May 1, 2020

ODEP News Brief. Driving Change - Creating Opportunity

Join the “Opening America’s Workplaces Again National Online Dialogue” through May 7, 2020

Now through May 7, 2020, you are invited to participate in the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) “Opening America’s Workplaces Again National Online Dialogue.” Share your ideas about challenges that may be faced as businesses reopen and how best to help employers and workers reopen America’s workplaces safely. This national online dialogue is hosted by USDOL’s Office of Compliance Initiatives in partnership with the Office of Disability Employment Policy, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Wage and Hour Division, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Employment and Training Administration, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, and Women’s Bureau. The dialogue will also include a one-hour Twitter chat scheduled for today, Friday, May, 1 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Follow @ePolicyWorks and use the hashtag #EPWChat to participate.

• Participate in the dialogue

WIOA Youth COVID-19 Session

The Division of Youth Services within the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment & Training Administration will host the “WIOA Youth Program COVID-19 Session” on May 4 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. During this event, aimed at Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) youth services providers, the Division of Youth Services will answer questions, share resources, and pass along best practices to address the challenges of continuing youth programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Learn about the WIOA Youth Program COVID-19 Session

Get Empowered Webcast Archive

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and America Saves Week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), America Saves, and the LEAD Center presented a webcast called “Get Empowered – Make the Most of Your Job and Improve Your Financial Security: Building Financial Solutions for People with Disabilities.” Experts from the National Disability Institute discussed how ABLE accounts can help individuals save while maintaining disability benefits. DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration provided information and resources on financial planning. America Saves shared how direct deposit can help with saving for all of your goals.

• Watch the archived webcast

JAN Enews

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) published its latest Enews. The newsletter includes an article on “Engaging in the Interactive Process During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” which addresses the issue of requesting and providing accommodations during this national health crisis. Also highlighted is information on accommodations for people who are returning to work after cancer treatment, teleconference accessibility for employees who are deaf or hard of hearing, and more.

• Read the JAN Enews

Future of Work Podcast

The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) posted a new episode of its Future of Work podcast series on “Protecting People with Disabilities Against Discrimination with AI in Employment.” The podcast features Alexandra Reeve Givens, Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Technology, Law, and Policy at Georgetown University. She discusses how employers need to be aware of both the benefits and potential risks associated with using artificial intelligence in the hiring process, particularly regarding the recruitment and interviewing process for people with disabilities.

• Listen to the podcast

College Registration for Workforce Recruitment Program

Registration is now open for colleges and universities to participate in the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP). The WRP is a recruitment and referral program that enables college students and recent graduates with disabilities to be connected with federal and private-sector employers nationwide for summer or permanent jobs. It is the primary pipeline bringing students and recent graduates with disabilities into federal employment. Schools can register for the WRP at by clicking on the “School Coordinator Registration Now Open” button. To participate, schools must be U.S. postsecondary institutions accredited by one of the accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The registration deadline is June 26, 2020.

• Register for the WRP

Supplemental Security Income Youth Solutions

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) announced funding awards under its Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Youth Solutions initiative, which aims to identify and evaluate strategies for improving employment outcomes for young adults ages 14 to 24 who apply for or receive SSI. Under this initiative, ODEP solicited proposals from subject matter experts for innovative and evidence-based actions that can increase labor force participation and economic success among this population. ODEP received more than 45 proposals and selected 12 to receive stipends and technical assistance to expand their proposed ideas into detailed white papers. In turn, the agency will use these white papers to inform their work on this issue and share them with a broad audience of stakeholders, including local, state, and federal policymakers.

• Read the news release

National Expansion of Employment Opportunities Network Initiative

The U.S. Department of Labor selected five National Provider Organizations (NPOs) to participate in its National Expansion of Employment Opportunities Network (NEON) initiative to increase competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities. Competitive integrated employment is work in typical community settings, where most employees do not have disabilities, and where the employer pays its employees directly at the minimum or prevailing wage – whichever is greater. NPOs are membership associations for service providers at the state and local level. Each of the NPOs will receive intensive policy consulting, technical support, and peer mentoring to strengthen their service provider network’s capacity to help workers with disabilities prepare for and obtain competitive integrated employment.

• Read the news release



I have functioned as a Business and Media Consultant over the past sixteen years and spent many years developing my capacity to function in our ever evolving use of technology, communication, education and training.