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March 17th, 2015 by

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March 18, 2015

What’s New

Viscardi Center CEO Shares Strategies for Making the Corporate Ladder More Accessible
In a recent Disability.gov guest blog post, John Kemp, President and CEO of the The Viscardi Center, posed the question of why, 25 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, there are not more people with disabilities in C-suite positions and shared resources employers can use to help more climb the corporate ladder, or “ramp.” “There is more untapped, educated talent out there than ever before. Embrace it,” Kemp said.

Read the blog post.

New Disability Awareness Employee Education Materials Available
The Campaign for Disability Employment recently released a new suite of materials that employers can use to express a commitment to disability inclusion. The materials, which include a discussion guide and posters, all center around the “Who I Am” public service announcement, which features nine diverse people with disabilities, among them actor RJ Mitte, best known for his roles in the hit television series “Breaking Bad” and “Switched at Birth.”

Download or order “Who I Am” materials.

Monthly Report Shows Positive Trajectory in Employment of People with Disabilities
The March National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) report showed that, as the overall economy grew for the fifth consecutive month, so did the number of Americans with disabilities contributing to it. Issued since March 2013, the monthly nTIDE report is coordinated by the Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability and based on the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report.

Learn more about the March nTIDE report.

Conference Highlights Accessible Workplace Technology
Earlier this month, thousands of employers, technology providers and people with disabilities converged at the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference sponsored annually by California State University, Northridge—the nation’s premier event focused on accessible technology. This year’s conference featured an Employment and Workplace track as well as an exhibit hall brimming with innovative products for use at both work and play.

Learn more about the conference.

Brain Injury Awareness Month
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and an opportune time to learn about workplace accommodation ideas for employees who may have brain injuries, including veterans who may have traumatic brain injuries sustained in combat. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) offers a wealth of information on the topic. Like the Employer TA Center, JAN is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.

Learn more about workplace accommodations for people with brain injuries.

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Mark Your Calendar

Employment After Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

March 25, 3:00 – 4:20 P.M. EST WEBCAST

Hosted by the Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the American Institutes for Research, this webcast will explore research and policy related to return to work following TBI. Speakers include Dr. Jeffrey S. Kreutzer from Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia; Alyssa Bonser, a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist in Maryland; and Maria Crowley, State Head Injury Coordinator for the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services.

Register for the webcast.

Cultivating Talent for Tomorrow: The Value of Interns with Disabilities!

March 26, 2:00-3:30 P.M. EST Webinar

Internships offer an easy and effective way to evaluate potential employees and cultivate a pipeline of talent for the future. Moreover, by targeting specific populations—such as people with disabilities—they can advance workforce diversity goals, including those related to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. This Employer TA Center webinar will address these benefits and how employers can use the Workforce Recruitment Program to source qualified interns with disabilities.

Register for the webinar.

Accommodating Employees with Mental Health Disabilities in Higher Education

April 23, 1:00 – 2:00pm EST Webcast

This webinar will address accommodations for employees with mental health disabilities in the higher education setting. It is being coordinated by the Employer TA Center in collaboration with the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium as part of its alliance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. Speakers include John Kemp, Esq., President and CEO of The Viscardi Center, and Dr. Beth Loy, Principal Consultant at the Job Accommodation Network.

Register for the webinar.

Employer Spotlight

Starbucks

Starbucks

Through a partnership with the Starbucks Inclusion Academy, Starbucks has launched an on-the-job training program for people with cognitive and physical disabilities at its Carson Valley Roasting Plant and Distribution Center in Nevada. “The program has opened a lot of eyes,” said Todd McCullough, senior operations manager at the facility. “Supervisors and partners look past disabilities and realize we all have different abilities in the workplace.”

Read about the Starbucks Inclusion Academy.

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AskEarn.org Spotlight

Small Business Disability Inclusion Fact Sheet

Opening the Doors of Small Business to People with Disabilities

When it comes to ensuring a disability-inclusive workplace, not all businesses, especially small businesses, may know where to start. Reading EARN’s Small Business Disability Inclusion Fact Sheet is a great first step. It outlines a range of free resources available to assist small businesses in not only finding qualified people with disabilities but also ensuring their success once on board. It also provides information about various tax incentives for which businesses that hire people with disabilities may be eligible.

Read the publication.

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) is a resource for employers seeking to recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified employees with disabilities. It is a service of the National Employer Policy, Research and Technical Assistance Center for Employers on the Employment of People with Disabilities (Employer TA Center), which 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 material was funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, Grant No. [OD-26451-14-75-4-36]. 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.

Click Here to Subscribe to the EARN Newsletter!

 

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March 16th, 2015 by

A new report developed by The Conference Board with support from the Employer TA Center explores research related to disability disclosure in the workplace and identifies strategies for encouraging it in the context of the updates to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act that took effect last year. Based on the results of a survey of 98 companies and extensive interviews with experts on workplace disability issues, Do Ask, Do Tell: Encouraging Employees with Disabilities to Self-Identify concludes that many companies can and must do more to build a disability-friendly culture conducive to disclosure in order to meet their goals under the new rules. It also features a case study on Wells Fargo that illuminates effective practices other companies may be able to replicate.

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March 4th, 2015 by

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Logo: AskEarn - Employer Assistance and Resource Network

March 4, 2015

What’s New

Op-Ed Addresses Benefits Veterans with Disabilities Offer America’s Employers
When military personnel transition to civilian employment, America’s businesses stand to benefit. That’s the simple but compelling message of a recent op-ed titled “Employers Can Benefit from Disabled Veterans’ Skills” penned by National Organization on Disability’s President Carol Glazer as part of Aetna’s Executive Perspective series. In the article, Glazer addresses the benefits of hiring veterans, including those with disabilities, and strategies employers can use to not only recruit them, but also ensure their success once onboard.

