The Sierra Group Disability and Employment Leaders

Expertise - Questions? Call 800.973.7687




A FREE SIERRA GROUP Service Demonstration with our highly trained staff could be just the piece that can help you complete your picture. Would you like a personal web-based demonstration that explains what Sierra consultants can do for you and your clients? If so, contact Colleen Stover to request a FREE 10 minute interactive demonstration with downloadable sample documents and technology specifications. Once you know the power of technology – your ideas about risk management will never be the same. See for yourself.

The Sierra Group draws on a cadre of experts across many rehabilitation, consulting and science-related disciplines to make up our team of expertise. Our consultants and practitioners provide services that cover every aspect of training, recruiting, accommodating, placing and employing people with disabilities.

Our proven track record and wide range of expertise are the reasons individuals and business seek out the services of The Sierra Group. In addition, we establish strategic partnerships with firms local to our customers whose expertise complements our own so we can leverage our resources and provide outstanding service to our clients.

CEO, Janet Fiore, notes that her company provides expertise to its clients, while building relationships in the community that will allow their clients to utilize their new technology and skills. "I accommodate myself along the way. I make it part of my mission to proactively reach out to other business owners to help them tap into the vast array of benefits that are 'theirs for the taking' just by hiring a person with a disability."

Working with Sierra means working hand-in-hand with skilled professionals who have expertise in every aspect of workplace accessibility. From skill enhancement to accommodation to ergonomics - Sierra Group's team is experienced in all areas of bring to work, stay at work, and return to work methods that allow people with disabling conditions to become employable or more efficient in an existing job. Our expert consulting staff brings many diverse talents to the table.

 

 

thumbnail of counterpoint article ADA Amendments Act - What you NEED to know!
READ this article by leading experts, Janet Fiore, CEO & Jill Fisher, Esq.

The July 2009 edition of Counterpoint, The Official Publication of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute features an article written by subject matter experts Janet Fiore, The Sierra Group, and Jill Fisher, Esquire, Zarwin, Baum, DeVito, Kaplan, Schaer, Toddy, P.C. Pennsylvania Defense Institute Counterpoint July 2009

This published article is a quick reference for any hiring manager, human resource or rehabilitation professional who needs a clear, factual update on the changes to this important piece of civil rights legislation. Fiore and Fisher consult and speak on this topic locally, regionally and nationally. Contact us for more information on a presentation or consultation.

Read the full article in PDF format. 372 K (opens in a new browser window)

 

 

The Sierra Group welcomes Attorney Jill Fisher Esquire, as an expert contributor on compliance issues.

photo of Jill FisherWe welcome Attorney Jill Fisher, Esquire, as an expert contributor on compliance issues. In her article "The ADA Amendment Act of 2008, What should I do now?" she analyzes the implications to employers of recent ADA legislation.

Abstract: The ADA Amendments Act (“ADA/AA”), which became effective January 1, 2009, expands the scope of the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) with a number of changes designed to broaden the Supreme Court's and the EEOC's interpretation of the term “disability.” Specifically, the changes expand the definitions of the terms "major bodily function," “major life activity,” and “substantially limits.” Other changes involve the use of “mitigating measures” in determining whether an individual is disabled and the “regarded as” prong of the definition of a disabled person. Given that the landscape of "individuals with disabilities" will be significantly enlarged by the amendments to the ADA, employers should implement preventative measures to ensure compliance with the ADA/AA, including adequate training for supervisors and proper documentation of employment decisions.

 

 

What is on the Horizon for Disability Discrimination Cases ?

It’s still too early to report on disability discrimination cases filed after the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) became effective on January 1, 2009 because it takes time to establish case law interpreting a new statute.  Additionally, according to the federal circuit courts that have been confronted with the issue, the ADAAA cannot be applied retroactively to pre-amendment discriminatory conduct.  The courts’ reasoning is that retroactively applying the ADAAA would impose new duties (because the ADAAA broadened the class of employees entitled to reasonable accommodations) on parties with respect to transactions already completed. Thus, for a court to apply the ADAAA to the facts of a case, the discrimination must have occurred on or after January 1, 2009.

Read the full article 'What is on the Horizon for Disability Discrimination Case' in MS Word format.

 

 

Rohm & Haas video interview with Michael and Janet Fiore.

The Sierra Group joined with Rohm and Haas to celebrate National Disability Mentoring Day 2008 on Thursday, October 16, 2008. Stacey Adams, Global Diversity Director for Rohm & Haas and Company, imovements innterviewed Michael and Janet Fiore. The topics included "disabilities in the workforce", accommodations, and competing in the Global Environment.

View the video. 11 minutes 16 seconds (opens in Windows Media Player in a new browser window)

Read the transcript in text format. (opens in a new browser window)

 

 

Janet Fiore testifying at CongressJanet D. Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group offers expert testimony to Congress.

Janet Fiore is often asked to give her expertise on disability issues in front of Congress, as a keynote speaker at conferences and Teleseminars. To receive more information on Teleseminars.

