Dialogue Library

To date, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy's (ODEP) ePolicyWorks initiative has hosted more than 49 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.


Job Developing for People with Disabilities during Times of Increased Unemployment National Online Dialogue (October 6 to 18, 2020)

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is continuing its efforts to support American workers with disabilities and position the economy for a strong rebound. DOL is hosting a national online dialogue to learn how job developers are helping people with disabilities obtain competitive integrated employment during times of increased health risks and unemployment. People with disabilities, family members, advocates, employment specialists, VR counselors, job coaches, and employers are invited to share their best ideas about (1) addressing health risks, (2) balancing self-determination and health, and (3) addressing increased unemployment.

Visit the dialogue at: WorkforceSystems.IdeaScale.com


U.S. Department of Transportation's Accessibility Strategic Plan Framework Online Dialogue (July 30 – August 23, 2020)

The U.S. Department of Transportation hosted this online dialogue to gain input on its Accessibility Strategic Plan to ensure a unified vision and clear path forward to continue to remove barriers in transportation access for people with disabilities. The plan will include specific goals that will guide the department's accessibility work. The final version of the strategic plan will be published in the Federal Registry in late 2020.

Read the final report here: U.S. Department of Transportation's Accessibility Strategic Plan Framework Online Dialogue Final Report


Opening America's Workplaces Again National Online Dialogue (April 29 to May 7, 2020)

As the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) continued its efforts to support American workers and position the economy for a strong rebound, it hosted a national online dialogue to solicit ideas about challenges that may be faced as businesses reopen and how best to help employers and workers reopen America's workplaces safely.

Read the final report here: Opening America's Workplaces Again National Online Dialogue Final Report


Providing Expanded Family and Medical Leave to Employees Affected by COVID-19 National Online Dialogue (March 23 to April 10, 2020)

The Office of Compliance Initiatives, in partnership with the Wage and Hour Division and the Office of Disability Employment Policy, hosted this online dialogue for employers and business organizations, employees and employee groups, state and local government officials, and other stakeholders to shape the development of USDOL’s compliance assistance materials and outreach strategies related to the implementation of the FFCRA’s expanded family and medical leave provisions.

Read the final report here: Providing Expanded Family and Medical Leave to Employees Affected by COVID-19 National Online Dialogue Final Report


Access and Mobility for All Summit National Online Dialogue (October 25 to October 29, 2019)

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) hosted the Access and Mobility for All Summit on October 29, 2019 to raise awareness of DOT and government-wide efforts to improve access and mobility for people with disabilities, older adults, and individuals of low income and identify priority federal and non-federal activities and innovations that can provide more efficient, affordable, and accessible vehicles and mobility services such as transit and ride-sharing. Summit participants used the dialogue to pose questions for the summit's featured panelists representing the advocacy community, government, academia, and industry.


Barriers and Solutions to Complete Trips for All National Online Dialogue (September 9, 2019 to October 7, 2019)

People with disabilities face an unemployment rate twice that of their peers. Thirty percent of people with disabilities unable to find employment cite mobility difficulties as a barrier to their success. The U.S. Departments of Transportation and Labor hosted this dialogue with the goal of reducing the mobility barriers constraining the participation of Americans with disabilities in the workforce and in the community. Specifically, the dialogue aimed to understand how new technologies and innovations can improve mobility for those with disabilities.

Read the final report here: Barriers and Solutions to Complete Trips for All National Online Dialogue Final Report


Supporting Nursing Mothers in the Workplace National Online Dialogue (August 6 to September 13, 2019)

The Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI), in partnership with the Wage and Hour Division, Women's Bureau, and Office of Disability Employment Policy, gathered input and ideas on how the U.S. Department of Labor can help employers and nursing mothers understand their responsibilities and rights under Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act – Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision. The results of this dialogue guided the work of OCI and its partners to expand and enhance compliance assistance resources and materials to assist employers and nursing mothers in understanding their responsibilities and rights under the law.

Read the final report here: Supporting Nursing Mothers in the Workplace National Online Dialogue Final Report

The Section 14(c) National Online Dialogue (June 1 to June 21, 2019)

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), through its ePolicyWorks initiative, hosted this national online dialogue to gather perspectives on Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The goal of this online dialogue was to capture trends, experiences with transition, and visions for the future from those "on the ground." Information gleaned from the comments was summarized to provide an overview of Section 14(c) at the state and national levels to ODEP.


