The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a collaboration of the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) to improve effective and meaningful participation of person with disabilities in the workforce system with grant awards to state workforce agencies to support American Job Centers (AJCs).  Since 2010, DOL has awarded $109 million to forty-three projects within twenty-seven states.  Recent DEI cooperative agreements incorporates a Career Pathway focus and is fully aligned with the goals and objectives of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

DEI strategies include:

  • Expanding partnership coordination and collaboration

  • Leveraging partner resources through braiding and blending 

  • Establishing Integrated Resources Teams 

  • Promoting Ticket to Work and Workforce Employment Network creation

  • Facilitating return to work and employment retention through asset development activities

  • Providing staffing expertise on disability related issues

  • Ensuring one-stop career center programmatic and physical accessibility

  • Sharing Customized Employment strategies to address individualized employment needs