Presidential Proclamation — National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2015

President Obama has released a proclamation naming October 2015 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), saying “America is at its strongest when we harness the talents and celebrate the distinct gifts of all our people. This October, as we observe the 70th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, let us pay tribute to all who fought for better laws, demanded better treatment, and overcame ignorance and indifference to make our Nation more perfect.”

• Read President Obama’s NDEAM proclamation

Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities Meeting — October 14-15, 2015

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The next meeting of the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (the Committee) is scheduled for October 14-15, 2015 in Washington, DC. During the meeting, the Committee will discuss its interim report, which was submitted to Congress and the Secretary of Labor on September 15, 2015.

NDEAM 2015: My Disability is One Part of Who I Am

Jennifer Sheehy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, penned a blog for the US Department of Labor reflecting on the 2015 NDEAM theme “My Disability is One Part of Who I Am.” Sheehy notes that disability is only one aspect of her life, remarking that “I’m also a public servant, advocate and federal agency leader. I’m a Cornell and Georgetown alumna. I’m a wife, sister, daughter, aunt, dog lover, and sports and outdoor enthusiast.”

Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame Established

The National Disability Mentoring Coalition last week inducted its inaugural set of inductees into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame, which honors leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing career exploration opportunities for youth with disabilities. In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act this year, the list includes 25 distinguished individuals, among them Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy.

Webinar to Address Smart Strategies for Stay at Work and Return to Work — October 27, 2:00-3:00 PM EDT

On October 27, 2:00-3:00 PM, EDT, the ODEP-funded Employer TA Center/EARN will present a webinar focusing on employer “stay at work” and “return to work” strategies that can reduce workers’ compensation costs and health-related absences while increasing productivity and retaining essential human capital. This webinar is approved for one HR general recertification credit hour through the HR Certification Institute, and registration is free but limited. So reserve your spot today!

Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Policy Collaborative Hosts Online Dialogue, Webinar

The Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Policy Collaborative, funded by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, is hosting an online dialogue, “Promoting Retention and Re-employment Following Injury or Illness.” This crowdsourcing event aims to help develop policies that increase retention and re-employment among workers who experience illness or injury — job related or not. The deadline to participate has been extended until midnight on Friday, October 9th, and the online dialogue is open 24 hours a day. On October 22, 12:00-1:30 PM EDT, the Collaborative will present a webinar, “Promoting Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Policies: Recommendations to Help Workers Who Experience Illness or Injury.” This forum will present the findings of three expert-led policy workgroups that have developed actionable recommendations to help workers keep their jobs if they experience a potentially career-ending medical condition.

“Work Early, Work Often” Video Series Released by Youth Transitions Collaborative

“Work Early, Work Often” is a video-based campaign created by the Youth Transitions Collaborative’s career preparation and management working group. Together, the three-part video campaign highlights the importance of work and work-based experiences in an individual’s transition to adulthood, particularly for young adults with disabilities. Each storyline focuses on a different subject and narrative, told from the perspective of key audiences that are part of the transition journey. The Youth Transitions Collaborative is a community of more than 45 organizations, including the Office of Disability Employment Policy, that share a mission to empower young people with disabilities as they enter adulthood and the world of work.

LEAD Center Launches National Employment First Policy & Data Platform

In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the LEAD Center has launched the National Employment First Policy & Data Platform. This platform, funded by ODEP and housed on the National LEAD Center’s website, provides a unique comprehensive resource for policy-makers, researchers, and external stakeholders to learn about national trends and state Employment First systems-change activities focused on increasing competitive, integrated employment outcomes of individuals with disabilities. To learn more about this new resource, review the “National Employment First Website Launch” webinar.

LEAD Center Presents “Disability, Employment & Lane v. Brown” Webinar — October 22, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT

On September 8, 2015, the United States entered into a proposed settlement agreement with the State of Oregon to vindicate the civil rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) who are unnecessarily segregated in sheltered workshops, or at risk of such unnecessary segregation. The settlement agreement with Oregon resolves a class action lawsuit by private plaintiffs in which the US Department of Justice moved to intervene in May 2013. The lawsuit alleged that the State’s employment service system over-relied on segregated sheltered workshops to the exclusion of integrated alternatives, such as supported employment services, and placed individuals, including youth, at risk of entering sheltered workshops. The LEAD Center will present a webinar “Disability, Employment & Lane v. Brown” on October October 22, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT during which participants will hear directly from representatives from the Justice Department about the elements of the settlement agreement, as well as from stakeholders in the state of Oregon who will be positively impacted by these developments.

Career and Health Transitions Webinar — October 13, 2:00-3:00 PM EDT

The Youth Transitions Collaborative, in partnership with the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Center for Health Transition Improvement (Got Transition) will host an educational webinar entitled “Career and Health Transitions: Take Charge of Planning and Managing Your Own Health and Career Goals.” During this webinar, the Youth Transition Collaborative, Got Transition, and the ODEP-funded National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) at the Institute for Educational Leadership will share guidance, tools, and resources on the importance of career and health transition planning. The target audience is youth and young adults, including those with disabilities and chronic health conditions; their families; and youth service professionals, including health care providers, workforce professionals, policymakers, and other adults working directly with youth. The webinar will be held October 13, 2:00-3:00 PM EDT, and will be captioned, recorded and archived. Presentation materials will be available for download the day of the webinar. If additional accommodations are needed, please contact Jessica Queener at

New Infographics Available from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs

Two new infographics have been released by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). “Jursidictional Thresholds” lays out which types of contractors are covered by Executive Order 11246, Section 503, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). The infographic “Am I a Protected Veteran?” guides readers through the process of determining whether they are covered under VEVRAA.

Federal Transit Administration Publishes ADA Guidance Circular

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has published an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Guidance Circular. This circular provides guidance to recipients and subrecipients of FTA financial assistance necessary to carry out provisions of the ADA of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the US Department of Transportation’s implementing regulations at 49 CFR Parts 27, 37, 38, and 39.