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Overview:
A sub-cabinet level agency in the Department of Labor, ODEP oversees the government’s development of disability employment policies and practices, aiming to assure that effective strategies concerning opportunities in the workplace for the disabled are being constantly modernized, newly-generated, and carried out. In 2006, a controversy arose about ODEP’s current Acting Assistant Secretary, Karen Czernacki, regarding her appearances on the PBS public affairs program, “To The Contrary,” during which she, in a personal capacity, speaks out on many topics, including labor issues, and is referred to as a conservative analyst or strategist, but not as a member of the Bush administration.
more
History:

Since the early 1900s, there have been a variety of resolutions, charters, acts, laws and amendments implemented, and committees, conferences, organizations, and task forces set up, regarding the disabled. In 2001 Congress authorized the creation of ODEP, as an agency within the Department of Labor, to give permanent attention, as a national policy, to the need for increasing employment opportunities for the disabled, with an immediate ODEP mandate being to integrate people with disabilities into the workforce of the 21st century.

more
What it Does:
ODEP is responsible for influencing policies and practices that can lead to an expansion of employment of the disabled. It furnishes employers with tools and technical assistance, along with ideas and relevant updated labor market data, to revamp their beliefs regarding who they may choose to employ. The goal: to help business people understand and appreciate the upside of adding disabled workers to their team, as well as help educate them as to the way employment support regarding the disabled works, including providing explanations of how they can potentially receive financial compensation for hiring disabled employees. Additionally, ODEP, as it provides realistic, practical, and beneficial ways and reasons to hire the disabled, coordinates and strategizes with staff from other federal agencies, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations that also are involved with matters related to employment. In addition, ODEP helps prepare the disabled, both young and older, with skills that will be specifically valuable in the present job market, and also provides them with information on a variety of topics that can offer assistance on many of their concerns regarding being disabled in the workforce as well as guideposts on how to succeed.     

Youth and Family

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Congressional Oversight:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; Committee on Appropriations

 

more

Comments

JERRY (nmn) ADAMS 3 years ago
Jerry Adams, 315 Sussex Ct., Suffolk,Va. 23434 6636 Dear Ms. Martinez: I was disability discriminated at Norfolk Naval Shipyard when my supervisor gave me an illegal coginitive test. He was not a doctor. I developed some short term memory problems and he made me write down the exact words that he gave me which I could not do. I was the senior leader of quality assurance inspectors on things that cannot and must not fail. He should have offered reasonable Accomadations. The entire job is in my long term memory. Or the supervisor could have allowed me to perform Surveilances. I sued in the Norfolk Federal court but I could not afford to appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Founded: 2001
Annual Budget: $18,602,000
Employees: 40
Official Website: http://www.dol.gov/odep
Office of Disability Employment Policy
Sheehy, Jennifer
Acting Assistant Secretary

Jennifer Sheehy, deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) at the U.S. Department of Labor, became acting assistant secretary of the ODEP in February 2015 to replace Kathleen Martinez, who left to join Wells Fargo.

 

Sheehy grew up in McClean, Virginia. Her father was an attorney and her mother ran the Source Theatre. She earned a B.A. in psychology and English from Cornell University in 1984. Following her graduation, she took jobs in marketing and management at Sheraton and Marriott hotels. With the goal of eventually seeking employment in the food and beverage industry, she enrolled in Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. During a summer break in 1994, she interned in the marketing research department at Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

That was the summer when someone at a July 4 weekend pool party pushed her backward into the pool, causing her to hit her head on a wall and to suffer a broken neck. She was transported to Washington, D.C., where her family lived, and was treated at the National Rehabilitation Hospital there. She spent the next few years in recovery, “relearning every single thing that you had to do with a spinal cord injury,” she told Ability Magazine, from driving to transferring into a bed from a wheelchair. Sheehy returned to her studies at Georgetown and received an MBA in July 1997.

 

She first went to work for the National Organization on Disability in 1995 as special assistant to the president, became a member of its board of directors in 1997 and in 1998 moved up to vice-president and director of its CEO Council. In 2000, she joined the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities as its senior policy advisor, concurrently serving as associate director on the White House Domestic Policy Council.

 

In May 2004, Sheehy joined the U.S. Department of Education as acting deputy director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). A year later, she was named acting deputy commissioner of the Education Department’s Rehabilitation Services Administration. In 2007, she was appointed director of policy and planning for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), a position she has held for 10 years. One year into that job, she served for a year as acting director of NIDRR.

 

In October 2012, Sheehy moved to the Department of Labor when she was appointed deputy assistant secretary of ODEP, a post she has held for more than four years. In March 2016, President Barack Obama appointed her to be a member of the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

 

Among the words of advice, Sheehy has stated for the newly disabled are: “Be sad when you need to, but then move on.…And express gratitude frequently. For you to live your life and accomplish things, others will have to get and do things for you. Let them know you appreciate it.”

