What is the LEAD Center?
The LEAD Center, known formally as the National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities (LEAD), brings together a wide range of organizations, thought leaders and best-practice innovators to expand policy, employment, leadership and economic advancement opportunities and outcomes for all people with disabilities.
The LEAD Center is led by National Disability Institute with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy. The LEAD Center's work focuses on promoting innovation in policy, employment and economic advancement to advance individual and systems level change for all people with disabilities. The LEAD Center provides policy research and recommendations, training and technical assistance as well as demonstration projects designed to break down silos in existing systems, processes and practices, and foster wider understanding, adoption and integration of next-generation employment practices in both the public and private sector.
What are the ePolicyWorks Online Dialogues?
Launched by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, ePolicyWorks is a Web-based approach to policymaking that engages citizens and stakeholders in new and innovative ways. The initiative leverages the latest technology, including crowdsourcing and social media tools, to address barriers to employment for people with disabilities and fosters real-time collaboration and communication around key issues.
Over the last several years, the ePolicyWorks initiative has hosted more than twenty-five online dialogues. Brought to you through the use of leading-edge crowdsourcing tools, these online dialogues are interactive platforms of collaboration. These tools enable ePolicyWorks to enlist the public's input on key policy and programmatic issues related to the employment of people with disabilities. In addition to return-to-work/stay-at-work, the dialogues have focused on number of other topics engaging federal partners, advocacy groups, provider associations, business organizations, individuals with disabilities and their families, and other key stakeholders in the policymaking process. To learn more about past ePolicyWorks dialogues, visit https://epolicyworks.ideascale.com/a/pages/epwdialoguelibrary.
Why is the LEAD Center hosting these online dialogues?
Traditional methods of gathering feedback involve limited participation. They tend to be "one and done" engagements that are purely data-driven. Crowdsourcing, on the other hand, entails interactive participation through online voting, idea submission and commenting. It is community driven and value driven, and it emphasizes results. The benefits of online dialogues include: connecting agencies to stakeholders or constituents, providing cost benefits and efficiencies, serving as an outreach and awareness tool.