In this Issue: Workplace Inclusion Forum, Dallas Workshop & More
EARN IN ACTION
Last month, EARN was pleased to attend the Forum on Workplace Inclusion in Minneapolis. At the event, EARN staff had the opportunity to speak to employers and human resource and diversity and inclusion professionals visiting the exhibit hall about the importance of incorporating disability into their workplace diversity and inclusion efforts – and EARN’s resources to help them do so. Considered the nation’s largest workplace diversity, equity and inclusion conference, the Forum on Workplace Inclusion is an annual event sponsored by the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota. This year marked its 30th anniversary. Learn more about the conference.
On April 24, EARN joined forces with the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) and EmployAbility – an initiative of the Dallas Mayor’s Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities – to host an education seminar titled “Disability Inclusion at Work.” The event was held at Southwest Airlines corporate office and comprised sessions on creating inclusive workplaces, accommodations for employees with mental health conditions and mentoring as a workplace inclusion strategy. As part of this event, EARN moderated a panel featuring mentors and mentees from Bank of America, Gaylord Texan Hotel and Southwest Airlines. EmployAbility is a member of EARN’s Inclusion@Work Network. Learn more about EmployAbility.
Kansas City Disability Inclusion Summit
Last week EARN presented at the 5th annual Disability Inclusion Summit hosted by Disability:IN Greater Kansas City, a member of EARN’s Inclusion@Work Network. The event convened stakeholders including business leaders and disability service providers from across the area to discuss best practices and new avenues for fostering greater inclusion in the local workforce. Michael Murray, Director of the Employer Policy Team at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy was a keynote speaker at the event. Learn more about Disability:IN Greater Kansas City.
Disability Inclusion: Exploring the Intersections
What policies and practices can help a company increase disability inclusion? The same as those used to increase the inclusion of any diverse population. EARN recently explored this issue with Inclusion@Work Network member the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce. EARN and the Chamber partnered to examine how many of the strategies used by corporate America in recent years to attract and retain LGBT individuals have cross applicability to people with disabilities, especially those with non-visible disabilities who have the choice whether to disclose. Findings are summarized in a new fact sheet, Disability Inclusion: Exploring the Intersections. Access the fact sheet.
DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT IN THE NEWS
Amazon’s Employment of ASL Interpreters
In a recent article, Forbes diversity and inclusion contributor Sarah Kim highlighted Amazon’s employment of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters to supports its employees who are deaf. The company’s ASL program, implemented last year, hires ASL interpreters as full-time employees, with each working with the same group of people for consistency, starting with the application and interview process. The company is believed to be the only major technology firm with an ASL program of this scale. Read more about the program.
Survey on Workplace Technology and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
The Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University is conducting a survey to examine considerations for workplace technology and its use by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism and Down syndrome. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their family members; employers; and service providers are invited to respond. The survey takes 15-30 minutes to complete and runs until June 30, 2019. Participate in the survey.
The Case for Disability-Inclusive Leadership
A recent report published by Lisa B. Baird and Victoria S. Reese from executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles explores the case for inclusion of people with disabilities in not only a company’s workforce, but also its leadership. The main takeaway? “By recognizing the unique challenges faced by leaders with disabilities, organizations can build more comprehensive diversity policies to create an inclusive environment for all employees.” Read the report.
Q: We’ve heard that May is Mental Health Month and want to use the occasion to express support for those who may have mental health conditions. Can you help?
A: Yes! With research indicating that one in five American adults experiences a mental health condition each year, you are smart to address this issue in your workplace. Fostering a mental health-friendly work culture is good for employees, demonstrating your business’s commitment to inclusion and offering workers the support they need to meet their mental health needs. But it also benefits you by empowering your employees to deliver their best on the job. EARN’s Mental Health Toolkit provides background, tools and resources employers can use to support their employees’ mental health needs. Explore the toolkit.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
May 21, 2019, 1:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Data Driven Inclusion – Findings from the 2019 Disability Employment Tracker™
This National Organization on Disability (NOD) webinar will provide a first look at the results from the 2019 Disability Employment Tracker™, NOD’s free and confidential benchmarking survey. In this context, the webinar will address emerging trends in disability employment practices and how this year’s findings compare to those of previous years. Register for the May 21 webinar.
June 24, 2019
Application Deadline: Employer-Focused Disability Policy Development and Technical Assistance Center
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the availability of approximately $2 million in funds for the first year of a cooperative agreement for an employer-focused disability policy development and technical assistance center. The solicitation is a re-competition of an existing cooperative agreement. The deadline to apply is June 24, 2019. Learn more about the funding opportunity.
Bike and Roll Washington, DC
A small, independent business, Bike and Roll Washington, DC offers professionally guided bike and Segway sightseeing tours in the nation’s capital, in addition to bike rentals. Run jointly by a husband and wife and one of their sisters, the business’s family nature is the force behind its implementation of a robust mental health initiative for its employees.
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) is a resource for employers seeking to recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified employees with disabilities. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy under a cooperative agreement with The Viscardi Center. For more information, visit AskEARN.org
Preparation of this item was fully funded by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy in the amount of $9,241,750 (five year total grant amount) under Cooperative Agreement No. OD26451-14-75-4-36. This document does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.