ODEP works to ensure meaningful access to employment, training programs and services for people with disabilities through public systems as well as private organizations and employers. Recognizing the need for a national policy to promote a more inclusive workforce, ODEP works collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders to promote capacity building and systematic changes that increase the employment and economic status of youth, adults and mature individuals with disabilities. This collaborative work promotes the development of policy based on validated practices to support a workforce system that is highly coordinated, broadly effective for the widest possible range of career-seeking customers, and a meaningful source of diverse human resource talent for businesses.

As part of these efforts, ODEP works closely with DOL's workforce development system, funded by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and delivered through the nationwide network of American Job Centers. These are community centers that provide employment, education, and training services all in one place, offering a wealth of information and assistance for job seekers and employers. The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), which became effective July 1, 2000, established the One-Stop Career Center system.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Resources

WIOA Resource Page

The ETA has established a WIOA Resource Page to provide information and resources for states, local areas, non-profits and other grantees, and other stakeholders to assist with implementing the Act. It contains information about and links to proposed rules, guidance, frequently asked questions, and other technical assistance materials. The page will be updated with new guidance and technical assistance materials as they become available.

Section 188 Resources

Final Rule on WIOA Section 188 Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity — The Department of Labor's Civil Rights Center issued an updated Final Rule to ensure equal access to the nation's workforce development system for the millions of job applicants, training participants, program beneficiaries, and employees of recipients who interact with the workforce development system each year. The updates also enhance access to the system for people with disabilities and other impacted communities.

Promising Practices In Achieving Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide (PDF) — This Section 188 Disability Reference Guide provides updated information and technical assistance that can help American Job Centers and their partners in the workforce development system meet the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity requirements for individuals with disabilities in Section 188 of WIOA.

Training and Employment Notice No. 01-15: Promising Practices In Achieving Universal Access And Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide — This Training and Employment Notice (TEN), signed by three DOL Assistant Secretaries, introduced the WIOA Section 188 Disability Reference Guide to all One-Stop Centers, state workforce liaisons, state workforce agency administrators, state workforce agencies, state Equal Opportunity (EO) officers, state and local workforce board chairs and directors, and state labor commissioners, asking them to distribute the TEN and the Reference Guide to appropriate staff. The Reference Guide does not create any new legal requirements or change current legal requirements. Rather, it provides DOL's Civil Rights Center a uniform procedure for measuring compliance with those provisions of Section 188 and the implementing regulations that pertain to persons with disabilities.

LEAD Center WIOA Resources

The ODEP-funded National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities (LEAD) has developed several technical assistance products focused on implications within WIOA for individuals with disabilities.

Other WIOA Resources

  • 5 Things You Should Know about WIOA — This blog post from the U.S. Department of Education describes the many benefits of WIOA, which include better access to job training and education opportunities for individuals with disabilities, and many others.
  • WIA is Now WIOA: What the New Bill Means for People with Disabilities (PDF) — This issue brief explains what WIOA is and what it changes. The law defines competitive integrated employment as full-time or part-time work at minimum wage or higher, with wages and benefits similar to those without disabilities performing the same work, and fully integrated with co-workers without disabilities.
  • WIOA Technical Assistance Resources and Tools  — Provides resources on program updates, indicators of performance, reporting requirements, policy guidance, performance results and data, and other performance reporting information related to WIOA and the workforce development system. 

ODEP Technical Assistance Initiatives and Resources

  • Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) — Aims to improve education, training, and employment opportunities and outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. ODEP jointly funds and administers the DEI with DOL's ETA.
  • System Change Definitions in the Workforce System (PDF) — ODEP's Customized Employment Demonstration Program underwent an external evaluation to review system changes. This document provides the definitions used, such as capacity, coordination, customization (consumer choice and employer support), development, adaptation and evaluation of new practices, dissemination of effective practices, and sustainability.
  • Technical Employment Notice (TEN) on Strategies to Meet One-Stop Career Centers’ Business and Job-Seeker Customer Needs for Employment-Related Transportation Services — A jointly issued TEN from ETA and ODEP to provide successful strategies to the public workforce system for connecting individuals with transportation to jobs and training and to help businesses access a diverse workforce.
  • Using Braided Funding Strategies to Advance Employer Hiring Initiatives that Include People with Disabilities (PDF) — The National Technical Assistance and Research (NTAR) Leadership Center published this report to help local policymakers and administrators better understand the relationship between model programs for hiring people with disabilities and braided funding strategies. This report profiles four employer-responsive models that have gained increasing national attention. Braiding funding, for purposes of this report, means the access to and coordination of multiple sources of funding to provide services and supports needed by people with disabilities to obtain and retain a job.

Other Federal Workforce Resources

Workforce Organizations & Associations