Disability Employment Policy Development

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) provides national leadership on disability employment policy to the Department of Labor (DOL) and other Federal agencies.

ODEP develops and fosters implementation of comprehensive and integrated disability employment policies and strategies throughout
the workforce development system and with employers.

Implementation of these effective policies and practices will increase employment opportunities and the recruitment, retention and promotion of people with disabilities.

ODEP's response to low employment rates among people with disabilities is comprehensive and aggressive, and includes securing the active involvement and cooperation among a number of stakeholders, including Federal, State and local government agencies, private and public employers, educational and training institutions, and the disability community.

Agency - Department of Labor

The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of job seekers, wage earners and retirees by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities, protecting their retirement and health benefits and generally protecting worker rights and monitoring national economic measures.

Website Address

www.dol.gov/odep



Program Accomplishments

Documenting the Unemployment Rate of People with Disabilities Multi-year collaborative effort between ODEP and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to develop a valid and reliable method of measuring the unemployment rate of people with disabilities. The results will, for the first time, document the actual unemployment rate of people with disabilities. Improving Professional Development of Youth Service Practitioners: ODEP developed the "Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities of Youth Service Practitioners: The Centerpiece of a Successful Workforce Development System," which outlines the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) needed by professionals to better connect youth with disabilities to workforce development opportunities. 4,500 members of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP), an organization created in 1989 with start-up funding from DOL, are now offered a youth credential based on the KSAs. The 900 member organizations at the National Partnership for Juvenile Services used the KSAs to develop their Youth Workforce Development Training Curriculum. Increasing Access to Youth Services for Youth with Disabilities: ODEP drafted the language in the Youth Vision Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 28-05 (TEGL) and other Employment and Training Administration (ETA) policy guidance that specifically identifies and includes youth with disabilities and their needs with regard to Workforce Investment Act (WIA)-funded programs and services. WIA-funded youth services now explicitly recognize the accommodation needs of youth with disabilities in programs, removing disincentives to serving youth with disabilities, and increasing their access to ETA youth services resources. Improving Transition Plans for Youth with Disabilities: ODEP developed the "Guideposts for Success" (Guideposts), a common language guide of key educational and career development interventions for youth transitioning from high school to post-secondary education and/or employment. Forty-six states are now using the Guideposts to develop better transition improvement plans for thousands of school districts and their students. Maryland and Iowa are using the Guideposts as the basis for developing statewide cooperative agreements with local school districts and evaluating state transition programs, respectively. South Carolina, Indiana, Wisconsin and Texas are using the Guideposts to replicate ODEP's High School/High Tech demonstration programs. Influencing Employer Policies and Practices: Thousands of employers now have updated, valid and credible information on the low cost of workplace accommodations and the increase in overall company productivity that results from providing accommodations for employees with disabilities. Through an Alliance Agreement with the 210,000 member-strong Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), SHRM has committed to promoting the employment of people with disabilities through jointly developed training, education, outreach, and technical assistance activities. Promoting Workplace Safety and Security for Federal Employees with Disabilities: ODEP led the development of "Preparing the Workplace for Everyone: Accounting for the Needs of People with Disabilities: A Framework of Emergency Preparedness Guidelines for Federal Agencies" (Framework), for all Federal agencies to use to evaluate and strengthen their emergency plans. Thousands of personnel responsible for effective emergency preparedness, including Federal building managers at the national, regional, and field levels through GSA; human resource and disability program managers through OPM; Federal safety and health officials through OSHA; and others are now using the Framework to ensure that the needs of agency employees with disabilities are considered in all aspects of emergency planning. Ensuring Access to One-Stop Career Centers for People with Disabilities: ODEP and the DOL's Employment and TrainingAdministration jointly produced the WIA Section 188 Disability Checklist and ODEP developed "Strategies and Practices for Effectively Serving all One-Stop Customers: A Framework for Systems Change," both of which increase access to One-Stop Career Centers for people with disabilities. Thousands of One-Stop Career Centers in the workforce system now have a way to measure their compliance with Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The Workforce System now acknowledges people with disabilities as potential entrepreneurs, encouraging the workforce system to make entrepreneurial training opportunities available. Improving the Workforce Investment System's Effectiveness with 'hard to serve' Customers: ODEP developed customized employment policy for the WIA system that set forth successful models of partnership and leveraging of funds and expertise so that 'hard to serve' customers can realize increased employment outcomes. SSI and SSDI; Medicaid; TANF; transition programs under IDEA; and other programs (e.g., mental health agencies, agencies serving persons with mental retardation and developmental disabilities, and independent living programs); and thousands of workforce investment system professionals now use customized employment strategies. Improving Coordination of Employment-Related Transportation Efforts: ODEP collaborated on drafting Executive Order in 2004, which created "United We Ride", comprised of private and public sector partners. Up to $80 million in new funding has been authorized through the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA-LU) for new resources to assist communities in meeting the mobility needs of people with disabilities seeking employment. Thousands of transportation professionals and service providers now have access to employment-related mobility management models (travel navigators, transportation brokers, and trip planners) to enhance transportation options for workers and job seekers with disabilities.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Uses and use restrictions are detailed in each solicitation for cooperative agreement or grant applications and in each request for proposals.

