Webcast: Offering Tailored Technical Assistance as a Knowledge Translation Strategy

Webcast: Offering Tailored Technical Assistance as a Knowledge Translation Strategy


ANN OUTLAW: Hello everyone and welcome to
today’s webcast, “Offering Tailored Technical Assistance as a Knowledge Translation Strategy.” Please go ahead and introduce yourself in
the chat box. I’m Ann Outlaw, the dissemination and TA coordinator
for the Knowledge Translation for Employment Research or the KTER Center. We’re housed at the American Institutes for
Research or AIR. We’re funded by the National Institute on
Disability, Independent Living and Research, or NIDILRR, and I want to thank my colleague,
Rebecca Gaines for her support for today’s webinar. This webinar was pre-approved by the Commission
on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification for one hour of CEU, and I’ll tell you more
about that today at the end of the webinar. So let’s quickly review the Adobe Connect
meeting room before we get started. There are materials that accompany today’s
webinar, including a PDF of the slides and a text description of these slides. These materials are located on the webinar
information page. And the link is in the pod on the bottom right
side of the screen. CART is also available in the link — and
the link to CART is in this pod, as well. Rebecca, would you go ahead and paste that
link in the chat box, please? Speaking of the chat box where everyone is
introducing themselves, we will be taking your questions here. So please drop them down here and we’ll make
sure our presenters get a chance to answer your questions throughout their presentations
and we’ll also set aside a couple of minutes at the end to answer any other questions that
come up. Today’s webinar will focus on the results
from a study that the KTER Center conducted on the effectiveness of using tailored technical
assistance as a knowledge translation strategy. This was a collaborative effort of the KTER
Center staff, especially among Ryan Williams, Kathleen Murphy, Jasmine Park, Zoe Geyman
and Steven Boydston. This study addressed two questions. One was whether a webinar about cancer and
workplace accommodations would increase the participants’ knowledge about cancer survivors’
rights to reasonable accommodations. And the second question was whether follow-up
information in TA offered to those webinar participants helped them to sustain any knowledge
that they gained and promote their knowledge application. Leading the discussion today is Dr. Ryan Williams,
and he is the KTER Center Research Director. Ryan also serves as the associate methods
editor for the Campbell Collaboration, which supports the production of systemic reviews. These are reports that summarize all of the
given evidence on a given intervention and help readers to understand what approaches
work best. At AIR, he leads a wide range of research
and evaluation projects across multiple practice areas. And much of his work relates to the design
and analysis of experimental and quasi-experimental studies. Also joining us is Joe Bontke. He’s the outreach manager and ombudsman of
the Houston district office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the EEOC,
and Mr. Bontke has also managed Human Resources for the MD Anderson Cancer Center and was
named Chair of the Committee for People with Disabilities. Joe presented the original webinar on “Cancer
and Employment Issues”, and delivered some of the follow-up TA to study participants
who requested it. He’ll be here to discuss the implications
of the KTER Center’s research results that Ryan will first review. So thank you both for joining us. Ryan, I’ll pass it over to you. Are you ready to begin? RYAN WILLIAMS: Yes, I am. ANN OUTLAW: Thank you. RYAN WILLIAMS: Thank you, Ann for convening
this meeting. It’s a pleasure to be here. And of course thank you to my AIR colleagues
who helped me put this together. Jasmine, Kathleen, Zoe, and Steven. So thank you so much. And thank you, Joe. I’m excited that you’re able to be here. And I’m looking forward to the discussion
that follows. JOE BONTKE: Thank you. RYAN WILLIAMS: So I’ll get right to it. So as Ann mentioned, we’re going to talk through
kind of the impetus for, design of and results of an intervention that involves tailored
technical assistance as a knowledge translation strategy. So here we go. So here at the Center on Knowledge Translation
for Employment Research, we’re in the business of KT, knowledge translation. And one of the things that we’re tasked with
is identifying ways to effectively get information out into individuals’ hands who need it. So these could be policymakers they could
be practitioners, they could be various stakeholders. The idea is to get research out of the hands
of researchers and into the hands of those who are really going to take it and make change. So a lot of this work is grounded in the Theoretical
Domains Framework that a group of individuals from the Cochran Collaboration presented back
in 2012. So the idea is this, it’s going to try to
