February 28, 2018
In this Issue: Accessible Tech Tips, WRP & More
Website Accessibility Top 10
Recently, EARN collaborated with the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) to develop a new resource, “10 Tips for an Accessible Website.” Given that one in five Americans has a disability and one in eight is over age 65, inaccessible websites can cause a business to lose out on potential job candidates or customers. People with different disabilities, whether temporary or permanent, access websites in different ways. These strategies can help ensure all are “virtually welcome,” regardless of their vision or hearing level, whether they use a mouse or keyboard commands, or how they process information. Read “10 Tips for an Accessible Website.”
Workforce Recruitment Program
It may still be winter across much of the country, but many employers are already planning for the warmer months ahead. Those planning to host summer interns are reminded that the 2018 Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) can assist them in sourcing highly qualified candidates. The WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal agencies with pre-screened college students and recent graduates with disabilities seeking internships or permanent jobs. It can also be used – free of charge – by private-sector employers seeking to bring new talent into the workplace. Participants in the WRP range from freshmen to graduate and law students. Learn more about the WRP for federal or private employers.
Annual Disability Statistics Compendium Release
The Annual Disability Statistics Compendium for 2017 was released earlier this month. This web-based tool pools disability statistics published by various federal agencies to make finding and using such data –including related to employment of people with disabilities – easier for policymakers and other stakeholders. The report is compiled by the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics, which is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research and managed by the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability. Access the Annual Disability Statistics Compendium.
CBS News Spotlight on Neurodiversity in the Workplace
A recent Feature on CBS News’ “Sunday Morning” television newsmagazine program shined a light on companies – among them tech giants Microsoft and SAP – that are realizing the benefits of workplace neurodiversity and developing programs to proactively recruit, hire and retain people on the autism spectrum. Among the strategies highlighted were task-based interviews, soft skills training and workplace mentoring. “There really is, and was, a lot of data on the table that said to us that we were missing out,” said Microsoft Chief Accessibility Officer Jennie Lay-Flurrie, who was interviewed for the segment. “We were missing out on an opportunity to bring talent in with autism.” Watch or read the segment.
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Engaging Employers: A Guide for Disability and Workforce Development Service Providers
Disability and workforce development service providers play a key role in helping job seekers with disabilities find and succeed in employment. But they also serve employers—by identifying and connecting them with individuals to meet their workforce needs. Now, a new guide from EARN, developed with input from Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation’s National Employment Team, examines this “dual customer” approach in depth.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
March 1, 2018 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Webinar: Breaking Down Work Barriers for People with Disabilities: Opportunities for Employers
Presented by Mathematica’s Center for Studying Disability Policy, this webinar will explore actions employers can take to better accommodate employees with disabilities; feedback from employer interviews about the challenges associated with recruiting and retaining workers with disabilities; and findings from the National Employment and Disability Survey, recently released by the Kessler Foundation. Register for the March 1 webinar.
March 2, 2018
Deadline: National Dialogue – Work Matters Readying a Skilled Workforce
The deadline to participate in the most recent State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED) national online dialogue is March 2. Through this dialogue, titled “Work Matters: Readying a Skilled Workforce,” SEED is asking stakeholders, including individuals with disabilities and employers, to contribute ideas and feedback on policies states can implement to better prepare citizens with disabilities for workforce participation. Learn more about or participate in the dialogue.
March 8, 2018, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Meeting: Federal Exchange on Employment and Disability
The next Federal Exchange on Employment and Disability (FEED) meeting will take place on March 2 at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in Washington, D.C. The topic will be “Leveraging Workforce Data for Agency Affirmative Action Plans.” FEED is an interagency working group focused on increasing disability inclusion in the federal workforce, and participation is open to federal employees at any level involved in recruiting, hiring, retaining or advancing employees with disabilities. Learn more about FEED.
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In a recent podcast, Pat Romzek, an Executive Consultant for Cisco, discussed the company’s Project Life Changer, an inclusive hiring program focused on recruiting and retaining employees with disabilities. The podcast is one in the “Future of Work” series produced by the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology in collaboration with Workology.com to start conversations around how emerging workplace technology trends are impacting people with disabilities.
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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.