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US Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy and Higher Education Recruitment Consortium Join Forces

April 29, 2013
Source: U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

Alliance Aims to Increase Employment of People with Disabilities in Higher Education

Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and Paula Alfone, mid-Atlantic director of the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC), today signed an alliance agreement to promote the employment of people with disabilities throughout the higher education community. The two organizations are combining their expertise to increase recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement at colleges, universities, hospitals, research labs, government agencies and related organizations.

This alliance is an outgrowth of last year's Higher Education Sector Summit held by ODEP in conjunction with the College and University Professional Association Human Resources. Summit panelists and participants explored the reasons that people with disabilities are underrepresented among the faculty and staff of institutions of higher learning.

"It is critical to correct this imbalance because students, both with and without disabilities, benefit from having teachers and mentors who reflect society's wide diversity and talent," said Martinez. "This alliance will help us develop strategies for increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities in the education community."

"HERC views its alliance with ODEP as critical to its mission of helping our 600 member organizations recruit and retain the most talented and diverse workforce including people with disabilities," said Nancy Aebersold, HERC's founder and executive director. "We are thrilled to join forces with ODEP, which has tremendous expertise and resources to help us do so!"

ODEP's mission is to provide national leadership by developing and influencing disability employment-related policies and practices affecting an increase in the employment of people with disabilities. In addition to the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium, the agency has alliances with the Society for Human Resource Management, the U.S. Business Leadership Network, the HSC Foundation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Assistive Technology Industry Association, the National Industry Liaison Group, the National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities and the National Working Positive Coalition. For more information about ODEP, visit

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