October is National Disability Employment Month!

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October is National Disability Employment Month!

Fri, 10/16/2009

Read the following three stories below:

  • President Obama Announces New Initiatives During National Disability Employment Awareness Month
  • U.S. Department of Labor steps up efforts to serve workers with disabilities
  • U.S. Labor Department announces agreement on national technical assistance center for employers on people with disabilities

President Obama Announces New Initiatives During National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Washington, D.C. – President Obama announced that his Administration is taking several steps to ensure that there is fair and equal access to employment for all Americans, particularly the 54 million people in this country living with disabilities. The announcement comes during National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

“My Administration is committed to ensuring that all Americans have the chance to fulfill their potential and contribute to our nation,” said President Obama. “Across this country, millions of people with disabilities are working or want to work, and they should have access to the support and services they need to succeed. As the nation’s largest employer, the Federal Government and its contractors can lead the way by implementing effective employment policies and practices that increase opportunities and help workers achieve their full potential. We must also rededicate ourselves to fostering an inclusive work culture that welcomes the skills and talents of all qualified employees. That’s why I’ve asked the responsible agencies to develop new plans and policies to help increase employment across America for people with disabilities.”

The following are some of the steps the Obama Administration will take:

  • The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) will collaborate to sponsor and organize a day long Federal Government-wide job fair for people with disabilities. The Fair will take place in early spring 2010. In addition to the Job Fair, OPM, ODEP, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Defense's office on Computer and Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) will provide workshops throughout the day on a variety of topics including the Schedule A hiring waiver and the right to the provision of reasonable accommodations including information on assistive and communications technology
  • OPM will develop training on Schedule A for federal Human Resources specialists, hiring managers and selective placement coordinators that will be easily accessible and includes on line training.
  • EEOC and the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division will hold four Town Hall meetings throughout the nation to share information about the ADA Amendments Act proposed regulations and to gather comments on them. All Town Hall meetings will consist of two sessions - one for disability advocates and one for the employer community. These sessions will be completed by November 20th. The four locations are Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, and New Orleans.
  • The Department of Justice will release a video that will identify and respond to a number of common myths held by employers about workers with disabilities.
  • OPM will create and lead a task force comprised of representatives from key Federal Departments and Agencies that have developed and implemented model practices for recruiting, retaining and advancing employees with disabilities. The task force will report on the innovative practices agencies use to encourage the employment of individuals with disabilities. The report will identify and promote successful practices for conducting outreach, recruiting, hiring qualified candidates, successful accommodations, and providing opportunities for career advancement at all levels.

The original White House Press Release 10/5/09 [Read more]

U.S. Department of Labor steps up efforts to serve workers with disabilities

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) joined President Obama today in underscoring the administration's commitment to serving every American worker, including the 54 million people across the nation living with disabilities.

"No artificial barriers should prevent individuals from reaching their potential in the workplace and contributing their skills to our nation," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

As part of its efforts, in early 2010, ODEP will collaborate with other agencies to sponsor and organize a day-long federal government-wide job fair for people with disabilities. At this event, ODEP, the Office of Personnel Management, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Defense's Computer and Electronic Accommodations Program will provide workshops on the Schedule A hiring authority, the right to the provision of reasonable accommodations, and information on assistive and communications technology.

"At the Department of Labor, our goal is good jobs for everyone, and we mean people with disabilities too," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez.

The U.S. Department of Labor's full news release (09-1228-NAT) [Read more]

U.S. Labor Department announces agreement on national technical assistance center for employers on people with disabilities

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has awarded a cooperative agreement to Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute, School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Ithaca, N.Y., to establish a national technical assistance center for employers on employment of people with disabilities. The purpose of the center will be to conduct innovative research, assist ODEP in developing demand-side policy, and share best practices with employers on the recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities.

“Employers must create workplace cultures in which employees with disabilities are as fully integrated and valued as those without disabilities,” said Assistant Secretary for Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez. “The national technical assistance center will be designed to identify how employers can change expectations and open the path to good jobs for people with disabilities.”

The U.S. Department of Labor’s full news release (09-1196-NAT) [Read more]

For more information, visit the Office of Disability Employment Policy website