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

Assistant Secretary Martinez Addresses the Association of People Supporting Employment First

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez addressed service providers and employers committed to increased workforce inclusion for people with disabilities at the Association of People Supporting Employment First annual conference on July 2 in Long Beach, CA. “We in ODEP believe that a presumption of employability should exist for people with even the most significant disabilities,” she said. “And we believe the time is now for our nation to value people with disabilities for the unique skills and talents they bring, and to capitalize on those attributes by integrating them fully into our workplaces.”

D.C. Metro Business Leadership Network Welcomes Assistant Secretary Martinez

At a D.C. Metro Business Leadership Network (BLN) event Crystal City, VA on July 9, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez spoke to 50 representatives from companies around the capital region, most federal contractors covered by the recent updates to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. “A major focus of our work at DOL this year will be to provide resources and technical assistance to covered employers. We stand at the ready to help you understand and achieve the goals of the new rules,” she said.

Prospective Applicant’s Conference Call Scheduled for ODEP’s National Employer Policy, Research, and Technical Assistance Center on the Employment of People with Disabilities Solicitation for Cooperative Agreement — July 17, 2:30-4:30 PM EDT

The SCA-14-06 — Solicitation for Cooperative Agreement — for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy’s National Employer Policy, Research, and Technical Assistance Center on the Employment of People with Disabilities Prospective Applicants’ Conference Call is scheduled for Thursday, July 17, from 2:30-4:30 PM EDT. Those who have questions should submit them to Cassandra Mitchell at mitchell.cassandra@dol.gov no later than COB July 16th. Responses to the submitted questions will be given on this call. There will also be a short questions and answers session following the review of submitted questions. Prospective applicants should call the toll-free number: 1-800-857-9644, Participant Passcode: 1382552. This call will be recorded and a transcript will be provided within 10 days of the Conference Call that will be posted on the Office of Disability Employment website. The transcript will only provide the questions and responses and not the entire transcript.

Comment Period Extended for Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors

The period for filing written comments on the proposed rulemaking to implement the minimum wage protections of Executive Order 13658, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors, has been extended until July 28, 2014. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was published in the Federal Register on June 17, 2014. The U.S. Department of Labor is taking this action in order to provide interested parties additional time to submit comments. Comments may be submitted, identified by Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 1235-AA10, either electronically or in writing. Electronic comment should be submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Written comments should be submitted through mail addressed to Mary Ziegler, Director, Division of Regulations, Legislation and Interpretation, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3510, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Submit one copy of your comments by only one method. All submissions received must include the agency name (Wage and Hour Division) and Regulatory Information Number identified above for this rulemaking (1235-AA10). All comments received will be posted without change to www.regulations.gov.

ETA and ODEP Issue Joint Training and Employment Notice on Employment Networks

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and Office of Disability Employment (ODEP) have released a joint Training and Employment Notice (TEN) entitled “Receiving Ticket to Work Payments as an Employment Network.” This TEN announces that the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Employment Network (EN) Payment Agreement has been rescinded by the Social Security Administration (SSA), and provides information on a new process for public workforce entities to become ENs under SSA’s Ticket to Work and Self Sufficiency (TTW) Program.

LEAD Center Joins ODEP to Present Webinar Celebrating Olmstead and ADA — July 16, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT

In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered the landmark decision in the Olmstead v. L.C. case, requiring states to eliminate the segregation of people with disabilities and ensure people with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. To celebrate this landmark decision and reflect on the past, present and future of Olmstead, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, in coordination with the LEAD Center, will present “Rising to the Occasion: ADA, Olmstead and State Efforts to Promote Integrated Employment of Individuals with Significant Disabilities” on July 16 from 3:00 – 4:30 PM EDT.

FCC’s Accessibility and Innovation Initiative to Host “Accessing Social Media” Event – July 17, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Accessibility and Innovation Initiative will host a public event, titled “Accessing Social Media,” on Thursday, July 17, from 9 AM to 4 PM EDT at the FCC Headquarters (445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC). The event will facilitate a collaborative, cross-sector exchange of information about making social media tools and content accessible to people with disabilities, including information about authoring tools, client apps, and best practices. The event will include panels of industry, consumer, and government representatives, as well as technology demonstrations. The meeting will be webcast with open captioning. Although this event is open to the public, we encourage sending an RSVP in advance. An RSVP is needed only for in-person attendance, not for the webcast. To RSVP, send your name and organization affiliation, if any, in an email to AccSocMedia@fcc.gov. The meeting site is fully accessible to people using wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Sign language interpreters, open captioning, and assistive listening devices will be provided on site. Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Include a description of the accommodation you will need and tell us how to contact you if we need more information. Make your request as early as possible. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send an e-mail to: fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

Department of Labor Webinar on Joint Employment in Domestic Service Employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act — July 17, 1:00-2:30 PM EDT

In response to stakeholder questions about the Final Rule regarding joint employment in consumer-directed programs, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued a new Administrator’s Interpretation and an updated fact sheet to help potential joint employers, in particular states or other public entities, determine their obligations under the Fair Labor Standards Act to home care workers employed through consumer-directed programs. The guidance concludes that most, but not all, consumer-directed programs will have a third party employer such as a public entity, private agency, or non-profit organization. WHD will be holding a webinar on July 17, 1:00-2:30 PM, to walk through the joint employment guidance, including several detailed hypothetical examples, and to answer participants’ questions.

U.S. Department of Education Invites Applications for the National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education published a Notice in the Federal Register inviting applications for a new award to establish and operate a National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities (Center). The Center will assist State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and other VR service providers to implement evidence-based and promising practices and strategies to ensure that students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, graduate from high school with the knowledge, skills, and supports needed for success in postsecondary education and employment. This competition is open to SEAs; LEAs, including public charter schools that are considered LEAs under State law; State VR agencies; IHEs; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely associated States; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations. The Department intends to fund one project for $2.5 million a year for 5 years. The deadline for submitting completed applications is Monday, August 18, 2014.

Latest Edition of LEAD Center’s LEAD On! Newsletter Now Available

The LEAD Center, an ODEP-funded training and technical assistance center, released the latest edition of its LEAD On! e-newsletter on June 30th. Featured stories include: LEAD Center’s most recent Economic Advancement Assembly in Louisville, Kentucky; ongoing work resulting from the LEAD Center’s inaugural policy roundtable to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities; universal access strategies highlighted by the LEAD Center at the 2014 NAWDP Conference; efforts in Illinois to shape service systems to promote customized employment; a preview of upcoming LEAD Center webinars and more.

LEAD Center Releases June Policy Update

The LEAD Center’s Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability is a monthly update focusing on the intersection of disability, employment and health care policy. The June 2014 edition includes articles on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) final rules for statewide marketplaces, new U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) grant funding through the Disability Employment Initiative, a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on oversight of Medicaid managed care expenditures, a new Medicaid Buy-in Fact Sheet from the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative, and much more.

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