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ODEP News Brief. Driving Change - Creating Opportunity

May 7, 2021

ODEP 100 Days In

The Office of Disability Employment Policy posted its accomplishments for the first 100 days of work under the Biden administration. These include hosting an online national dialogue on “Advancing Racial and Social Equity in Employment for People with Disabilities" in coordination with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Several other initiatives supported mental health in the workplace, recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, employment services for youth with disabilities, and more.

Teen Workers Online Dialogue

The "Empowering Teens in Their Workplaces" national online dialogue has been extended to May 14. The dialogue gathers ideas for better reaching all teenagers, including teens with disabilities, with important information about their workplace rights and protections. The department will use the input received to identify ways to better inform teens about their workplace rights, jobs they can and cannot do, hours they may work, pay requirements, workplace hazards they may encounter and other work-related concerns. The public, including teens, parents, educators and employers of teen workers, are encouraged to participate. The dialogue is hosted by the department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Wage and Hour Division, Office of Compliance Initiatives and Employment and Training Administration.

Inclusive Recovery for Youth Webinar

The Center on Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth will present a webinar on "Inclusive Recovery: Employment for Youth with Disabilities" on May 19 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET. The webinar will discuss important considerations for policymakers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Presenters will showcase projects from Texas, Oregon and Hawaii as promising and emerging practices and will share a national resource for policymakers highlighting the work underway across the U.S. in response to the pandemic and subsequent economic challenges.

Apprenticeship for All Podcast Series

The Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship and the HR blog are hosting an "Apprenticeship for All" podcast series to explore how inclusive apprenticeship programs increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Episodes of the podcast currently available include "Why Hiring Apprentices with Disabilities Improves Companies' Bottom Line," "Creating a Diverse Workforce through Apprenticeship" and "How Apprenticeships Support Diversity & Inclusion in the Tech Workplace."


The Job Accommodation Network released its quarterly ENews. The newsletter features an article on "ADA and Accommodation Lessons Learned: COVID-19 Edition." It also provides accommodation suggestions for people with gripping and grasping issues, mental health and cognitive conditions, and more.

Pre-employment Transition Services Webinar

The Employment First Community of Practice webinar on "Pre-employment Transition Services: Implementation Efforts, Successes and Challenges in Minnesota and Idaho" is available for viewing in the archives. This webinar reviews the requirements for pre-employment transition services for students with disabilities, including job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs, workplace readiness training, and instruction in self-advocacy. The webinar shares how Minnesota and Idaho are implementing the requirements.

COVID-19 and Employment for People with Disabilities Report Series

In collaboration with the State Exchange on Employment & Disability, the National Conference of State Legislatures published a series of reports on "COVID-19 and Employment for People with Disabilities." The information provides insights on economic recovery disparities, teleworking, workplace safety and apprenticeships. They also include resources and state policy options to enhance employment opportunities for people with disabilities during and following the pandemic.

EEO in Registered Apprenticeship posted information about the equal employment opportunity regulations for Registered Apprenticeship programs. The website provides comprehensive information, tools and resources for apprentices, Registered Apprenticeship sponsors and apprenticeship partners about the EEO regulations and promoting diversity and inclusion in apprenticeship.