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Ten Years of ODEP: Real People, Real Impact

This year marks a major milestone in the national effort to advance disability employment — the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), an agency within the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).   This landmark occasion created, for the first time ever, a focus on disability within the context of DOL's work.

Last week, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and ODEP Assistant Secretary Kathleen Martinez hosted a celebration of this milestone at DOL's headquarters in Washington, DC.  In addition to government and disability community leaders, distinguished guests included many employers and employees — representing businesses of all sizes — that exemplify the policies and practices ODEP works to promote. 

Of course, most small businesses were not able to attend; after all, who would be minding the store?  So, ODEP invites them to take part in the celebration and learn more about ODEP's first ten years.

"Today and every day, people with disabilities add significant value to America's workplaces and economy," Martinez said during the event.  With the books about to close on 2011, ODEP encourages business of all sizes and in all industries to consider what they can do to expand this disability dividend in the years ahead.  To learn more, visit ODEP's Campaign for Disability Employment/What can YOU do? website.