See www.grants.gov, the Federal Register, or FedBizOpps for current Solicitations for Grant Applications (SGAs) and Requests for Proposals (RFPs).

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

While individuals are not eligible for ODEP's cooperative agreements and grants, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, State and local government agencies, academic institutions, and other entities are eligible.

Eligibility requirements are detailed in each SGA and in RFPs.

See www.grants.gov, the Federal Register, or FedBizOpps for current SGAs and RFPs.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Beneficiary eligibility is detailed in each solicitation for cooperative agreement or grant applications and request for proposals. See www.grants.gov, the Federal Register, or FedBizOpps for current SGAs and RFPs.

Credentials/Documentation

See www.grants.gov, the Federal Register, or FedBizOpps for current SGAs and RFPs.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Coordination requirements are detailed in each solicitation for cooperative agreement or grant applications and request for proposals.

See www.grants.gov, the Federal Register, or FedBizOpps for current SGAs and RFPs.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

Application procedures are detailed in each solicitation for cooperative agreement or grant applications and request for proposals. See www.grants.gov, the Federal Register, or FedBizOpps for current SGAs and RFPs.

Award Procedures

Competitive cooperative agreement and grant applications, submitted in response to a current solicitation for cooperative agreement or grant application, will be reviewed by a Federal panel for fidelity to Federal principles, to ensure adherence to solicitation for cooperative agreement or grant application requirements, and are subject to availability of funds and performance achievement. See www.grants.gov, the Federal Register, or FedBizOpps for current SGAs and RFPs.

Deadlines

Deadlines are detailed in each solicitation for cooperative agreement or grant applications and request for proposals. See www.grants.gov, the Federal Register, or FedBizOpps for current SGAs and RFPs.

Authorization

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2001 Section1(a)(1); Public Law 106-554; 29 U.S.C. 557b.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Timeframes are detailed in each solicitation for cooperative agreement or grant applications and request for proposals. See www.grants.gov, the Federal Register, or FedBizOpps for current SGAs and RFPs.

Appeals

Appeal information and contact procedures for each solicitation are contained and detailed within the solicitation for cooperative agreement or grant application and request for proposals. See www.grants.gov, the Federal Register, or FedBizOpps for current SGAs and RFPs.

Renewals

Renewal and option year availability is detailed in each solicitation for cooperative agreement or grant applications. All awards are based on single-year budget authority. Renewal and option year funding, when provided, is subject to availability of funds and performance achievement. See www.grants.gov, the Federal Register, or FedBizOpps for current SGAs and RFPs.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

ODEP does not conduct solicitations requiring formula or matching requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Length of time and phasing of assistance are detailed in each solicitation for cooperative agreement or grant applications. See www.grants.gov, the Federal Register, or FedBizOpps for current SGAs and RFPs.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

All cooperative agreement and grants require quarterly program and financial (SF 269 and SF 272) reports as well as a final report.

All cooperative agreement and grants require cooperation and sharing of program reports with ODEP's independent external evaluator.

See www.grants.gov, the Federal Register, or FedBizOpps for current SGAs and RFPs.

Audits

Audits are conducted by the Inspector General, General Accountability Office, or independent public accountants selected by the Department of Labor.

Records

None.

Financial Information

Account Identification

16-0166-0-1-505.

Obigations

(Salaries and expenses) FY 07 $27,712,000; FY 08 est. $27,228,000; and FY 09 est. $12,441,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Previous awards for cooperative agreement, grants and contracts have ranged from approximately $15,000 to $3,500,000 per funding year, depending on the project needs as detailed in the solicitation for cooperative agreement or grant application or proposal and availability of funds. Awards have been to nonprofit and for-profit organizations, State and local government agencies, academic institutions, and other entities.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Information about the Office of Disability Employment Policy is located at www.dol.gov/odep. Information and resources on disability employment and other disability-related topics can be found at www.DisabilityInfo.gov, for which ODEP is the managing partner with 22 Federal Agencies.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room S1303, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 693-7880; (202) 693-7881/TTY; (202)693-7888/FAX. E-mail: infoodep@dol.gov.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Criteria for selecting proposals are detailed in each solicitation for cooperative agreement or grant application and request for proposal. Criteria always include the availability of ODEP funds, alignment with ODEP's mission to develop national policy to reduce barriers to employment for people with disabilities, provision of data to support performance reporting, and performance achievement. See www.grants.gov, the Federal Register, or FedBizOpps for current SGAs and RFPs.



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