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OPM Issues Report on the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch

The US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has published a report that provides data on the representation of people with disabilities in the federal workforce since the signing of Executive Order 13548 — Increasing the Federal Employment of People with Disabilities. The report found that by the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, total permanent federal employment for people with disabilities had increased from 234,395 in FY 2013 to 247,608, representing an increase from 12.80 percent to 13.56 percent. New hires with disabilities totaled 20,615, representing an increase from 18.18 percent in FY 2013 to 19.74 percent in FY2014.

“Disability Inclusion Starts with You” Video Released by OFCCP

To assist in the implementation of the revised regulations of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the US Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has released a new video, “Disability Inclusion Starts with You,” outlining the value of self-disclosure of disability by job applicants and new hires for employment with federal contractors. OFCCP Director Pat Shiu authored a blog on the subject, noting that “When workers and job seekers understand their employment rights, and are more confident that those rights will be protected, they are more likely to accept employers’ invitations to voluntarily self-identify. Therefore, at OFCCP we believe that providing workers with multiple opportunities to voluntarily self-identify, and explaining why self-identifying is important, is a good thing — it’s how things begin to change.”

Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Policy Collaborative Hosts Policy Forum and Live Webinar — October 22, 11:45 AM-1:30 PM EDT

The Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Policy Collaborative, funded by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, is hosting a policy forum and live webinar, “Promoting Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Policies: Recommendations to Help Workers Who Experience Illness or Injury,” on October 22, 11:45 AM-1:30 PM EDT in Washington, DC. 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. Check-in and a complimentary lunch for those attending the event in person begin at 11:45 AM, and the program begins at 12:00 PM. All in-person guests must sign in and present a photo ID.

Share Your NDEAM Celebrations!

Are you planning an event to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)? Has your local newspaper written an NDEAM-themed article? If you want to share your NDEAM activities with us, please send them along to We will add them to the “NDEAM News and Events from around the Nation” page on the Office of Disability Employment Policy’s website.

“Making My Way through College” Guide Published by NCWD/Youth

“Making My Way through College” is a guide for any student pursuing a degree or other type of credential (e.g., certification, license) at a two-year or four-year community college, college, or university. Published by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) the guide provides information on a variety of topics relevant to preparing for and succeeding in college and transitioning from college into the world of work. Much of the guide is relevant to all students, but the primary focus is on navigating the college experience for students with disabilities or those who think they may have a disability. Families and professionals who work with students entering or in postsecondary education are encouraged to share this guide with any students who may benefit from the information.

Job Accommodation Network Posts Two New Blogs

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has posted two new blogs: “Strategies for Developing a Transgender-Inclusive Workplace” and “Mental Health Awareness — Creating a More Inclusive Workplace.” JAN consultants discuss workplace issues around these important topics, providing background information, accommodation suggestions, and ways to promote fair, respectful, and stigma-free work environments.

Integrating Financial Capability and Asset Building Strategies into the Public Workforce Development System

While employment is critical to attaining a stronger economic future for American workers, the development of financial capability skills and strategies related to personal savings, asset building, managing credit, and individual budgeting are critical for sustaining financial security. This security in turn, helps individuals achieve and maintain employment outcomes. American Job Centers (AJCs) are uniquely positioned to extend the promise of financial stability to prospective job seekers and workers with disabilities by serving as a bridge to accessing accurate informational resources and successful strategies to assist in improving one’s financial capability. Through collaborative efforts with other federal agencies, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) mandated partners, community-based organizations, local asset building programs, and the financial services sector, America’s workforce development system can leverage the power of partnerships to facilitate access to financial capability services for their customers within American Job Centers and in the broader community. The LEAD Center has released a report describing some of the replicable models that AJCs have established to provide financial capability services.

PEAT Celebrates NDEAM, Seeks Personal Experiences with Accessible Technology

Given accessible technology’s crucial role in advancing the employment of people with disabilities, the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) is enthusiastically observing National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) — and encouraging employers, technology providers and users to do the same. As part of its celebration, PEAT is using its NDEAM web page to showcase a guest blog post on “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policies penned by Accessibility Partners’ Dana Marlowe, as well as personal stories that demonstrate the power of accessible technology in fueling the employment success of people with disabilities. Employees with disabilities and employers who have insights to share in this area are invited to submit a short success story today. The capstone of PEAT’s NDEAM activities will be a Twitter chat on BYOD and other leading practices related to accessible technology and universal design in the workplace. All are invited to join this collaborative Twitter conversation on October 28 from 2:00-2:30 PM EDT using the hashtag #PEATtalks.

Latest EARN Newsletter Now Available

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) has issued its October 14 newsletter, a special National Disability Employment Awareness Month edition. It features information on the US Business Leadership Network’s annual leadership awards, the State Department’s #WithoutLimits campaign, disability etiquette, 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 Archived Webinar — Section 188, the Nondiscrimination Provisions of WIOA

The LEAD Center, funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy, hosted a four-part webinar series titled “WIOA from a Disability Perspective.” This final installment in the series, “Section 188, the Nondiscrimination Provisions of WIOA,” has now been archived. The webinar focuses on Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which prohibits discrimination against people who apply to, participate in, work for, or come into contact with programs and activities of the workforce development system. Specifically, Section 188 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or political affiliation or beliefs. WIOA requires that American Job Centers (AJCs) be fully accessible and offer necessary accommodations so that job seekers with disabilities can effectively and meaningfully participate in AJC skills training and career pathways for 21st century jobs.