identify A, who needs to do what differently. And which barriers and enablers need to be
addressed. So what are the obstacles that need to be
overcome in the knowledge translation process? And what are the facilitators or other enablers
that we might try to enhance with a strategy. As we’re thinking about that strategy, and
the intervention as whole, as a whole, what components can we build in that can overcome
those modifiable barriers and enhance those enablers or facilitators. So these can be things like the behavior change
or techniques or various modes of delivery. So how can we most effectively get this information
into individual’s hands who need it or who can make the most use out of it in the most
efficient way. And how can behavior change be measured and
understood? So these are kind of the guiding questions
that ground much of this work. I should also say, as I start going through
this, please feel free to post questions in the chat box. And Ann or somebody else, if I don’t catch
them, they will let me know and we can stop and address it. So feel free to interrupt as we go. So a little bit of an overview on the KTER
Center as it relates to business, I’ll give an overview of three related research endeavors. The first was a systematic review and meta-analysis
that Kathleen Murphy, John Westbrook, Carlton Fong, and Minda Markle did in 2015 looking
at intervention strategies for employment outcomes
for cancer survivors. One of the big findings that came out of that
piece of work at the center was that really multi-pronged, multimodal approaches tend
to do best when trying to improve return-to-work outcomes. So things that include education and training,
counselling, coping skills, physical exercise, all of these things in conjunction tended
to lead to the best outcomes as part of that systematic review. So that was one of our research areas. And two others that are most focal to what
we’ll be talking about in this presentation was a series of focus groups and a knowledge
translation strategy. So research activity two, we conducted 12
focus groups with members of the business community asking them to describe, A, the
factors that impede or B, facilitate the use of employment research in particular, and
information more generally. So again, this is related back to the Theoretical
Domains Framework. Guiding this work, identifying the barriers,
identifying the facilitators, and making best use of both. And keeping the work grounded in the individuals
who are ultimately going to be using it, or hopefully using it. So they are part of the business — the business
community is part of this research from the beginning. From the information that we received during
these focus groups, we designed a KT strategy, a knowledge translation strategy, and we tested
the effectiveness of it. So for use of information about federal legislation
regarding reasonable accommodations for employees with cancer. So I’ll give a little bit more information
on what this strategy looks like. But the basic idea is we have a tailored technical
assistance strategy compared to a non-tailored technical assistance strategy related to legislation
about reasonable accommodations for employees with cancer. Here are our overarching research questions
for this third research activity. So does follow-up technical assistance offered
to employees who attend a webinar and receive other informational resources, delivering
information about the ADA and other federal legislation regarding reasonable accommodations
for employees of cancer help sustain knowledge gain – outcome 1. And promote application – outcome 2. So again, everything is grounded in a target
audience with key components aligned to that audience. Some of the outcomes that we were focused
on most for this work: knowledge as measured by a pre- and post-knowledge assessment. Again, this was a criterion-based assessment. 14 items about the ADA and accommodations. And the other was a survey-based measure of
behavioral change. So that was administered following the webinar
and the intervention, focused on retention of information and indications of organizational
or individual behavioral change. So here is some of the feedback that we got
from our focus groups. We first — so again, we’re trying to get
information related to barriers. Information related to facilitators. This all ended up being packaged in really
two big buckets. Access and relevance. Which is probably not much of a surprise to
anybody on the webcast here. But some of the three big barriers that were
identified all related to time. Value for other kinds of information, and
whether or not it’s timely. So oftentimes research comes out of the research
realm into practitioners’ hands, into policymakers’ hands at a time that it’s no longer is relevant
as it was when the study was conceived. So a time lag can really affect how effectively
research findings are taken up and used as part of regular business practice. So the mode of delivery or the design feature
