Shepherd Center to Host US Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy Event
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), along with federal partners, will continue its six-city “listening tour” in Atlanta, Ga., on Feb. 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST at Shepherd Center located at 2020 Peachtree NW, The Calloway Auditorium, 7th floor. The purpose of the tour is to gather information on system barriers and best practices regarding the employment of people with disabilities.
“The employment figures for people with disabilities are way too low,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathleen Martinez, whose goal is to move stakeholders from assurances to action. “I am pleased to announce that ODEP is working in tandem with other federal agencies to change this picture as we strive for good jobs for everyone, including those of us with disabilities.”
ODEP is seeking input from employers, individuals, advocacy organizations and service providers in three key areas: more effective ways to increase the employment of women, veterans and minorities with disabilities; the identification of federal and state systems that are effectively collaborating to achieve successful employment outcomes for people with disabilities; and issues on which the federal government should focus to support an increase in labor force participation of people with disabilities.
The remaining tour stop will be in Boston (March 3). Earlier stops were in Dallas, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco.
Other federal partners on the tour include the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; and the U.S. Social Security Administration.
ODEP is a federal agency within the Department of Labor that provides national leadership to increase employment opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities while striving to eliminate barriers to employment. Through research and policy development, ODEP supports the creation of expanded work options and meaningful employment, promotes economic opportunities and independence, encourages self-determination and supports inclusion of people with disabilities in their communities. ODEP customers include: federal, state and local government agencies; educational and training institutions; private employers and their employees; disability advocates; and providers of services.
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neurological conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.