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ODEP Signs Strategic Alliances

The US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has signed two alliances with organizations committed to increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. On April 24, leaders of the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) visited ODEP to renew their alliance and discuss activities for the coming year, including efforts to educate federal contractors on recent regulatory updates. Then, a new partnership was forged on April 25 when the Youth Transition Collaborative and the Center for Health Care Transition Improvement (Got Transition) signed their first formal alliance with ODEP. Working together as the Employment and Health Care Transition Alliance for Youth, Young Adults, and Young Veterans with Disabilities and Chronic Health Conditions, this alliance will provide stakeholders with information, technical assistance and resources to help build the capacity of regional and national organizations to empower youth and young veterans with disabilities to create a self-directed path to integrated employment. “ODEP’s Alliance Initiative is so important, especially when you consider the fact that we’re operating in a truly exciting era of disability employment policy,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez.

Job Accommodation Network Publishes New Consultants’ Corners

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has released two issues of its informational publication, Consultants’ Corner, in which a JAN consultant addresses a specific topic related to workplace accommodations or legislation. In one Consultants’ Corner, Melanie Whetzel, M.A., provides an in-depth look at “Interviewing Tips for Applicants with Autism Spectrum Disorders.” The other Consultants’ Corner, penned by Linda Carter Batiste, J.D., covers the topic “Does the ADA Apply to Foreign Employment?”

It Starts with You – Blog by Janet Froetscher of the Special Olympics

In a blog titled “It Starts with You,” cross-posted to the Department of Labor blog site from the blog, Janet Froetscher, chief executive officer of the Special Olympics, tells the story of Paul Marretti. Marretti is an exemplary employee with a wide range of interests, who also has an intellectual disability. While he is highly successful in his job, Froetscher points to a recent Special Olympics survey that reveals that only 44% of adults with intellectual disabilities are in the labor force. In order to change those numbers, Froetscher asserts, everyone must get involved. “It’s up to each of us to change the perceived value of people with intellectual disabilities,” she states.

Department of Veterans Affairs Launches Employment Center Website

The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched the Employment Center website, the single federal source for Veterans looking for new career opportunities in the private and public sectors, as well as service members transitioning to the civilian workforce, military spouses and dependents looking for employment opportunities, G.I. Bill® beneficiaries transitioning from training to the job market and employers looking to connect with high quality applicants. This new site integrates multiple tools and resources for both job seekers and employers, including the Veterans Job Bank.