of the interventions targeting this barrier were presenting research findings along with
information about recent amendments to the ADA. So grounding the findings that were uncovered
as part of the KT strategy. In recent changes to the ADA. Another time-related barrier was just having
— not having much of it. Or having only small fragments of time with
which to do any research uptake. And we understand this. Individuals are busy. Research is often — sorting through research
and conducting research and digesting it is often on top of everything else that is part
of a regular set of work requirements. So to address that, you know, we tried to
implement a relatively brief one-hour webcast, initial webcast. But also archiving the webcast and other follow-up
information for individuals so they could access it when the time was right. It wasn’t just a one-off. You have to be at Point A at Time X. Do it at your own convenience as a way to
hopefully minimize this barrier. Another time-related issue just time is a
scarce resource. We don’t have much of it. Again, this — we took kind of a bottom-line
approach. The webcast content, it was talking about
kind of legal mandates for making reasonable accommodations. This is information that you need to have
legally. So making that a prominent feature of the
intervention was a way to hopefully minimize this scarce time resource barrier. Then some of the facilitators. So we want to figure out the things that we
can capitalize on and make best use of. So clients’ orientation. So orienting the materials and the delivery
of materials to the compliance orientation with a way to — what’s the way to make best
use of that. That facilitator, we did that by using a facilitator
from an enforcing agency, Mr. Joe Bontke, who will be talking about this a little bit
later. Another facilitator, relation of information
to their own company. Again, this is a relevant factor to the extent
that we can tailor information to individuals and their own experience, we want to do that. So we added on follow-up TA with facilitator
and Job Accommodations Network for tailored information provision. Another one was value for research-based employee
training. And to address that factor, use of facilitator
who is an experienced trainer. And we offered HRCI and CRC credits. And then finally, again, relevance, focus
on specific populations. Populations that these individuals are potentially
exposed to or work with. And so we focus very specifically on employees
with cancer. To make it not just a broad spectrum topic
but more of a specific population. Okay. So from that information, from our barriers
and our facilitators, we crafted a TA approach in fact more accurately we crafted a tailored
TA approach and this is all part of an experiment so I’ll talk about what kind of the comparison
or control group was exposed to and what the treatment for our tailored TA group was exposed
to. Both groups received something. And this is an example of information that
the TA group was exposed to. So, “Dear webinar participant, thank you
for participating in the Center on Knowledge Translation for Employment Research’s webinar
on “Cancer and Employment Issues.” We thought you might be interested in the
attached publication: When Someone You Work with Has Cancer.” And we attached an ACS document: When Someone
You Work with Has Cancer.” So a very generic, very kind of unscaffolded
approach to knowledge translation here. So there’s nothing about this to make this
personal. It’s providing additional supports for the
recipient. Here is an example of the tailored version
of that follow-up TA. So, “Dear Mr./Ms. Smith, thank you for participating
in the Center on Knowledge Translation for Employment Research’s webinar on Cancer and
Employment Issues. The presenter, Joe Bontke, and the Job Accommodation
Network have agreed to provide you with follow-up consultation should you have any questions
about managing cancer-related issues in the workplace. Their contact information is below. And we are also attaching some follow-up resources. Again, the accommodation and compliance series:
Employees with cancer. And when Someone You Work With Has Cancer”. So additional resources on top of the regular
TA group but really what the big difference was here was that consultation availability
from Joe Bontke. So we want to compare these two. We want to see if offering one over the other
has any effect on the way individuals take up knowledge about the ADA and reasonable
accommodations. Their general awareness of it. And their individual or organizational behavioral
change. So I’ll talk through that now. Here is kind of a layout or a map of what
the study looks like. We had 309 individuals who participated in
the initial webinar and completed a pretest on the ADA and reasonable accommodations. So they completed the pretest; 107 of those
individuals also completed a posttest. So we have a pretest and posttest designed
here. Then we used those 107 individuals to create
our experiment. So 55 of those individuals were randomly assigned
