Assistant Secretary Martinez Posts Blog on NDEAM 2013: Because We Are EQUAL to the Task

In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in October, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy Kathy Martinez posted a blog on the significance of the 2013 NDEAM theme, “Because We Are EQUAL to the Task.” Noted Martinez, “[NDEAM is] a time to elevate our thinking about whom we include in a disability context, and how we think about disability issues. Because only then can we ensure that more qualified individuals have the chance to demonstrate that they are EQUAL to the task.”

Workforce Recruitment Program Makes Temporary Changes for 2013

The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) is a resource to connect employers nationwide with college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace. WRP’s annual interview season was scheduled to begin on October 1st, the same day the federal government shutdown began. During the shutdown, federal employees could not conduct work of any kind. Post-shutdown, WRP recruiters — who volunteer to do this each year in addition to their normal work — now must focus on agency work. Given the circumstances, we have changed the process for evaluating all 4,000 candidates and entering their profiles into the WRP database in order to prevent a delay to the database launch scheduled for mid-December. To facilitate these tasks this year, recruiters will evaluate candidates based on their online profiles (resume, transcript and an Interview Questions form with answers provided in writing by students) and will not conduct interviews with students. We anticipate returning to the regular WRP interview process in 2014.

Healthy Transitions Policy Brief Highlights Health, Wellness and Employment for Youth

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) frames its youth-policy work around the Guideposts for Success (Guideposts), a series of principles articulating what all youth, including those with disabilities, need to transition successfully into adulthood. One key element of the Guideposts is Connecting Activities, which emphasize access to programs, services, and activities that help youth prepare to self-manage their health care needs, pursue meaningful careers, and make informed choices in their lives. To better understand the interdependence of health and wellness, and employment, ODEP commissioned a study on health care transition in 2012. A policy brief, “Healthy Transitions: A Pathway to Employment for Youth with Chronic Health Conditions and Other Disabilities” presents highlights from that research study.

Federal Partners in Transition Releases Report from the National Online Dialogue

The Federal Partners in Transition National Online Dialogue was held from May 13 to May 27, 2013. Hosted by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration, the National Online Dialogue invited people to share their ideas and comments about federal legislative and regulatory barriers and other opportunities to improve transition outcomes for youth with disabilities. Based on this input, a report entitled Federal Partners in Transition National Online Dialogue: Participation Metrics was developed to summarize the dialogue’s results. These responses will help to frame the efforts of the dialogue hosts to work together strategically to develop a plan to improve transition results for youth with disabilities by 2020.

Department of Labor Publishes Poster on Social Media Accessibility

To celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) the Department of Labor produced a poster highlighting DOL’s commitment to accessibility in its use of social media. The poster, which appeared in elevators at DOL’s National Office in Washington, DC, provides tips on how to achieve social media accessibility.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases Youth Employment Rate Numbers for September 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.

For more information, go to www.dol.gov/odep.