ODEP News Brief
October 17, 2014
2014 Accessibility Conference Highlights Accessible Technology
The 2014 Accessibility (A11y) Conference, held October 15, brought together federal agency leaders and private business executives to discuss the development and adoption of technology that is accessible, usable, and universally designed for all workers. Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez addressed the audience. Also at the event, which was co-sponsored by the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services, PEATworks.org, the new web portal for the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) was unveiled. PEAT, funded by DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy, works to enhance the employment, retention, and career advancement of people with disabilities through accessible technology. PEATworks.org offers tools, resources, and collaboration related to accessible technology and employment for employers, technology providers, and technology users.
White House Recognizes Disability Employment Champions of Change
On October 14 at the White House, the Disability Employment Champions of Change were honored for their extraordinary work to promote workplace inclusion and to create employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The 10 Champions represented businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and entrepreneurs. At the event, a new public service announcement from the Office of Disability Employment Policy's Campaign for Disability Employment called "Who I Am" was premiered. In a blog post about the event, ODEP Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez said, "We hope the PSA empowers everyone particularly those of us with disabilities to bring our whole selves to everything we do including work."
"Who I Am" Public Service Announcement Premieres
The new "Who I Am" public service announcement from the Office of Disability Employment Policy's Campaign for Disability Employment is now available for viewing and downloading on the CDE website. "Who I Am" features nine real people with disabilities. Rather than be defined by disability, these individuals are the sum of their many life roles which includes working in jobs they love. In conjunction with the PSA, the CDE has launched the Ask Me Who I Am public engagement effort, which asks everyone to use hashtag #WhoIAmPSA to share one or more of their diverse identities.
Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology Launches PEATworks.org
The Office of Disability Employment Policy announced the launch of PEATworks.org, a comprehensive web portal spearheaded by the agency's Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT). From educational articles to interactive tools, the website's content aims to help employers and the technology industry adopt accessible technology as part of everyday business practice, for the benefit of all workers.
Alameda County, California Celebrates NDEAM with Assistant Secretary Martinez
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez was in California on October 16, where she spoke at a disability awareness training event hosted by Alameda County as part of its National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebration. During her remarks, she discussed disability as a part of diversity and the important role public sector employers have to play in increasing its representation in the workforce.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Releases Updated Schedule A Publication
As part of the interagency initiative Curb Cuts to the Middle Class, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued an updated version of its brochure, "The ABCs of Schedule A for Applicants with Disabilities." The Schedule A hiring authority for people with disabilities is a vehicle for federal agencies to streamline the hiring process for qualified individuals with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities and psychiatric disabilities. The EEOC has committed to updating the remaining four Schedule A brochures by July 2015 in time for the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The other brochures focus on hiring managers, human resource professionals, Disability Program Managers/Selective Placement Coordinators, and service providers.
GettingHired Interviews Assistant Secretary Martinez
In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, GettingHired's Career Insights Blog interviewed Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy. In the interview, Martinez discussed her thoughts on the new Section 503 requirements, disclosure of a disability, the labor force, barriers to employment and how companies should prepare to hire more people with disabilities. She also offered advice to individuals who are feeling discouraged with their job search, steering them to the American Job Centers for services.
Celebrating Blind Americans Equality Day
Blind Americans Equality Day is October 15, a day that is aside annually to celebrate the contributions of individuals with blindness and visual impairments. "Every day, people with visual impairments and other print disabilities enrich our communities and demonstrate the inherent worth of every person," said President Obama in a proclamation issued for the event.