into the tailored TA condition. So that email that had additional consultation
information in addition to the materials provided by the ACS. Then we had 52 individuals who are randomly
assigned into the regular TA group. So we have our treatment and our comparison
group. So we’re hoping to be able to make some inferences
about the effectiveness of the intervention based off of this design. So I’ll give a little bit of information on
— or a little bit of background information on who was involved in the original webinar
and the pretest here so just a little bit of demographic composition information. So as part of our survey, we asked about individual’s
organization, their occupation. So a great deal of the individuals who participated
in the initial webinar came from fairly large organizations. About 35% came from organizations who employed
1,000 or more people. And certainly over half almost three-quarters
came from organizations who were at least 100 individuals large. So most were from larger organizations. We had a small percentage of individuals who
were from small organizations, 15 to 24, fewer than 15 persons employed. In terms of the organization sector that individuals
were coming from, many, 42%, were coming from the services industry. Nearly a quarter came from government or other
state or local organizations. About 35% came from any Federal or state or
local organization. But then we have kind of a smattering of individuals
really across a wide range of sectors. Agriculture, forestry, fishing, construction,
mining even, trade. So it was kind of a diverse group in terms
of organization sector. In terms of individuals’ occupations that
they reported, almost half reported that they were in management. A fair amount of them. Certain a target audience for this work. Another 25% were in a professional specialty
of some kind. About 12% were in another occupation. We have about 9% who are administrative support,
too. Again a range of occupations. These individuals weren’t all coming from
one area but there are a couple that stand out. So one of the things we wanted to know was
knowledge gains. So we took kind of a broad spectrum approach
to looking at this question. We wanted to know of the 309 individuals who
completed their pretest on the ADA and reasonable accommodations, how well they sustained the
information that they may have accumulated as a result of that initial webinar. So this graphic here kind of uses all of the
information from the pretest and posttest, the follow-up, based off of the initial sample
so again we have 309 individuals in total who completed the pretest. There were actually 110 so three additional
individuals who completed the posttest. 3 of those individuals weren’t actually randomized
in the treatment or control and 83 completed the follow-up. So what we see is the pretest is the lowest
point on the scale, which is to be expected. Maximum score on this assessment is about
14 points. After exposure to the initial webinar. Again the category. The average score went up by almost 2 points. So that was good. Then we see a little bit of a slide, but not
much. About half a point from that post period all
the way to the follow-up. Again that’s a three-month follow-up. So all in all, the general knowledge retention,
about the ADA and legislation related to maybe accommodations was pretty well retained. At least we thought. Again, this is just kind of a descriptive
overview. This is certainly not an experimental finding
here. So we certainly didn’t retain all 309 individuals
across the three time points, the pretest, the posttest, and the follow-up. So this slide walks us through what the attrition
looked like over time. We had 307 individuals that came back from
the 309 completed posttests and were randomized into the TA or tailored treatment and controls
conditions. Tailored TA versus regular TA. Again we have 55 treatment, 52 control. 50 individuals from that 107 also completed
the follow-up tests. So we have 48 — 45 treatment individuals
and 38 regular TA individuals. The level of attrition was higher for the
control group. At least a little bit. These weren’t you know statistically different. But there was a little bit more drop-off for
the control group than for the treatment group. And here are the differences in the posttest
to three three-month follow-up for the individuals in the treatment group the tailored TA and
regular TA condition. We see that the TA group was a little bit
higher in both instances but not by much. By less than a point. At the posttest they had an average score
of 12.75 versus the regular TA group had an average score of about 12.35. Both groups went down a little bit over that
three-month follow-up which is consistent with our general finding of a slight decline
in knowledge retention. And it was a little bit of greater decline
in the TA group than the non-TA group. But again, not at a level we could really
tease out statistically. So all in all these two groups performed pretty
similarly in terms of their initial assessments at the posttest period and their follow-ups. So here is a slide that gets at our individual
