Office of Disability Employment Policy

Why the Program is Needed

Many adults with disabilities are either unemployed or underemployed, despite their ability, desire, and willingness to engage in meaningful work in the community.  People with disabilities, including I/DD, can be employed in the community alongside people without disabilities and earn competitive wages. They should be supported to make informed choices about their work and careers and have the resources to seek, obtain and be successful in community employment.

What it Does

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) provides national leadership on disability employment policy to the Department of Labor (DOL) and other federal agencies.  ODEP develops and fosters the adoption and implementation of comprehensive and integrated disability employment policies and strategies throughout the workforce development system, in public and private workplaces, and in employment-related supports programs and services. Implementation of these policies and strategies increases employment opportunities by reducing barriers in the hiring, retention, and promotion of people with disabilities.

Authorizing Legislation

The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2001 (29 U.S.C 557b.)

Recent Funding

Please see the table on the Funding for Federal Disability-related Programs page.

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