ODEP News Brief. Driving Change - Creating Opportunity

August 16, 2019

Employer Policy Development Center

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) announced the awarding of $2 million to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, for the first year of a 4-year cooperative agreement to operate an employer-focused disability policy development and technical assistance center. This center will build upon the prior work of ODEP’s Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN). The primary goals of this new center are to:

• Conduct research;

• Engage with the business community;

• Identify effective policies and practices that support business needs; and

• Provide resources, technical assistance, and training to help public- and private-sector employers recruit, hire, retain, and advance individuals with disabilities.

Read the news release

Inclusive Business Culture Webinar: August 29 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) will present a webinar on "Leading the Way: Inclusive Business Culture." The webinar will explore strategies for fostering a disability-inclusive culture across an organization. Panelists will provide advice and expertise on steps organizations of any size can take to ensure they are inclusive and welcoming of job seekers and employees with disabilities.

Register for the EARN webinar

Supporting Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Online Dialogue

Coinciding with National Breastfeeding Month, the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy, Office of Compliance Initiatives, Wage and Hour Division, and Women's Bureau are hosting the Supporting Nursing Mothers in the Workplace online dialogue through August 23. Ideas gathered from the dialogue will be used to expand and enhance DOL's compliance assistance resources and materials to help employers and nursing mothers understand their responsibilities and rights under the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act. As an extension of the dialogue, join ePolicyWorks for a Twitter chat on August 20 at 1 p.m. EDT with special guests from the United States Breastfeeding Committee. Interim Executive Director Amelia Psmythe and Senior Workplace Program Manager & Policy Analyst Cheryl Lebedevitch will discuss challenges or barriers nursing mothers might encounter in successfully staying at or returning to work, and how DOL can support employers and nursing mothers. Use #EPWChat to participate.

Visit the Supporting Nursing Mothers in the Workplace online dialogue

Follow ePolicyWorks on Twitter

PEAT Podcast

The Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) featured a podcast interview on "Making Artificial Intelligence Inclusive for Hiring and Human Resources." The guest on the podcast was Dan Nichols of Candidit, who is using artificial intelligence to build a more inclusive hiring platform. The platform incorporates inclusive talent competencies built to reduce bias and better match employers to candidates with the specific skills they need.

Listen to the PEAT podcast

Access more Future of Work podcasts

The Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs Leadership Summit

The Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs (BHCC) invited the State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED) to join its Leadership Summit on August 4-5 in Nashville, Tennessee, to brief participants on disability employment policy. Members of the SEED team shared best practices and included state examples of inclusive work-based learning and apprenticeship policies as an effective tool to increase the employment of Americans with disabilities. As a result of a growing collaboration, SEED will provide targeted policy assistance to BHCC members and will also meet with BHCC leadership for a strategic planning session during the BHCC 2019 Annual Meeting on November 14-16 in Dallas, Texas.

Learn about SEED

Learn about inclusive apprenticeships

NCSL Annual Legislative Summit

The State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED) participated in the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) 2019 Legislative Summit on August 5-8 in Nashville, Tennessee. SEED engaged and supported multiple efforts throughout the conference including a Policy Roundtable briefing for the Women’s Legislative Network. SEED Champion and National Task Force Member Tennessee State Senator Becky Duncan Massey highlighted SEED resources during her presentation on the “Benefits Cliffs: Effects on Employment and Family Stability” panel session. SEED also supported the session “Homefront Heroes: Supporting Employment of Military Spouses” where NCSL launched their “Path to Employment for Veterans with Disabilities” report, which was produced in collaboration with SEED.

View the NCSL report

Disability and Employment eLearning Task Force

The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) will be developing eLearning tools to support the professional development needs of workforce development staff across the country. To achieve this goal, ETA is seeking 20-30 volunteers from a mix of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs, partners, and states to join a task force to help shape the development of online training tools to support nearly 2,400 American Job Centers in providing more effective and efficient services to individuals with disabilities.

Learn about the ETA eLearning Task Force

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