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ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy

Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic

Changing Attitudes

Attitudes are important influencers affecting the employment and retention rate of people with disabilities. Key issues include:

  • Whether jobseekers with disabilities and their families perceive themselves as able to work and support themselves financially through working.
  • Whether employers and coworkers perceive the employment and retention of people with disabilities as profitable for their organization.
  • Whether service providers, including workforce development professionals, perceive that people with disabilities are capable of working.

Recognizing that changing attitudes within all three of these groups is critical to improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities, ODEP has spearheaded a variety of initiatives, including:

  • Campaign for Disability Employment/"What can YOU do?" — 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. Toolkits are available for each of the CDE’s public service announcements:
  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) — Annual effort led by ODEP to raise awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate the contributions of America's workers with disabilities.
  • Add Us In — ODEP-sponsored initiative designed to identify and develop strategies to increase employment opportunities within the small business community for individuals with disabilities. Included are targeted businesses owned and operated by minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals; women and people with disabilities.
  • Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS)/DOL PSAs — Two public service announcements from PBATS and DOL featuring former Major League Baseball players Bo Jackson and Curtis Pride.
  • Survey Employer Perspectives on the Employment of People with Disabilities — National survey that explored employer attitudes and practices related to disability employment among companies of varying sizes across 12 industries, including several identified as high-growth.

Additional resources related to attitudes about the abilities of people with disabilities include:

  • I am Norm — Youth targeted campaign that works to eliminate fear and prejudice around disability and promotes equal opportunities for people of various abilities.
  • Spread the Word to End the Word/"R-Word" Campaign — Ongoing effort by Special Olympics, Best Buddies International and supporters to raise awareness about the demeaning and hurtful effects of the word "retard(ed)" and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word.