In this Issue: COVID-19 Policy Brief, National Apprenticeship Week, & More
EARN IN ACTION
COVID-19 Policy Brief
Due to COVID-19, employers must navigate a number of issues to facilitate the employment and health and safety of all job applicants and employees, including those with disabilities. In response, EARN developed a policy brief, titled COVID-19 and Job Applicants and Employees with Disabilities: Emerging Practices to Employ and Protect Workers, which can help employer representatives such as human resource, equal employment opportunity, and diversity and inclusion professionals, as well as companies’ legal teams, understand different perspectives that should be considered. Access the policy brief.
November 8-14 is National Apprenticeship Week, which educates about apprenticeship and offers leaders in business, labor, and education an opportunity to showcase their apprenticeship programs and how they help prepare a highly skilled workforce for employers in their communities. Combining classroom instruction with on-the-job training, apprenticeship programs help bridge skills gaps and bring new and more diverse talent into the workplace, including people with disabilities. Learn more on EARN’s apprenticeship webpage.
Recent Articles on Disability Inclusion, Workplace Mental Health
EARN authored two articles for DIVERSEability magazine’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month issue in October. One explores the seven components of a disability-inclusive workplace in the context of EARN’s Inclusion@Work employer policy framework, while the other shares strategies for fostering a mental health-friendly workplace, with a focus on the “4 A’s”: Awareness, Accommodations, Assistance, and Access to treatment. Read Seven Steps to Building a Disability-Inclusive Workplace or Helping Employers “Bring Their A Game” to Workplace Mental Health.
Workplace Mental Health as a Global Issue
EARN recently contributed an article about workplace mental health and the “4 A’s of a mental health-friendly workplace” employer framework for the International Labour Organization’s Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN) newsletter. GBDN is an employer-led, business-to-business initiative that works to promote disability inclusion in workplaces around the globe by demonstrating its bottom-line benefits and the valuable contributions people with disabilities have to offer organizations of all kinds. Read the GBDN article.
DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT IN THE NEWS
Building a Future that Works
In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) hosted “Building a Future That Works,” a virtual event exploring the crucial role technology plays in increasing access and opportunity for people with disabilities, and ODEP’s commitment to ensuring emerging technologies are accessible to all. For anyone unable to participate on the day, a recording is now available online. Access the recording and blog post summary.
Updated Employment Referral Resource Directory
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently revamped its Employment Referral Resource Directory (ERRD), a compliance assistance tool that lists government and nonprofit organizations that can help federal contractors recruit qualified individuals with disabilities and other protected populations under OFCCP regulations. The updated tool now allows for multiple selections when using the search fields and is user friendly on mobile devices. Access the ERRD.
Using Quality Data to Inform Evidence-Based Policy
In a recent post for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Commissioner’s Corner blog, Savi Swick, a Supervisory Research Analyst in the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), explored the importance of credible, consistent data to delivering on the promise of disability inclusion inherent in the Americans with Disabilities Act. She also shared how ODEP works with BLS and other DOL agencies to promote data-driven policies and programs. Read the BLS blog post.
What’s Your Vision?
A recent campaign launched by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) highlights the importance of ensuring that all people, including those who are blind or visually impaired, have the opportunity to put their skills and talents to work. The centerpiece of the campaign—a public service announcement (PSA) titled “What’s Your Vision?”—features three individuals who are blind or visually impaired, as well as an employer, parent, and educator, sharing their vision for the future. View the PSA.
Q: We want to assess our policies and practices to ensure we are welcoming of veterans with service-connected disabilities. Can you help?
A: Yes, and this month is an opportune time to do so. Each Veterans Day, a grateful nation honors veterans of all ages who have served in the name of freedom. One of the best ways to support veterans, including those with service-connected injuries, is to ensure they can put their skills to work in the civilian workplace. Often, a few accommodations are all that is necessary for an employer to benefit from a dedicated, skilled employee who has served our nation. To help, EARN offers a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
November 18, 2020, 1:00 p.m. ET
Twitter Chat: Veterans and the ADA
As part of its observation of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ADA National Network is holding monthly twitter chats, each on a different aspect of the law. This month’s chat will focus on veterans and the ADA. Anyone can join using the hashtag #ADANetworkChat. Access the chat schedule or learn more about the ADA National Network.
December 8, 2020, 2:00 p.m. ET
Webcast: Ergonomics for Teleworkers
This Job Accommodation Network webcast will explore ergonomics in the context of remote work, which has dramatically increased this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics include principles of universal design and practical strategies employers can share with employees to help them make their work environment safer and more conducive to productivity. Register for the December 8 webcast.
In a recent video message honoring the Americans with Disabilities Act’s 30th anniversary, Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) Chairman and CEO Ralph Izzo shared his thoughts on the value disability inclusion brings to his organization and others across America, as well as PSEG’s efforts to promote an accessible and inclusive workplace culture in which all employees can thrive.
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 K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Disability and Employment. 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 $8,000,000 (four-year total grant amount) under Cooperative Agreement No. OD-33975-19-75-4-36. 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.