In this Issue: New Checklists for Employers, Celebrating International Day of People with Disabilities, & More
EARN IN ACTION
A new EARN “research-to-practice” tool, entitled Online Recruitment of and Outreach to People with Disabilities, summarizes strategies that can increase a company’s likelihood of attracting candidates with disabilities during the talent acquisition process. Distilled from a recent review of literature on the topic, these practices fall into four main categories—online messaging, outreach and recruitment, application processes and accessibility, and establishing partnerships to broaden talent pools. Access the research-to-practice tool.
New Checklists for Employers
EARN recently published two new checklists to assist employers in ensuring their workplace policies and practices are disability inclusive. One addresses considerations when designing and implementing centralized accommodation programs (CAPs), while the other focuses on standardizing a company’s interview process in order to ensure authenticity, accessibility, and equal opportunity for all candidates, including people with disabilities. Access the CAPs in Practice or Accessible and Authentic Interviews checklists.
International Day of People with Disabilities
December 3 was the annual International Day of People with Disabilities, and this year’s theme was “Not all disabilities are visible.” Among these disabilities are mental health conditions, and employers play an important role in supporting workers living with such conditions. In this spirit, last year EARN developed the Mental Health Toolkit. In addition to background and examples of initiatives implemented by leading companies, this toolkit presents an easy-to-follow framework for employers called the “4 A’s of a Mental Health-Friendly Workplace” (Awareness, Accommodations, Assistance, and Access). Access the toolkit.
DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT IN THE NEWS
Zero Awards Announced
Two U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)-funded initiatives—the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) and State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED)—are among the recipients of the 2021 Zero Project Awards, which annually recognize innovative practices and policies that advance the rights of and quality of living for people with disabilities. DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy funds both initiatives. Read more about PEAT, SEED, or the Zero Project awards.
Low Cost, High Impact
The Office of Disability Employment Policy’s Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has released its most recent data on the benefits and costs of workplace accommodations. Started in 2004 and updated annually since, JAN’s Low Cost, High Impact report now includes the experiences of 3,369 employers, with 625 added over the past year. Once again, results indicate that most (56 percent) accommodations cost nothing to implement, and of those that do incur a one-time cost, the typical expenditure is $500. Read the report.
OFCCP Guide for Small Contractors
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently released a new technical assistance guide that small business contractors can use to self-assess their efforts to eliminate discrimination and achieve equal employment opportunity goals. The guide addresses OFCCP obligations for small federal supply and service, construction contractors and subcontractors, as well as federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors. Access the guide.
HIRE Vets Medallion Award Ceremony
Last month, U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service Assistant Secretary John Lowry, and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston hosted a virtual ceremony recognizing the 2020 HIRE Vets Medallion Award recipients. This year, the U.S. Department of Labor honored 675 employers with the award for their commitment to recruiting, hiring, and retaining veterans, including those with service-connected disabilities. Watch the ceremony.
Q: We are a federal contractor subject to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. To help ensure our disability data is accurate, we want to educate employees about why we collect it. Can we do this?
A: Yes! Whether for voluntary or required affirmative action program purposes (such as requirements under Section 503), the primary method for tracking success toward disability inclusion goals is to invite applicants and employees to self-identify. To help ensure an accurate picture, many companies implement internal campaigns to educate about why the company collects such data and the benefits to both employees and the organization. A new EARN fact sheet outlines five steps that can set the stage for success of such efforts.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
December 15, 2020, 1:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Disability Inclusion Can Still be a Priority, Even During This Unprecedented Times
During this “Office Hours” session with the National Business and Disability Council at The Viscardi Center, John Kemp, Viscardi President and CEO, will host Keryn Rowland, Vice President of Human Resources at Synchrony Bank, to discuss her company’s experience committing to and successfully hiring more than 1,000 people with disabilities in the U.S. and abroad. Register for the webinar.
January 12, 2021, 2:00 p.m. ET
Webcast: Accommodations for Respiratory Impairments
This webcast, part of a monthly series hosted by the Job Accommodation Network, will explore common accommodations and technology that may assist employees with respiratory impairments, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sarcoidosis, and other conditions, in the workplace setting. Register for the webcast.
January 29, 2021
Deadline: Disability Equality Index Registration
The deadline to register for the 2021 Disability Equality Index® (DEI) is January 29. Sponsored by the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN, this confidential benchmarking tool allows employers to receive an objective rating on their disability inclusion policies and practices; companies that score 80 percent or higher are named “DEI Best Places to Work.” Learn about the DEI.
In a recent post on the company’s Insights blog, TD Bank Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer John Pluhowski reflected on the company’s commitment to disability inclusion—from both a professional and personal perspective—and the importance of continuing to deliver on it in the face of the unprecedented challenges this year has brought. He also outlines six ways to promote inclusion.
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 K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Disability and Employment. For more information, visit AskEARN.org.
Preparation of this item was fully funded by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy in the amount of $8,000,000 (four-year total grant amount) under Cooperative Agreement No. OD-33975-19-75-4-36. 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.