Office of Disability Employment Policy Roundtable
(March 18, 2014)
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez kicks off a roundtable discussion on health-care professionals with disabilities.
Karen McCulloh (second from right), representing the National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities, an ODEP Alliance partner that helped convene the roundtable, underscores the importance of using the skills and talents of people with disabilities to fill an anticipated labor shortage in nursing and other health-care professions. The roundtable participants included Mary Beth Bigley (far left), director of the Division of Nursing for the Bureau of Health Professions at the Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services; ODEP’s Martinez (to McCulloh’s left); and Janet LaBreck, commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.
More than 40 employers, federal and state policymakers, researchers, and nursing school administrators gathered to identify strategies for increasing education and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in nursing and other health-care professions. The discussion also examined the needs of aging health-care workers and returning military service members seeking to transition to civilian health-care careers.
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Eric Seleznow makes the point that the nationwide network of American Job Centers can be a valuable resource for companies as well as job seekers with disabilities.
Mary Beth Bigley, director of the Division of Nursing in the Bureau of Health Professions, facilitates a panel discussion about improving access by prospective students with disabilities and returning veterans to post-secondary educational programs in nursing and allied health professions.
Janet LaBreck, commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, describes the counseling, medical and mental health services, job training and other services provided through her agency’s grant programs that help people with disabilities obtain employment and live more independently.