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Welcome to AskEARN’s new website. As we transition to our new site, you can still visit EARN’s previous site.

About EARN

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) offers information and resources to help employers recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities; build inclusive workplace cultures; and meet diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) goals. 

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Getting Started

Start here to learn how to recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities — and how EARN’s resources can help.

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    Phases of Employment

  • A man in a wheelchair looks at his phone while waiting for an interview

    Recruit

    Build a pipeline of talent that includes people with disabilities.

  • A woman with a forearm crutch shakes hands with another person

    Hire

    Identify people who have the skills and attributes for the job.

  • A man looks on as a young woman with Down syndrome makes a coffee drink in a cafe

    Retain

    Keep talented employees with disabilities, including those who acquire them on the job.

  • Image of a woman illustrating how to perform a task to a man with down's syndrome.

    Advance

    Ensure that employees with disabilities have equal opportunities for advancement.

News & Events

EARN makes it easy to stay up-to-date on disability employment news and information. Start by subscribing to our e-blasts and monthly e-newsletter, which will connect you to upcoming events, developing news and promising practices in the world of disability diversity and inclusion. And don’t forget to follow EARN on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

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Talent Case Study: Dr. Julie Meade

Talent Case Study: Learn about the career path of a woman with multiple disabilities.   

Bristol Myers Squibb logo

Organization

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Number of Employees

27,300

Website

https://www.bms.com

Related Content

accommodations advancement employer case studies

Dr. Julie Meade is an exceptional example of a person with multiple disabilities who is thriving in her career. Julie has several disabilities, including learning disabilities, ADHD, a speech impediment, autoimmune thyroiditis, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and narcolepsy. Through hard work, individualized education plans, medication and many years of occupational therapy, she developed skills for academic and career success.

Portrait of Doctor Julie Meade

After graduating with honors from Vassar College, she completed two years of post-baccalaureate training at the National Institutes of Health. She then won a predoctoral fellowship award to fund her Ph.D. studies, successfully defending her Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology in the spring of 2020 at the age of 30.

While a graduate student, Julie served as the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics’ Regional Coordinator for Communications and Outreach to Virginia Commonwealth University. During this time, she also managed a pharmacology blog and a podcast, and worked as an editor of a medical textbook after graduation.  

Julie participated in numerous career development workshops offered by her university and scientific organizations. She applied for more than a hundred positions in various industries, but to no avail. However, Julie’s participation in Disability:IN’s NextGen Leaders Initiatives was a pivotal turning point in her career journey. Disability:IN matched Julie with a mentor in the pharmaceutical industry who provided her with guidance on potential career paths, resume preparation, networking and interviewing.  

Pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) found Julie’s resume through Disability:IN and was impressed with her experience and skills. The company invited her to interview for a position as a scientific writer on clinical trials, and she was hired as a full-time employee soon after. Within six months, she was promoted to Scientific Writer 2, a leadership role in which she coordinates teams of health care professionals and scientists to create clinical trial documents.

Julie manages her disability on the job in various ways, including writing down questions as they arise, creating to-do lists, setting follow-up reminders and communicating when more clarification is needed. For employers seeking to attract employees with disabilities, Julie suggests emphasizing that the company is making efforts to hire more people with disabilities. An environment of openness around disability status can inspire more employees to self-identify and request accommodations, boosting their career success and company performance.

Julie also recommends that employers provide information to job candidates about all available workplace accommodations and benefits. For example, BMS provides workplace accommodations for all employees, not just those with disabilities, as well as benefits such as remote work options, flexible hours, ergonomic equipment and unlimited sick days. BMS also has a disability-focused employee resource group, the Differently-Abled Workplace Network (DAWN), which hosts events to educate employees about disabilities. Julie volunteers as a Workforce Pillar in DAWN, developing programs to recruit applicants with disabilities.

Through participation in Disability:IN initiatives, hard work, self-advocacy and many sticky note reminders, Julie has been able to excel in her career. She has contributed not only to her department, but also to BMS’ overall corporate culture.