White House Releases Video PSA on How the Affordable Care Act Helps People with Disabilities

The video public service announcement “How the Affordable Care Act Helps People with Disabilities,” posted by the White House on YouTube on November 10, explains how the Affordable Care Act ensures that individuals with disabilities can no longer be denied health coverage because of health history. Presented in American Sign Language, the PSA also has an English soundtrack that starts about 12 seconds into the video.

The Disability Network Blog Features Assistant Secretary Martinez

Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, was profiled on November 17 on the blog of The Disability Network (TDN), a Canadian media outlet focused on disability issues. The blog highlighted some of the innovative programs that the Office of Disability Employment Policy initiated under Martinez’s leadership, including Add Us In and the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program.

“Who I Am” Public Service Announcement Hits the Airwaves

The new “Who I Am” PSA, created by the Campaign for Disability Employment, features nine real people with disabilities. The PSA demonstrates that, rather than be defined by disability, these individuals are the sum of their many life roles, which includes working in jobs they love. “Who I Am” has been distributed to more than 800 English and Spanish television stations nationwide. If you see the PSA on TV, be sure to tweet about it using the hashtag #WhoIAmPSA. If you would like to see the PSA on your local TV station, send an email to info@whatcanyoudocampaign.org to receive information and a template letter to mail to the station.

Fifteen in FY2015: ODEP Launches Expanded Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program

The Office of Disability Employment Policy has expanded direct and virtual technical assistance, training, ongoing mentoring, and policy development support to fifteen core states as part of the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP). The fifteen FY2015 EFSLMP core states are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Utah. Since its inception in FY2012, the EFSLMP has provided intensive onsite and virtual technical assistance to state governments in the areas of capacity building in the dissemination of customized employment and other effective practices that lead to integrated employment as the priority outcome of services to individuals with significant disabilities; provider transformation strategies; approaches to successful employer engagement; and school-to-work transition models. In addition to the EFSLMP technical assistance offerings to its core states, ODEP will continue to host its virtual National Employment First Community of Practice. Webinars are held monthly, and membership is open to disability policy stakeholders in all fifty states. Any individual interested in participating in the Community of Practice can register for ODEP’s EFSLMP mailing list to receive updates on upcoming training events, technical assistance offerings, and policy resources.

Thanksgiving Wishes

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the ODEP News Brief will not be published next Friday, November 28. Happy Thanksgiving, and we’ll see you in December!