National Disability Employment Awareness Month Poster Now Available

The 2014 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) poster is now available, both for order in hard copy and online, along with several other tools that can assist organizations in planning for this year’s observance, including sample articles, proclamations and press releases. Held each October, NDEAM raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “Expect. Employ. Empower.”

Assistant Secretary Martinez Addresses Blind LGBT Pride International

This week, Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez spoke to members of Blind LGBT Pride International in Las Vegas during the American Council of the Blind (ACB) 53rd annual conference, where her remarks focused on recent efforts to increase workplace inclusion and equality for both people with disabilities and LGBT individuals and opportunities for each community to learn from the other’s struggles and successes. BPI is one of ACB’s largest special interest affiliates.

LEAD Center to Present Webinar on Customized Employment

On Wednesday, July 30, the ODEP-funded LEAD Center, which is managed by the National Disability Institute, will host a webinar titled “Customized Employment: Beyond the Basics.” Targeted at workforce development professionals, disability service providers, individuals with disabilities and other stakeholders, this webinar will address how to use the information gathered during discovery to connect hard-to-serve job seekers, both with and without disabilities, to a range of employment opportunities.

EEOC Issues Updated Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued new enforcement guidance and several other resources on pregnancy discrimination and related issues in the context of both the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as amended in 2008. This enforcement guidance is the first comprehensive update on the topic of pregnancy and pregnancy-related disabilities in more than 30 years.

Department of Education Announces Grant Opportunity Under American Indians With Disabilities Program

The Department of Education has announced a funding opportunity under the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians With Disabilities program. The program provides vocational rehabilitation (VR) services to American Indians with disabilities who reside on or near federal or state reservations so that they may prepare for and engage in gainful employment, including self-employment, telecommuting or business ownership. It also supports an important White House initiative on Job-Driven Training for Workers, which emphasizes the importance of developing a workforce with the skills that employers need. Applications for the grant are due September 2, 2014.

ODEP and LEAD Center Host National Webinar on ADA, Olmstead and Integrated Employment

On July 16, ODEP, in collaboration with the LEAD Center, hosted a national webinar entitled, “ADA, Olmstead & State Efforts to Promote Integrated Employment of Individuals with Significant Disabilities.” Speakers discussed trends in the implementation of the Olmstead integration mandate as it relates to the provision of employment and day services for individuals with significant disabilities. More than 600 individuals tuned in to the dialogue, which focused heavily on implementation plans for the recent consent decree reached between the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Rhode Island, which will lead to the transition of approximately 3,250 youth and adults with significant disabilities into integrated employment and community day services over the next ten years.

ODEP and LEAD Center Host Quarterly Discussion on Implementation of Section 503

On July 15, the LEAD Center hosted a discussion of its Knowledge Translation (KT) Consortium on the final rule of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which updates federal contractors’ obligations regarding the marketing, recruitment, hiring and support of workers with disabilities. More than 20 federal agencies participated in the discussion, which explored opportunities created by the final rule to increase the employment of people with disabilities, and allowed participating federal agencies and technical assistance centers to share the efforts and activities they have planned or completed related to Section 503. Participants heard from Naomi Levin, Branch Chief for Regulatory, Legislative and Policy Development with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.