Continue the Conversation: AVs Driving Employment for People with Disabilities (Ongoing)

At the Automated Vehicles Symposium, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Transportation co-hosted a listening session on AVs, accessibility, and employment. This dialogue continued the conversation on the ways in which accessible AVs can be leveraged to drive employment for Americans with disabilities.


Work Matters: Supporting Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship (October 1, 2018 to November 19, 2018)

This dialogue was the culmination of the "Work Matters" dialogue series. It addressed ways states can support people with disabilities in their quest for self-employment or entrepreneurship opportunities, with a particular focus on veterans..


Work Matters: Retaining & Reemploying Ill, Injured & Displaced Workers Online Dialogue (June 18, 2018 to September 30, 2018)

Key stakeholders from the disability, service provider and employer communities and stay-at-work/return-to-work (SAW/RTW) subject matter experts submitted feedback on state policy options identified during the SEED SAW/RTW Information Gathering Sessions held in May 2018.


Veterans & Military Spouses Licensure Dialogue (May 29, 2018 to June 15, 2018)

ODEP, the Veterans' Employment and Training Service, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy and the Women's Bureau gathered insight on the effects of occupational regulation and licensing requirements on employment opportunities for veterans and military spouses and what can be done to ease those requirements.

Read the final report here: Veterans & Military Spouses Licensure Online Dialogue Report


Money Matters Online Dialogue: Linking Financial Literacy and Employment (April 19, 2018 to May 11, 2018)

The LEAD Center invited workforce professionals, financial services partners and the disability community to submit accomplishments, strategies, barriers, and potential partnerships that support the design and delivery of financial literacy education activities to youth and adults with disabilities served by American Job Centers and/or other employment services providers.


Work Matters: Harnessing Innovation to Advance Workforce Opportunities (April 10, 2018 to May 4, 2018)

The State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED) invited the disability community to submit ideas and feedback related to the Work Matters report, specifically policies that states can develop or implement to support individuals with disabilities as they navigate the logistics of getting to work.


Work Matters: Readying a Skilled Workforce (March 6, 2018 to March 16, 2018)

The State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED) gathered ideas on policies that states can develop or implement to prepare youth and young adults with disabilities for work and promote meaningful family engagement throughout the education and career-development process.


Work Matters: Laying the Groundwork for States as Model Employers (February 1, 2018 to February 22, 2018)

The State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED) gathered ideas on policies that states can develop or implement to strengthen their role as model employers of people with disabilities.


Careers in the Arts Toolkit (December 13, 2017 to January 8, 2018)

The dialogue sought to identify the resources that would prove most effective for people with disabilities pursuing education, training, and employment opportunities across all arts and culture disciplines, not only as artists but cultural workers, as well.

Read the final report here: Careers in the Arts Toolkit Online Dialogue Report


Educating Disabled Veterans and Employers about Workplace Rights and Responsibilities (November 17, 2017 to December 8, 2017)

This dialogue sought to promote new thinking around the employment and advancement of veteran and to improve education efforts for employers about their responsibilities under Federal employment laws.

Read the final report here: Educating Disabled Veterans and Employers about Workplace Rights and Responsibilities Online Dialogue Report


2017 Interagency Accessibility Forum (October 13, 2017 to December 1, 2017)

Participants of the 2017 Interagency Accessibility Forum and others continued the conversations begun during the event online.

Read the final report here: 2017 Interagency Accessibility Forum Online Dialogue Report


Autonomous Vehicles: Driving Employment for People with Disabilities (October 10, 2017 to October 27, 2017)

ODEP 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.

Read the final report here: AVs: Driving Employment for People with Disabilities Online Dialogue Report


SAW/RTW Policy Dissemination (June 26, 2017 to July 11, 2017)

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.

Read the final report here: Stay at Work/Return to Work Policy Dissemination Online Dialogue Report


The ABLE Act: A Tool for Financial Stability and Employment Outcomes (May 2, 2017 to May 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.

