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Initiatives and Accomplishments

"Access for All Customers: Universal Strategies for One-Stop Career Centers"

An ODEP-funded project publishes an article outlining the standard principles of Universal Design and the benefits of implementing it within in the workforce development system.

Amendments to Executive Law of New York State

The ODEP-funded START-UP New York develops and initiates proposed amendments to designate businesses owned and operated by people with disabilities as Minority and Women-Owned Enterprises.

Asset Development Portfolio

ODEP develops a comprehensive guide on asset building for people with disabilities and service providers, including workforce systems personnel.

"Building a Roadmap out of Poverty for Americans with Disabilities"

ODEP and ETA jointly publish Building a Roadmap out of Poverty for Americans with Disabilities: A Report on the Relationship of the Workforce Development System and Local Asset Building Coalitions, a report that examines best practices in asset development in three cities and the workforce development system's role in advancing self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.

"Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities"

ODEP publishes the Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities, an online, multi-media resource illustrating how people with disabilities add value across six key concerns common to all employers, regardless of size or industry: return on investment, human capital, marketing, innovation, diversity and social responsibility.

Campaign for Disability Employment

ODEP's Non-Governmental Organization collaborative brands itself the Campaign for Disability Employment and launches What can YOU do?, a national outreach effort framed around a public service announcement (PSA) titled "I Can."

Confirmation of Kathleen Martinez

The U.S. Senate confirms Kathleen Martinez as the third Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy.

Current Population Survey (CPS) Supplement

After extensive research and testing, ODEP sponsors the addition of disability-related questions to the CPS, and for the first time official government data on the employment status of people with disabilities are available.


The interagency website DisabilityInfo.gov is revamped and re-launched as Disability.gov. Managed by ODEP in collaboration with 21 federal partners, the new site incorporates numerous Web 2.0 functionalities and interactive features to engage the disability community.

Emerging Technologies Initiative

ODEP conducts research and collaborates with key stakeholder groups to systematically identify and analyze effective practices in the employment of individuals with disabilities through the use of accessible workplace technology — specifically emerging information and communications technology (ICT).


ODEP unveils ePolicyWorks, a first-of-its-kind, coordinated approach to federal policymaking that leverages Web-based technology, stakeholder involvement and real-time information sharing through an online, collaborative workspace. The initiative's inaugural effort, ePolicyWorks Health Care, focuses on the critical intersection between employment, disability and health care.

Federal Interagency Asset Development and Financial Education Working Group

ODEP leads an interagency working group to enable federal agency stakeholders involved in asset development and financial education initiatives to stay abreast of each others' efforts and to facilitate coordination of relevant research, policy and programming.

Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma

As part of its involvement in the Federal Partners on Mental Health Transformation Work Group, ODEP joins the Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma, serving as co-chair with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Center for Mental Health Services.

Financial Education for Youth with Disabilities

ODEP conducts a literature review and white paper providing a comprehensive analysis of existing financial literacy programs for all youth, including those with disabilities; the effectiveness of these programs; and the role of employers and employment as they relate to financial literacy.

Funding Options for Personal Assistance Services (PAS)

ODEP examines employer-based reimbursement accounts as a way to assess the feasibility of creating a PAS Flexible Spending Account to reimburse PAS not covered by employers as a workplace accommodation. Research findings outline both the benefits and limitations of such a policy, taking into account the perspectives of various stakeholder groups.

Health and Wellness Research Initiative

ODEP conducts studies to explore corporate health and wellness programs in the context of disability as well as access to health care initiatives for people with potentially disabling conditions who do not qualify for employer-based group coverage. The results identify and describe programs that have been important to people with disabilities and the extent to which these programs have advanced quality access to health care.

Inclusive Entrepreneurship Curriculum

START-UP New York establishes and implements a first-of-its-kind Inclusive Entrepreneurship Curriculum at Syracuse University's Whitman School of Management.

Knowledge Development and Translation Initiative for Expanding the Availability and Use of Customized Employment

ODEP conducts research to increase knowledge about the use of customized employment strategies among public and private systems personnel and employers and how such strategies enable people with disabilities to move from poverty to self-sufficiency through asset accumulation and customized benefits.

National Association of Counties Award

Based on its work under an ODEP grant, Montgomery County, MD receives an award for its Customized Employment Public Internship Project from the National Association of Counties.

National Technical Assistance, Policy and Research Center for Employers on Employment of People with Disabilities (National Employer Technical Assistance Center) (2009-continuing)

ODEP awards a cooperative agreement to establish a National Employer Technical Assistance Center to assist in developing demand-side policy and share best practices on the employment of people with disabilities.

Registered Apprenticeship for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities Initiative (2009-continuing)

ODEP awards cooperative agreements to organizations in two states to lead consortia to develop innovative models for providing inclusive registered apprenticeship training to youth and young adults with disabilities.

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Alliance Renewal

ODEP and SHRM renew their Alliance established in 2006.

State Leadership Innovation Institute

ODEP's National Technical Assistance and Research Center to Promote Leadership for Increasing the Employment and Economic Independence of Adults with Disabilities (NTAR Leadership Center) conducts a project to promote employment and economic independence for adults with disabilities by connecting state workforce policies to state and local economic development goals in three states: Connecticut, Maryland and Minnesota.

Strategies for Including People with Disabilities in the Green Jobs Talent Pipeline Roundtable

ODEP convenes thought leaders and entrepreneurial problem solvers to develop recommendations to ensure that people with disabilities are included in the emerging energy efficiency and renewable energy workforce talent pipelines.

Telework Study

ODEP conducts research to explore telework as a return-to-work strategy for people receiving workers' compensation and a path to competitive employment for disabled veterans, as well as the conditions necessary to effectively sustain telework for people with disabilities.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Reauthorization Listening Session

ODEP Assistant Secretary Kathleen Martinez and ETA Assistant Secretary Jane Oates hear comments from workforce development professionals and representatives from the disability and business communities during a listening session attracting more than 700 participants via the web and conference call.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Article

ODEP partners with Social Security Administration (SSA) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to publish an article promoting the WOTC, a tax credit for employers who hire individuals who are in one or more targeted groups, including vocational rehabilitation customers, Social Security Income (SSI) recipients and qualified Veterans with disabilities.