Skip to main content

State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED)

The State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED) is a collaboration of state intermediary organizations working together to help state legislators ensure their state policies facilitate increased employment of people with disabilities. Specifically, SEED aims to ensure state-level legislation critical to employment—such as transportation and technology—is disability inclusive. To this end, SEED equips state legislators with timely data, sample policy language and technical assistance.

One of the most significant outcomes of SEED thus far is the convening of a joint National Task Force on Workforce Development and People with Disabilities. This year-long effort, spearheaded by the Council of State Governments (CSG) and the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) and co-chaired by Senator Beau McCoy (NE) and Governor Jack Markell (DE), brought together state policymakers to address barriers to employment and identify state-level policy solutions for building stronger, more inclusive workforces.

Upon its conclusion, the National Task Force issued a report, titled Work Matters: A Framework for States on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities (Work Matters), describing a range of related policy initiatives put in place by states. The report can be accessed from either CSG or NCSL website. In addition to identifying policy options to help state leaders move the needle on disability employment policy, many National Task Force members have initiated policy movement in their states. Furthermore, on an ongoing basis, SEED provides direct technical assistance in response to requests from state policymakers seeking support to develop and implement effective disability employment policy options.

Work Matters is a culmination of intensive deliberation and research conducted by the CSG-NCSL joint National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities. The Task Force was comprised of 60 state policymakers, subject matter experts, advisors and ODEP staff. It was led by 2016 CSG President Governor Jack Markell (DE) and CSG National Chairman Senator Beau McCoy (NE). Work Matters offers states 13 broad policy options and 48 suggested strategies, as well as more than 240 examples of innovative, successfully-implemented, state-level programs and policies.

ePolicyWorks and the SEED team will host five dialogues focused on each of the policy areas identified in the Work Matters report. The dialogues each will support one of the new SEED policy priorities. The dialogues will invite disability advocacy and service provider organizations, employer groups, state agencies and other key stakeholders to submit ideas and recommendations for policies related to the specific area of the Work Matters report being addressed. Advocacy organizations will be reminded that the dialogues are not an advocacy project but instead an opportunity to help shape future disability employment policies within the states.