New Work Group Of 18 Agencies Focused On Federal Employment Of People With Disabilities

Washington, DC (CompNewsNetwork) – A U.S. Department of Labor-led interagency work group to increase the number of people with disabilities in the federal workforce was formed this week as part of a continuing commitment to encouraging opportunities for workers with disabilities.

The initiative was established by Disability Employment Policy Assistant Secretary of Labor Neil Romano under the direction of Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao, resulting in 18 federal agencies sending representatives to the initial working meeting.

Romano set the tone for the meeting, stating, "We need to encourage leaders in every federal agency to take strong, proactive and immediate steps to bring more people with disabilities into the federal workforce, ensure that they are receiving the most effective accommodations available, and be supported as they work and advance their careers."

The 40 attendees participated in discussions and heard presentations on comprehensive centralized accommodations funding programs; tools for recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing people with disabilities in the federal workforce; and leadership and innovative practices in federal employment for people with disabilities.

Deputy Labor Secretary Howard Radzely commented on behalf of the secretary of labor, "We in the federal government have the opportunity to be a role model for all employers in the employment of people with disabilities."

The work group plans to meet again in the next few months.

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is leading a 21st century federal response to the historic underemployment of people with disabilities. In collaboration with other government agencies, public and private employers, and additional stakeholders, ODEP facilitates the development and implementation of innovative policies and practices necessary to achieve a fully inclusive workplace. ODEP's work primarily falls into three categories: employers and the workplace; workforce systems; and employment-related supports, which include education and training, health care, reliable transportation, affordable housing and assistive technology.

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