Social Media Accessibility Online Dialogue Extended through June 13

Co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the National Council on Disability (NCD), the second of three online dialogues focused on social media accessibility is currently underway and has been extended through Friday, June 13. Titled, “Advancing Accessibility and Inclusion in Social Media —The Tech Industry Perspective,” this event is seeking ideas from the tech industry and others on how to best ensure social media is accessible to everyone. Through the use of a leading-edge crowdsourcing tool — that itself has been optimized for accessibility and usability — the first dialogue in the series gathered actual user recommendations on how to improve the accessibility of social media. Now NCD and ODEP are looking to members of the tech industry to respond on how these valuable ideas — and others like them — can be implemented to improve the design and development of social media tools, as well as suggestions for the most effective ways the social media industry can engage with the disability community for user feedback and ideas. Participants are encouraged to post ideas, comments and to vote on ideas posted by others.

ODEP Releases “Employer Engagement Strategy: Workforce Inclusion” White Paper

The Office of Disability Employment Policy’s (ODEP) mission has long focused on encouraging private sector employers to hire more people with disabilities. The “Employer Engagement Strategy: Workforce Inclusion” white paper presents a new employer outreach approach developed during the course of ODEP’s Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities research. This approach is based on research conducted by Social Dynamics, LLC, the Altarum Institute, and a research team from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania led by Dr. Peter Cappelli, the George W. Taylor Professor of Management and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources. This paper describes the findings that have led to this position, their implications for ODEP and its partners, and recommendations for future actions.

Promoting Good Mental Health for Today’s Workforce and Tomorrow’s — Mental Health Month Blog

May is Mental Health Month, and in this May 31 posting on the U.S. Department of Labor’s blog site, Rhonda Basha, leader of Office of Disability Employment Policy’s (ODEP) Youth Policy Team, discusses the role that stigma plays in keeping youth and adults with mental illness from receiving the support they need to succeed in school and employment. Basha also looks at the positive effects that education campaigns like Mental Health Month can have on reducing stigma, shares the stories of three people with mental illnesses who have achieved successful employment, and provides links to ODEP resources.

LEAD Center Publishes May 2014 Issue of Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability

The LEAD Center’s Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability 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 a focus on improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. The May issue features stories on new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regulations and guidance, a request for information on implementing “Career Pathways” approaches to employment, a new Office of Disability Employment Policy alliance on health care and transition to adulthood, various state updates on home and community-based services and much more.

What Are the JAN Consultants Reading? — JAN Blog

Looking for an informative article or book on the subject of accommodations or other disability-related issues? In this Ask JAN blog post, ten Job Accommodation Network consultants fill you in on what they have been reading recently.

FCC Chairman to Award Innovators in Accessibility Communications Technology

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler has selected the winners of the third annual Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman’s AAA), which honor technologists who develop innovative communications products for people with disabilities. The Chairman’s AAA, a project of the FCC’s Accessibility and Innovation Initiative, recognizes outstanding private and public sector ventures in communications technology accessibility and innovation. The Chairman will present the awards at a ceremony on Monday, June 9, 2014 at 5:15 p.m. at the M-Enabling Summit at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, VA. The award-winning technology will be displayed at a reception immediately following the ceremony. The awards ceremony is free and open to the public. Preregistration is required to attend. To preregister, send an e-mail to and sign up for expo-only access at the M-Enabling summit at

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