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Employer Assistance & Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN): A service of the The Viscardi Center
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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‚Äôs the simple but compelling message of a recent op-ed titled “Employers Can Benefit from Disabled Veterans‚Äô Skills” penned by National Organization on Disability‚Äôs President Carol Glazer as part of Aetna‚Äôs 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.

‚ÄėDear Hiring Manager‚Äô 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‚ÄĒin cover letter form. ‚ÄúDear Hiring Manager: All the Disability-Related Skills I Can’t Put on My Resume‚ÄĚ challenges employers to rethink misconceptions they may have about people with disabilities and consider instead the skills they have honed managing their conditions. ‚ÄúI 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,‚ÄĚ 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, 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‚Äôs 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. ‚ÄúThis legislation will help establish our state as a model employer for people with unique abilities,‚ÄĚ said Senate President Andy Gardiner, who helped champion the bill.

Learn more about the bill.


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‚ÄĒand 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‚Äôs director of development.

Read about the theater.

Spacer2 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


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.

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