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

National Industry Liaison Group Welcomes Assistant Secretary Martinez

At the annual conference of the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) on August 7 in Washington, DC, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy Kathy Martinez spoke to an audience of about 700 equal employment opportunity and affirmative action professionals from around the country. Her remarks focused on civil rights, Section 503 and strategies to encourage employees to self-disclose their disabilities, and ways to build an inclusive workplace. “It’s important for you to recognize that, as federal contractors, you lead the way, not only in what you do, but also how you do it,” Martinez said. The conference also featured secretary of labor Tom Perez, who delivered opening remarks on the first day of the conference and director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Patricia Shiu, who made conference closing remarks.

Assistant Secretary Martinez Interviewed on Workforce.com

In the article “The Untapped Talent Pool of People with Disabilities” assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy Kathy Martinez spoke to Workforce.com about the value that workers with disabilities bring to the workplace. She also discussed the benefits of job accommodations, emphasizing their ease and relative low cost. “Accommodations are really just productivity tools,” explained Martinez. “It’s not going to be as expensive as you think.”

ODEP and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Release Joint Memorandum

On August 7, 2014, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the Office of Financial Empowerment within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a joint communication to the American public entitled “Promoting Pathways to Economic Stability for Workers with Disabilities” that discusses their respective commitment to promoting the financial capability of Americans with disabilities, and also describes their collaborative activities in this area. The memorandum also provides information on available federal financial capability resources and assistance that workers with disabilities can use to promote their financial security and economic advancement.

Workforce Recruitment Program Seeks Federal Recruiters

Do you want to have a personal impact on the hiring of people with disabilities? The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP), the primary pipeline bringing college students and recent graduates with disabilities into federal employment, is seeking federal employees to conduct phone interviews with students this fall.

EARN Releases Report on Opening the Doors of Small Business to Employees with Disabilities

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) has released a report by The Conference Board’s Peter Linkow titled “Opening the Doors of Small Business to Employees with Disabilities: Critical Concerns and Strategies for Success,” which addresses the concerns that small business leaders have voiced about employing people with disabilities. The report explores extensive research demonstrating that hiring people with disabilities can improve an organization’s productivity, work quality, and more at little or no additional cost, while improving the workplace for all employees.

The LEAD Center Issues the July Edition of Policy Update – Employment, Health Care and Disability

The LEAD Center’s Policy Update – Employment, Health Care and Disability provides 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 latest update features stories on new Medicaid enrollment data released by CMS, an issue brief on Olmstead’s role in community integration, AARP’s long-term services and supports scorecard, Olmstead violations in Ohio, and much more.

LEAD Center Customized Employment Webinar Archive Now Available

A recorded archive of the LEAD Center webinar “Customized Employment: Moving Beyond the Basics” is now available. This webinar builds understanding of Customized Employment and ways to utilize this innovative employment practice. It moves beyond the basics of Customized Employment to explore using the information gathered during Discovery to connect job seekers to a vast array of employment opportunities using a casual approach to job development. The webinar provides valuable information and strategies to support job placement efforts for a variety of job seekers both with disabilities, and harder to serve job seekers without disabilities.

Applications Available for the Mary E. Switzer Research Fellowship

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services has issued a Notice of Applications for New Awards; National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research–Research Fellowships Program, also known as the Mary E. Switzer Research Fellowships. The notice was published in the Federal Register on Monday, July 28, 2014. The purpose of the Research Fellowships Program is to build research capacity by providing support to experienced, highly qualified individuals, including those who are individuals with disabilities, to perform research on the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities. To be eligible for a Distinguished Fellowship, an individual must have seven or more years of research experience in subject areas, methods, or techniques relevant to rehabilitation research and must have a doctorate, other terminal degree, or comparable academic qualifications. The deadline for notice of intent to apply is August 18, 2014 and the deadline for transmittal of applications is September 2, 2014.