What Is The Office Of Disability Employment Policy?

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is the only non-regulatory agency within the federal government, working to develop and promote policies to encourage the integration of people with disabilities into the workforce. Since 2001, ODEP has offered guidance to the government and businesses for developing disability-related employment policy and encouraging the employment of people with disabilities. Meanwhile, ODEP continues to support a number of programs and resources.

ODEP Supported Programs

  • Disability.gov
  • Disability Mentoring Day
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Employer Assistance and Recruiting Network
  • Job Accommodation Network
  • Perspectives on Employment
  • Small Business and Self Employment for People with Disabilities
  • Workforce Recruitment Program

The Office of Disability Employment Policy Strategic Plan For The Future

Over the years, ODEP has crafted a strategic plans to move their mission forward in the workforce. From the work of ODEP, the nation has shifted and changed in many ways to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities. However, we have much to learn and continue to change.

1. Prepare workers for better jobs.

Within this strategic goal, ODEP outlines a couple of specific ways that they hope to alter economy for people with disabilities. ODEP plans to equip workers with advanced employment training, to provide marketable knowledge and skills, and to offer advanced worker’s rights to protect the vulnerable population. Three agencies support these changes, including the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), and the Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB).

2. Improve workplace safety and health.

Partnering with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine and Safety Health Administration (MSHA), ODEP outlines a plan to improve hazardous workplaces for the health and safety of workers with disabilities. One of the main goals is to prevent death, disease, and injury.

3. Promote fair and high-quality work environments.

Three objectives support this overarching goal. The Department of Labor plans to narrow the wage gap, protect workers’ rights, and secure wages and overtime of employees. Over eight DOL agencies strive to uphold ODEP’s policies and improve work environments.

4. Secure retirement, health, and other employee benefits and, for those not working, provide income security.

Two plans of action uphold this strategic goal. ODEP plans to offer income support for those when jobs are unavailable and facilitate return to work while also improving healthcare and retirement benefits for workers. Four different DOL agencies support this goal, including the Employment and Training Administration.

5. Produce timely and accurate data on the economic conditions of workers and their families.

ODEP’s goal to offer more information on the economic situation of workers throughout the USA is supported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). BLS prepares to meet this goal by finding objective data, improving timeliness and relevance, maintaining data collection processes, ensuring information is easy to find, and training incoming leaders to carry on the vision.


The Office of Disability Employment Policy is a unifier of U.S. Department of Labor agencies because many agencies come together to support the policies and strategic plans that ODEP has implemented. ODEP is on a mission to improve the face of the workforce, creating an equal opportunity environment for workers with disabilities.

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