Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.
President Obama has picked Kathleen Martinez to be the Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The ODEP is a sub-cabinet level policy agency in the Department of Labor that coordinates efforts to develop and implement policies and practices for the hiring of people with disabilities in both the public and private sectors.
Blind since birth, Martinez has specialized in promoting disability rights throughout her career. She is currently the executive director of the World Institute on Disability (WID). In this position she has been instrumental in producing the international webzine DisabilityWorld (www.disabilityworld.org) in English and Spanish. Martinez also directs Proyecto Visión, the WID’s National Technical Assistance Center, to increase employment opportunities for Latinos with disabilities in the United States.
In 2002, Martinez was appointed by former President Bush as one of fifteen members of the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency responsible for advising the President and Congress on disability policy. In 2005, Martinez was appointed as one of eight public members on the State Department’s Committee on Disability and Foreign Policy