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2015 Workforce Recruitment Program Now Open to Employers

Private businesses and federal agencies nationwide seeking qualified temporary and permanent job candidates from a variety of fields can now access the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP), a free database of about 1,800 postsecondary students and recent graduates, including veterans, who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace. Federal employers can search the database directly at; private employers can use, where they can post permanent and temporary positions, and WRP students can search and apply for these positions using employers’ standard application processes. Only pre-screened WRP students have access to postings on

Charting a Pathway to a Technology-Accessible Workplace

“Charting a Pathway to a Technology-Accessible Workplace” was the topic of a December 15 blog post by Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez on Disability.Blog. Stressing the importance of information and communication technology (ICT) to her work and her life, Martinez discussed the barriers faced by many people with disabilities because of inaccessible ICT. She also introduced the Office of Disability Employment Policy’s initiative called the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) which promotes the employment, retention, and career advancement of people with disabilities through the development, adoption, and promotion of accessible technology. PEAT is currently conducting a nationwide survey about the accessibility of online job applications, and Martinez invited readers to participate.

ODEP Releases Report on Individualized Learning Plans

A new report called “Use of Individualized Learning Plans: Findings and Recommendations from a Multi-Method, Multi-Study Effort” has been released by the Office of Disability Employment Policy. The report documents a 2007-2013 study to determine whether Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) should be considered a promising college and career readiness practice and whether and how youth with disabilities are participating. As a tool available to all youth, and in conjunction with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for youth with disabilities, ILPs show promise as an effective practice for strengthening the career development process and the connection between school and work, though the absence of a randomized control design in this study necessitates further research.

ODEP and the LEAD Center Publish Report Highlighting Employee Retention and Return-to-Work Best Practices

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the LEAD Center have recently released the report, “Best Practices in Employee Retention and Return-to-Work: An In-Depth Look Inside an Exemplary American Corporation.” Highlighting effective retention and return-to-work policies and practices gleaned from ODEP and LEAD’s professional analysis of a large corporation, the report offers suggestions and identifies replicable best practices that benefit both employers and employees.

Department of Labor Announces $100M in Apprenticeship Grants

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced that $100 million in grants are available to expand registered apprenticeship programs in high-skilled, high-growth industries like healthcare, biotechnology, information technology and advanced manufacturing. Apprenticeship grants will be awarded to public and private partnerships consisting of employers, business associations, joint labor-management organizations, labor organizations, community colleges, local and state governments, and other non-profit organizations. The grants will also encourage greater access to apprenticeship opportunities for historically underrepresented populations including women, young men and women of color, people with disabilities, and veterans and transitioning service members. Funding applications must be submitted by April 30, 2015. The Funding Opportunity Announcement, which includes information on eligibility and how to apply, is available at

Home Care Rule Letter Issued by U.S. Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services

A Dear Colleague letter, jointly issued from the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, and the Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, discusses states’ obligations under Title II of the ADA to avoid placing individuals at serious risk of institutionalization when considering implementation options of the new Fair Labor Standards Act regulations extending minimum wage and overtime protection to most home health care workers (“Home Care Rule”). The Home Care Rule becomes effective on January 1, 2015. Posts Fact Sheet on Health Insurance and Mental Health Services

A new fact sheet on explores the ways that the Affordable Care Act is increasing access to mental health and substance use disorder services. As of 2014, most individual and small group health insurance plans, including plans sold on the Health Insurance Marketplace, as well as Medicaid Alternative Benefit Plans, are required to cover mental health and substance use disorder services. The fact sheet also provides general information about the Health Insurance Marketplace.

ODEP’s News Brief Signs Off for the Holidays

ODEP wishes you a safe holiday season. ODEP’s News Brief will resume on January 9, 2015.