What is ePolicyWorks?
Launched by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), ePolicyWorks is a Web-based approach to policymaking that engages citizens and stakeholders in new and innovative ways. The initiative leverages the latest technology to address barriers to employment for people with disabilities and fosters real-time collaboration and communication around key issues.
Participants in the ePolicyWorks initiative benefit from a variety of tools and features to help them stay informed, build relationships and partner on important policy developments. These include Web-based dialogues on key issues, interactive Twitter chats and RSS feeds. These online collaborative spaces are where stakeholders can learn and contribute to the conversation about the intersection between employment, disability and specific policy areas.
ePolicyWorks’ goal is to break down barriers to employment for people with disabilities. The initiative is focused on the use of technology to support jobseekers in their search and employees in their careers; accessible transportation to get people to and from work; youth and young adult jobseekers; and how stay-at-work/return-to-work policies support employees and businesses.
The ePolicyWorks initiative offers experts and like-minded individuals the opportunity to collaborate on issues related to the employment and support of people with disabilities. ePolicyWorks helps members:
- Share ideas and extend reach – ePolicyWorks features tailored discussion forums through its online dialogues and social networking features to enhance communication to an expanded network.
- Increase productivity – Dialogue participants can actively engage in real-time conversations without having to organize meeting space or arrange travel.
- Build relationships – ePolicyWorks connects members virtually and in-person. Members have the opportunity to partner on existing policy developments, and discuss ideas for future policies related to disability and employment.
- Stay informed – ePolicyWorks’ social media and RSS feeds offer the latest news on employment, disability and related issue areas.
- Receive timely feedback – ePolicyWorks modernizes the concept of constituent feedback. Tools facilitate national dialogues and online discussions to engage federal partners and stakeholders in real-time.
Effective policymaking is collaborative policymaking. And today, a confluence of developments is creating opportunities to engage citizens in the policymaking process in new and innovative ways. Coupled with the rise of collaborative technology and the federal government’s transformation to a more open, “green” and transparent environment, the way our democracy functions is undergoing drastic change. ePolicyWorks is a timely example of federal information sharing and participatory policymaking through interactive technology. It reflects a paradigm shift in how stakeholders connect and collaborate, and as a result, it is increasing policymaking efficiency. ePolicyWorks has the power to promote positive, lasting change and fulfill America’s promise of equal employment opportunity for all citizens.
The Advisory Group was formed to help set the direction for ePolicyWorks, support the goals of open government and to improve collaboration in the federal government’s policymaking process. The Advisory Group meets on an ad-hoc basis to share best practices, address ways to advance ePolicyWorks, recommend outreach strategies, suggest new tools, and more.
Members of the Advisory Group are policy and thought leaders from across the federal government and include:
- Lindsey Teel, U.S. Department of Labor
- Dan Munz, U.S. Department of State
- Jamal Mazrui, Federal Communications Commission
- Kevin Connors, U.S. Department of Labor
- Justin Herman, General Services Administration
- Michael Reardon, U.S. Department of Labor
- Bryna Helfer, U.S. Department of Transportation
- Zuhair Mahmoud, Library of Congress
- Dan Morgan, U.S. Department of Transportation
- Mario Damiani, U.S. Access Board
- Michael Nesbitt, U.S. Department of Transportation
- Nadia Ibrahim, U.S. Department of Labor
- Mohammed Yousuf, U.S. Department of Transportation
- Janni Lehrer-Stein, National Council on Disability
How to Get Involved
View our latest national dialogues, follow us on Twitter and join our mailing list to stay up to date on future dialogues and learn more about the power of crowdsourcing. All dialogues are open to the public, registration is free and anyone is welcome to join. Please email us at ePolicyWorks@dol.gov with any questions.