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    NSIP Inclusion Weekly

    November 11, 2010

    "My experience as a volunteer in the AmeriCorps program has given me the will to get out of bed every day. It has given me the education and the knowledge to understand my disability and it gives me a purpose in life. If you don't have a purpose in life, its hard to get out of bed every morning."
    - anonymous veteran who served in AmeriCorps

    This Veterans Day, the National Service Inclusion Project will highlight how veterans across the country are choosing to join national service programs as a "new mission". Veterans, including those with disabilities, bring skills, experience and a commitment to serving their country to national service programs.

    As a part of the larger CNCS initiative to engage more veterans in national service, NSIP launched the Engaging Veterans with Disabilities Initiative, a collaboration among the National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP), the Center for Technical Assistance and Training (CTAT) at Denver Options and Operation TBI Freedom (OTF) at Denver Options. This Initiative will identify promising practices, products, and delivery strategies. Most importantly, this work will be informed extensively by veterans, especially those who are current or former AmeriCorps or other national service volunteers; and products will be made widely available to veterans groups, national service programs, and the disability community so as to guide the practice, policies, and procedures of service programs as they recruit and support veterans with disabilities.

    The following quotes from veterans interviewed to date speak to their powerful experiences and the benefits of national service.

    We thank these veterans for taking their time to share their national service experiences, for their service to our country through the military, AmeriCorps and other national service programs.

    For more information on engaging veterans with disabilities in national service see:

    The Veterans' Toolkit for AmeriCorps: http://www.nationalserviceresources.org/veterans-militaryfamilies-toolkit/sample-outreach-materials

    Serve.gov--Veterans and Military Families Page
    http://www.serve.gov/vets.asp

    Serve Washington Veterans Corps (VetCorps)
    http://www.ofm.wa.gov/servewa/archives/default.asp

    September 21, 2010 NSIP Webinar: National Service -- Engaging Veterans in Their Next Assignment
    http://www.serviceandinclusion.org/index.php?page=conf_archive

    CTAT at Denver Options
    http://denveroptions.org/ctat

    Operation TBI Freedom at Denver Options
    http://www.operationtbifreedom.org/

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission information about Veterans with Service -- Connected Disabilities
    http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/veterans-disabilities-employers.html

    A special thanks to Joanne E. Cohen, Organizational Consultant, CTAT,and liaision to National Service Inclusion Project for her contribution to this Inclusion Weekly.

    Yours in service,
    Erin Gannon
    National Service Inclusion Project



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    ©The National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP) is a training and technical assistance provider on disability inclusion. NSIP partners with the Association on University Centers on Disability, National Council on Independent Living, Association on Higher Education and Disability and National Down Syndrome Congress to build connections between disability organizations and all CNCS grantees, including national directs, to increase the participation of people with disabilities in national service.