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ODEP News Brief. Driving Change - Creating Opportunity

May 16, 2024

Announcing the 2024 NDEAM Theme: “Access to Good Jobs for All”

The 2024 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme speaks to our commitment to two equally important issues—expanding the number of employment opportunities for people with disabilities and the quality of those opportunities. Click the link below to watch Assistant Secretary Taryn Williams reveal the 2024 theme and start planning your NDEAM activities for October.

A white woman with long, dark hair wearing a patterned skirt suit and smiling.On the Blog: How a Young Lawyer’s Mental Health Journey Fuels Her Advocacy Work

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, ODEP spoke with Marissa Ditkowsky, a young, multiply disabled attorney in Maryland whose personal and professional experiences seeking accommodations for her disabilities led her to become an advocate for a more supportive culture in the legal profession. Visit the DOL blog to learn what she had to say.

A close-up of a pair of hands working at a laptop with superimposed graphics of charts and graphs.Entrepreneurship and Disability: New Data

An inclusive and thriving economy needs business ownership among people with disabilities, employment of disabled people in small businesses, and policies to promote both. Good policies are rooted in good data—which ODEP has been helping to collect. In our analysis of the latest federal data, see how rates of entrepreneurship and employment differ among people with disabilities by race, sex and veteran status. And stay tuned for the second part of our data deep dive on the DOL blog.

Mental Health and Job Accommodations

If you’re a person with a mental health condition, you have the right to ask for a job accommodation, if needed, to perform your best at work. Employers, this gives you a unique opportunity to support the mental health and well-being of your employees. ODEP created a short, shareable video message to raise awareness. Help us spread the word! 

Two young people in a casual work setting, sitting next to each other and smiling.Youth Employment: A Foundation for Mental Health and Well-Being

DOL knows that good jobs are an important component of young people’s mental health and well-being. We’re committed to making sure that everyone working with youth employment programs has the resources and connections to the support services that young people need. If you are working in this arena, we also want to hear what actions, best practices and solutions your organization has found most useful in its efforts. Visit DOL’s new youth employment page for more information and to share your story.

The Need for Inclusive Apprenticeships in Clean Energy

The workforce needs of the clean energy sector in the United States are growing. To meet this sector’s labor force demands, employers and workforce development professionals are seeking new approaches to train workers quickly and more effectively. The ODEP-funded Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship (PIA) seeks to expand access to one such approach: registered apprenticeships for people with disabilities. Read PIA’s latest brief to learn about the need and opportunities for building inclusive apprenticeships in the clean energy sector.