The ODEP Alliance Initiative
Implementing model policies and practices that increase employment of workers with disabilities.
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) works with the public to promote positive disability workplace and employment strategies, policies and practices by offering technical assistance and research based model programs to employers, employees, organizations and government agencies. Through technical assistance and model programs, organizations work collaboratively with the agency.
In 2006, ODEP created the Alliance Initiative. This cooperative effort enables organizations committed to improving disability workplace practices to work with ODEP to develop and implement model policies and initiatives that increase recruiting, hiring, advancing and retaining workers with disabilities. ODEP and alliance participants work together to reach out to, educate, and lead the nation’s employers, employees and organizations in advancing disability employment. Groups that can form an Alliance with ODEP include employers, labor unions, trade or professional groups, government agencies and educational institutions.
- American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity — July 8, 2021 to July 8, 2024
- American Staffing Association — May 7, 2020 to May 7, 2022
- Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) — May 18, 2021 to May 18, 2024
- Disability:IN — July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022
- National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) — April 30, 2020 to April 30, 2022
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) — March 16, 2021 to March 16, 2024
- Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) — April 6, 2020 to April 6, 2022
Benefits of an Alliance
There are many benefits to participating in an alliance with ODEP. The agreements, which are signed for two to three years, help organizations to:
- Build trusting, cooperative relationships with the agency.
- Network with others committed to increasing disability employment.
- Leverage resources to maximize workplace disability practices.
- Gain recognition as proactive leaders in disability employment.
Organizations may be cooperating with ODEP for the first time, or they may be continuing existing relationships with the agency established through other cooperative programs.
The Alliance Program supports ODEP’s Strategic Management Plan to develop and influence development of evidence-based policies and practices that can be readily adopted by federal, state, and local service delivery systems and their partners, including public and private employers. There are few formal program requirements for alliances and the agreements do not include an enforcement component. However, ODEP and the participating organizations must define, implement and meet a set of short and long-term goals that fall into three categories:
- Training and education, such as developing training and education programs and seminars aimed at improving disability workplace policies and strategies.
- Outreach and communication, such as sharing the most up-to-date information for educational purposes and promoting participation in ODEP’s cooperative programs.
- Promoting a national dialogue on disability employment by sharing data on disability employment, participating in various forums and groups to discuss ways of improving disability employment and demonstrating the effectiveness of disability employment strategies and policies.
ODEP and the alliance participants form implementation teams. The teams, consisting of representatives from ODEP and the organizations, are responsible for developing strategies and implementing programs or processes that meet the defined goals.
Products and Activities
Alliances develop a number of products and undertake many activities, including assisting ODEP in:
- Developing and disseminating training and education materials.
- Outreach and communication with the news media and at conferences and trade shows.
- Technical assistance activities including identifying, documenting and disseminating effective disability employment policies and practices.
For national alliances, contact ODEP's Division of Policy Communication and Outreach at 202-693-7880.