-Danny Biederman

 

To Learn More:

Inclusion Works (Interview with Jennifer Sheehy, Ability Magazine)

Jennifer Sheehy: Working for Change (by Janine Bertram Kemp, New Mobility)

Official Biography

more
Martinez, Kathleen
Previous Assistant Secretary

Kathleen Martinez’s nomination as the Department of Labor’s Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy came the day after President Barack Obama joked with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show about how his poor bowling score compared with those in the Special Olympics. Advocates of disabled Americans who were incensed by the callous remark were nevertheless pleased with the selection of Martinez to head the Office of Disability Employment Policy because of her long career as a disability rights leader specializing in employment, independent living, diversity and gender issues. She was confirmed by the Senate on June 25, 2009.

 
Blind since birth, Martinez, 50, hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Both Martinez and her sister, who is also blind, were pushed by their parents to succeed and not allow their disability to limit their accomplishments. The Oakland native earned her Bachelor of Arts in speech and communications studies from San Francisco State University.
 
In the 1970s Martinez worked as an organizer in the women’s movement and labor campaigns to help farm workers.
 
Martinez joined the World Institute on Disability (WID) about 20 years ago and gradually worked her way up to become executive director in 2005. During this time she led the International Leadership Forum for Women with Disabilities in Washington, DC, in 1997, and co-organized in 2000 a training program for young disabled women from developing countries supported by the United Nations. Martinez also has participated in international training and development projects in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Americas. 
 
While running WID she directed Proyecto Visión, part of the organization’s National Technical Assistance Center to increase employment opportunities for Latinos with disabilities in the United States, and Access to Assets, a project to help reduce poverty among people with disabilities. She also led the effort to launch the webzine Disability World in English and Spanish.
 
In addition to her work at WID, Martinez has been a member of the National Council on Disability (appointed by President George W. Bush), the State Department’s advisory committee on disability and foreign policy (appointed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice), and the U.S. Institute of Peace. She also sat on the board of directors of Connected Nation.
 
Kathleen Martinez (U.S. Institute of Peace)
Video: Profiles of Excellence (Kathy Martinez segment at 17:50) (Channel 7 News)
more
Bookmark and Share
Overview:
A sub-cabinet level agency in the Department of Labor, ODEP oversees the government’s development of disability employment policies and practices, aiming to assure that effective strategies concerning opportunities in the workplace for the disabled are being constantly modernized, newly-generated, and carried out. In 2006, a controversy arose about ODEP’s current Acting Assistant Secretary, Karen Czernacki, regarding her appearances on the PBS public affairs program, “To The Contrary,” during which she, in a personal capacity, speaks out on many topics, including labor issues, and is referred to as a conservative analyst or strategist, but not as a member of the Bush administration.
more
History:

Since the early 1900s, there have been a variety of resolutions, charters, acts, laws and amendments implemented, and committees, conferences, organizations, and task forces set up, regarding the disabled. In 2001 Congress authorized the creation of ODEP, as an agency within the Department of Labor, to give permanent attention, as a national policy, to the need for increasing employment opportunities for the disabled, with an immediate ODEP mandate being to integrate people with disabilities into the workforce of the 21st century.

more
What it Does:
ODEP is responsible for influencing policies and practices that can lead to an expansion of employment of the disabled. It furnishes employers with tools and technical assistance, along with ideas and relevant updated labor market data, to revamp their beliefs regarding who they may choose to employ. The goal: to help business people understand and appreciate the upside of adding disabled workers to their team, as well as help educate them as to the way employment support regarding the disabled works, including providing explanations of how they can potentially receive financial compensation for hiring disabled employees. Additionally, ODEP, as it provides realistic, practical, and beneficial ways and reasons to hire the disabled, coordinates and strategizes with staff from other federal agencies, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations that also are involved with matters related to employment. In addition, ODEP helps prepare the disabled, both young and older, with skills that will be specifically valuable in the present job market, and also provides them with information on a variety of topics that can offer assistance on many of their concerns regarding being disabled in the workforce as well as guideposts on how to succeed.     