Small Business Helping the Disabled Lead Productive Lives House Congressional Hearing , 107th Congress , 2001 - 2002

Small Business Committee LogoJanet Fiore, CEO The Sierra Group Inc. offers testimony for the Small Business Committee hearing on September 24, 2002.

The testimony focuses on the major role that small businesses are playing helping individuals with disabilities lead productive and self-fulfilled live through employment and ownership of small businesses.

Read the testimony here in PDF format. PDF - 3.4 MB (opens in a new browser window)

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF A FORUM
Actions that Could Increase Work Participation for Adults with Disabilities

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10812sp.pdf PDF - 2.8 MB

 

 

House Committee on Ways and Means Hearing on Internal Revenue Service's Use of Private Debt Collection Companies to Collect Federal Income Taxes on Wednesday, May 23, 2007

House Ways And Means LogoJanet Fiore offers testimony to the House Committee on Ways and Means Hearing on Internal Revenue Service's Use of Private Debt Collection Companies to Collect Federal Income Taxes on Wednesday, May 23, 2007.

Her testimony was in full support of the major role that the Disability Preference Program for Tax Collection Contracts can play in reversing the negative employment trend for Americans with Disabilities, including recently injured Veterans, through the creation of 1000's of well paying jobs while successfully recouping millions of dollars in unpaid taxes.

Read the testimony here in HTML format.

 

 

International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals logo

The International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals has published a paper in their Journal, RehabPRO, by Michael G. Fiore, BSE, MBA. Michael is a Rehabilitation Engineer for The Sierra Group and speaks regularly on Disability and the Economy. The paper discussed how the line between rehabilitation and technological advancement continues to blur and reviews current findings on monitor size and resolution as they pertain to usability.

Click on the citation to view the article - Fiore, Michael. (2006). Computer Display Enhancements. Rehab Pro: the Rehabilitation Professional, 15(1), 28-29. PDF - 24 K

 

 

Sierra Combines Usability & Adaptive Technology:

What Is Assistive Technology Sierra Style PDF opens a new browser windowSierra blends a Human Factors approach (functional capacity and individual work style) with an engineering and vocational perspective to effectively demonstrate how easily 'the job can be done' when using assistive technology.

Download or view "What is Assistive Technology Sierra Style?". PDF - 96 K

 

 

Engineering:

More than a decade of experience putting to use expertise in Rehabilitation Engineering:

  • Assitive Technology
  • Systems Design
  • Field Engineering
  • Sophisticated Hardware Configurations
  • Computer Speech Recognition Technologies
  • Project Management, and Customized Corporate Applications
 

 

Business and Public Policy:

Sierra employees frequently offer legal and Congressional testimony and interact on business development strategies in boardrooms across America.

  • Legislative updates though our extensive Congressional contacts help us keep you ahead of your competition.
  • Ongoing relationships within US Department of Justice and the EEOC allow us to offer current insights on policy shifts and updates regulations
  • Extensive publication and consulting experience in business applications surrounding workforce diversity and the global economy.
 

 

Consulting & Training:

Ergonomist, CRC's, and professional trainers bring over 20 years experience assisting clients with every aspect of training, recruiting, accommodating, placing and employing people with disabilities including:

  • High-level professionals modifying or changing careers
  • School Age children or college students
  • Individuals who have never worked before

Sierra consultants bring more than 20 years experience with system wide consulting:

  • Process redesign for efficiency and/or compliance
  • Accessible technology planning
  • Accessible workforce diversity planning
  • Cost containment and Risk management
  • Ergonomics
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • ADA, EIT and 508 Compliance

The end result is that our clients are able to find the answers they're looking for, and by thinking integrated performance we reduce discomfort, improve accessibility and help to create systems for optimal employee interactions. Our team of qualified engineers, rehabilitation technologist, trainers, rehabilitation counselors, ergonomists, and case managers, direct vocational rehabilitation services for our customers and clients, all within one state of the art consultancy.

 

 

Sierra Group Business Insights

Innovation, change, and competition continue to redefine employment in every sector of the economy. The Sierra Group, Inc. distributes our OCCUPATIONAL ALERTS to help keep you informed of occupation changes so that you can leverage the opportunities and mitigate risk.

New Article: Over the last three-year period, the S&P 500 Price Index has recorded a standard deviation of over 20%, and, figuratively speaking, the water is still boiling. In June, 2010, we witnessed the index fall 5.4%. Conversely, during July 2010, the price index advanced 6.9%. And as investors want to participate in the 6.9% appreciation and sidestep the 5.4% decline, we know that increasingly complicated decisions need to be made by those that drive this industry. Jackie Pickering, CRC offers her insight on current thinking that helps those in rehabilitation and risk management stay informed and aware of how to leverage information to control risk and assist with return to work efforts in this installment of Occupational Alert: What Is Next for Financial Professionals?

