ODEP News Brief. Driving Change - Creating Opportunity

December 9, 2016

Labor Secretary Tom Perez Addresses Harkin International Disability Employment Summit

On December 8 and 9, high-level representatives and grassroots implementers from around the world convened in Washington, D.C. for the inaugural Harkin International Disability Employment Summit — an event designed to identify and create strategies to increase the employment opportunities for people with disabilities around the world. Among the event’s speakers was U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, who discussed numerous efforts led by the Department of Labor and the importance of “fielding a full team” in the workplace. Summit organizers, who include disability rights advocate and former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, endeavored to link international leaders in the field of disability employment to share best practices. “By galvanizing and leveraging a selection of global leaders who have been successful at employing people with all types of disabilities, or adapting policies to encourage others to do so, we’ll begin to close the chasm between people with disabilities, and productive, dignified work,” wrote the organizers.

Learn more about the Harkin Summit

Save the Date: Campaign for Disability Employment and AAPD to Host Twitter Chat on Disability Mentoring — January 12, 2:00-3:00 PM ET

In honor of National Mentoring Month and “I Am a Mentor Day,” ODEP’s Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) and its member organization the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) are hosting a Twitter chat on Thursday, January 12, 2:00-3:00 PM ET. The chat will feature special guest Derek Shields, co-chair of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition, who will help generate an online discussion about career mentoring and its role in the employment success of people with disabilities, especially those who are new to the workforce. To participate in this important Twitter conversation, please use the hashtag #DisabilityMentors.

Follow the Campaign for Disability Employment on Twitter

Report Outlines Framework for Inclusive State Disability Employment Policy

This week, the Council of State Governments (CSG) and National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) released the report of the National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities, a year-long effort that convened state policymakers to address barriers to employment and identify state-level policy solutions for building stronger, more inclusive workforces. Structured around four topic areas, the report, titled “Work Matters: A Framework for States on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities,” describes a range of policy initiatives in place by states. The task force and resulting report are outcomes of CSG’s and NCSL’s involvement in the State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED) initiative, an ODEP-sponsored collaborative effort with state intermediary organizations to help state legislators address policy barriers that may hinder the employment of people with disabilities.

Read the “Work Matters” report
Learn more about ODEP’s state policy work

PEAT Blog Explores Progress Around HR Technology Accessibility

The ODEP-funded Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) has issued a blog post recounting the PEAT team’s experience at the recent HR Technology Conference and Exposition. Penned by PEAT Project Director Josh Christianson, the piece explores the increased focus on accessible HR technology that PEAT has observed over several years attending the event. “In 2014, most of the conference attendees we spoke with didn’t understand what we meant by the term ‘accessible technology,’ much less its connection to the employment of people with disabilities,” writes Christianson. “That’s why 2016 was so refreshing. We witnessed much more knowledge around accessibility, and even some concerted accessibility-related efforts by HR technology providers.”

Read “More Mindshare for Accessibility: A Dispatch from the HR Tech Conference.”

LEAD Center Issues Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability

The LEAD Center’s Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability provides policymakers, disability service professionals, individuals with disabilities, and their families with information about relevant policy developments regarding Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and related topics, with a focus on improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. The November 2016 update features stories on various state HCBS transition plan updates, a CMS Request for Information on how to accelerate HCBS services, a recent DOJ statement on the application of ADA Title II and Olmstead to state employment services, and more.

Read the LEAD Center Policy Update

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