Read the final report here: The ABLE Act: A Tool for Financial Stability and Employment Outcomes Online Dialogue Report


Transition Back to Work (April 1, 2017 to April 21, 2017)

Participants in this SAW/RTW Policy Collaborative dialogue 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.

Read the final report here: Transition Back to Work Online Dialogue Report


Return-to-Work Strategies from Washington's COHE Model (March 7, 2017 to March 24, 2017)

Participants in this Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Policy Collaborative dialogue 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.

Read the final report here: Return-to-Work Strategies from Washington's COHE Model Online Dialogue Report


Building a Disability-Inclusive Talent Pipeline: Ideas for Effective Outreach and Recruitment Strategies (January 1, 2017 to 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.

Read the final report here: Building a Disability-Inclusive Talent Pipeline: Ideas for Effective Outreach and Recruitment Strategies Online Dialogue Report


Promoting Inclusive Career Pathways (October 14, 2016 to November 4, 2016)

The LEAD 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.

Read the final report here: Promoting Inclusive Career Pathways Online Dialogue Report


Making it Happen: Increasing Awareness of Accessible Workplace Technology II (October 10, 2016 to October 26, 2016)

ODEP and the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) listened to ideas on the kinds of policies, programs, structures and methods needed to advance accessible workplace technology.


SAW/RTW: What Can States Do? (July 18, 2016 to August 12, 2016)

The Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Policy Collaborative solicited feedback from a wide array of stakeholders on policy recommendations for increasing retention and re-employment among workers facing illness or injury.

Read the final report here: SAW/RTW: What Can States Do? Online Dialogue Report


Careers in the Arts (June 6, 2016 to June 9, 2016)

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Arts and Disability Center co-hosted this national dialogue and asked, "what ideas do you have to increase the career preparation and employment of people with disabilities in the arts?"

Read the final report here: Careers in the Arts Online Dialogue Report


YouthACT Transitions Truths (May 19, 2016 to May 22, 2016)

ODEP's Youth Policy Team and the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) gave youth and young adults with disabilities the platform to discuss what they need to become successful adults.

Read the final report here: YouthACT Transitions Truths Online Dialogue Report


Making it Happen: Increasing Awareness of Accessible Workplace Technology I (May 10, 2016 to June 10, 2016)

ODEP and the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) listened to ideas on the kinds of policies, programs, structures and methods needed to advance accessible workplace technology.

Read the final report here: Making it Happen: Increasing Awareness of Accessible Workplace Technology Online Dialogue Report


Work Matters: Advancing State Policy for a More Inclusive Workforce (February 5, 2016 to March 16, 2016)

The National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities, the Council of State Governments, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the State Exchange on Disability and Employment gathered ideas about state policymakers' experiences with state-level disability employment-related policy to inform the National Task Force's priorities and help focus policy options.

Read the final report here: Building a Disability-Inclusive Talent Pipeline: Ideas for Effective Outreach and Recruitment Strategies Online Dialogue Report


Strategies for Achieving the Goals of Section 503 Online Dialogue (November 18, 2015 to December 18, 2015)

ODEP and the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion used information gleaned 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.


Breaking Down Employment Barriers with Accessible Transportation Innovation (November 2, 2015 to 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 to further develop and enhance transportation options as an effective employment support for people with disabilities.

Read the final report here: Breaking Down Employment Barriers with Accessible Transportation Innovation Online Dialogue


Promoting Retention and Re-employment Following Injury or Illness (June 22, 2015 to October 9, 2015)

The Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Policy Collaborative 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.

Read the final report here: Promoting Retention and Re-employment Following Injury or Illness Online Dialogue Report


Establishing Work and Full Participation as Accountable Health Outcomes (June 22, 2015 to October 9, 2015)

The Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Policy Collaborative 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.

Read the final report here: Establishing Work and Full Participation as Accountable Health Outcomes Online Dialogue Report


Expanding Access To Evidence-based, Early Intervention Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Services and Supports (June 22, 2015 to October 9, 2015)

The Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Policy Collaborative invited participants to comment on policy recommendations for expanding timely access to SAW/RTW services and supports.

Read the final report here: Expanding Access To Evidence-based, Early Intervention Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Services and Supports Online Dialogue Report


Connecting with Families: Supporting Postsecondary Success of Young Adults with Disabilities (January 22, 2015 to February 11, 2015)

ODEP and the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth asked families of young adults in post-secondary educational or technical programs what these institutions can do to better support educational and employment success.

