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Just in Time for National Disability Employment Awareness Month, ODEP Unveils New Look for Home Page

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), and to kick off the celebration, the Office of Disability Employment Policy has unveiled its new home page! Come visit us to see our updated look and to access our resources and information, including NDEAM posters and ideas for ways to commemorate the month.

NDEAM: A Milestone Month in a Momentous Year

Deputy assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy Jennifer Sheehy penned a blog for the ENDedpendence Center of Northern Virginia in which she reflects on the National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme for 2015, “My disability is one part of who I am.” Says Sheehy, “To me, this theme encapsulates an important message: that people with disabilities are just that — people. And like all people, we are the sum of many parts, including our work experiences.” She also discusses the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its effect on the employment of people with disabilities.

2015 Interagency Accessibility Forum: Sharing Accessible Solutions for Everyone — October 20, 8:00 AM-4:30 PM EDT

In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, ODEP and other federal partners are sponsoring the 2015 Section 508 Interagency Accessibility Forum in Washington, DC, October 20, 8:00 AM-4:30 PM EDT. This free, interactive conference is open to federal employees and contractors who want to learn more about accessibility and ensure the technologies they use, develop, and promote are accessible.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month Posters Appear in Washington, DC Metro Stations

The 2015 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) posters are showing up at various Metro stations throughout the Washington, DC area. You can find them at the Archives, Federal Center SW, Forest Glen, Huntington, and Waterfront stations. If you spy one, take a photo and tweet it using #NDEAM!

Upcoming PEAT Talk: Embracing the Concept of “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) — October 15, 2:00-2:30 PM EDT

“Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) is an increasingly popular policy and practice in workplaces today. Join ODEP and the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) as Dana Marlowe of Accessibility Partners LLC discusses the accessibility advantages of BYOD for both employers and technology users with disabilities, and best practices for implementing BYOD in the workplace.

LEAD Center Releases the September 2015 Issue of the 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 the IRS’s proposed regulations for implementing the ABLE Act, the launch of the National Employment First Online Policy and Data Platform, the US Department of Justice’s proposed settlement agreement with Oregon to phase out sheltered workshops, and more.

NCWD/Youth Releases Youth Transition Resource

The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) released “Hitting the Open Road after High School: How to Choose Your Own Adventure to Success!” This brief helps youth think about their options and plan ahead for pursuits after high school, focusing on questions that are relevant to youth. Teams of youth on NCWD/Youth’s Youth Action Council on Transition (YouthACT) and their adult partners co-wrote “Hitting the Open Road.” YouthACT is a national initiative to get more youth with disabilities and their allies involved as leaders who partner with adults and supporting organizations to improve opportunities for youth to succeed in life.

Validation as a Key to Workplace Success for Employees with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) — Job Accommodation Network Blog

In a September 29 posting on the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) blog site, JAN consultant Kelsey Lewis, MSW, LGSW, shares up-to-date research on individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) that was recently presented at the National Alliance on Mental Illness conference. Lewis discusses features of BPD and examines ways of accommodating individuals with the disorder in the workplace.

Latest EARN Newsletter Now Available

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) has issued its September 30 newsletter, featuring information on Disability Mentoring Day, the Family and Medical Leave Act, upcoming events, and more. EARN is a service of the National Employer Policy, Research and Technical Assistance Center for Employers on the Employment of People with Disabilities, which is funded by ODEP under a cooperative agreement with The Viscardi Center.

LEAD Center Publishes LEAD On! Quarterly E-newsletter.

LEAD On! highlights news and innovations in employment, policy, and economic advancement for people with disabilities. This edition includes information on the interim report of the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities, LEAD Center presentations and trainings, and more. The LEAD Center is a collaborative of disability, workforce and economic empowerment organizations led by National Disability Institute with funding from the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. The LEAD Center is dedicated to advancing sustainable individual and systems-level change to improve competitive, integrated employment and economic self-sufficiency for people across the spectrum of disabilities.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Launches Class Member Locator Website

The US Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has introduced their Class Member Locator website, with a goal of locating job applicants and workers who are negatively impacted by workplace discrimination. The Class Member Locator website provides the opportunity for individuals who believe that they may be part of a group, or class, which has faced job discrimination from certain employers, to learn about the case by reading a brief summary, a redacted Conciliation Agreement, and press release, if available. In addition, the website provides regional email accounts and 1-800 numbers so that individuals can directly contact OFCCP if they have questions or need assistance.

State Department Launches Employment #WithoutLimits Social Media Campaign

The State Department is launching the Employment #WithoutLimits social media campaign to highlight the contributions of workers with disabilities and to advocate that people with disabilities can and should be employed on an equal basis with others. Everyone is invited to participate in the campaign. The Employment #WithoutLimits campaign will feature photos of individuals with visible and invisible disabilities holding signs that state their name, their disability, and their job — for example, “I am Ann. I am a wheelchair user. I am a sports diplomat.” Each day throughout the month of October, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights Judy Heumann will release one new photo with a short caption describing the photo and the individual’s story on social media. Please keep in mind that the concept of disability is broad, and can encompass people with physical, mental, sensory, learning, developmental, and cognitive disabilities, as well as a range of conditions, including HIV, diabetes, epilepsy, and more. Employment #WithoutLimits encourages people with a diverse range of disabilities to participate and to help combat disability-related stigma in employment.