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Office of Disability Employment Policy

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, ODEP slogan: A World In Which People With Disabilities Have Unlimited Employment Opportunities

Cover of Work Place Discussion guide.
At work, it's what people CAN do that matters. Learn more
Cover of Youth Discussion Guide.
At work, it's what people CAN do that matters. Learn more
Poster of Michael Saulter from PSA Print Ad.
At work, it's what people CAN do that matters. Learn more
Poster of Cherly Collier, using sign language to teach small children.
At work, it's what people CAN do that matters. Learn more
PSA Print Ad: America Works best when Everybody works. Featuring photo of Patty Rivas.
At work, it's what people CAN do that matters. Learn more



New Freedom Initiative

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On February 1, 2001, President George W. Bush announced the New Freedom Initiative. Founded upon the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New Freedom Initiative represents a comprehensive set of proposals designed to ensure that Americans with disabilities have the opportunity to learn and develop skills, engage in productive work, make choices about their daily lives, and participate fully in their communities. The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is uniquely charged with providing a national focus on enhancing the employment of people with disabilities. As such, ODEP has the key responsibility for implementing the employment-related aspects of the President's New Freedom Initiative. Read more about the New Freedom Initiative.

Secretary of Labor's New Freedom Initiative Award

Established in 2002, the Secretary of Labor's New Freedom Initiative Award Award annually recognizes non-profits, small businesses, corporations and individuals that have demonstrated exemplary and innovative efforts in furthering the employment and workplace environment for people with disabilities, a goal of President Bush’s New Freedom Initiative. On October 8, 2008, at the Seventh Annual Secretary of Labor's New Freedom Initiative Awards ceremony, Secretary Elaine L. Chao presented awards to eight winners. The occasion also marked the third annual presentation of the Secretary of Labor’s SPIRIT Award.

NFI Circle of Champions Share Successes

Beginning in October 2006, the Circle of Champions (CoC), comprising the NFI awardees in the business category, has become a valuable resource to ODEP. CoC participants have come together twice each year to help inform disability employment policy by sharing proven business strategies and effective practices that result in recruiting, hiring and advancing the careers of people with disabilities.