change or self-recorded individual change. So one of the survey items asked — or stated,
“I did something differently as a result of information I learned from the KTER Center’s
webinar on cancer and work or other information KTER sent to me”. So again, the two groups responded very similarly
across the — for this item. About 34% of the non-TA group or the regular
TA group agreed or strongly agreed to this statement. And about 41% of the TA group — or tailored
TA group agreed or strongly agreed to this statement. Again about individual change. The difference is, again, not statistically
significant. The two groups are largely responding in pretty
similar ways. A similar question was asked about organizational
change. So my company did something differently as
a result of the information I learned from the KTER Center’s webinar on cancer and work
or other information KTER sent to me. About 18% of the regular TA group agreed or
strongly agreed to this statement. And about 12% of the tailored TA group agreed
or strongly agreed to this statement. Again, this was also not a significant difference
between the two groups. The response patterns were really pretty similar
across the two groups. So all in all, from some of the quantitative
sources of information that we gathered on assessment and knowledge gains and retention,
recorded individual and organizational change, we didn’t see huge differences between the
two groups. We had some retention or overall attrition
drop off numbers that probably limited our ability to really detect smaller changes. But all in all, we’re seeing that similar
pattern, which you know — ANN OUTLAW: Hey, Ryan, we have a question. Ellie asks, “So the TA group was the group
who were given follow-up, contact information from the people from KTER?” It looks like Kathleen just answered but would
you like to expound on that a bit. RYAN WILLIAMS: Yes so Kathleen did respond,
yes the non-TA group was the group that did not get the tailored TA. So I’m sorry; that’s a little bit consistent
with what I’m saying here or what I’m calling the two groups the non-TA group the control
group they got just the regular email that was pretty generic. We can go back to it really quickly. Yeah here is an example of the regular TA
or what I’m calling the non-TA. They did get something. So really just a quick email with an attachment
when Someone You Work With Has Cancer”. Nothing — no scaffolding, no additional resources,
no consultation with that condition. And then for what I’m calling the TA condition,
it’s really the tailored TA condition, an additional customized email with consultation
availability from Joe Bontke. Okay. So we didn’t see major striking differences
in knowledge retention between these two groups. We didn’t see really striking differences
in terms of recorded individual change or organizational change but we did gather some
additional information we thought was useful and helped tease out some of the motivating
factors for our — from our respondents and our participants. So we did some additional qualitative analysis. This was based off of comments that individuals
provided in their surveys. So there were open-ended response options
for survey items. We also conducted some follow-up interviews
and email correspondence from individuals who fell into the strongly agree or agree
categories in those two survey items that I just covered. So all in all, we got some additional qualitative
information from about 20 individuals. And the discussion and the themes that came
out of those related to things like prevention of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Also changes that were recorded were often
— most often, maybe not concrete or tangible behavioral changes or organizational changes
but more often tended to be vague descriptions of changes and awareness of certain things. So I’ll go through a few of those now. So in terms of change on an individual level,
and change in awareness, we had for example two respondents who reported becoming more
considerate of confidentiality. We had two respondents who also reported learning
— about learning to respect privacy. Three other respondents reported about learning
to respect emotional needs and preferences. Then in terms of practice or more concrete
behavioral changes, one respondent reported change their language. And how they talk to their colleagues. Two others reported spending more time with
clients affected by cancer to better understand what their needs were. Then changes on an organizational level in
terms of awareness we had respondents reported informally teaching colleagues about topics
covered in the webinar. Just kind of further dissemination of what
they were exposed to. One reported increased awareness of employee
rights in the workplace. In terms of practice three respondents said
they adjusted their practice to accommodate a person’s change abilities one began offering
flex time as an accommodation. One individual indicated they incorporated
