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WDC - SEED Initiative

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WDC-SEED Disability Employment 2021 Resource Toolkit

Covid-19 has ravaged and continues to impact many American economic sectors, especially the workforce. American workers were hit hard during the pandemic with 1 in 7 workers losing employment, however Americans with disabilities were hit especially hard with 1 in 5 becoming unemployed. Sudden business closures were coupled with incredibly slow growth in the number of employed workers with disabilities. The National Organization on Disability found that from 2018 to 2020, the rate has only grown .19%, and in 2020 only 6.3% of new hires disclosed a disability, a tiny increase of .6% from 2019. The message is clear, the U.S needs to build new systems that promote inclusive and equitable employment for individuals with disabilities. A return to the pre-pandemic status quo will only deliver the same stagnant and unjust results.

As the nation recovers from the pandemic, mayors, city leaders, and workforce professionals have a unique opportunity to implement policies and programs that promote workforce inclusivity and accessibility, allowing for a more equitable and collective economic recovery. In order to best promote policies that advance inclusive and equitable employment for individuals with disabilities, the Workforce Development Council, in partnership with the State Exchange on Employment and Disability(SEED), created a resource titled “Providing Effective Workforce Development Services to Individuals with Disabilities In a Limited Resource Environment”. The toolkit puts a focus on measures that city and workforce leaders can take to expand workforce opportunities for people with disabilities, while also emphasizing the importance of using their leadership as an advocacy tool for their community. 

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​Additional SEED Resources​

Work Matters: A Framework for States on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities 


The Work Matters framework offers state policy makers 13 broad policy options, as well as more than 240 real-life examples of innovative programs and policies that states have successfully implemented to build strong, inclusive workforces.

Section 188 Disability Reference Guide

​This guide provides updated information and technical assistance that can help American Job Centers and their partners in the workforce development system meet the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity requirements for individuals with disabilities in Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

COVID-19 Policy Collaborative: Policy Checklist for a Disability-Inclusive Recovery


This checklist is designed to assist state and local policy makers in their efforts to adopt disability-inclusive COVID-19 recovery policies and initiatives. It features policy options gathered from the SEED COVID-19 Policy Collaborative, as well as research conducted into federal, state and local COVID-19 policy responses that are inclusive of people with disabilities.

SEED COVID-19 Policy Collaborative: Frameworks for a Disability-Inclusive Recovery

This guide highlights important issues as identified by the SEED COVID-19 Policy Collaborative to ensure a disability-inclusive recovery and provides a series of coinciding policy frameworks to assist state and local policymakers in their efforts to adopt disability-inclusive COVID-19 recovery initiatives.

COVID 19: Federal Disability-Specific and Other Related Guidance

This policy brief summarizes guidance issued by Federal Government agencies that can assist in ensuring state and local policy aligns with our nation’s civil rights laws and other disability-related policies. 

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WDC-SEED Background Information


In August 2019, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) Workforce Development Council (WDC) formally engaged with the State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED), an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability and Employment Policy (ODEP) to help address barriers to employment for people with disabilities in cities. The partnership was announced at the September 2019 WDC Board Meeting in Washington, DC.

SEED is a collaboration with leading intermediary organizations that helps state and local governments develop and implement effective policies and best practices that increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

As part of USCM’s partnership with SEED, the WDC formed a Disability Employment Working Group in October 2019 to study disability employment issues facing cities and make recommendations for identifying and collecting disability employment best practices from WDC member organizations. The WDC Disability Employment Working Group currently consists of over 20 WDC Members spread across the United States, in 2021 the Working Group solicited completed Disability Employment Best Practice Surveys from WDC members, and share disability employment best practices among members of the Working Group. 

If you would like to participate in this initiative or submit a Disability Employment Best Practice, please reach out to Kevin Verge at for additional information.

​ Disability Employment Best Practice 

Webinar Recording: Strategies for Establishing States as Model Employers of People with Disabilities

The Council of State Governments, in collaboration with the State Exchange on Employment & Disability, recently hosted a webinar, “Inclusion Works: Strategies for Establishing States as Model Employers of People with Disabilities.” The webinar highlighted innovative state policies and practices aimed at increasing the employment of people with disabilities in the public sector.

*This section features best practices from SEED and other partner 


If you would like more information please contact Kevin Verge(

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