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ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy

Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic


Today more than ever, businesses need people with a demonstrated ability to adapt to different situations and circumstances. And perhaps more than any other group, people with disabilities possess precisely these attributes. On a daily basis, people with disabilities must think creatively about how to solve problems and accomplish tasks. In the workplace, this resourcefulness translates into innovative thinking, fresh ideas and varied approaches to confronting business challenges and achieving success. What's more, research shows that consumers both with and without disabilities favor businesses that employ people with disabilities. But while research shows that a workplace inclusive of people with disabilities is good for business, not all employers know how to effectively recruit, retain and advance such individuals. The following resources can assist:


Employer Engagement Strategy Final Report — A report providing an overview of ODEP's Employer Engagement Strategy (EES).

Inclusive Internship Programs: A How-to Guide for Employers — This guide is designed for public and private employers of all sizes to learn about the benefits and logistics of facilitating internship programs that attract all young adults, including those with disabilities.

Workforce Recruitment Program — A recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.

Business Strategies that Work: A Framework for Disability Inclusion — Identifies promising employment policies and practices for recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing qualified individuals with disabilities — October 2012.

Federal Agency Employment Strategies: A Framework for Disability Inclusion — Identifies promising, and emerging employment strategies and practices for recruiting, hiring, advancing, and retaining qualified individuals with disabilities — October 2012.

Building an Inclusive Workforce — A Four-Step Reference Guide to Recruiting, Hiring, & Retaining Employees with Disabilities.

States as Model Employers of People with Disabilities: A Comprehensive Review of Policies, Practices, and Strategies — A report identifying current programs, practices, and activities used in state government and large municipalities relating to the recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of people with disabilities into government jobs.

Advancing Economic Opportunities for Business Owners and Job Seekers with Disabilities: A Review of State and Municipal Government Contracting Procurement and Tax Incentive Programs for Disability-owned Businesses — A report providing an overview of state and municipal government's use of existing policy tools and programs to advance socioeconomic goals for disadvantaged populations, including people with disabilities.

Campaign for Disability Employment — ODEP-funded collaborative effort among several leading disability and business organizations to encourage flexible and inclusive workplace practices that promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities.


Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) — ODEP-funded service that helps employers hire and retain workers with disabilities.

Employer Engagement Strategy: Workforce Inclusion — Presents a new employer outreach approach developed during the course of ODEP’s Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities research.

2014 National Study of Employers: Including the Talents of Employees with Disabilities — This report was published on October 1, 2014, by the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). It proposes recommendations for employers invested in improving employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.


Do Ask, Do Tell: Encouraging Employees with Disabilities to Self-Identify — This new report, published by The Conference Board with support from the Employer TA Center, explores challenges to and strategies for encouraging disability disclosure in the workplace based on a survey of 98 companies and extensive interviews with disability experts.

Creating Resilient Workplaces: Safe Space Leads to Engaged, Productive Workers Webinar — On January 27, 2015, ODEP's Employer TA Center, in coordination with the Federal Partners' Committee on Women and Trauma, hosted this webinar. It featured expert speakers from federal and federally funded technical assistance centers that discussed key considerations for implementing safe and productive workplaces.

Medical- and Disability-Related Leave Advisor — This elaws Advisor helps employers and employees understand leave employees may be entitled to take for purposes of managing medical conditions and disabilities.

Framework for Designing and Implementing Accessible Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Strategic Plans — This report provides a framework that can be used to develop technical assistance tools to help employers (including government contractors) design, purchase, lease, maintain and use ICT that is accessible to and usable by people with disabilities and others.

ODEP Mental Health Topic Page — Information and resources on mental health in the workplace.

Career Advancement

Employee Resource Group Toolkit — This toolkit outlines twelve steps on how to start, implement, and maintain Disability Employee Resource Groups.

Federal Workplace Mentoring Primer — This primer addresses the basic practices as well as some specific strategies, tools and activities for establishing formal mentoring relationships and programs within a federal government workplace.

A Guide to Planning Accessible Meetings, Events & Conferences — This guide offers practical guidance from a host of meeting planning professionals and subject-matter experts.


Job Accommodation Network (JAN) — ODEP-funded service that provides free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and other disability employment issues.

JAN's Workplace Accommodation Toolkit — Online toolkit from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) that provides guidance related to the reasonable accommodation process and creating disability-inclusive workplaces. The toolkit includes sample accommodation procedures, examples of policies and forms from leading U.S. businesses, training presentations, roleplay videos and best practices for creating an inclusive workplace for people with disabilities. The Toolkit provides inclusive practices at various phases of the employment life cycle for recruiters, hiring managers, and supervisors; human resource professionals; accommodation consultants; and allies of employees with disabilities. Checklists are also available to help keep track of the accommodation process.

Stay at Work/Return to Work

Stay at Work/Return to Work Resources — ODEP's Stay at Work/Return to Work activities and publications.

Return-to-Work Toolkit — Information to help employers and employees understand the return-to-work process and resources to assist in getting employees back on the job quickly and smoothly.

Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work: Supporting Employees Who Experience Unexpected Illness or Disability — This fact sheet, co-authored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division and Office of Disability Employment Policy, informs employers about resources available to help employees who have sustained disabilities or chronic illness to return to work or stay at work.

Small Business

Small Business & Disability Employment: Steps to Success — A web-based toolkit that provides practical guidance for small businesses on how to recruit and retain qualified people with disabilities, and describes approaches that business associations can use to educate their members about the value disability diversity adds to their workplaces.

Small Business Disability Inclusion Fact Sheet — Information resources for small businesses on accessibility, accommodations, community resources, legal issues, recruitment and shared best practices.

Start with JAN: Resources for Small Business — A fact sheet with resources for small businesses from the Job Accommodation Network.

Opening the Doors of Small Business to Employees with Disabilities: Critical Concerns and Strategies for Success — A research report summarizing the different strategies that small businesses may use to achieve success in recruiting and retaining people with disabilities.