ODEP News Brief. Driving Change - Creating Opportunity

August 10, 2020


Secretary Scalia ADA30 Op-Ed

U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia published an op-ed on the LNP/LancasterOnline.com on "Examining the legacy and future of the Americans with Disabilities Act." In the article, Secretary Scalia discusses the changes that have occurred in the nation since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law 30 years ago, including in employment for people with disabilities. He tells the story of Tom Fasnacht, a former field foreman on commercial construction projects, who transitioned to a job as an instructor in a trade organization's apprenticeship program with the support of reasonable accommodations after the onset of his disability. "Because of the ADA, millions of Americans like Fasnacht can bring their skills to the workforce and share in the dignity of work," said Secretary Scalia. "And this brings all of us closer to America's founding promise—a nation where the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is available to all."

ODEP Website Update

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) unveiled its updated website. It features a redesigned homepage and improved site navigation. The updates create a user-friendly experience for website visitors. Visit often for the latest news and resources on disability employment issues.

JAN Blog

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) posted a blog on "Accommodation Strategies for Returning to Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic." The blog examines strategies for returning workers with disabilities to the workplace during the pandemic. Solutions are suggested to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and address physical distancing and communication needs.

Infographic: The Autonomous Vehicles Ecosystem

The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) published an infographic on "The Autonomous Vehicles Ecosystem." It explores the roles and responsibilities that different entities hold in developing accessible autonomous vehicles (AV). Accessible AVs would provide equitable access to transportation and employment, including people with disabilities.

Employer Success Stories

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) shared two new employer success stories. Both stories focus on steps that the businesses have taken to support their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. "A COVID-19 Response Story: CVS Health's Focus on Employee Support During COVID-19 Pandemic" outlines the many initiatives that CVS Health has for its employees, including an Employee Assistance Program and a COVID-19 Command Center. "A COVID-19 Response Story: Merck's Mental Health and Wellness Programs Support Employees During COVID-19 Pandemic" highlights how Merck's existing employee mental health programs have responded to the evolving needs of its workforce in the face of the pandemic.

"Work Matters" Update

The National Conference of State Legislatures, in coordination with ODEP's State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED), released "Work Matters: Making Progress in Employment for People with Disabilities." This is an update to "Work Matters: A Framework for States on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities," a SEED report that features broad policy options and state examples of policies and programs that help build healthy inclusive workforces. The update highlights key legislative enactments and executive orders signed since the publishing of "Work Matters" in 2016, centered around the report's five policy themes: laying the groundwork, preparing for work, getting to and accessing work, staying at work; and self-employment and entrepreneurship. The update also includes success stories from recent disability-inclusive policy efforts and actions in the states.

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