February 8, 2017
In this Issue: Communicating with Managers, #DSWORKS Campaign & More
Talking to Managers about Disability
Managers and supervisors are the front line when it comes to implementing policies and practices designed to support disability inclusion in the workplace. To help employers communicate this critical role to managers and supervisors, the Northeast Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center developed Communication Tools to Support Disability Inclusion. This guide can assist workplace leaders, including HR professionals, diversity and inclusion managers, business owners and corporate executives, in sending the right messages about disability inclusion. Topics include how disability inclusion benefits businesses, strategies for creating a workplace culture welcoming of people with disabilities, and recruiting and hiring tips. Access Communication Tools to Support Disability Inclusion.
Every day, people with disabilities – including people with Down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities – add value to America’s workplaces and economy in numerous ways. To help highlight the contributions of people with Down syndrome, the National Down Syndrome Society recently launched the #DSWORKS campaign, which encourages businesses to hire employees with Down syndrome and increase opportunities for them to engage in meaningful and competitive employment. The campaign features a range of resources, including a guide for employers with tips such as setting goals and providing a routine. Self-advocates, family members, employers and job coaches are also encouraged to share success stories on social media using the hashtag #DSWORKS. Read more about #DSWORKS.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration/Low Vision Month
February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration/Low Vision Month, which raises awareness about vision impairments that affect a large number of workers across the U.S., given the “graying” of the American workforce. As such, employers may want to use the month to learn about and educate supervisors and employees about workplace accommodation ideas for employees who have vision impairments. As part of its Accommodation and Compliance Series, the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) offers a wealth of information to assist. Like EARN, JAN is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. Read about accommodations for people with vision impairments.
Guidance on Section 508 “Refresh”
The Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology recently published two resources, a fact sheet and policy brief, to help stakeholders, including federal employers, understand recent updates to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which applies to federal agencies and the technology providers that sell to them. Specifically, Section 508 requires that all information and communications technology the federal government develops, procures, maintains and uses be accessible to people with disabilities, including in the workplace context. This means that federal employees with disabilities must have comparable access to and use of information and data relative to other federal workers. Read the Section 508 resources.
Section 501 Policy Brief
Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits federal agencies from discriminating against qualified people with disabilities in employment and requires them to take proactive steps to recruit and retain them. To help federal agencies understand important updates to regulations implementing Section 501 announced by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last month, EARN developed a policy brief outlining their main components, among them the establishment of set representation rates for people with disabilities and targeted disabilities and the provision of personal assistance services in the workplace.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
February 16, 2017, 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
Webinar: Federal Government as a Model Employer: Understanding Changes to Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act
This EARN webinar will provide an in-depth look at the final rule recently published by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updating Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires affirmative action and nondiscrimination in employment of people with disabilities by federal agencies. Topics will include the importance of self-identification in achieving hiring goals, how the new rule impacts the federal job application process and reasonable accommodation procedures, and the use of personal assistance services in the workplace. Disability program managers, selective placement program coordinators, HR professionals, managers and hiring officials across the Federal Government are encouraged to attend. Participation is free, but registration is required and space is limited. Register for the February 16 webinar.
February 21, 2017, 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
Webinar: Employer Practices to Improve Employment Outcomes: Considerations Across the Employment Process
Many businesses are realizing the tremendous value employees with disabilities bring to the workplace, but want to know more about the best ways to recruit, hire and retain them. This webinar hosted by the Great Lakes ADA Center and ADA National Network will provide an overview of proven workplace disability inclusive practices across the employment process – from recruitment and hiring to advancement and retention. Topics will include accessibility, accommodations and diversity and inclusion. Register for the February 21 webcast.
February 22, 2017, 1:00-4:00 p.m. ET
Webcast: JAN Binge-a-thon
Federal government employees are invited to join experts from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) for an in-depth discussion on topics such as reasonable accommodations and the Rehabilitation Act. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion. Register for the February 22 webcast.
Worldport, UPS’s main air sorting hub in Louisville, KY, has implemented an innovative workplace inclusion program in order to meet its business needs. The UPS Transitional Learning Center is a cooperative effort between UPS and the Coalition for Workforce Diversity through which people with disabilities, who are sourced through the Coalition, get hands-on training doing UPS jobs. The Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation provides additional one-on-one support for the young workers participating in the program. A new report from the Office of Disability Employment Policy-funded LEAD Center details the training program and how it can serve as a model for other companies interested in diversifying their workforce with the skills and talents of people with disabilities.
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.