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President Obama Signs Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order

On July 31, President Obama signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. The Executive Order will govern new federal procurement contracts valued at more than $500,000, requiring companies competing for federal contracts to disclose labor law violations and giving agencies more guidance on how to consider labor violations when awarding federal contracts. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that there are roughly 24,000 businesses with federal contracts, employing about 28 million workers.

Disability Rights are Civil Rights – Assistant Secretary Martinez’s Blog

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy Kathy Martinez posted a blog reflecting on the Civil Rights movement and the effect it had on the disability rights movement. “In the 1960s, the unified disability rights movement was just emerging,” said Martinez, “and its leaders learned a great deal from those who brought the Civil Rights Act to fruition.”

Assistant Secretary Martinez Celebrates Workforce Recruitment Program Interns

On July 28, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy Kathy Martinez participated in an awards ceremony celebrating Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) participants who spent their summers interning in the federal sector. “You should be very proud of your association with the WRP,” said Martinez, “because WRP internships lay the groundwork for employment and empowerment.” The WRP helps connect employers with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities, and is co-sponsored by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity.

State Governments Invited to Participate in Online National Dialogue – August 4 – 18, 2014

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) invites state governments and other interested stakeholders to participate in an online dialogue August 4 through August 18, 2014 to uncover best practices being utilized to improve the hiring, retention and advancement of workers with disabilities throughout the United States. This virtual event, “State Governments: What Can We Do? Join the Conversation for Change,” will be facilitated through ODEP’s ePolicyWorks initiative and moderated by ODEP’s employer policy team. Join the online dialogue to post your ideas for new and innovative tactics that support the successful employment of individuals with disabilities, to submit examples of effective practices used in your state, and to vote and comment on those posted by others. These contributions will help inform ODEP’s technical assistance activities.

PEAT to Present Webinar on Employers and Accessible Technology – August 6, 2:00-3:30 PM EST

The ODEP-funded Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) will be hosting a webinar titled “Employers & Accessible Technology: The What, Why and How” on Wednesday, August 6th from 2:00pm – 3:30pm EST. Presenters will share important information for employers on ensuring that the technology in their workplaces is accessible to all employees, including those with disabilities. PEAT’s guest speakers will provide a basic primer on accessible technology and its relevance to employers and their bottom line. Participants will learn what accessible technology really means, the responsibilities of employers as they relate to accessible technology, and tips for building or fine-tuning an accessible technology initiative for one’s workplace. Speakers will include Mike Paciello, founder of the Paciello Group and WebAble.TV, Peter Wallack, senior director of the Accessibility Program Office at Oracle, and Diane Rodriguez, lead compliance analyst in the Corporate Accessibility Technology Office at AT&T.

ODEP Leads Development and Release of New Federal Social Media Accessibility Toolkit

A new online federal social media accessibility toolkit was released at the Accessing Social Media public event hosted by the Federal Communications Commission on July 17, 2014. The Office of Disability Employment Policy took the lead in developing the toolkit, which includes the input of several federal agencies. The purpose of the FCC event was to facilitate a public-private sector exchange of information about making social media tools and content, including work-related media, more accessible to people with disabilities.

Job Accommodation Network ENews Now Available

The latest version of the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) ENews features articles on ADA and FMLA, online application systems, social anxiety disorder, and other important topics. Also included is information on JAN’s recently released resources.

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