Employer Training Helps America Rally for Veterans

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America is rallying on multiple fronts to ensure its military personnel receive proper care for their war related injuries. Noting the Department of Labor's work with the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs ". . . to assist both returning wounded and injured service members . . . ," Department of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao recently ended a keynote address, extolling efforts to keep ". . . doors of opportunity . . . wide open for Americans with disabilities . . . " Addressing the challenge from a diversity perspective, Ed Crenshaw of DESTIN Enterprises, LLC notes with regard to combat exposed veterans that "reasonably knowing and understanding their specialized needs is the key to providing workplaces in which they are likely to thrive."

America is rallying on multiple fronts to ensure its military personnel receive proper care for their war related injuries. Unduly delayed or otherwise sub-standard medical services are more an intolerable than common exception to the government's rules on assisting American soldiers and veterans. Their psychological and cognitive injuries are no longer insurmountable barriers to government security clearances according to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. For those needing expansive, health-related accommodations in private workforces, Congress is delivering widespread, bi-partisan support.

Representative Steny Hoyer (D-Md) and Representative James F. Sensenbrenner (R-Wis) with more than 200 co-sponsors, introduced H.R. 3195, coined the ADA Restoration Act of 2007. The proposed legislation was reportedly prompted by U. S. Supreme Court rulings, limiting those considered disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act beyond the intent of Congress. Findings for the bill express sentiments essentially echoed by Department of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

Noting the Department of Labor's work with the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs ". . . to assist both returning wounded and injured service members . . . ," Secretary Chao recently ended a keynote address, extolling efforts to keep ". . . doors of opportunity . . . wide open for Americans with disabilities so they become fully participating members of our society and workforce." Addressing the challenge from a diversity perspective, Ed Crenshaw notes as president and CEO of DESTIN Enterprises, LLC that "productive employees is an important goal in creating sensitive and inclusive work environments." He adds with regard to combat exposed veterans that "reasonably knowing and understanding their specialized needs is the key to providing workplaces in which they are likely to thrive."

DESTIN is an employment services firm featuring assistive technologies for marketing job candidates with disabilities. It has provided placement services for transitioning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans through the Transition Employment Assistance Management Service (T.E.A.M.S.) division of Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC). Ed explains that in servicing the contract, "it became apparent to me that the strategic meshing of multiple disciplines and perspectives was essential for managing interplay between reasonable accommodations and conduct rules for combat exposed veterans."

With the help of former WRAMC staff psychiatrist and OIF veteran, Dr. Cynthia J. Washington, DESTIN developed the employer training program entitled "PERCEVD", an acronym for "Preparing Employers to Reintegrate Combat Exposed Veterans with Disabilities". Dr. Washington explains that "war prompts a variety of conditions which may be disabling or cause symptoms that impede a veteran's ability to work." She adds, "PERCEVD emphasizes the capabilities of combat veterans and helps ensure those considerable strengths are not overlooked through ignorance or intolerance."

The PERCEVD curriculum addresses such topics as military vs. civilian culture; proper etiquette among people with disabilities; understanding common combat-related illnesses and conditions; recognizing and addressing various behavioral issues in the workplaces; understanding USERRA and ADA law; providing workplace accommodations; and utilizing diversity practices to empower workforces. Ed Crenshaw explains that "it takes competent employment management and diversity experts to translate relevant medical data, legal principles, and military concepts into practical strategies for employers attempting to create reasonably accommodating work environments for combat exposed veterans." According to Crenshaw, "PERCEVD is more than the sum of its parts which is why even managers familiar with several related subjects are impacted and come away from the training with valuable, new insights."

On July 22, 2008, DESTIN and co-sponsors Technology FFWD, the MARANZ Company, and America Online (AOL), will present a full-day training exhibition of PERCEVD at the Cohen Building - 330 Independence Avenue SW - Room 5051 - Washington DC 20237. "Invitations to participate are being circulated among a virtual who's who of public officials, private employers, commercial interests, and nonprofit advocates" touts Crenshaw.

For additional information, visit http://www.destinenterprises.com/DESTIN_training_exhibition.htm or call DESTIN's Community Affairs Director, Denise Logal, at 888.335.4734.

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