the webinar content into their formal training sessions. While these represent responses from a smaller
subset of the overall sample they provide some nice additional context about if individuals
are using this information, how they are using it. And so we thought these were aligned with
the intent of the intervention and did underscore what we really were hoping to do. So here are some thoughts we have had about
future directions for this work, and future directions are currently happening. The importance of context in decision making
can’t be really understated. So for example if no employee has cancer,
there’s really no need to change behavior. So it’s possible that behavior change really
was underestimated because of the context. Which also indicates that longer term follow-up
might be a useful endeavor following these individuals perhaps across multiple organizations
or job changes might provide some additional data on how these individuals were using this
information to affect — to change their individual behavior or impact their organization’s behavior
or policies. The importance of measuring changes in behavioral
intent. So again, if individuals — maybe they didn’t
have the opportunity to actually change or affect their organizations’ policies or their
own individual behavior because of context or situations, would they have if they were
put in that situation? Another opportunity to get at this potential
change. Or another potential outcome that’s worth
pursuing. And then distinguishing between business and
employers. Private industry. And employers who are including Government,
looking at differences and how change is recorded in those two domains. Here are some quick references, again, these
will be available for everybody. Before we transition over to Joe, I’ll open
it up for any additional questions on our knowledge translation strategy study. If you have them, please type them into the
chat box now. ANN OUTLAW: Great, thank you very much, Ryan. It looks like we have Jennifer who is typing
in a question. Kathleen also just pointed out that both of
the sources that are on the reference slide. These are Open Source so you’re able to get
them. And if you would like us to get — oh, it
looks like the links are right there but if you have any trouble getting to them, just
email us and we’ll let you know where they are at. RYAN WILLIAMS: Thank you. ANN OUTLAW: So Jennifer asks could you say
again what the pre-posttest changes were? And were those significant? RYAN WILLIAMS: Yeah, thank you Jennifer. So the pre-post assessments were on knowledge
of specific legislation about the ADA and making reasonable accommodations for employees
with cancer. So it was really kind of — there are right
or wrong answers to these items. And one of the interesting things we noticed
when we were looking at the data is through these individuals, these 309 individuals came
in with really a pretty high level of understanding to begin with. If we go back to those charts. The
maximum score was 14. The average was — actually let me go back. A couple further. The average was almost 11. So individuals — there were a good number
of individuals who came in who were getting perfect scores on this. So they were pretty well oriented to these
policies. In terms of differences between the pre and
the post period, these — and the follow-up, these differences were not significantly different. So looking at the overall group. And they also were not significantly different
looking at the pre- and post- contrast or the pre- to three-month follow-up and the
tailored TA and regular TA group. I hope that answers the question. ANN OUTLAW: Yes she says thanks for the clarification
so it does. Are there any other questions that the participants
would like to ask? Please chat them in, if you have them. Well, if any questions come up, be sure to
ask them and we’ll be sure to answer them. So now we’re going to switch things over a
bit. We’re going to hear from Joe Bontke. As Ryan mentioned earlier, he was the person
of the webinar titled “Cancer and Employment Issues”. So Joe, what do you make of these research
results that Ryan shared. JOE BONTKE: By no means am I even close to
the level of professionalism that you all have presented today. But my piece of the puzzle is somebody who
offered the information. The technical assistance, the educational
piece. There was something that was fairly interesting
for me that I just went and did my thing and I do this very often and I’m very comfortable
with the ADA having lobbied for it some 28 years ago and 27 years ago and then watched
the passage of it. And being with the Federal Government for
the past 18 years doing a lot of that training and prior to that traveling in Texas, Oklahoma,
Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, here is the reality of 2016 information. Now people were able to watch the webinar
archived in the quiet of their own home and wherever they were in a family member or their
own battle with cancer, saw an opportunity to drop a dime, make a phone call, send an
