In this Issue: Disability Inclusion in the Federal Workforce, Telework Webinar and More
EARN IN ACTION
Disability Inclusion in the Federal Workforce
In June, President Biden issued Executive Order (EO) 14035, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce. Since then, EARN has taken several steps to share information with federal agencies about the role disability plays in achieving the EO’s goals. These include hosting a special meeting of the Federal Exchange on Employment and Disability (FEED) to discuss how the EO relates to recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement of employees with disabilities. In addition, EARN developed a fact sheet and themes document summarizing the EO’s key disability-related provisions. Read the fact sheet or themes document.
Telework in Action: A Disability Inclusion Practice Whose Time has Arrived
On August 12, EARN hosted a webinar exploring how organizations and employees have adapted to telework and its integral role in the post-pandemic workplace. Speakers included representatives from Microsoft, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC). The webinar was the last in a three-part series honoring the Americans with Disabilities Act’s 31st anniversary this summer. It is now archived, along with accompanying materials, to view at any time. Access the webinar and materials.
Workplace Mental Health as a Global Issue
The latest issue of the International Labour Organization’s Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN) newsletter features an article about EARN’s resources and tools to help employers navigate the post-pandemic workplace. GBDN—a member of EARN’s Inclusion@Work Network Leadership Council—is an employer-led initiative that promotes disability inclusion in workplaces around the globe by demonstrating the valuable contributions people with disabilities offer organizations of all kinds. Read the GBDN article or access EARN’s COVID-19 resources and tools.
DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT IN THE NEWS
National Preparedness Month
Everyone should feel safe at work, including employees with disabilities. However, sometimes the needs of people with disabilities are not considered when planning for workplace emergencies. National Preparedness Month, observed each September, is an opportunity to ensure workplace evacuation and other emergency plans are inclusive of employees and customers with disabilities. To help, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) offers numerous resources. Visit ODEP’s Emergency Preparedness webpage.
September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, which spreads awareness that substance use disorders are treatable and people in recovery can live healthy, productive lives. For many people in recovery, employment plays an important role in continued sobriety. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) offers a range of resources to help employers and employees understand accommodations that can support people in treatment for or recovery from substance use disorders. Learn more about accommodations for people with alcoholism or drug addiction.
Podcast – Access and Inclusion in the Workplace
On a recent episode of the “Down to the Struts” podcast, Kathy Martinez, President and CEO of Disability Rights Advocates, spoke with series host Qudsiya Naqui about accessibility and inclusion in the workplace. She discussed strategies that help foster an inclusive, welcoming workplace culture, including disability-related employee resource groups and effective accommodation policies. In addition, she addressed the importance of understanding disability’s intersectionality with race, culture and other identify factors. Listen to the podcast
Practical Employer Videos
Two new videos from the Mid-Atlantic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center offer guidance on how to increase accessibility and inclusion during the recruiting process. The first addresses how to write job descriptions that clearly identify essential job functions and qualification standards, so that applicants with disabilities are not excluded from applying for jobs they can perform. The second focuses on accessible outreach activities and application processes. Both videos are part of a series titled, “The Practical Employer and the ADA: Successful Hiring.” Access the job descriptions or accessible recruiting videos.
Q: We heard October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Is there a way our company can participate?
A: Yes! Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities and raises awareness among individuals and employers about the importance of a disability-inclusive workforce. Each year has a different theme. This year’s is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.” Employers of all sizes and in all industries are encouraged to take part.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
September 17, 2021
Deadline: Henry Viscardi Achievement Award Nominations
The Viscardi Center is currently accepting nominations for the 2021 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards. Named for the Center’s founder and a leading disability advocate, Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., these awards honor leaders who carry on his legacy by improving quality of life for people with disabilities, including through employment. The deadline for nominations is September 17, 2021. Learn more about the awards.
September 22, 2021, 2:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: COVID and the ADA
This webinar, hosted by the Great Lakes and Southwest Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Centers, will address the ADA in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, including in the workplace. Among the topics discussed will be COVID-19 as a disability under the ADA, employment rights, and mask and vaccine mandates. Register for the webinar.
September 23, 2021, 2:00 p.m. ET
Twitter Chat: Preparing for NDEAM 2021
Join EARN and the Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) for a Twitter chat in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in October! Learn and share ideas about how employers and others can participate in NDEAM and incorporate this year’s theme, “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” into their workplace activities. Anyone can join using the hashtag #CelebrateNDEAM. Learn more about the Twitter chat.
Google recently established a new initiative to recruit and retain employees on the autism spectrum for its Google Cloud services. The program will train up to 500 Google Cloud managers and others involved in hiring on how to ensure application, interview and onboarding processes are equitable and accessible to neurodiverse candidates. Google is implementing this program in partnership with the Stanford University Neurodiversity Project. Experts from Stanford will also provide job coaching to candidates and ongoing support to those hired.
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.