ODEP Alliance Initiative
Launched in 2006, the Alliance Initiative is a cooperative program that enables organizations committed to improving disability workplace practices to partner with ODEP to develop and implement model policies, initiatives, and strategies to recruit, hire, advance, and retain 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 trade and professional associations, businesses, labor unions, educational institutions, federal, state and local government agencies, and others.
There are many benefits to participate in an alliance with ODEP. Alliance agreements help organizations:
- Build cooperative relationships with the agency;
- Leverage resources to maximize effective workplace disability practices;
- Network and knowledge share with other organizations that seek to increase disability employment; and
- Gain recognition as proactive leaders in the disability employment community.
There are few formal program requirements for alliances and the agreements do not include an enforcement component. Alliance agreements typically last five years and must define, implement, and meet a set of short- and long-term goals that fall into three main categories:
- Training and education
- Outreach and communication
- Promotion of a national dialogue on disability employment
ODEP and the alliance participants form implementation teams. Teams consist of representatives from ODEP and partner organizations that collaborate to develop strategies, promote processes, and implement programs through:
- Development of innovative training and education programs that improve disability workplace policies and strategies;
- Outreach and communication at seminars, conferences, tradeshows, and with the news media, to share the benefits of innovative alliance resources and promote participation in ODEP’s cooperative programs; and
- Technical assistance activities to identify, document, and disseminate effective disability employment policies and practices.