Download or view Occupational Alert What Is Next for Financial Professionals PDF? PDF - 736 K (opens in a new browser window)

Download or view Occupational Alert Are Certifications Worth the Investment? PDF - 271 K (opens in a new browser window)

Download or view Occupational Alert Nursing Trends. PDF - 155 K (opens in a new browser window)

Download or view Policy Alert - Accommodation Trends. PDF - 159 K (opens in a new browser window)

Download or view Occupational Alert Market After the Meltdown. PDF - 128 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Trading Volume Trends for 2009. PDF - 119 K

Download or view Occupational Alert ITIL Certifications The Next Big Thing. PDF - 120 K

Download or view Occupational Alert IT Certification Trends. PDF - 107 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Electronic Exchange. PDF - 147 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Consolidations within the Financial Industry. PDF - 159 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Non-Profit Executives. PDF - 75 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Where have the Pit Traders gone? PDF - 89 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Law and Technology. PDF - 83 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Banking. PDF - 84 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Pharmacists. PDF - 83 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Broadcast Engineers. PDF - 88 K

Download or view Occupational Alert CFOs and CPAs. PDF - 64 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Private Equity Specialists. PDF - 82 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Investment Bankers. PDF - 70 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Dual Monitor Trends. PDF - 69 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Dental Hygienist. PDF - 122 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Floor Brokers & Financial Industry. PDF - 96 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Information Technology Certification Trends. PDF - 116 K

Download or view Occupational Alert Court Reporters. PDF - 80 K

 

 

WHITE PAPER SERIES:

What to do when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Impacts Case Settlements:
The Benefits of an Accessibility-Focused Case Evaluation

One of the likely unintended consequences of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is that Special Need Trusts (SNTís) may be impacted due to settlement criteria that can be based on past, present, and future medical needs.

Download or View The Benefits of an Accessibility-Focused Case Evaluation PDF - 136 K

 

 

All in a Day's Work: Job Seeker Tools

The worst aspect of being a job seeker is that you're actually working – you're just not getting paid. The tasks associated with an aggressive job search are no less rigorous than the tasks associated with a full time job. The responsibilities of a dedicated job seeker include all of the standard steps that we think of when looking for work (e.g. resume, application, interview, etc.). However, there is much more involved when a truly determined individual decides to track down and acquire the job for which they were made.

Download or view All in a Day's Work: Job Seeker Tools PDF - 133 K


 

Invaluable Tools at Dice.com

dice.com logoWhether you're an IT or an Engineering professional - or a recruiter searching for IT or Engineering talent, Dice.com offers a number of invaluable tools that can help you achieve your employment needs. Dice.com is highly rated by users as a decidedly effective site on which to place your resume in order to have it seen by industry leaders including eBay, Merck, and Sun Microsystems.

Learn more about Dice.Com. PDF - 59 K

 

 

The Traditional Resume is Dead:  The Technology Behind Recruiting

Developed by Michael Fiore, this white paper offers an insight into the recruiting trends that are occurring because of technology enhancements. Resume writing styles and tips haven't changed in a generation. While electronic job boards and technology have made it possible for an applicant to apply for a single job in less than 30 seconds – the art behind resume writing has not kept pace with the innovation occurring at the recruiting level. Fuzzy logic and Boolean search systems have rendered the old fashioned resume silent as it is often lost in a sea of applicants. New trends to address the needs of the technical sorting and screen processes are needed to produce logical employment profiles that directly and clearly speak to the electronic gatekeepers for the middle skill employment candidate.

Download or view The Traditional Resume is Dead:  The Technology Behind Recruiting. PDF - 71 K

 

 

Entry-Level Employment and the Role of Technology in the Vocational Rehabilitation Process

employment logoRehabilitation Engineer Michael Fiore offers this paper in response to the growing trend that technology plays in entry level employment.

"Entry-level employment opportunities in sales and stock clerk occupations for people with disabilities require technology competencies to meet competitive marketplace expectations. A series of labor market surveys concludes that the business imperative for competitiveness has added a technology competency overlay to the traditional skills associated with these positions. This reality combined with the trend towards greater levels of electronic recruitment though one-stop web portals, private job web portals, and electronic job application kiosks has added a technology barrier to the very start of the employment process. As the line between accommodation and business innovation blurs, the need for application software fluency is quickly becoming an absolute competitive necessity for all applicants."

Download or view the complete white paper - Entry-Level Employment and the Role of Technology in the Vocational Rehabilitation Process. PDF - 103 K

 

 

Innovation Alert: 32-bit, 64-bit and, Assistive Technology

Innovations in processor technology now require that those of us using assistive technology must add new vocabulary to our already jargon-laden specifications. To those of us who have ever been frustrated over the installation of a scanner, or web cam on a new computer, we have experienced the complications surrounding the 32-bit and 64-bit computer processor conundrum. For those of you not familiar with these terms, you may want to begin looking at any specifications that you receive with some new questions in mind, in order to ensure that hardware and software compatibility issues donít stymie an overall accommodation plan.

Read more about the implications of 32-bit and 64-bit processors for Assistive Technology solutions. PDF - 107 K

 

 

Contact us today to learn more about how The Sierra Group, Inc., can help you as an individual or a company enhance your workplace AND reverse the trend of unemployment among people with disabilities.

INTERESTED? Please contact The Sierra Group via e-mail info@thesierragroup.com or by phone at 1.800.973.7687.