Funded By
U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy