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Assistant Secretary Martinez Addresses Blind LGBT Pride International

This week, Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez spoke to participants at the annual Blind LGBT Pride International (BPI) convention in Columbus, OH. Her remarks focused on commonalities between the LGBT and disability communities around issues of workplace equality and opportunities to learn from each other’s struggles and successes. BPI is a special interest affiliate of the American Council for the Blind (ACB), and the event was held as part of ACB’s 52nd annual conference, which centered around the theme “Exploring the True Vision of Equality.”

DC Metro BLN Gathers to Discuss Disability Diversity Efforts

On July 10, Assistant Secretary Martinez applauded members of the DC Metro Business Leadership Network (BLN) for their efforts to promote best practices in hiring, retaining and marketing to people with disabilities. The DC Metro BLN is an affiliate of the United States Business Leadership Network (USBLN), a founding member of ODEP’s Campaign for Disability Employment and an ODEP Alliance member. A representative from the Society for Human Resource Management also addressed the group.

ODEP Participates in Information Exchange with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Assistant Secretary Martinez recently spoke to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) employees about the challenges many people with disabilities face related to asset development and what ODEP is doing to increase their ability to make informed financial choices. The next day, CFPB reciprocated when its Office of Financial Empowerment Director spoke to ODEP staff about his agency’s efforts to assist people with disabilities and opportunities for collaboration.

Assistant Secretary Martinez Goes Hollywood!

Assistant Secretary Martinez recently traveled to Los Angeles to speak at an event hosted by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) at which a new tool to help casting directors identify qualified talent with disabilities was unveiled. The tool, which allows performers with disabilities to self-identify on a casting database widely used throughout the industry, is an outgrowth of the “Lights! Camera! Access!” entertainment sector summit spearheaded by ODEP in 2010.

LEAD Center Launches Blog to Stimulate Conversation on Disability and Employment

Writing about the intrinsic value of work, Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez recently launched the newest feature of the LEAD Center’s website — a blog intended to serve as a forum for discussing how to improve employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities through effective public policy. The blog will feature posts from thought leaders in disability, employment, workforce development and financial empowerment. Additional new website features include a calendar tool and newsfeed.

“What’s Your Connection?” Tell us by July 31!

To commemorate its 10th anniversary,, the Federal government’s central source of information on disability-related programs and services, launched an initiative late last year called What’s Your Connection? This initiative invites people to share how disability touches their lives — whether through personal experience or that of a family member, friend or colleague — by submitting a photograph with a 250-word maximum caption. July 31 is the last day for submissions.

Federal Disability Workforce Consortium “News Hour” to Take Place July 25

The Federal Disability Workforce Consortium (FDWC) will host its quarterly “News Hour” webinar on July 25 from 2-3 PM EDT. This free series of webinars shares information related to the employment of people with disabilities in the Federal government. This particular webinar will focus on Executive Order 13548’s progress and strategies for enhancing internal and external collaboration, professional networking and knowledge sharing through the eFedLink Community of Practice.

EARN Staff Publish Article in Ability Magazine

The June/July issue of Ability Magazine featured an article co-written by Judy Young and Ellice Switzer from the ODEP-funded National Employer Technical Assistance Center, which operates the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN). The article, titled “Create Accountability for Diversity Initiatives,” addresses disability employment in the context of companies’ broader diversity and inclusion efforts as well as current and potential future regulatory requirements.

Federal Communications Commission Launches Accessibility Speaker Series

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) will kick off its Accessibility and Innovation Initiative Speaker Series with “The Future of Inclusive Design Online,” a presentation by University of Colorado Professor Clayton Lewis on July 16 from 10 AM-12 PM EDT. This presentation will take place at FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C. and via live webcast. From 12:30-3 PM the same day, there will be demonstrations of related accessible technology solutions in the FCC’s Technology Experience Center, located in the same building.

NISH Changes its Name

As of July 1, NISH is SourceAmerica. According to the organization, the new name is meant to more accurately convey its national scope and position as the leading single source of job opportunities for people with significant disabilities. As an AbilityOne authorized enterprise, SourceAmerica provides staffing support to federal customers through a nationwide network of more than 550 community non-profit agency partners, which together employ more than 125,000 people with significant disabilities.

The Public Manager Features eFedLink and Interview with Assistant Secretary Martinez

ODEP figured prominently in the summer 2013 issue of The Public Manager, which included an article by staff member Colet Mitchell titled “Changing Culture and Lives through Communities of Practice” and an interview with Assistant Secretary Martinez. The Public Manager is a quarterly journal for public sector learning professionals to help them create federal leadership that works by furthering knowledge, vision, professionalism and best practices at all levels of government.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to Host Brown Bag Lunch on eFedLink

On July 23, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Federal Training and Outreach Division will host a brown bag lunch for people interested in learning more about the eFedLink Community of Practice and how they can use it to advance federal employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The discussion will take place from 12-1:15 PM EDT at EEOC headquarters (131 M St. NE, Washington, DC). RSVP is required, and for those unable to attend, the presentation will be recorded and posted on the EEOC website at a later date.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases Youth Employment Rate Numbers for June 2013

Employment data for youth with and without disabilities is obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.