What is the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy?
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is the only non-regulatory federal agency that promotes policies and coordinates with employers and all levels of government to increase workplace success for people with disabilities.
ODEP's mission is to develop and influence policies and practices that increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
To fulfill this mission, ODEP promotes the adoption and implementation of ODEP policy strategies and effective practices — meaning those that ODEP has developed and/or validated — that will impact the employment of people with disabilities. ODEP's approach is to drive systems and practice changes by disseminating ODEP policy strategies and effective practices, sharing information, and providing technical assistance to government agencies, service providers and non-governmental entities, as well as public and private employers. Through these activities, ODEP contributes to the achievement of: DOL’s Strategic Goal 1: Support the ability of all Americans to find good jobs, and Strategic Objective 1.3: Develop evidence-based policies, practices, and tools to foster a more inclusive workforce to increase quality employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
What are the ePolicyWorks Online Dialogues?
Launched by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, ePolicyWorks is a Web-based approach to policymaking that engages citizens and stakeholders in new and innovative ways. The initiative leverages the latest technology, including crowdsourcing and social media tools, to address barriers to employment for people with disabilities and fosters real-time collaboration and communication around key issues.
Over the last several years, the ePolicyWorks initiative has hosted more than fifty online dialogues. Brought to you through the use of leading-edge crowdsourcing tools, these online dialogues are interactive platforms of collaboration. These tools enable ePolicyWorks to enlist the public's input on key policy and programmatic issues related to the employment of people with disabilities. In addition to return-to-work/stay-at-work, the dialogues have focused on number of other topics engaging federal partners, advocacy groups, provider associations, business organizations, individuals with disabilities and their families, and other key stakeholders in the policymaking process. To learn more about past ePolicyWorks dialogues, visit https://epolicyworks.ideascale.com/a/pages/epwdialoguelibrary.
Why is the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy hosting these online dialogues?
Traditional methods of gathering feedback involve limited participation. They tend to be "one and done" engagements that are purely data-driven. Crowdsourcing, on the other hand, entails interactive participation through online voting, idea submission and commenting. It is community driven and value driven, and it emphasizes results. The benefits of online dialogues include: connecting agencies to stakeholders or constituents, providing cost benefits and efficiencies, serving as an outreach and awareness tool.