Monthly nTide Report Shows Continued Positive Trend in Disability Employment The most recent National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) report showed that, as the overall economy continued to grow, so did the number of Americans with disabilities contributing to it through employment. Issued since March 2013, the monthly nTIDE report is coordinated by the Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability and based on the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report.
The Arc Releases New Public Service Announcement The Arc of the United States recently released a new public service announcement (PSA) illustrating the potential for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. Among the experiences they should expect? “Rewarding jobs.” The Arc is the largest national support and advocacy organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and can be a resource for employers seeking to hire them.
How Employees with Autism Can Benefit Your Bottom Line April is Autism Awareness Month. In recognition of this year’s theme, “The Autism Advantage,” the U.N. General Assembly launched an employment “Call to Action,” inviting businesses to commit to hiring people with autism and other developmental disabilities. A recent Huffington Post blog post explored the advantages of doing so to not only society, but also the bottom line.
Tips for Being “On the Alert for Accommodation” A recent Human Resource Executive article explored what constitutes the interactive process relative to reasonable accommodations, noting that there may be situations when employees do not need to fill in forms or provide other written documentation. The article is based on guidance provided by former Equal Employment Opportunity Commission attorney and current Transportation Security Administration Civil Rights Director Jo Linda Johnson during a recent Job Accommodation Network webinar.
FDWC News Hour Webinar: Inclusion Across the Employment Lifecycle: The Role of Centralized Accommodation Funds
April 15, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EST
The second Federal Disability Workforce Consortium (FDWC) News Hour webinar of 2015 will take place today from 2:00-3:30 pm EST. This webinar will address how centralized accommodation funds (CAFs) promote success for federal employees with disabilities across the employment lifecycle by helping to eliminate misconceptions and foster an environment in which they feel “safe” asking for the accommodations they need to optimize their productivity. Participants will learn what CAFs are, how they help promote disability disclosure, and the steps federal agencies can take to establish or enhance them.
This Twitter chat, hosted by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), will focus on personal assistants as workplace accommodations, including job coaches, personal attendants, job assistants, interpreters, readers and service animals. Issues addressed will include what personal assistants do, common legal issues, and real-life situations and solutions. Members of the public, including employers, are encouraged to participate by tweeting using the hashtag #eyeonJAN. Like the Employer TA Center/EARN, JAN is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.
Accommodating Employees with Mental Health Disabilities in Higher Education
April 23, 2015, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST
Featuring speakers John Kemp, Esq., President and CEO of The Viscardi Center and Dr. Beth Loy, Principal Consultant at the Job Accommodation Network, this webinar will address accommodations for employees with mental health disabilities in the higher education setting. It is being sponsored by the Employer TA Center/EARN in collaboration with the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium as part of its alliance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and is approved for one HR General recertification credit hour through the HR Certification Institute.
Disability and Employment: Research, Policy and Practice
April 28, 2015, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EST
This webinar will address two projects currently being conducted by the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment Policy and Measurement at the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability: 1) Distribution of the Returns to Education for People with Early Onset Disabilities, and 2) Design of the National Employment Survey on the Status of Americans with Disabilities for the Kessler Foundation. Presenters include Drs. Andrew J. Houtenville, Vidya Sundar and Debra Brucker. Participants must register by April 24 at noon.
Cultivating Talent for Tomorrow: The Value of Interns with Disabilities
April 29, 2015, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EST
Internships can help employers evaluate potential future employees. Moreover, by targeting specific populations—such as people with disabilities—they can advance workforce diversity goals, including those related to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. This Employer TA Center webinar will address these benefits and how employers can use the Workforce Recruitment Program to source qualified interns with disabilities. Please note that this webinar was rescheduled from the originally planned date of March 26; people who registered for that webinar do not need to register again.
Assessing the Accessibility of Your Workplace Technology—A TechCheck Walkthrough
April 29, 2015, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST
This webinar will walk participants through the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology’s (PEAT) TechCheck, a free, interactive tool employers can use to self-assess their workplace accessibility efforts and identify tools to assist in making improvements. It will be presented by PEAT’s Jim Tobias, an expert with more than 30 years’ experience working to improve the accessibility and usability of technologies. Like the Employer TA Center, PEAT is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced a pilot program to proactively hire people with autism at its Redmond, Washington headquarters. In a recent blog post, Mary Ellen Smith, Corporate Vice President for Worldwide Operations, shared her thoughts about the program from both a personal perspective—as a parent of a young adult with autism—and a professional one. “Microsoft is stronger when we expand opportunity and we have a diverse workforce that represents our customers,” she said. “People with autism bring strengths that we need at Microsoft, each individual is different, some have amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code.”
Some employers, especially small business employers, may have limited experience recruiting candidates with disabilities and concerns about doing or saying the right thing. But they need not worry; good practices for hiring people with disabilities are the same as for hiring all employees—the focus should be on the fit between the position and the candidate’s qualifications. This fact sheet provides helpful guidance for employers who want to learn more about hiring people with disabilities, including how to respond to possible pre-employment accommodation requests.
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.