Assistant Secretary Martinez Discusses Disability and Higher Education

Speaking to a group of scholars and disability activists at a higher education conference at the University of Delaware in Newark on October 26, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez stressed the importance of creating a culture of inclusion for employees with disabilities, especially regarding disability disclosure. Martinez further noted the significance for students with disabilities of seeing faculty and staff with disabilities who can serve as role models and mentors. “Of course we all need to see ourselves reflected in society,” she said, “so for students seeing a person with a disability in a mentoring role, it truly is very impactful.”

Assistant Secretary Martinez Addresses the Importance of Identity

Emphasizing that all workers “whole selves” are made up of multiple identities, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez told a group of 100 corporate employees at PepsiCo headquarters in Chicago on November 6 that it benefits employers to understand and embrace this fact. “All of these identities add value to your organization by creating an amalgam of opinions and insight,” said Martinez, “and when it comes to solving problems and achieving success, that’s exactly what’s needed.” The audience included PepsiCo employee resource group members, as well as members from the Out & Equal Chicagoland partner organizations.

EARN Archives National Disability Employment Awareness Month Webinars

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) has archived two of its October webinars for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The topics highlighted in these 30-minute presentations include mental health and disability disclosure, and are presented by experts in the field.

National Council on Disability Releases Annual Survey of Federal Disability Policy

The National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency that recommends disability policy to the President, Congress and other federal agencies, has released the “2013 Progress Report: Strength in Our Differences,” its annual report on federal disability policy. The report is derived from interviews with the diverse segments of the disability community and is organized in four topic areas: Ratification of the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Economic Empowerment, Health Care and Access to Medical Treatment, and Community Integration.

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