August 10, 2017
In this Issue: NDEAM Theme, WRP Success Stories and More
National Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme Announced
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has announced that the theme of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is “Inclusion Drives Innovation.” NDEAM is celebrated every October to highlight the achievements of individuals with disabilities and their contributions to the American workforce. ODEP created this year’s theme with input from a wide variety of its partner organizations, including those representing employers, people with disabilities and their families, and federal, state and local agencies. Read the press release.
Labor Secretary’s Blog Post Highlights ADA Anniversary
In honor of the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta penned a post for the U.S. Department of Labor’s blog. In the post, Secretary Acosta reflects on the importance of the ADA and how it helps strengthen the workforce by ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to learn skills and put them to work for the benefit of their families, their communities and the nation’s economy. Read the blog post.
EARN Dips into SALSA
Earlier this month, members of the EARN team travelled to San Antonio to attend the National Industry Liaison Group’s (NILG) national conference. Dubbed “Strategies, Access and Leadership in San Antonio (SALSA),” the conference provided an opportunity to speak with employers from across the country about topics related to federal contract compliance and equal employment opportunity. EARN exhibited at the conference together with ODEP, which has an Alliance with NILG, and its Job Accommodation Network. Learn about the ODEP/NILG Alliance.
New Workforce Recruitment Program Success Stories Available
EARN recently published two new profiles of Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) participants on its Success Stories webpage. The WRP is a free service managed by ODEP and the U.S. Department of Defense that connects employers with highly qualified postsecondary students and recent graduates with disabilities. The profiles highlight how CVS Health and Northrop Grumman Corporation were able to meet their talent needs through two outstanding WRP participants: Afomeya Mekonnen and LeAndre Yarrell, respectively. Read Afomeya’s and LeAndre’s profiles.
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Veterans with disabilities bring a variety of strengths and talents to the workplace. They grasp new concepts quickly, and work well both independently and as part of a team. Employers who hire disabled veterans may qualify for certain tax incentives, and hiring veterans with disabilities can help federal contractors achieve their goals under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. To help employers learn more, EARN offers a webpage on recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing veterans with disabilities, with links to in-depth resources
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Friday, August 11, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Reasonable Accommodation: A Focus on Small Employers
Reasonable accommodation is a cornerstone of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which covers employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. Many small business owners believe that accommodations are expensive, when in reality most employers report low or no cost when making accommodations for employees with disabilities. This webinar hosted by Cornell University’s Institute on Employment and Disability will explore misunderstandings and best practices related to accommodations for employees with disabilities, with a focus on small employers. Register for the webinar.
Thursday, August 17, 2:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Making Tech Fields Accessible
PEAT Talks is a monthly virtual speaker series showcasing organizations and individuals who are advancing accessible technology in the workplace. This month, EvoXLabs founder Ather Sharif will discuss his experiences making tech-focused workplaces more inclusive, from building technology solutions to the partnership EvoXLabs developed with Access Computing at the University of Washington, which connects students with disabilities with mentors and internships in the tech field. Register for the PEAT Talk.
Thursday, September 14, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Creating Inclusive Higher Education Work Environments for People with Mental Health Disabilities
In the higher education workplace environment, policies and practices that support success for faculty and staff with mental health conditions are also sound management practices that benefit all workers and employers. During this webinar, hosted by EARN in collaboration with the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC), a panel of experts will explore this issue in depth. While geared toward higher education, the content that will be shared is widely applicable, and employers in all industries are encouraged to participate. Register for the September 14 webinar.
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In 2016, Synchrony Financial launched its People with Disabilities Hiring Initiative as part of the company’s commitment to creating a diverse workforce. As part of this effort, Synchrony began a pilot program to actively hire people with disabilities in its Kettering, Ohio location, using local nonprofit service providers including Easterseals to help meet its staffing needs. The effort resulted in the hiring of 42 people with disabilities into full- and part-time positions, and plans for the company to expand the program to its Phoenix location.
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The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) is a resource for employers seeking to recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified employees with disabilities. It 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.