email to somebody at the EEOC and while I can’t divulge any of the blatant disregard
of information of what this uncovered, I can tell you the anecdotal. That people were, A, surprised that they were
covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act as a person who was either cancer-free,
with a record of the impairment, or currently battling cancer and still employed. Those two, one from each group, I had multiple
phone calls with. And eventually brought into our system — so
there’s a statute of limitations from when a tangible employment action happens to in
most states 180 days is the clock ticking. Many states who have a fair employment practice
agency or a FEPA, we extend that to 300 days, states’ rights taking a higher priority. And within that 300 days, people came forward. And there are active cases of discrimination
based on either the perception, the presumption of inability to carry out essential functions
of the job or not including somebody in advanced training or some kind of a plateau of further
development in their job because kind of the benevolent stereotyping, bless his heart,
he’s got enough on his plate. I’m not going to ask him to take on more. Which on its face might be a nice thing, compassionate
thing to do, but it’s also illegal, not leaving up to the individual their own presumptions
of the state of their well-being in the workplace. So that piece of it I come away with where
the rubber meets the road as a premise that all outreach, all education is good. And while it being good the benefit you never
know where it’s going to come from. And the number of people who have seen this
online, I couldn’t tell you. I can only tell you that I have gotten calls
and emails and a multitude of conversations that I think are beneficial. So I can only champion this kind of outreach
to say let’s do more of it. Let’s empower people with the knowledge they
need to carry out their jobs in the most effective way possible. And answering these kinds of questions is
not rocket science by any means. And fairly simple stuff to talk somebody through. ANN OUTLAW: Thank you so much for that information,
Joe. It’s great people were able to reach out to
you after receiving information from the webinar and from the technical assistance, either
tailored or not tailored that was sent. Again I would like to point out if you have
questions for Joe or for Ryan, this is the time to ask them. And you can chat them into the chat box now. It looks like Wendy is typing. JOE BONTKE: It’s one of those rare times that
I get to say that I’m from the Government and I’m here to help and really mean it. (Chuckles). ANN OUTLAW: Yes. Let’s see. RYAN WILLIAMS: While Wendy types her question,
I might ask one to Joe, too. Joe, in your conversations, I’m wondering,
I’m curious if there’s any extra information that you have gathered that might inform how
we might add additional components to a KT strategy like this, what additional features
do you think might make these types of strategies more useful to individuals. Just curious if any of your experiences might
relate to that. JOE BONTKE: And I wish I had a quick answer
for this. I don’t know what the best conduit is for
education. And being with the EEOC I’m very slow to stereotype
or pigeonhole. That said, generationally, I’m going to bet
that more Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers are in the cadre of folks dealing with the issue
of cancer in the workplace than would Millennials or the Gen Z-ers. So the reality is messaging to a particular
audience of the graying Baby Boomer that is my generation and the Gen X-ers who don’t
get an awful lot of fanfare when we talk about generational differences, messaging is fairly
similar, knowing where to find it when you need it. And offering that kind of information to all
of those ancillary groups that have assisted me with this community. In our bailiwick of who we reach out to, cancer
survivors, folks who are battling cancer would be considered an underserved population because
employment rights issues are usually not on the forefront of a holistic approach to healing
or ministering or caring for that group. So they hear about us on fringes and to be
on the fringes, it’s usually the re-telling of the anecdotal, or unfortunately the only
time we’re ever able to talk about a case is when we litigate. And we litigate by far less than our outreach. Less than .1% of the inquiries that we get
are ever litigated to a million inquiries a year trickle down to about 100,000 charges,
last year to about 90,000 charges and of that if we went to court 200 times, I would be
surprised. So the numbers piece of it that many — very
often are benchmarked in, where is your success, ours is really in preventive. And in preventive, you never know what you’re
doing where you can empower someone with, “Go to the Job Accommodation Network, download
the ‘Employing Somebody with Cancer’ and bring it into Human Resources, and just say
‘I just need a reasonable accommodation; I would like to invoke the interactive process’”. Well the HR person is going to perk up saying,
