HDA’s Barb Otto served as a technical expert on disability on the Hiring, Retention & Reentry Subcommittee of the National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities, which was tasked with identifying how state government policies, programs, funding and initiatives can increase the number and diversity of employees with disabilities in public- and private-sector workforces. The result of the yearlong, four-committee effort was the report, “Work Matters: A Framework for States on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities,” released in December 2016.
The National Conference of State Legislatures, founded in 1975, seeks to improve quality and effectiveness of state law-making bodies through policy innovation, communication, and sharing of best practices. The Council of State Governments, founded in 1933, is a nonpartisan organization that serves all three branches of state government. In this case, as elsewhere, the two groups worked hand in hand both to empower the states as (in Justice Louis Brandeis’ evocative phrase) “laboratories of democracy” – able to move more nimbly to try new approaches – as well as to ensure they have a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system.