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ODEP News Brief

April 11, 2014

Assistant Secretary Martinez Speaks to American Bar Association's Commission on Disability Rights

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez was in California on April 9, where she spoke to members of the American Bar Association's Commission on Disability Rights about the Department of Labor's efforts to promote community-based, integrated employment for people with significant disabilities. She also addressed the historic updates to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act that went into effect last month and praised the commission for its work to advance disability inclusion within its own industry. Martinez was part of a panel that also included representatives from the Departments of Justice and Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Read the DOL Newsletter story

Celebrating Women with Disabilities: An Interview with Kathy Martinez

Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, was interviewed for the EARN|Exchange Business and Disability blog in honor of Women's History Month. She spoke about role models, changing attitudes, and employment for women with disabilities, among other topics. When asked what advice she would give to young women with disabilities about pursuing their dreams, Martinez responded "Pursue them. Think big. Play hard. Mentor other women. It's really about continuing the dialogue and continuing to bring other women into our community."

Read the EARN|Exchange Business and Disability blog

Opening the Doors of Small Business to People with Disabilities: Keeping the Doors Wide Open — EARN Webinar — April 22, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

This webinar, presented by the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN), will help small businesses learn about employing people with disabilities. Topics include creating a workplace where employees with and without disabilities excel; strategies for on-boarding and providing reasonable accommodations; employee resource groups and mentoring; and best practices and successful initiatives that fit a small business budget.  The webinar will take place April 22, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT.

Register for the EARN webinar

Section 503: Connecting Job Seekers with Disabilities and Federal Contractors through the Workforce Development System – LEAD Center Webinar – April 23, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT

This LEAD Center webinar addresses how American Job Centers and the workforce development system can work with federal contractors to use the new Section 503 final rule to promote employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities. The webinar will be presented on April 23, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT.

Register for the LEAD Center webinar

Department of Justice Reaches Landmark Americans with Disabilities Act Settlement Agreement with Rhode Island

The Justice Department has entered into a statewide settlement agreement that will resolve violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for approximately 3,250 Rhode Islanders with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The landmark ten year agreement is the nation’s first statewide settlement to address the rights of people with disabilities to receive state funded employment and daytime services in the broader community, rather than in segregated sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs. As a result of the settlement, 2,000 Rhode Islanders with I/DD who are currently being served by segregated programs will have opportunities to work in real jobs at competitive wages.   Additionally, over the next ten years, 1,250 students with I/DD will receive services to help transition into the workforce.

Read the Department of Justice press release