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Office of Disability Employment Policy

ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy

Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic


Neither disability policies designed to ensure employment of people with disabilities nor policies aimed at gender equity in employment have recognized the specific employment barriers experienced by women with disabilities. The inequities are significant:

  • Men with disabilities are more likely to be employed and have full-time jobs, and men with disabilities are almost twice as likely to have jobs than women with disabilities;
  • Women with disabilities are also significantly poorer than men with disabilities, due partly to the fact they are more likely to be unemployed, and also that when they do work, they receive considerably lower wages than men with disabilities; and
  • Disability affects women workers in their role as caregivers for family members who have a disability or who are elderly, as the majority of caregivers in the United States are women.

ODEP is committed to working on initiatives, partnerships, and programs that examine these issues and eliminating employment barriers for women with disabilities.

ODEP co-chairs the Federal Partners' Committee on Women and Trauma with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration's (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services. Launched on April 1, 2009, this Committee developed as a work group within the Federal Partnership on Mental Health Transformation. This partnership was established by SAMHSA which was tasked to implement a Presidential Order calling for aggressive actions to develop policy and practice in many priority areas, including suicide prevention, employment, women, and youth in transition from school to work to name just a few. The Committee consists of representatives from more than 30 federal agencies and sub-agencies from the Departments of Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, State, Veterans Affairs, the Peace Corps, and others.

Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma Fact Sheet

Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma Fact Sheet — Explains the origins and purpose of the Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma, outlines its activities and outcomes, and provides links to its membership list and publications.

Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma Webinars

The Federal Government's Commitment to Addressing the Impact of Trauma on Women — Held on January 23, 2014, this webinar provided an overview of the Committee's founding, past accomplishments, and key partners. It also highlighted the work of the Peace Corps — one of the Committee members — on how this independent federal agency developed and implemented a trauma-informed curriculum for its volunteers and medical staff.

The Federal Government's Commitment to Addressing the Impact of Trauma, Mental Health Challenges, and Substance Use — The Federal Partners' Committee on Women and Trauma's second webinar was held May 29, 2014. This webinar captured information from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Women and Violence Study: Trauma Services in Public Mental Health which highlights the history of social services' interest in violence against women and the trauma legacy for the 21st century; information on the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Study conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control, Assuring Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments for All Children; Seeking Safety: An Evidenced-based Model for Trauma and/or Education; and If It Works in Miami... A Model Program for Serving Traumatized Human Beings.

Culturally Specific Approaches to Trauma and Domestic Violence (Held on October 27, 2014) — Responding to trauma in the context of domestic violence raises a number of issues for survivors and their communities underscoring the importance of approaches that are culture, DV- and trauma-informed. Research has shown that the impact of experiencing multiple forms of trauma and abuse throughout one’s lifetime is significantly higher among multiracial, African American, Latina, Asian and Pacific Islander and Native American/Alaska Native women. This webinar will feature speakers from national and culturally specific community based organizations who will discuss key considerations for implementing trauma-informed domestic violence services as they relate to the ethnic, racial, cultural, and lingual diversity of victims of domestic violence from underserved and historically marginalized communities. The webinar highlighted culturally specific trauma-informed approaches to both individual and collective trauma, violence, and abuse as well as a framework for thinking about trauma in the context of cumulative burden, ongoing risk and coercive control. Note that the Password for the handouts is: culturally2014.

Creating Resilient Workplaces: Safe Space Leads to Engaged, Productive Workers Webinar — Research indicates that welcoming and safe workplaces that offer work-life balance and take precautions against violent behavior are beneficial to employers' bottom lines through increased employee productivity, health and engagement. 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. The webinar also highlighted how fostering such workplaces — ones where employees feel comfortable disclosing disabilities and health concerns without fear, stigma or worry — allows all employees to receive the productivity tools (also known as reasonable accommodations) and supports they need to optimize their performance and deliver on the job.

Publications and Resources

  • Trauma-Informed Approaches: Federal Activities and Initiatives: Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma — A Working Document /Second Report — A groundbreaking report from the Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma. Completed on September 30, 2013, the report documents the projects, programs, and initiatives of more than three dozen federal agencies, departments, and offices — one of the largest interagency collaborations in federal government history. With agencies' commitment to implementing gender-responsive, trauma-informed approaches, this report addresses the growing national interest in this issue, the work of the Federal Partners Committee, and the specific progress that participating agencies have made over the three years (2010-2013) since the Committee's publication of its first report in 2011. This new report, developed with support from SAMHSA's National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, clearly demonstrates the application of trauma-informed approaches across a wide range of settings and systems and encourages other governmental and nongovernmental agencies to implement a cross-sector, interagency, inter-systems' realization, recognition, and response to trauma.
  • Women and Trauma: A Working Document — Highlights “trauma-informed care," a new approach to addressing trauma based on universal precautions and organizational sensitivities that provide important new tools for change. Published by the Federal Partners' Committee on Women and Trauma.
  • Trauma-Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness: A Guide for Service Providers — Addresses the psychological and mental health needs of women veterans. Compiles best practices aimed at improving effectiveness in engaging female veterans and increasing re-entry outcomes. Funded by the DOL Women's Bureau.
  • Workplaces Respond to Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse — Offers information for the benefit of those interested in providing effective workplace responses to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence and stalking. Funded by the US Department of Justice's Office on Violence against Women.