ODEP works to ensure meaningful access to employment and 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 promote 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/American Job Center Information
WIOA Resource Page (ETA)
The Employment and Training Administration (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.
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Promising Practices In Achieving Universal Access And Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide (PDF) — Helps ensure nondiscrimination and equal opportunity to persons with disabilities participating in programs and activities operated by WIOA grant recipients that are part of the American Job Center system.
- 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 state workforce liaisons, state workforce agency administrators, One-Stop Centers, 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 LEAD Center has developed several technical assistance products focused on implications within WIOA for individuals with disabilities.
- LEAD Center Policy Brief: Summary of Major Policies Included in Titles I and IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
- Summary Description from a Disability Perspective — Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Workforce Development Activities) Notices of Proposed Rulemaking
- Summary Description of Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (State Vocational Rehabilitation Program) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
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 Related Advisories from DOL's Employment & Training Administration — Provides a chronological list of training and employment WIOA guidance letters issued to State Workforce Agencies and other state agencies.
American Job Centers
America's Service Locator — Provides locations for American Job Centers across the nation. Information is also available by calling (toll-free) 1-877-US2-JOBS (1-877-872-5627) or 1-877-TTY-JOBS (1-877-887-5627) (TTY).
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 Employment and Training Administration (ETA).
- System Change Definitions in the Workforce System (PDF) — ODEP's Customized Employment Demonstration Program underwent an external evaluation that reviewed systems change. This document provides the definitions that were used, such as capacity, coordination, customization (consumer choice and employer support), development/adaptation/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.
- National Center on Workforce & Disability/Adult — The National Center on Workforce and Disability/Adult (NCWD/A) was a national training provider for the One-Stop system through ODEP from 2002-2007. It provides training, technical assistance, policy analysis, and information to improve access for all in the workforce development system. Publications include:
- One-Stop Career Centers: Serving People with Disabilities
- One-Stop Career Centers and the New Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program: Access for All in Workforce Development
- Access for All: A Resource Manual for Meeting the Needs of One-Stop Customers with Disabilities
- Job Seekers with Disabilities at One-Stop Career Centers: An Examination of Registration for Wagner-Peyser Funded Employment Services from 2002 to 2007
- Recruitment and Retention of Older Workers: Considerations for Employers
- Recruitment and Retention of Older Workers: Application to People with Disabilities
- A Preliminary Analysis of the Relationship Between the Workforce Investment Act and the Federal Disability Policy Framework
- A Description of the Workforce Investment Act from a Disability Policy Perspective
- Self-Determination: A Fundamental Ingredient of Employment Suppor
Workforce System Policy
Other Federal Workforce Resources
- Employment and Training Programs: Opportunities Exist for Improving Efficiency
- Use of One-Stops by Social Security Disability Beneficiaries in Four States Implementing Disability Program Navigator (DPN) Initiatives
- Highlights of a GAO Forum: Workforce Challenges and Opportunities for 21st Century: Changing Labor Force Dynamics and the Role of Government Polices
- Workforce Investment Act: Substantial Funds Are Used for Training, but Little Is Known Nationally about Training Outcomes
Private- and Nonprofit Sector Workforce Publications & Resources
- Work-Oriented Social Security Disability Beneficiaries: Characteristics and Employment-Related Activities (PDF) — Information about the number, characteristics, and employment-related activities of working-age SSI and SSDI beneficiaries who report having work goals or expectations.
- Staying Ahead of the Curve: The AARP Work and Career Study — Exploration of the perspectives and work-related needs of older workers today and tomorrow.