Ladders of Opportunity: Helping All People Climb on Board – Assistant Secretary Martinez’s Blog

In an August 29 post on the Department of Labor’s blog site, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez discussed the importance of accessible transportation to employment for people with disabilities. “Transportation is the most critical—and perhaps least appreciated—employment support for American workers. After all, the best skills training program, or a great job offer, serves little purpose if you can’t get there in the first place,” Martinez said. She explained the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Ladders of Opportunity” initiative in which ODEP is a partner. The initiative is designed to improve the work-related mobility of Americans with disabilities and others with transportation disadvantages by helping communities nationwide modernize and expand transit bus service to better link people with employment and training opportunities, as well as other vital services such as health care.

Assistant Secretary Martinez Speaks to Mexican Consulate during Labor Rights Week

As part of this year’s Labor Rights Week observance, the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia welcomed Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez, who visited on August 27 to talk about how her agency’s work impacts Mexican workers and employers. In her remarks, she addressed disability in the context of Latino culture and the relationship between ODEP’s work and efforts to increase employment opportunities for all people who face challenges when it comes to community inclusion, including immigrants and other diverse populations. “Whether someone is born with a disability or acquires one, they simply cannot afford to sit on the sidelines,” she said. “As a community, we Latinos have so much to offer our communities and the workplace, and our work ethic is second to none. We all have something to contribute.”

Job Accommodation Network Blog Features New Posts

Two new posts have been added to the Job Accommodation Network’s Ask JAN blog. In a post on August 25 in honor of Assistance Dog Week, JAN Lead Consultant Kim Cordingly explored the issue of assistance dogs in the workplace. She profiled Marcie Davis, an expert on the subject, who explained effective workplace practices and emphasized that communication between the employer and the employee with an assistance dog is the key to success. On August 26, Daniel Tucker, JAN Consultant examined accommodations for individuals with depression in the workplace. He provided an overview of potential workplace accommodations and offered resources for those seeking more information.

Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology to Host Second Accessible Technology Webinar – September 3, 2:00-3:00 PM EDT

The ODEP-funded Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) will host the second in its series of webinars on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 from 2:00-3:00 PM EDT. “Designing for the Future: Building Accessible Technology for the Workplace” will explore the numerous advantages to developing and marketing workplace technology products that are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. Join PEAT’s guest speakers to learn why accessibility matters to a company and its customers. Speakers will include Jim Tobias, owner of Inclusive Technologies and principal of Raising the Floor and the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) Project; Dennis Amorosano, vice president and general manager of the Marketing Division of the Business Imaging Solutions Group at Canon USA; Katie Cunningham, developer at Cox Media Group and author of “Accessibility Handbook: Making 508-Compliant Websites”; and Laurie Ellington, manager of State Government Affairs at the CTIA-The Wireless Association.