The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) was authorized by Congress in the Department of Labor's FY 2001 appropriation. Recognizing the need for a national policy to ensure that people with disabilities are fully integrated into the 21st Century workforce, the Secretary of Labor delegated authority and assigned responsibility to the Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy. ODEP is a sub-cabinet level policy agency in the Department of Labor.
ODEP's mission is to develop and influence policies and practices that increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
To fulfill this mission, ODEP promotes the adoption and implementation of ODEP policy strategies and effective practices — meaning those that ODEP has developed and/or validated — that will impact the employment of people with disabilities. ODEP's approach is to drive systems and practice changes by disseminating ODEP policy strategies and effective practices, sharing information, and providing technical assistance to government agencies, service providers and non-governmental entities, as well as public and private employers. Through these activities, ODEP contributes to the achievement of: DOL's Strategic Goal 3: Promote fair and high quality work-life environments and Strategic Objective 3.1: Breakdown barriers to fair and diverse workplaces and narrow income inequality.