October is a special time of year for us at the Department of Labor. If you’ve been following this blog in recent weeks, you may already know why; It’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Managed by our Office of Disability Employment Policy, this annual observance celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates Americans about the value of a diverse workforce that welcomes everyone’s skills and talents. In other words, it’s all about inclusion.
That’s why this year’s NDEAM theme is so fitting: #InclusionWorks. Around the country, individuals and organizations are taking to the Internet and sharing the many ways that inclusion works for them. The groundswell is validating what we already know to be true: that inclusion benefits workers, employers and the American economy.
Inclusion also works when we’re talking about technology, or more specifically the millions of people with disabilities who rely on accessible and universally designed technology to find and apply for jobs, and to do their jobs every day. Unfortunately, a reluctance, or maybe just a lack of knowledge, seems to be preventing the development and adoption of accessible technology that works for everyone. And that negatively impacts people with disabilities and America’s employers.
ODEP grantee Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology fosters collaboration and action around accessible technology in the workplace, and it has convened a series of dialogues and listening sessions with thought leaders from across the country. These events have generated a range of ideas on raising awareness about accessible workplace technology issues and making positive changes. And now we want you to join this important conversation!
In honor of NDEAM, we’re kicking off an important online dialogue: “Making It Happen: Increasing Awareness of Accessible Workplace Technology.” Open to the general public Oct. 11-21, we invite you to join us in this virtual discussion and vote on the ideas PEAT has collected.
We also want to hear your new ideas related to ensuring the use of accessible technology in all aspects of employment. And we want your feedback on the kinds of policies, programs and structures that need to be in place to advance accessible workplace technology, along with ways that PEAT and the Department of Labor can support them. To participate, simply log on and register. Then, vote on the ideas you like and share suggestions that will help us forge pathways to new solutions.
Your creative thoughts and contributions will help us prioritize next steps related to accessible workplace technology. This October, NDEAM reminds us why #InclusionWorks, and with your input, we can build a future where technology ensures that everyone can put their skills and talents to work.
Chris Lu was sworn in as the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Labor on April 4, 2014, after being confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. He serves as the chief operating officer of a 17,000-employee organization that works to create greater opportunities for all Americans.
During his career in public service, Lu has worked in all three branches of the federal government. From 2009 to 2013, Lu served as the White House Cabinet Secretary and Assistant to the President. In this role, he was President Obama’s primary liaison to the federal departments and agencies, helping to coordinate policy and communications strategy.
As one of the highest-ranking Asian Americans in the Obama Administration, Lu was also the Co-Chair of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Prior to his service in the White House, Lu worked for then-Senator Obama, first as the Legislative Director, and then as the Acting Chief of Staff. After the 2008 Presidential election, Lu was the Executive Director of the Presidential transition planning efforts.
Lu’s government experience includes eight years working for Rep. Henry Waxman as the Deputy Chief Counsel of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and serving as a law clerk for Judge Robert E. Cowen on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He began his legal career as a litigation attorney at Sidley Austin in Washington, D.C.
In addition to his government service, Lu has been a fellow at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy, the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, and the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. He is also the co-editor of the book, Triumphs and Tragedies of the Modern Congress.
Lu is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, and the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from MacMurray College. He is married to Katie Thomson, the General Counsel of the Department of Transportation.