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September 26th, 2014 by
The diagram is an infographic with the title: States as Model Employers of People with Disabilities.  States as employers can have a major impact on the employment rate of people with disabilities. Heading: States are LARGE employers:  Underneath this text heading are 4 rectangles. Along the left side of the 4 rectangles is the text: People Employed.  The first rectangle has a female figure in yellow inside a large red rectangle. It shows that 19 million people are employed by State & Local Government.  The next rectangle is a little smaller and has a dark blue figure of a male inside a light blue rectangle. It shows that 17 million people are employed in Healthcare and Social Assistance.  The third rectangle is a little smaller than the second rectangle; it has a dark blue female figure inside a light blue rectangle. It shows that 12 million people work in Manufacturing. The last rectangle is the smallest. It has a dark blue male figure inside a light blue rectangle. It shows that 5.5 million people work in Construction.  The next diagram is illustrated in a triangle divided into three sections.  The heading over this triangle is: Building Blocks of States as Model Employers. The top third of the triangle in yellow is labeled POLICY and LEADERSHIP. Outside of this triangle, it states: Evaluation and Adjustment Programs, Measuring Goals for Accountability, and Forming Partnerships with VR and Hiring Agencies. The lower left third of the triangle in orange is labeled HR PRACTICES. Outside this section, it states: Early Intervention and Return to Work; Fast Track Hiring; and Internships and Job Shadowing. The lower right third of the triangle in red is labeled EDUCATION and AWARENESS. Outside this section, it states Disability Diversity Training, and Website Accessibility.  Source:  Krepcio, K., Barnett, S. (2013). States as model employers of people with disabilities: A comprehensive review of politics, practices and strategies. Employer Assistance and Resource Network.   The bottom of this infographic shows the web link:

States as Model Employers Infographic

By Kathy Krepcio
Executive Director, Disability Employment, Research Design, Workforce Policy at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development

Earlier this month, the nation celebrated Labor Day, a national holiday designed to pay tribute to the contributions and achievement of American workers. As many of us know, work is an important part of our lives. It’s not only a source of income and economic support, it also provides daily structure and focus; makes life meaningful; offers an outlet for acquiring, developing, and mastering skills and knowledge; and for building social relationships.
Americans work in all kinds of job settings, sometimes for themselves, and for all types of employers—large, small, private companies, and public agencies. While a very large portion work in the private sector, more than 19 million Americans work in some type of full- and part-time public-sector job, and more than (more…)

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July 25th, 2014 by





The employment landscape has changed greatly in the years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The huge leap in technological advances has created both new opportunities and new challenges for people with disabilities in the workplace. In honor of the ADA anniversary, EARN reached out to Wendy Strobel-Gower, Director of the Northeast ADA Center, and asked her to blog about the importance of accessibility and access in online application systems.

Online application systems, which allow people to apply for open positions within a company using the internet or related electronic data technologies, are becoming increasingly common for all employers. As such, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has addressed this issue in its recently issued a final regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The final rule adds new language stating that the reasonable accommodation obligation extends to the contractor’s use of electronic or online job application systems. Federal contractors must ensure equal access to job opportunities for all applicants, including people with disabilities. Simply stated, accessible online application systems are the most expeditious way to do this.   The gold standard in accessible online systems are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). According to the World Wide Web Consortium, WCAG 2.0 has 12 guidelines that are organized under 4 principles: (more…)

May 14th, 2014 by
by Kathleen Lee, Business Outreach Specialist at Cornell University’s National Employer Technical Assistance, Policy and Research Center on Employment of People with Disabilities

On March 24, 2014, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) implemented new Section 503 regulations for federal contractors. Contractors with more than 100 employees are now required to set an aspirational goal to achieve a workforce inclusive of 7 percent of individuals with disabilities in each job category, while businesses with fewer than 100 employees will apply that goal across their workforce as a whole.

Contractors covered under Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) are required to establish an 8 percent benchmark for hiring individuals defined as “protected veterans,” with the option of establishing benchmarks based on regional workforce data at each location of operation.

Across the nation, contractors have (more…)

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March 19th, 2014 by
GregoryWassonWithin the talent management field, there is an ongoing expansion of the definition of diversity. Beyond the historic perceptions of diversity – gender, race, and ethnicity – employers are becoming more aware of the benefits of inclusive work environments that consider a broader array of diversity characteristics. Among the expanding list of diversity characteristics that employers recognize, disability is gaining attention. The changes in federal contractor regulations have played an important role in driving recruitment trends, but so has a deeper understanding of the prevalence and distinctness of the disability experience. To include sourcing talented people with disabilities in recruiting strategies is to acknowledge what Walgreens’ CEO, Gregory Wasson (pictured), shared in an interview with CNBC in August  of 2013: “ People with disabilities are a vastly underutilized resource….We have studies that show 20% fewer accidents in our distribution centers. We have 70% lower workers compensation costs, lower absenteeism, and nearly twice the retention rate of these employees.” (more…)
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