Youth and Family

more
Congressional Oversight:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; Committee on Appropriations

 

more

Comments

JERRY (nmn) ADAMS 3 years ago
Jerry Adams, 315 Sussex Ct., Suffolk,Va. 23434 6636 Dear Ms. Martinez: I was disability discriminated at Norfolk Naval Shipyard when my supervisor gave me an illegal coginitive test. He was not a doctor. I developed some short term memory problems and he made me write down the exact words that he gave me which I could not do. I was the senior leader of quality assurance inspectors on things that cannot and must not fail. He should have offered reasonable Accomadations. The entire job is in my long term memory. Or the supervisor could have allowed me to perform Surveilances. I sued in the Norfolk Federal court but I could not afford to appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

Leave a comment

Founded: 2001
Annual Budget: $18,602,000
Employees: 40
Official Website: http://www.dol.gov/odep
Office of Disability Employment Policy
Sheehy, Jennifer
Acting Assistant Secretary

Jennifer Sheehy, deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) at the U.S. Department of Labor, became acting assistant secretary of the ODEP in February 2015 to replace Kathleen Martinez, who left to join Wells Fargo.

 

Sheehy grew up in McClean, Virginia. Her father was an attorney and her mother ran the Source Theatre. She earned a B.A. in psychology and English from Cornell University in 1984. Following her graduation, she took jobs in marketing and management at Sheraton and Marriott hotels. With the goal of eventually seeking employment in the food and beverage industry, she enrolled in Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. During a summer break in 1994, she interned in the marketing research department at Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

That was the summer when someone at a July 4 weekend pool party pushed her backward into the pool, causing her to hit her head on a wall and to suffer a broken neck. She was transported to Washington, D.C., where her family lived, and was treated at the National Rehabilitation Hospital there. She spent the next few years in recovery, “relearning every single thing that you had to do with a spinal cord injury,” she told Ability Magazine, from driving to transferring into a bed from a wheelchair. Sheehy returned to her studies at Georgetown and received an MBA in July 1997.

 

She first went to work for the National Organization on Disability in 1995 as special assistant to the president, became a member of its board of directors in 1997 and in 1998 moved up to vice-president and director of its CEO Council. In 2000, she joined the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities as its senior policy advisor, concurrently serving as associate director on the White House Domestic Policy Council.

 

In May 2004, Sheehy joined the U.S. Department of Education as acting deputy director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). A year later, she was named acting deputy commissioner of the Education Department’s Rehabilitation Services Administration. In 2007, she was appointed director of policy and planning for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), a position she has held for 10 years. One year into that job, she served for a year as acting director of NIDRR.

 

In October 2012, Sheehy moved to the Department of Labor when she was appointed deputy assistant secretary of ODEP, a post she has held for more than four years. In March 2016, President Barack Obama appointed her to be a member of the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

 

Among the words of advice, Sheehy has stated for the newly disabled are: “Be sad when you need to, but then move on.…And express gratitude frequently. For you to live your life and accomplish things, others will have to get and do things for you. Let them know you appreciate it.”

-Danny Biederman

 

To Learn More:

Inclusion Works (Interview with Jennifer Sheehy, Ability Magazine)

Jennifer Sheehy: Working for Change (by Janine Bertram Kemp, New Mobility)

Official Biography

more
Martinez, Kathleen
Previous Assistant Secretary

Kathleen Martinez’s nomination as the Department of Labor’s Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy came the day after President Barack Obama joked with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show about how his poor bowling score compared with those in the Special Olympics. Advocates of disabled Americans who were incensed by the callous remark were nevertheless pleased with the selection of Martinez to head the Office of Disability Employment Policy because of her long career as a disability rights leader specializing in employment, independent living, diversity and gender issues. She was confirmed by the Senate on June 25, 2009.

 
Blind since birth, Martinez, 50, hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Both Martinez and her sister, who is also blind, were pushed by their parents to succeed and not allow their disability to limit their accomplishments. The Oakland native earned her Bachelor of Arts in speech and communications studies from San Francisco State University.
 
In the 1970s Martinez worked as an organizer in the women’s movement and labor campaigns to help farm workers.
 
Martinez joined the World Institute on Disability (WID) about 20 years ago and gradually worked her way up to become executive director in 2005. During this time she led the International Leadership Forum for Women with Disabilities in Washington, DC, in 1997, and co-organized in 2000 a training program for young disabled women from developing countries supported by the United Nations. Martinez also has participated in international training and development projects in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Americas. 
 
While running WID she directed Proyecto Visión, part of the organization’s National Technical Assistance Center to increase employment opportunities for Latinos with disabilities in the United States, and Access to Assets, a project to help reduce poverty among people with disabilities. She also led the effort to launch the webzine Disability World in English and Spanish.
 
In addition to her work at WID, Martinez has been a member of the National Council on Disability (appointed by President George W. Bush), the State Department’s advisory committee on disability and foreign policy (appointed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice), and the U.S. Institute of Peace. She also sat on the board of directors of Connected Nation.
 
Kathleen Martinez (U.S. Institute of Peace)
Video: Profiles of Excellence (Kathy Martinez segment at 17:50) (Channel 7 News)
more