The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is the only non-regulatory federal agency that promotes policies and coordinates with employers and all levels of government to increase workplace success for people with disabilities.
Policy Development & Technical Assistance Resources
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) helps employers recruit, hire, retain, and promote individuals with disabilities by responding to their need for effective and innovative strategies to optimize their workforce. EARN analyzes policies, practices, and existing research on disability employment; conducts its own research on effective employer engagement; and provides technical assistance to employers including private sector businesses of all sizes, Federal contractors, and federal and State governments. In FY 2016, EARN provided free, confidential technical assistance and resources to 42,585 employers through webinars, in-person trainings, and through the EARN website (www.AskEARN.org).
The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities (WRP) is 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.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Diversity Management & Equal Opportunity (ODMEO) manage the program, which continues to be successful with the participation of many other federal agencies and sub-agencies. Since the program’s expansion in 1995, over 7,000 students and recent graduates have received temporary and permanent employment opportunities through the WRP.
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations to employers as well as to employees, job seekers, family members and service providers. Beyond accommodations, JAN provides information and assistance to individuals with disabilities who may find that self-employment is their best career choice. It also provides easy-to-understand technical assistance and training to employers on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability employment-related laws and regulations. www.AskJAN.org
The Leadership for Employment and Economic Advancement for Individuals with Disabilities (LEAD Center) works with States to leverage the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to increase the employment, financial literacy and self-sufficiency of their citizens with disabilities. LEAD helps State agencies improve cross-agency coordination and collaboration so they can more efficiently harness resources to deliver critical services and supports to individuals with disabilities. LEAD also provides training to States and localities on innovative practices, such as customizing employment, that can help people with disabilities find and stay in jobs. It also provides State and local governments with information on financial tools, such as credit score awareness strategies, that are often a prerequisite for successful employment. The LEAD Center manages a website (www.leadcenter.org) that regularly updates both national and State-specific data that can be used to measure progress on increasing disability employment. On a monthly basis, the LEAD Center reaches over 4,000 stakeholders via its Listserv and its monthly WIOA/ Disability webinars are typically attended by 500-1,000 State and local representatives.
The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) promotes the employment of people with disabilities through the development, adoption and promotion of accessible technology policy. PEAT brings together employers, technology developers, accessibility thought leaders, government policymakers and consumers and provides a mix of resources, outreach and collaboration, to serve as a catalyst for innovation and policy development related to accessible technology in the workplace. To ensure new and existing technologies can be used by people with disabilities, PEAT connects with the world’s leading companies yielding tangible results. For example, Oracle, which owns Taleo — one of the world’s leading HR software providers — has cited PEAT’s call to action as the primary motivator that moved them to develop a fully accessible Taleo product within a year’s time. Similarly, ADP recently unveiled an accessible version of their new software platform for their 600,000 clients and credit PEAT’s work with helping them understand the competitive market advantage accessibility brings to the company.
The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) increases the ability of both generic and disability-specific youth programs and systems to improve employment and post-secondary education outcomes for youth with disabilities. To aid them in integrating evidence-based policies and effective practices for improving transition results for young people with disabilities into their service delivery systems, NCWD/Youth provides technical assistance, training, and information to the workforce development system, youth programs, current and former DOL grantees, and other federal grantees that serve youth. The technical assistance provided focuses primarily on career development, youth development and leadership, and the professional development of youth service professionals. NCWD/Youth’s website (www.ncwd-youth.info) houses a variety of publications and resources about employment, education, and workforce development regarding youth, including youth with disabilities. On a monthly basis, NCWD/Youth reaches over 7500 stakeholders via monthly newsletters, and social media. In addition, thousands of visitors visit the NCWD/Youth website each month to view and download publications related to disability disclosure, career development, and other youth-related topics.