- Bethesda, Maryland-based communication firm’s project is in the running for “Innovation of the Year.”
- The interactive crowdsourcing tool is the ultimate representation of innovation and a powerful avenue that empowers citizens to contribute to policy making.
Each year, the FedScoop50 honors the best and the brightest who make the federal government more efficient and effective. These awards celebrate the outstanding achievements and the tireless efforts that make a positive impact in the government community and in public service. Among this year’s “Innovation of the Year” nominees is ePolicyWorks, a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy-funded initiative led by Concepts Communications.
“We are thrilled ePolicyWorks is being recognized,” said project director Hope Adler. “This interactive crowdsourcing tool is the ultimate representation of innovation and a powerful avenue that empowers citizens to contribute to policy making.” ePolicyWorks leverages digital technology to better coordinate the flow of information between federal policymakers and the public during online dialogues on topics such as COVID-19 and Economic Recovery; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility; Registered Apprenticeships; and more. Since 2013, ePolicyWorks has spearheaded over 60 dialogues. Notably, ePolicyWorks ensures that each conversation advances equitable and inclusive employment opportunities for historically marginalized populations, including those with disabilities.
The centerpiece of the initiative is an accessible, online platform that allows stakeholders to contribute to a variety of timely discussions. Each dialogue prompts visitors to post their ideas to one or more sub-topic areas that address an element of the larger discussion. In addition to sharing their own input, participants can comment and vote on ideas shared by others. In effect, the functionality of the platform, and initiative as a whole, propels collaboration among participants to affect change in policies and programs that support inclusive employment of underserved populations.
The platform is more engaging and interactive, easier to navigate, less costly, more efficient, more flexible and more accessible than traditional intake tactics such as in-person listening sessions or qualitative research studies. Like typical evaluation measures, however, the team collects data from the submitted ideas, comments and votes and generates a final report. The report is then shared directly with federal agencies to inform future policy efforts.
Voting closes on Friday, September 30. Cast your vote today for ePolicyWorks!
About Concepts Communications
Based in Bethesda, MD., Concepts Communications is a disability- and woman-owned small communications firm that specializes in public awareness and outreach on disability inclusion, workforce development, communications access and small business. In addition to ODEP and other DOL agencies, Concepts Communications’ current and past clients include state vocational rehabilitation agencies and several disability-related nonprofit and advocacy organizations.