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March 4th, 2015 by

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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!

 

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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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February 18th, 2015 by

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February 18, 2015

What’s New

Federal News Radio Shines a Spotlight on Disability Employment
Last week, Federal News Radio hosted Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez during its “Business of Government” hour. During the interview, Martinez spoke with host Michael Keegan about a range of issues, including Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, accessible technology and the value of internships and other work experiences for young people with disabilities. She also shared her own personal career journey.

Listen to the interview.

Time for a TechCheck
An inclusive workplace is a technology-accessible workplace, one where all employees, including those with disabilities, can access the technology tools they need to be productive. To help employers achieve such a workplace, the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) offers a range of resources, including an interactive self-assessment tool, TechCheck. Like the Employer TA Center, PEAT is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.

Learn more about TechCheck.

New York Times Article Illuminates the Intrinsic Value of Work
In a recent article, author and person with a disability Jerry McGill recounted his personal career journey to provide poignant commentary on the intrinsic value of work to people with disabilities—and the many benefits employers stand to gain when they offer them equal opportunity to contribute their skills and talents in the workplace. The article, titled “Losing Mobility and Gaining a Work Life,” was published in the New York Times’ Business Day section.

Read the article.

February is American Heart Month and AMD/Low Vision Month
February is both American Heart Month and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)/Low Vision Month—and an opportune time to learn about workplace accommodation ideas for employees who may have heart conditions or vision impairments. The Job Accommodation Network, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, offers a wealth of information regarding both. Read more about accommodations for employees with heart conditions or vision impairments.

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Mark Your Calendar

Best Practices and Success in Inclusive Employment in the Hospitality Sector

February 19, 1:30-3:00 p.m. EST Webinar

On February 19, RespectAbility will sponsor a webinar exploring best practices in disability inclusion in the hospitality sector. Speakers include David Scott from Embassy Suites and Courtyard by Marriott Hotels in Omaha-La Vista, NE, and Valentini Kalargyrou, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Hospitality Management at the University of New Hampshire.

Register for the webinar.

Enrollment Deadline: Disability Employment Tracker

March 2 Deadline

The Disability Employment Tracker is a tool launched last year by the National Organization on Disability in partnership with the National Business and Disability Council and Sirota to help companies assess their disability hiring efforts. The deadline for enrollment is March 2, and this year, DiversityInc will consider completion a factor when determining its list of Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities.

Learn more about the Disability Employment Tracker.

Best Practices for Complying with Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act

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

This webcast is the third in the Job Accommodation Network’s (JAN) three-part winter 2015 federal monthly webcast series. The speakers will be Jeanne Goldberg from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and JAN representatives, who will address current developments in the application of 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

Children's Mercy, Kansas City

Children’s Mercy, Kansas City

Through an innovative program called Project RISE (Reaching for Independent Successful Employment), Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Hospital helps ensure that its future workforce reflects the diverse community it serves. The program allows young adults with disabilities an opportunity to rotate through a variety of roles across the hospital’s operations, focusing on tasks that may be better learned through on-the-job training instead of a classroom environment.

Read more about the program.

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AskEarn.org Spotlight

Business Strategies that Work

Business Strategies that Work: A Framework for Disability Inclusion

Want to tap into the third largest market segment in the U.S.? Any smart business would. As with any customer segment, one of the best ways to do so is to ensure it is represented in your workforce. To learn more, read Business Strategies that Work: A Framework for Disability Inclusion—a compilation of promising policies and practices for recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing qualified individuals with disabilities. It’s available on AskEARN.org in both PDF and HTML.

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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February 2nd, 2015 by

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February 4, 2015

What’s New

Event Highlights Best Practices for Disability and Veterans Inclusion
Last week, more than 75 corporate leaders gathered for the 4th annual Conference on Employment of People with Disabilities convened by Georgetown University in partnership with the National Business & Disability Council at The Viscardi Center. Held at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., this year’s event focused on strategies for recruiting and retaining veterans with disabilities.

Read about this and other NBDC events.

Disability Employment Tracker Deadline Fast Approaching
This year’s deadline for enrolling in the Disability Employment Tracker is March 2. Sponsored by the National Organization on Disability in partnership with the National Business & Disability Council and Sirota, this tool helps companies self-assess their readiness to launch or improve disability hiring initiatives. This year, DiversityInc will consider enrollment a factor when determining its Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities list.

Read more about the Disability Employment Tracker.

White House Welcomes Disability Employment Leaders
On Tuesday, leaders in disability inclusion exchanged insight at a White House summit dedicated to the topic. The agenda included panels on best practices across the employment life cycle and strategies for ensuring the next generation of workers with disabilities is prepared for tomorrow’s jobs. During the event, the White House also unveiled a new Resource Guide for Employers developed as part of its Curb Cuts to the Middle Class initiative.

Read more about the summit.

Get Social With Us!
Is hearing from us only biweekly simply not enough for you? Now you can stay connected with us every day! In addition to issuing this newsletter every other Wednesday, the Employer TA Center/EARN disseminates information via social media Monday through Friday. Anyone and everyone who wants to stay abreast of current topics and trends in disability inclusion is encouraged to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group.

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Mark Your Calendar

Promoting the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Workforce

February 18, 2:00-3:30 p.m. EST Webcast

There is still time to register for this webcast, which is the second in a three-part monthly series sponsored by the Job Accommodation Network. The speaker will be Jo Linda Johnson from the Transportation Security Administration, who will field questions related to reasonable accommodations, conduct rules and job performance. Participants do not need to have participated in the series’ first webcast to participate.

Register for the webcast.

Best Practices and Success in Inclusive Employment in the Hospitality Sector

February 19, 1:30-3:00 p.m. EST Webinar

On February 19, RespectAbility will sponsor a webinar exploring best practices in disability inclusion in the hospitality sector. Speakers include David Scott from Embassy Suites and Courtyard by Marriott Hotels in Omaha-La Vista, NE, and Valentini Kalargyrou, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Hospitality Management at the University of New Hampshire.

Register for the webinar.

Document Accessibility in Microsoft Word

February 25, 3:00 p.m. EST Webinar

An upcoming Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP) webinar will address accessibility in Microsoft Word. This is ATAP’s second in a four-part webinar series on accessibility basics, and the presenter will be T.J. Schlouski from the Illinois Assistive Technology Program. Future topics include accessibility in PowerPoint and multi-media products.

Register for this or other upcoming ATAP webinars.

Employer Spotlight

Ernst & Young Logo

Ernst & Young

Global professional services firm Ernst & Young, LLP (EY) has earned great praise for its diversity and inclusion practices and was recently ranked number one on DiversityInc’s list of top employers for people with disabilities. Its commitment extends to accessible technology and other workplace supports that empower EY’s talent to perform to their fullest potential. “Our staff is incredibly in-demand, so it’s in our best interest to invest in them and give them the tools they need to do their job effectively,” says Lori Golden, EY’s abilities strategy leader.

Learn more in this profile on PEATworks.org.

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AskEarn.org Spotlight

Employee Resource Group Toolkit

ERG Toolkit

Recent research indicates that Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)—also called Business Resource Groups or Affinity Groups—can help companies achieve their disability inclusion goals by fostering an environment in which applicants and employees with disabilities feel comfortable self-identifying as such. EARN’s Toolkit for Establishing and Maintaining Successful Employee Resource Groups can help employers understand this and the many other benefits of ERGs and the steps involved in establishing or enhancing one.

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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