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A Powerful Message for Youth with Disabilities — Assistant Secretary Martinez’s Blog

In a post on the U.S. Department of Labor’s blog, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy Kathy Martinez recounted the story of Derrick Coleman of the Seattle Seahawks, the first legally deaf member of an NFL offense, and his nine-year-old fan Riley Kovalcik who, like Coleman, wears hearing aids. “This heartwarming story reinforces the importance of what I like to call “look-alike mentors” for young people with disabilities — something that lies at the heart of our work at ODEP,” said Martinez.

Inclusive Ads, Positive Portrayals — Assistant Secretary Martinez Discusses Disability-Inclusive Advertising and Entertainment

Leaders in the advertising and entertainment industries, including corporate, industry associations and union representatives along with diversity thought leaders, gathered in New York City on February 4 to discuss the need for disability-inclusive diversity in advertising on large, small and personal screens. Assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy Kathy Martinez headlined the event, which helped promote an upcoming pair of industry summits called Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0. “Together we have the power to raise awareness and change minds,” said Martinez. “We have the power to foster a more inclusive entertainment industry, and a stronger, more inclusive American workforce in general—one where every person who wants to work, does work, and where America’s promise of equal opportunity for all truly means all.”

LEAD Center Issues January Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability

The LEAD Center’s Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability provides information about relevant policy developments regarding Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and related topics, with a focus on improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. The just-released January update features articles on the new CMS home and community-based care services (HCBS) regulations, a proposed bill to fund integrated employment, Medicaid expansion and several articles on managed care for long-term services and supports (LTSS) in various states. Each monthly update will be published to the Resource Center found on the LEAD Center website. Subscribers who sign up to receive LEAD Center news and information will receive notice of each newly published update.

Webinar for New Federal Disability Program Managers — February 26, 2014, 2:00-3:30 PM EST

The “You’ve Just Been Appointed a Federal Disability Program Manager — Now What?” webinar will explore all the tools new federal Disability Program Managers (DPMs) need to be successful and to build a strong foundation for their agency’s disability program. Effective techniques, strategies and programs will be discussed, including the Schedule A appointing authority, targeted recruitment, free resources and much more. The webinar is designed for DPMs with little or no experience in the field. It will be presented on February 26, 2014, 2:00-3:30 PM EST, and is open to individuals with a .gov or .mil email address.

Job Accommodation Network Publishes Quarterly E-News

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has published its first quarterly E-News for 2014. Topics include finding resources for compliance with the new Section 503 regulations and VEVRAA, providing temporary accommodation solutions, and dealing with illegal drug use disclosures, among others. Also listed are links to JAN publications and archived webcasts.

LEAD Center Policy Roundtable Report Now Available

The LEAD Center has released the report from its first bi-annual 2013 Policy Roundtable held July 17-18, 2013 in Washington, DC. These policy roundtables bring together stakeholders — including federal agency leaders, state and local agency policymakers, practitioners and subject matter experts — to share knowledge and promote cross-system collaboration to advance individual and systems level change to promote employment and economic advancement for people with disabilities. The 2013 LEAD Center Policy Roundtable and corresponding report, both entitled “Making Collaboration Real,” focus on building a progressive vision to leverage resources effectively across systems to promote employment and socioeconomic advancement of youth and adults with disabilities.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases Youth Employment Rate Numbers for January 2014

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.