Neither disability policies designed to ensure employment of people with disabilities nor policies aimed at gender equity in employment have recognized the specific employment barriers experienced by women with disabilities. The inequities are significant:

  • Men with disabilities are more likely to be employed and have full-time jobs, and men with disabilities are almost twice as likely to have jobs than women with disabilities;
  • Women with disabilities are also significantly poorer than men with disabilities, due partly to the fact they are more likely to be unemployed, and also that when they do work, they receive considerably lower wages than men with disabilities; and
  • Disability affects women workers in their role as caregivers for family members who have a disability or who are elderly, as the majority of caregivers in the United States are women.

ODEP is committed to working on initiatives, partnerships, and programs that examine these issues and eliminating employment barriers for women with disabilities.

ODEP co-chairs the Federal Partners' Committee on Women and Trauma with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration's (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services. Launched on April 1, 2009, this Committee developed as a work group within the Federal Partnership on Mental Health Transformation. This partnership was established by SAMHSA which was tasked to implement a Presidential Order calling for aggressive actions to develop policy and practice in many priority areas, including suicide prevention, employment, women, and youth in transition from school to work to name just a few. The Committee consists of representatives from more than 30 Federal agencies and sub-agencies from the Departments of Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, State, Veterans Affairs, the Peace Corps, and others.

Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma Fact Sheet

Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma Fact Sheet (PDF) — Explains the origins and purpose of the Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma, outlines its activities and outcomes, and provides links to its membership list and publications.

Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma Events, Webinars & Trainings

Building a Trauma-Informed Nation: Moving the Conversation into Action

On September 29-30, 2015, the Committee held this unique event with more than 2,000 participants each day. They came together from across the country, either in person or virtually, to answer the question, “What would a Trauma-Informed Nation look like?” The event offered four catalyst sessions on Communities, Justice, Health and Education, with each session integrating how workforce and employment issues are affected. For those who were unable to attend or did participate and want to experience the sessions once again, we are providing the archived presentations from those speakers that offered slides.

Report (Word document)

Download the report on this groundbreaking event. Hosted by the Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma, one of the largest interagency collaborations in Federal Government history, the event highlighted violence and trauma as a public health issue requiring urgent and immediate attention. The Committee currently has more than over 100 members from 40 divisions of 13 Federal agencies. The highly anticipated report, developed with support from SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, highlights the importance of an integrated, gender-responsive, public health approach to violence and trauma. It also documents the power of interagency collaboration to in addressing trauma in education, justice, the workplace, and the community.

Keynote Speaker:





Closing Keynote Speaker:


The Federal Government's Commitment to Addressing the Impact of Trauma on Women — Held on January 23, 2014, this webinar provided an overview of the Committee's founding, past accomplishments, and key partners. It also highlighted the work of the Peace Corps — one of the Committee members — on how this independent Federal agency developed and implemented a trauma-informed curriculum for its volunteers and medical staff.

The Federal Government's Commitment to Addressing the Impact of Trauma, Mental Health Challenges, and Substance Use — The Federal Partners' Committee on Women and Trauma's second webinar was held May 29, 2014. This webinar captured information from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Women and Violence Study: Trauma Services in Public Mental Health which highlights the history of social services' interest in violence against women and the trauma legacy for the 21st century.

Culturally Specific Approaches to Trauma and Domestic Violence (Held on October 27, 2014) — Responding to trauma in the context of domestic violence raises a number of issues for survivors and their communities underscoring the importance of approaches that are culture, DV- and trauma-informed. Research has shown that the impact of experiencing multiple forms of trauma and abuse throughout one’s lifetime is significantly higher among multiracial, African American, Latina, Asian and Pacific Islander, and Native American/Alaska Native women. This webinar will feature speakers from national and culturally specific community based organizations who will discuss key considerations for implementing trauma-informed domestic violence services as they relate to the ethnic, racial, cultural, and lingual diversity of victims of domestic violence from underserved and historically marginalized communities. The webinar highlighted culturally specific trauma-informed approaches to both individual and collective trauma, violence, and abuse as well as a framework for thinking about trauma in the context of cumulative burden, ongoing risk and coercive control. Note that the Password for the handouts is: culturally2014.


The Value of Integrating Trauma-Informed Approaches to Improve Care and Services, Michelle Hoersch (HHS, Region V), Office on Women's Health (PPT)

The NIH Civil Program, Jessica Hawkins, NIH Civil Program Coordinator (PPT)

SAMHSA's Strategy to Address Trauma and a Trauma-Informed Approach, Larke Nahme Huang, Administrator's Office of Policy, Planning and Innovation, SAMHSA (PPT)

Implementing Trauma-Informed Approaches in Peace Corps: Steps to Becoming a Trauma-Informed Agency, Tim Lawler, Counseling & Outreach Unit/Office of Health Services, Peace Corps (PPT)

Implementing Trauma-Informed Approaches in Federal Agencies, Tarsha Cavanaugh, HRSA Office of Women's Health (PPT)


Publications and Resources: