Dialogue Library

For the past five years, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy’s (ODEP) ePolicyWorks initiative has hosted more than 25 national online dialogues that allowed various partners to enlist public stakeholder input on key policy issues related to the employment of people with disabilities. Browse our Dialogue Library below for further details and to review the outcomes of each online event.

Closed Dialogues

Autonomous Vehicles: Driving Employment for People with Disabilities

October 10 – 27, 2017

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) partnered to host this online dialogue to promote innovative thinking around the design and deployment of autonomous vehicles as it relates to employment.

SAW/RTW Policy Collaborative Online Dialogue on Policy Dissemination

June 26 – July 11, 2017

During the SAW/RTW Policy Dissemination national online dialogue, participants shared ideas on the best ways to disseminate policy products and information generated through ODEP’s Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Policy Collaborative and its three Policy Working Groups.

The ABLE Act: A Tool for Financial Stability and Employment Outcomes

May 2 – 16, 2017

This national online dialogue, hosted by the LEAD Center and ePolicyWorks, explored how ABLE accounts can be used to advance employment and financial self-sufficiency for youth and adults with disabilities.

SAW/RTW Policy Collaborative Online Dialogue on the Transition Back to Work

April 1 – 21, 2017

This national online dialogue on the transition back to work was hosted by ODEP’s Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Policy Collaborative. Through two sub-topics, “Partial Return-to-Work” and “Employer Subsidies and Incentives,” participants explored what it would take for states to develop initiatives or programs, or institute policy changes, that support workers in the transition back to work.

SAW/RTW Policy Collaborative Online Dialogue on RTW Strategies from Washington’s COHE Model

March 7 – 24, 2017

This national online dialogue took place in support of ODEP’s Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Policy Collaborative’s efforts to develop strategies and practices to promote the return-to-work process for injured workers. Participants shared ideas on ways that states might adopt or adapt occupational health best practices and care coordination strategies from Washington’s COHE model to improve outcomes for injured workers.

Building a Disability-Inclusive Talent Pipeline: Ideas for Effective Outreach and Recruitment Strategies

January 1 – February 3, 2017

ODEP and the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) gathered insights into successful strategies federal contractors are using to recruit and hire people with disabilities. Responses will be used to develop technical assistance materials to help more covered employers ensure their doors are open to all qualified individuals.

Promoting Inclusive Career Pathways Online Dialogue

October 14 – November 4, 2016

The LEAD Center, an ODEP-funded technical assistance center, sought to gather ideas and insights on how to improve the effectiveness of Inclusive Career Pathways programs to provide career support for people whose options may be otherwise limited.

Making it Happen: Increasing Awareness of Accessible Workplace Technology Online Dialogues I and II

October 10 – 26, 2016

This two-part series of national online dialogues was held in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). ODEP and its Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) listened to participants’ ideas on the kinds of policies, programs and structures needed to advance accessible workplace technology, along with ways ODEP and PEAT can advance them.

SAW/RTW Policy Collaborative Online Dialogue on What Can States Do?

July 18 – August 12, 2016

As part of ODEP’s Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Policy Collaborative, this national online dialogue solicited feedback from a wide array of stakeholders on policy recommendations for increasing retention and re-employment among workers facing illness or injury.

Careers in the Arts National Online Dialogue

June 6 – 9, 2016

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) the NEA and National Arts and Disability Center co-hosted this national dialogue as a follow-up to two national conferences in 1998 and 2009, and 28 NEA-sponsored Statewide Forums (2002 to 2014). Participants within the disability and arts communities answered the question – what ideas do you have to increase the career preparation and employment of people with disabilities in the arts?

YouthACT Transitions Truths National Online Dialogue

May 19 – 22, 2016

Hosted in collaboration with ODEP’s Youth Policy Team and the ODEP-funded National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth), this national online dialogue allowed youth and young adults with disabilities to discuss an important topic: what they need to become successful adults.

Work Matters: Advancing State Policy for a More Inclusive Workforce Online Dialogue

February 5 – March 16, 2016

In preparation for the inaugural meeting of the National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities, the Council of State Governments (CSG) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) collaborated with the State Exchange on Disability & Employment (SEED), an ODEP-sponsored initiative, to host this national online dialogue. It gathered ideas and information from individuals involved in state policymaking about their experiences with state level disability employment-related policy in order to inform the National Task Force’s priorities and help focus policy options.

Breaking Down Employment Barriers with Accessible Transportation Innovation

November 2, 2015 – February 14, 2016

ODEP and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative focused on the future generation of accessible transportation solutions, including connected and automated vehicles, to further develop and enhance transportation options as an effective employment support for people with disabilities.

Advancing the Conversation on Disability Inclusion: Strategies for Achieving the Goals of Section 503 Online Dialogue

November 18 – December 18, 2015

ODEP and its Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) gathered insights into successful strategies federal contractors are using to achieve their goals under new Section 503 rules that went into effect in 2014. Information from this national online dialogue is used to develop technical assistance materials to help employers foster a disability-inclusive workplace culture where people feel comfortable disclosing disabilities openly, without fear of discrimination.

Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Policy Collaborative Online Dialogues

June 22 – October 9, 2015

ODEP’s SAW/RTW Policy Collaborative hosted a series of three national online dialogues. The first, “Expanding Access To Evidence-based, Early Intervention (EBEI) Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Services and Supports,” invited participants to comment on policy recommendations for expanding timely access to SAW/RTW services and supports. The second, “Establishing Work and Full Participation as Accountable Health Outcomes,” asked invited participants to provide input on how to reduce the number of working adults who lose their jobs or leave the workforce due to a health condition, and how to increase the number of people who receive the help they need to stay employed. The final, “Promoting Retention and Re-employment Following Injury or Illness,” invited participants to suggest ways to respond to five draft policy recommendations intended to promote retention and re-employment after an injury or an illness.

Connecting with Families: Supporting Postsecondary Success of Young Adults with Disabilities

January 22 – February 11, 2015

ODEP and its National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) engaged families of young adults in postsecondary educational or technical programs, asking them to share their ideas on what postsecondary institutions and other providers could do to better assist families in supporting young adult’s educational and employment success.

Image of table with work in progress

CIO Council’s Accessibility Community of Practice Online Dialogues

October 21 – November 14, 2014

ODEP, in partnership with the Vendor Outreach/Acquisition Subcommittee of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council’s Accessibility Community of Practice, hosted two national online dialogues. The first, “Join the Conversation: Understanding and Conforming with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act,” asked federal contractors for their ideas on how the Federal Government can improve communication with industry about Section 508 requirements and increase compliance. The second, “Join the Conversation: Increasing Communication and Collaboration around Section 508 within the Federal Procurement Community,” sought ideas from the procurement community, as well as success stories and effective practices, in dealing with issues and roadblocks regarding Section 508 implementation.

State Governments: What Can We Do? Join the Conversation for Change

August 4 – 18, 2014

This national online dialogue invited state government disability employment, human resources and diversity professionals, as well as all others with insight into disability employment, to share new or innovative approaches to hiring, retaining and advancing individuals with disabilities.

Encouraging People with Disabilities to Pursue Careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)

July 28 – August 8, 2014

The national online dialogue hosted by the National Council on Disability (NCD) and ODEP was the final in a series of three dialogues. Participants contributed their ideas on how to increase the number of people with disabilities pursuing STEM careers; ensure careers in the STEM fields are open to everyone, including people with disabilities; and suggestions on how to provide better support to ensure successful employment outcomes in these growing fields.

Advancing Accessibility and Inclusion in Social Media — The Tech Experience

May 12 – June 13, 2014

Co-hosted by ODEP and the National Council on Disability (NCD), this second in a three-part series invited participants to work together to improve social media accessibility by reviewing ideas from the first dialogue, “Advancing Accessibility and Inclusion in Social Media – The User Experience,” and come up with creative ways social media companies could integrate those ideas into the design and development of social media online tools and apps.

Help Shape National Disability Employment Awareness Month’s (NDEAM) 2014 Theme

March 24 – 31, 2014

Participants were asked to submit slogans or taglines that serve to remind everyone of the valuable skills and talents that people with disabilities bring to the workplace. The ideas and comments received during this national online dialogue were used to help develop a theme for ODEP’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

Advancing Accessibility and Inclusion in Social Media — The User Experience

March 17 – April 4, 2014

The national online dialogue, hosted by the National Council on Disability (NCD) and ODEP, was the first in a series of three dialogues focusing on social media accessibility. NCD and ODEP used this information to understand the role of social media in the lives of people with disabilities and identify creative ways people with disabilities deal with a variety of accessibility issues.

Join the Conversation for Change: Improving the Accessibility of Online Tools for Workers with Intellectual Disabilities

December 30, 2013 – January 10, 2014

This national online dialogue was hosted by ODEP, the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN). The ideas from this online dialogue were used by ASAN and PEAT to develop recommendations to help make online tools more accessible for people with intellectual disabilities who are seeking jobs or using the Internet to work.

Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative (VTCLI) Grantee Online Dialogue

November 18 – December 20, 2013

This national online dialogue, coordinated by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and ODEP asked, “What activities are you finding to be most beneficial in helping Veterans and Military families access transportation resources in your community?”

Join the Conversation for Improved Transportation Services in St. Lucie County

November 4 – December 16, 2013

This national online dialogue was hosted by St. Lucie County, Fla., as part of the Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative (VTCLI) with the support of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and its partners. Active-duty military, Veterans, their friends and family, seniors, military organizations and transportation experts were asked to provide their input on what could be done to improve the availability, quality and efficiency of transportation services in their community and what changes are needed to help all of those in the region get where they need to go.

Join the Conversation for Change: Employer Dialogue — What Can We Do?

September 9 – 11, 2013

In ODEP’s second national online dialogue, employers, human resources and diversity professionals, and other interested stakeholders were asked, “What services do you need to facilitate the hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities?”

Federal Partners in Transition National Online Dialogue

May 13 – 26, 2013

ODEP’s first national online dialogue was hosted with the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Social Security Administration. It examined the impact of existing federal regulations on the transition from school to work for youth with disabilities to address the reality that, compared to their peers without disabilities, youth with disabilities are twice as likely to drop out of school and half as likely to enroll in and complete post-secondary education.