ODEP News Brief. Driving Change - Creating Opportunity

January 13, 2017

Mentoring for Success — National Mentoring Month Blog

In honor of National Mentoring Month in January, Jennifer Sheehy, deputy assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, posted a blog on the US Department of Labor’s site reflecting on the mentors who have influenced her throughout her life and career. She noted the vital role of mentoring for all young people, including those with disabilities, and highlighted the “Guideposts for Success,” a cornerstone of the Office of Disability Employment Policy’s youth policy framework.

Read the #DisabilityMentors blog
Learn about the “Guideposts for Success”

US Access Board Updates Requirements for Information and Communication Technology

The US Access Board has released a final rule that updates accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) in the federal sector covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The rule also refreshes guidelines for telecommunications equipment subject to Section 255 of the Communications Act. The rule jointly updates and reorganizes the Section 508 standards and Section 255 guidelines in response to market trends and innovations, such as the convergence of technologies. The refresh also harmonizes these requirements with other guidelines and standards both in the U.S. and abroad, including standards issued by the European Commission and with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), a globally recognized voluntary consensus standard for web content and ICT. The rule, which will be published later this month in the Federal Register, restructures provisions so that they are categorized by functionality instead of by product type due to the increasingly multi-functional capabilities of ICT products. Revisions are also made to improve ICT usability, including interoperability with assistive technologies, and to clarify the types of ICT covered, such as electronic documents. The rule will take effect in one year. The Board will conduct a webinar on the rule on February 2, 2:30-4:00 PM ET.

Learn more about the ICT Final Rule
Register for the webinar

Policy Brief Outlines Updated Section 501 Regulations

To help federal agencies understand the updated regulations implementing Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act issued by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last week, the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) has published a policy brief outlining their main components. Among these include the establishment of set representation rates for people with disabilities and targeted disabilities and the provision of personal assistance services in the workplace. EARN, which provides technical assistance to help both private- and public-sector employers recruit, hire, retain, and advance people with disabilities, is funded by ODEP under a cooperative agreement with The Viscardi Center.

Read the Section 501 policy brief

Implementing Accessible Workplace Tech: Videos and Accessibility — January 26, 2:00-3:00 PM ET

Video accessibility requires more than simply providing transcripts, captions, and audio descriptions. Join AccessibilityOz CEO Gian Wild for a detailed demonstration, discussion, and Q&A about how to make videos accessible to people with disabilities. This Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) webinar will be presented on January 26, 2:00-3:00 PM ET.

Register for the PEAT video accessibility webinar
View archived PEAT webinars

Building a Disability-Inclusive Talent Pipeline: Ideas for Effective Outreach and Recruitment Strategies National Online Dialogue

Building on a previous online dialogue engaging the federal contractor community, the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and its Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion invite you to participate in “Building a Disability-Inclusive Talent Pipeline: Ideas for Effective Outreach and Recruitment Strategies.” Through this second dialogue, we are gathering insight into successful strategies federal contractors are using to recruit and hire qualified candidates with disabilities. Your ideas will in turn be used to inform the development of technical assistance materials to help more covered employers ensure their doors are open to all qualified individuals. This national online dialogue will begin on January 17 and run until January 31. Please join us in this important conversation on building a more disability-inclusive workforce and spread the word to other participants who may be interested.

Register for the dialogue

Latest EARN Newsletter Now Available

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) has issued its January 11 newsletter, featuring information on the Workforce Recruitment Program, the new Apprenticeship rule, an EEOC resource on mental health conditions in the workplace, online events, and more.

Read the EARN Newsletter

National Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar — January 25, 3:00-4:30 PM ET

Tune in for the next National Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) webinar, “Make it Happen: The Ticket to Financial Freedom — Goal Setting, Work Incentives and Financial Independence,” to be held January 25, 3:00-4:30 PM ET. The WISE webinar is for individuals age 18 through 64 who receive Social Security Disability benefits and want to make more money through work.

Learn more about the January WISE webinar

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