ODEP News Brief. Driving Change - Creating Opportunity

April 19, 2019

Updated Primer on Disability Inclusion

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) has updated its “Primer on Disability Inclusion.” It includes new research and resources for employers who are looking for general guidance and background on the what, why, and how of making an organization more welcoming and accessible to applicants and employees with disabilities. Through the Primer, EARN helps employers understand how taking steps to recruit, hire, retain, and advance workers with disabilities can benefit their business.

Read the “Primer on Disability Inclusion”

System Innovation Brief

The LEAD Center published a System Innovation Brief on “Making Change Happen: Virginia's Cross-System Accessibility Taskforce Addresses Equal Opportunity and Access.” Leadership from key agencies in Virginia, charged with developing and implementing the state's Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Combined State Plan, came together to form a cross-agency Accessibility Taskforce. With support from the LEAD Center, this Taskforce designed and implemented multiple innovative practices to improve physical, programmatic, and communication accessibility within the workforce development system, using the “Promising Practices in Achieving Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide” to guide their work and their approach to the certification of American Job Centers (AJCs). This brief details the LEAD Center's work with the state of Virginia, the strategic direction they chose, their approaches and strategies to building infrastructure to support equal opportunity, and what they learned along the way. The brief ends with suggested action steps that other systems can implement and links to additional resources.

Read the LEAD Center System Innovation Brief
Read the Section 188 Disability Reference Guide


The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) posted a blog discussing a survey that the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University is conducting. The survey will examine considerations for workplace technology and its use by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), such as autism and Down Syndrome. Individuals with I/DD and their family members, employers, and rehabilitation service providers are invited to respond. The survey seeks ideas and feedback about whether technology in the workplace can help people with I/DD succeed at work, how wireless technologies and wearables can be utilized in the workplace, and what the barriers might be to implementing and using these technologies in workplace settings. The survey, which closes on June 30, will take about 15 to 30 minutes to complete.

Read the PEAT blog

EFSLMP Webinar Archive

The Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) Community of Practice monthly webinar on “State as a Model Employer: Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities in State Government” that was held on April 10 is available for viewing. Through EFSLMP, Louisiana and Arkansas opted to work on State as a Model Employer (SAME) policy. This webinar discusses the opportunities these states have found for people with disabilities to obtain competitive integrated employment in state government.

View the archived EFSLMP webinar

Disability Statistics and Data

The WorkfoceGPS website features a resource page on “Disability Statistics and Data” to help workforce system agencies understand the customers they serve and the demographics surrounding the American Job Centers (AJCs) in their areas. This data can be used as a tool to address needs assessment for state planning efforts. The page includes links to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, data resources at universities, and more.

View the “Disability Statistics and Data” page

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