Welcome!

As states strive to promote workforce inclusion, people with disabilities—including veterans with service-connected disabilities—are a key part of the solution. Recognizing this, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy launched the State Exchange on Employment & Disability or SEED. SEED is a collaborative effort with state intermediary organizations, including the National Conference of State Legislatures, The Council of State Governments, and the Women in Government to help state legislators effectively address policy barriers that may hinder the employment of people with disabilities. Through these partnerships, the SEED collaborative is dedicated to ensuring that state policymakers have the tools and resources they need to develop and disseminate meaningful policies related to disability-inclusive workforce development.

Work Matters

Nearly 56.7 million people across the United States have a disability. Like any members of society, people with disabilities desire to be economically stable and fully included in all aspects of social life. Yet, a significant percentage of people with disabilities have difficulties finding, securing, and retaining employment. More than a quarter of all working-age people with disabilities are currently currently experiencing poverty.

 Work Matters: A Framework for States on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities offers state legislators 13 broad policy options, as well as real-life examples of innovative programs and policies, that states have successfully implemented to build strong, inclusive workforces. Work Matters is a culmination of intensive deliberation and research conducted by the National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities. The Task Force was convened by the Council of State Governments (CSG) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) as part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy’s (ODEP) State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED). Work Matters represents a commitment from the National Task Force to develop bi-partisan and state-driven policy options that are actionable and have broad appeal to a wide number of stakeholders. Each policy option contains a number of sub-options, suggested strategies and state examples that offer state policymakers an exceptional degree of customizability in considering disabilities employment policies.

Read the full report here.

Work Matters Policy Framework Outline.

Work Matters update 2017.

Using the Emerging Disability Policy Framework to Enhance Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities, Bobby Silverstein.

Stay At Work

The Council of State Governments Stay-At-Work/ Return-to-Work Webinar was held on Friday February 15th, 2019 from 10am-11am. The webinar focused on  how policy makers can use the CSG SAW/RTW Toolkit as a resource to initiate the development of state policy frameworks aimed at assisting workers in transitioning back to or staying at work following disability or injury incurred on the job. The panelists included Dr. Chris McLaren from the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, Senator Becky Massey from Tennessee, Maryland’s Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes, Beth Kuhn from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and Mr. Bobby Silverstein of Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville. 

The Council of State Governments’ Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Toolkit is a re­source designed to help state officials increase the employment retention and labor force participation of individuals who acquire and/or are at risk of developing work disabilities, whether on-the-job or off-the-job. SAW/RTW strategies and programs improve the ability of employees to resume working, with or without work restrictions, when medically appropriate. They help employers retain valued employees while minimizing long-term, health-related ab­sences and optimizing productivity, and they positively benefit state economies and the workforce at large.

The Council of State Governments’ Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Toolkit is a re­source designed to help state officials increase the employment retention and labor force participation of individuals who acquire and/or are at risk of developing work disabilities, whether on-the-job or off-the-job. SAW/RTW strategies and programs improve the ability of employees to resume working, with or without work restrictions, when medically appropriate. They help employers retain valued employees while minimizing long-term, health-related ab­sences and optimizing productivity, and they positively benefit state economies and the workforce at large.

Read the full report here.

Register for the SAW/RTW implementation webinar here.