Read the final report here: Connecting with Families: Supporting Postsecondary Success of Young Adults with Disabilities Online Dialogue Report


Increasing Communication and Collaboration around Section 508 within the Federal Procurement Community (October 21, 2014 to November 14, 2014)

ODEP and the Vendor Outreach/Acquisition Subcommittee of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council's Accessibility Community of Practice sought ideas from the procurement community, as well as success stories and effective practices, in dealing with issues and roadblocks regarding Section 508 implementation.


Understanding and Conforming with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (October 21, 2014 to November 14, 2014),

ODEP and the Vendor Outreach/Acquisition Subcommittee of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council's Accessibility Community of Practice asked federal contractors for their ideas on how the Federal Government can improve communication with industry about Section 508 requirements and increase compliance.


State Governments: What Can We Do? (August 4, 2014 to August 18, 2014)

State government disability employment, human resources and diversity professionals, as well as all others with insight into disability employment, were invited by ODEP to share new or innovative approaches to hiring, retaining and advancing individuals with disabilities.


Encouraging People with Disabilities to Pursue Careers in STEM (July 28, 2014 to August 8, 2014)

Hosted by ODEP and the National Council on Disability, participants contributed their ideas on how to increase the number of people with disabilities pursuing STEM careers; ensure careers in these fields are open to all; and suggestions on how to ensure successful employment outcomes in these fields.

Read the final report here: Encouraging People with Disabilities to Pursue Careers in STEM Online Dialogue Report


Advancing Accessibility and Inclusion in Social Media — The Tech Experience (May 12, 2014 to June 13, 2014)

Hosted by ODEP and the National Council on Disability, this second in a series of three dialogues on social media accessibility reviewed ideas from the first and developed creative ways social media companies could integrate those ideas into the design and development of social media online tools and apps.

Read the final report here: Advancing Accessibility and Inclusion in Social Media — The Tech Experience Online Dialogue Report


Help Shape National Disability Employment Awareness Month's (NDEAM) 2014 Theme (March 24, 2014 to March 31, 2014)

Participants submitted slogans or taglines reminding everyone of the valuable skills and talents that people with disabilities bring to the workplace, which were used to help develop ODEP's 2014 NDEAM theme.

Read the final report here: Help Shape National Disability Employment Awareness Month's (NDEAM) 2014 Theme Online Dialogue Report


Advancing Accessibility and Inclusion in Social Media — The User Experience (March 17, 2014 to April 4, 2014)

This first in a series of three dialogues on social media accessibility provided ODEP and the National Council on Disability with 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.

Read the final report here: Advancing Accessibility and Inclusion in Social Media — The User Experience Online Dialogue Report


Improving the Accessibility of Online Tools for Workers with Intellectual Disabilities (December 30, 2013 to January 10, 2014)

The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) used ideas from this dialogue 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.

Read the final report here: Improving the Accessibility of Online Tools for Workers with Intellectual Disabilities Online Dialogue Report


Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative (VTCLI) Grantee (November 18, 2013 to December 20, 2013)

ODEP and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) asked, "What activities are you finding to be most beneficial in helping Veterans and Military families access transportation resources in your community?"

Read the final report here: Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative (VTCLI) Grantee Online Dialogue Report


Improved Transportation Services in St. Lucie County (November 4, 2013 to December 16, 2013)

This dialogue was hosted as part of the Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative (VTCLI) by St. Lucie County, Fla., and the Federal Transit Administration. Participants provided input on how to improve the availability, quality and efficiency of community transportation services.

Read the final report here: Improved Transportation Services in St. Lucie County Online Dialogue Report


Joining the Conversation for Change: What Can Employers Do? (September 9, 2013 to September 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?"

Read the final report here: Joining the Conversation for Change: What Can Employers Do? Online Dialogue Report


Federal Partners in Transition (May 13, 2013 to May 26, 2013)

The first national online dialogue, hosted by ODEP with the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration, examined the impact of existing federal regulations on the transition from school to work for youth with disabilities.

Read the final report here: Federal Partners in Transition Online Dialogue Report