“Holy mackerel this person is well versed. Let’s find out what we can do and let’s do
it for them because we know that this is cheap and easy to do.” As opposed to call the attorney, let’s have
a pow-wow, let’s mediate a solution. Now, this is just a dialogue. It wasn’t 20 years ago. And my hope is in the next seven years before
I retire, it will even be better. So all of that round-about is what could be
done differently? I think social media. The new ways we’re communicating. How word of mouth is getting out. And we have taken the stigma of cancer and
any kind of the badge of what we’re survivor towards as nothing to be ashamed of or frightened
about and the successes far outweigh the failures in this field. ANN OUTLAW: Joe, I think that leads to Wendy’s
question that’s in the chat box. So in your experience would offering ongoing
technical assistance to employers around accommodation issues be helpful? And not just the availability of TA but develop
a relationship to guide them as they develop their policies and practice? JOE BONTKE: Most definitely. I think once you have answered somebody’s
question, you realize, I’m not there as a federal law enforcement agency to do a “gotcha”. And I think any of the research that’s gone
on about assisting is there for the delivery of valuable information. So the good part about being available, being
a resource, is that it’s kind of relationship building. I know the folks that call upon me never abuse
it, they don’t call just to chat. They are calling for what it is they need
when they need it and they know how accessible I am and that seems to have solved that issue. So that’s what I’m about anyways. ANN OUTLAW: Excellent. You spoke about the Baby Boomers and working
with the Gen Xers and what you see in the next seven years before you retire and Jeffrey
has a question if you have ever been contacted by a Millennial and if so what was their understanding
dealing with an employee experiencing cancer. And does it differ from those other folks
that you have talked to and work with? JOE BONTKE: Strangely enough I have. And it really comes from a scenario in dealing
with current military members who were concerned about radiation and the availability to procreate
after their treatment. Very, very different concern. And it was not workplace related. However, it became workplace related where
insurance benefits were ceilinged in a dollar amount for this kind of their particular,
I guess it was collection of sperm for the purposes of procreation at a later date. It stumped me and I had to do some research
to assist the Millennial. It was the only question that somebody came
forward divulging that they knew very little about it and wanted all the resource possible. And I just happened to be at Army South in
Fort Sam Houston. And that’s why the person contacted me. ANN OUTLAW: Excellent. We have a couple more minutes before we’re
scheduled to end. Jeffrey says thank you. Are there any other questions or Ryan or Joe,
do you have any closing remarks before we wrap up? JOE BONTKE: Only to use the opportunity for
outreach that my slide is there with my email and my phone and I never miss an opportunity
to let people know to feel free to share it with anyone if I can be of assistance. My primary job is to keep businesses out of
our office by educational technical assistance. So I don’t investigate or litigate or mediate. All I do is educate for the agency. And I enjoy doing it. And I have my hand in a few other resources
that if I don’t know an answer, I will get one for y’all. ANN OUTLAW: Excellent. Well, thank you very much, Joe. Like we said earlier, you can download those
slides at the webinar information page. Rebecca, would you go ahead and put that into
the chat box, please? REBECCA GAINES: Yeah. ANN OUTLAW: Thank you. Well, Ryan, do you have any closing remarks
you would like to make? RYAN WILLIAMS: No, I don’t think so. Thanks again to Joe for joining us today. Thank you to everyone who has been participating
in this webinar. You know, we look forward to having more. ANN OUTLAW: Excellent. Well, we would appreciate your input about
today’s webinar by completing a brief online evaluation. And it’s also in the chat box that Rebecca
just posted. Everyone who registered for the webcast will
also receive an email with the link to this evaluation form. And you must complete it to receive your verification
of completion form for your CRC CEU. And once again, I want to thank Dr. Ryan Williams
and Joe Bontke for their presentation today as well as Rebecca Gaines and our colleagues
at AIR for their support. And finally, we also appreciate the support
from NIDILRR to carry out these webcasts and other activities. So I would like to conclude today’s webinar. And we look forward to your participation
in our next event. Thanks so much. And have a good afternoon. JOE BONTKE: Thank y’all, bye bye. ANN OUTLAW: Bye bye. RYAN WILLIAMS: Bye, everyone.

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