The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) provides national leadership on disability employment policy by developing and influencing the use of evidence-based disability employment policies and practices, building collaborative partnerships, and delivering authoritative and credible data on employment of people with disabilities. The following are programs and activities of ODEP:
- Job Accommodation Network (JAN) - The Job Accommodation Network is a service provided by ODEP. JAN represents the most comprehensive resource for job accommodations and information on the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Business $ense - A small business newsletter published by ODEP.
- Disability Mentoring Day - Students with disabilities (mentees) are matched with workplace mentors according to expressed career interests. Mentees experience a typical day on the job and learn how to prepare to enter the world of work. Employers gain an increased awareness that people with disabilities represent an overlooked talent pool. Disability Mentoring Day is a program of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).
- Emergency Preparedness and People with Disabilities - ODEP and other resources related to inclusive emergency preparedness.
- Employer Assistance & Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) - EARN is an initiative funded by ODEP that provides employers with free consulting services and resources to support the recruitment and hiring of people with disabilities.
- Employment First is a framework for systems change that is centered on the premise that all citizens, including individuals with significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in integrated employment and community life.
- High School/ High Tech - An initiative of ODEP, the High School/High Tech Program (HS/HT) provides opportunities for students with all types of disabilities to explore exciting careers in science, mathematics, and technology.
- National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities (LEAD) - LEAD promotes employment of people with disabilities by conducting policy development to ensure they receive effective services under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
- National Disability Employment Awareness Month - NDEAM is an opportune time to raise awareness about disability employment issues and demonstrate a commitment to an inclusive workplace through disability awareness training or informal educational events that can include information about accommodations and the ADA.
- ODEP Alliance - The ODEP Alliance Initiative is a cooperative program that enables organizations committed to improving disability workplace practices to work with ODEP to develop and implement model policies, initiatives, and strategies that increase recruiting, hiring, advancing, and retaining workers with disabilities.
- Retaining Employment and Talent after Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN) is a program focused on an important dimension of disability employment: Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) strategies. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) in partnership with the Employment and Training Administration and Social Security Administration, the program is engaging eight state teams in a series of demonstration projects focused on helping workers stay at or return to the workforce following an illness or injury.
- Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) - Coordinated by the ODEP and the U.S. Department of Defense, the WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private sector employers with highly motivated postsecondary students with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.
Situations and Solutions:
The following situations and solutions are real-life examples of accommodations that were made by JAN customers. Because accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis, these examples may not be effective for every workplace but give you an idea about the types of accommodations that are possible.
A company wanted to employ more individuals with disabilities.
The new CEO believed that as a federal contractor it was time to target individuals with significant disabilities. To begin its program the company wanted resources to help eliminate any barriers in the hiring process. JAN referred to the company to several training programs and the websites of AskJAN.org and the Office of Disability Employment Policy.
A national mentoring organization wanted information on materials that might help highlighted mentors and their roles.
JAN referred the organization to the "Because" PSA Download Center and the Office of Disability Employment Policy.
A national speaker wanted to use a powerful video at the end of her disability inclusion speech.
She contacted JAN for information on what might be available. JAN provided some materials and referred her to the "I Can" campaign from the Campaign for Disability Employment and the Office of Disability Employment Policy.
As a part of its annual personnel training, human resources wanted to include several videos related to hiring people with disabilities.
JAN staff referred the individual to its YouTube Channel and its Workplace Accommodation Toolkit. The individual was also referred to the Office of Disability Employment Policy's website.
An employer contacted JAN looking for posters and videos to support its new disability awareness program.
A JAN staff member referred the individual to the websites for the Campaign for Disability Employment and National Disability Employment Awareness Month.