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Office of Disability Employment Policy
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ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy

Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic


Today more than ever, businesses need people with a demonstrated ability to adapt to different situations and circumstances. And perhaps more than any other group, people with disabilities possess precisely these attributes. On a daily basis, people with disabilities must think creatively about how to solve problems and accomplish tasks. In the workplace, this resourcefulness translates into innovative thinking, fresh ideas and varied approaches to confronting business challenges and achieving success. What's more, research shows that consumers both with and without disabilities favor businesses that employ people with disabilities. But while research shows that a workplace inclusive of people with disabilities is good for business, not all employers know how to effectively recruit, retain and advance such individuals. The following resources can assist:

  • 25 for ADA 25 — for Employers — Presents 25 suggestions for employers from the White House Summit on Disability Employment.
  • Inclusive Internship Programs: A How-to Guide for Employers — This guide is designed for public and private employers of all sizes to learn about the benefits and logistics of facilitating internship programs that attract all young adults, including those with disabilities.
  • Do Ask, Do Tell: Encouraging Employees with Disabilities to Self-Identify — This new report, published by The Conference Board with support from the Employer TA Center, explores challenges to and strategies for encouraging disability disclosure in the workplace based on a survey of 98 companies and extensive interviews with disability experts.
  • Creating Resilient Workplaces: Safe Space Leads to Engaged, Productive Workers Webinar — Research indicates that welcoming and safe workplaces that offer work-life balance and take precautions against violent behavior are beneficial to employers' bottom lines through increased employee productivity, health and engagement. On January 27, 2015, ODEP's Employer TA Center, in coordination with the Federal Partners' Committee on Women and Trauma, hosted this webinar. It featured expert speakers from federal and federally funded technical assistance centers that discussed key considerations for implementing safe and productive workplaces. The webinar also highlighted how fostering such workplaces — ones where employees feel comfortable disclosing disabilities and health concerns without fear, stigma or worry — allows all employees to receive the productivity tools (also known as reasonable accommodations) and supports they need to optimize their performance and deliver on the job.
  • Employer Engagement Strategy Final Report — A report providing an overview of ODEP's Employer Engagement Strategy (EES) Marketing Framework created in collaboration with the Wharton School of Pennsylvania, detailing strategies and potential tactics employers can implement to improve corporate culture and facilitate the growth and expansion of their disability and inclusion activities, including the recruitment, hiring, promotion and retention of persons with disabilities.
  • 2014 National Study of Employers: Including the Talents of Employees with Disabilities — This report was published on October 1, 2014, by the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The report is the result of an FWI-ODEP collaboration that included new "National Study of Employers" key questions asked of small and large employers related to using workplace flexibility for their employees with and without disabilities, establishing formal staffing plans that include workplace flexibility, and offering employee resource groups for employees with similar backgrounds or interests. It proposes recommendations for employers invested in improving employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. As this report states, "in addition to the general advantages of workflex, it can also help to fulfill requests for reasonable accommodations and create workplaces where such requests are unnecessary because consideration for the diverse talents and life situations of employees is proactively incorporated into universal work processes."
  • Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work: Supporting Employees Who Experience Unexpected Illness or Disability — This fact sheet, co-authored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division and Office of Disability Employment Policy, informs employers about resources available to help employees who have sustained disabilities or chronic illness to return to work or stay at work. It also explains provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that are applicable in these situations, and how intermittent leave may assist employees to remain on the job.
  • Employer Engagement Strategy: Workforce Inclusion — The Office of Disability Employment Policy's (ODEP) mission has long focused on encouraging private sector employers to hire more people with disabilities. This white paper presents a new employer outreach approach developed during the course of ODEPís Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities research. This approach is based on research conducted by Social Dynamics, LLC, the Altarum Institute, and a research team from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania led by Dr. Peter Cappelli, the George W. Taylor Professor of Management and Director of Whartonís Center for Human Resources. This paper describes the findings that have led to this position, their implications for ODEP and its partners, and recommendations for future actions.
  • Business Strategies that Work: A Framework for Disability Inclusion — Identifies promising employment policies and practices for recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing qualified individuals with disabilities — October 2012.
  • Building an Inclusive Workforce — A Four-Step Reference Guide to Recruiting, Hiring, & Retaining Employees with Disabilities.
  • Small Business Disability Inclusion Fact Sheet — Information resources for small businesses on accessibility, accommodations, community resources, legal issues, recruitment and shared best practices.
  • Return-to-Work Toolkit — Information to help employers and employees understand the return-to-work process and resources to assist in getting employees back on the job quickly and smoothly.
  • Job Accommodation Network (JAN) — ODEP-funded service that provides free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and other disability employment issues.
  • Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) — ODEP-funded service that helps employers hire and retain workers with disabilities.
  • Campaign for Disability Employment — ODEP-funded collaborative effort among several leading disability and business organizations to encourage flexible and inclusive workplace practices that promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities.
  • Leading Practices on Disability Inclusion — Guide prepared by the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) in coordination with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that summarizes a variety of initiatives implemented by corporations to increase disability inclusion, in both the workplace and marketplace.
  • Workforce Recruitment Program — A recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.
  • States as Model Employers of People with Disabilities: A Comprehensive Review of Policies, Practices, and Strategies — A report based on a review of published literature and a state-by-state investigation to identify current programs, practices, and activities used in state government and large municipalities relating to the recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of people with disabilities into government jobs.
  • Advancing Economic Opportunities for Business Owners and Job Seekers with Disabilities: A Review of State and Municipal Government Contracting Procurement and Tax Incentive Programs for Disability-owned Businesses — A report providing an overview of state and municipal government's use of existing policy tools and programs to advance socioeconomic goals for disadvantaged populations, including people with disabilities, and to provide broader access to employment opportunities through financial and other assistance to private businesses.
  • Federal Workplace Mentoring Primer — This primer addresses the basic practices as well as some specific strategies, tools and activities for establishing formal mentoring relationships and programs within a federal government workplace.
  • Employee Resource Group Toolkit — This toolkit outlines twelve steps on how to start, implement, and maintain Disability Employee Resource Groups. Successful ERGs are a functional, strategic tool for advancing organizations' diversity initiatives.