Assistant Secretary Martinez Discusses Disability and LGBT Issues
At the 14th Annual National Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities conference in Chicago on November 7, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez participated in a panel on “Disability and LGBT: Exploring the Gray.” Speaking to a group of major employers, college students and recent graduates, Martinez discussed the intersection between disability and diversity. She noted, “When we make strides toward equality for any community, whether the disability community, the LGBT community, or another historically marginalized population, it benefits all of us.”
Chicago Mayor’s Office on People with Disabilities Welcomes Assistant Secretary Martinez
Addressing 400 Illinois high school students with disabilities at a November 8 event in Chicago celebrating Disability Mentoring Day, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez stressed the significance of job training and mentorship for youth with disabilities. “I believe that, in order to effectively prepare for the world of work, young people with disabilities – like all young people – must have the opportunity to explore their career interests through first-hand experience,” noted Martinez. “And they must be able to observe and learn from older, more experienced workers.” The Chicago Mayor’s Office on People with Disabilities hosted the event, which included a “Dress for Success” fashion show.
Assistant Secretary Martinez Addresses College Students in Denver
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez spoke to students and community members in Denver on November 12 at a disability awareness event sponsored by the University of Colorado Denver, Community College of Denver and Metropolitan State University of Denver. Martinez emphasized the importance of empowerment, self-sufficiency and independence for people with disabilities, and the role that students with disabilities can play in achieving these goals. “I am thrilled to know that the future is in good hands with the next generation of leaders coming up the ranks,” said Martinez. “Because the work you do to raise awareness about disability issues helps foster more inclusive environments, not just here on your campus, but in the wider community.”
Final Rule Issued for Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act
A final rule has been issued for the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury. The final rule ensures parity between mental health/substance use disorder benefits and medical/surgical benefits in group and individual health plans. The MHPAEA rule becomes applicable on July 1, 2014.
December 1 Marks World AIDS Day
“Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation” is the 2013 theme of World AIDS Day, observed on December 1. The AIDS.gov website offers many ways to get involved including participating in the “Facing AIDS” initiative. “Facing AIDS” aims to reduce stigma and promote HIV testing by showing the faces of real people who share why they are facing AIDS. AIDS.gov also offers a variety of posters, many of them customizable, which can be downloaded from the site.
LEAD Center Announces Monthly “Policy Update – Health Care, Employment and Disability” Publication
Focused on the intersection of disability, employment and health care policy, the LEAD Center’s “Policy Update – Health Care, Employment and Disability” publication is intended to provide policymakers, disability service professionals, individuals with disabilities and their families with information about relevant policy developments regarding Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and related topics, with an emphasis on improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Each monthly update will be published to the Resource Center found on the LEAD Center website.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases Youth Employment Rate Numbers for October 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.
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.