Read the article.

‘Dear Hiring Manager’ Letter Outlines Value Disability Adds in the Workplace
In a recent Huffington Post blog post, Sarah Blahovec outlined the value people with disabilities offer employers—in cover letter form. “Dear Hiring Manager: All the Disability-Related Skills I Can’t Put on My Resume” challenges employers to rethink misconceptions they may have about people with disabilities and consider instead the skills they have honed managing their conditions. “I am not my disability, but my disability is a part of me. It causes complications in my life, but the ways in which I have overcome those obstacles should carry more weight than the obstacles themselves,” Blahovec writes.

Read the blog post.

OPM Director Discusses Progress on Disability Hiring in the Federal Workforce
Katherine Archuleta, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, was a recent guest blogger on Disability.gov, using the platform to discuss progress on Executive Order 13548’s goal of hiring 100,000 people with disabilities into the federal workforce. Among other data, she noted that the latest report on the Executive Order revealed that the federal government has hired people with disabilities at a higher rate than at any time in the past 33 years. She also highlighted resources both people with disabilities and federal employers can use to help continue the positive trajectory.

Read the blog post.

U.S. Access Board Proposes Updated ICT Accessibility Requirements
The U.S. Access Board recently released a proposed rule updating accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) in the federal sector under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The rule would also update guidelines for telecommunications equipment subject to Section 255 of the Communications Act. Public comments on the changes, which aim to address fundamental shifts and trends in the technology market, are due by May 19, 2015, and public hearings will be held in San Diego on March 5 and Washington, D.C., on March 11.

Learn more about the proposed rule.

Employer Engagement Strategy White Paper Now Available
In recent years, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) worked with the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania to develop a new strategy for engaging employers on the issue of disability employment. Key components of this strategy are market segmentation and using insight into human behavior to influence decision making. Recently, ODEP released the second of two white papers outlining this new strategy, which will provide the foundation for the agency’s employer-focused work going forward.

Read the paper.

Florida Bill Proposes for State to Become Model Employer of People with Disabilities
Earlier this month, Florida’s Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee passed a bill proposing to add people with disabilities to the populations the state takes action to hire, alongside women and minorities. To do this, the bill would require a variety of activities, such as internships for people with disabilities and training for state hiring officials. It would also require data collection and annual reporting. “This legislation will help establish our state as a model employer for people with unique abilities,” said Senate President Andy Gardiner, who helped champion the bill.

Learn more about the bill.

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Mark Your Calendar

OPM REDI Kickoff

March 5, 1:30 P.M. EST Event

On March 5, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will launch a new initiative to ensure that the federal workforce reflects the diverse citizenry it serves, including people with disabilities. Called the Recruitment, Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) roadmap, this initiative will leverage data, social media and collaboration to build, develop and retain a purpose-driven federal workforce in the years to come.

Watch the REDI kickoff event live.

Open Q&A Session with the U.S. Access Board

March 5, 2:30-4:00 P.M. EST Webinar

This webinar, sponsored by the ADA National Network, will provide participants the opportunity to ask questions on any topic relevant to the U.S. Access Board’s activities, including those related to workplace accessibility, both physical and virtual, as well as transportation, emergency preparedness, state and local government services, and other areas of concern to people with disabilities. Participants are requested to submit questions in advance.

Register for the webinar.

Best Practices for Complying with Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act

March 11, 2:00-3:30pm EST Webcast

This webcast is the final in the Job Accommodation Network’s (JAN) winter 2015 federal monthly webcast series. Speakers will include Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Jeanne Goldberg and JAN representatives, who will address current developments in Section 501 and practical tips for compliance. Participants do not need to have participated in the series’ earlier webcasts to participate in this one.

Register for the webcast.

Employer Spotlight

The Prospector Theater

The Prospector Theater

An innovative program at The Prospector Theater in Ridgefield, Conn., is helping people with disabilities gain work skills—and employers gain skilled workers. “They’re an untapped resource. They’re really excited about their jobs, and they’re really dedicated. They just need a workplace that’s accommodating and welcoming,” said Mike Santini, the theater’s director of development.

Read about the theater.

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AskEarn.org Spotlight

Opening the Doors of Small Business to People with Disabilities

Opening the Doors of Small Business to People with Disabilities

When it comes to recruiting and retaining people with disabilities, small businesses may achieve success using different practices than their larger counterparts. Opening the Doors of Small Business to People with Disabilities: Critical Concerns and Strategies for Success addresses these differences within the context of five critical issues: establishing top management commitment, finding qualified employees, retention, costs, and business growth.

Read the publication.

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) is a resource for employers seeking to recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified employees with disabilities. It is a service of the National Employer Policy, Research and Technical Assistance Center for Employers on the Employment of People with Disabilities (Employer TA Center), which 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 material was funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, Grant No. [OD-26451-14-75-4-36]. 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.

Click Here to Subscribe to the EARN Newsletter!

 

No comments yet
February 19th, 2015 by

The U.S. Access Board has released for public comment a proposed rule updating accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) in the federal sector covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The rule also would jointly update guidelines for telecommunications equipment subject to Section 255 of the Communications Act. Among the proposed changes are requirements to address fundamental shifts and trends in the market, such as the convergence of technologies and the increasingly multi-functional capabilities of products like smart phones.

Don’t miss your chance to comment on the proposed changes. Public comments on the rule are due by May 19, 2015. The Board will also hold public hearings on the rule in San Diego on March 5 and in Washington, D.C. on March 11. Learn more by visiting the Access Board website.

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