In this Issue: Mentoring Month, Inclusion at Starbucks, & More
EARN IN ACTION
Mentoring as an Inclusion Strategy
January is National Mentoring Month, an annual nationwide campaign that raises awareness about the value mentoring offers to people, both personally and professionally. While career mentoring can help foster employment success for any person, it may be especially beneficial to people with disabilities just starting out in the workforce. In this way, it also benefits their employers by boosting retention and workforce inclusion. To help employers implement disability-inclusive workplace mentoring initiatives, EARN offers a Workplace Mentoring Playbook. Access the Playbook or learn more about National Mentoring Month.
Brewing Inclusion at Starbucks
A new employer success story on the EARN website describes how an inclusive culture is a core value of Starbucks, from both a workplace and marketplace perspective. The company has committed to ensuring that employees and customers with disabilities have equal access to opportunities and services. Starbucks delivers on its commitment by forming partnerships to recruit and hire people with disabilities and by providing training for all employees on disability-related topics, including workplace accommodations. The company also has a disability-focused employee resource group. Read more about Starbucks’ efforts.
All About EARN
Want to learn more about EARN? Check out our animated video, which introduces the many ways we stand at the ready to help employers recruit, hire, retain, and advance qualified individuals with disabilities. The video highlights the benefits of a disability-inclusive workplace as well as valuable resources available on the EARN website. Here, you will find the Inclusion@Work employer policy framework, links to state and local organizations, and information on disability nondiscrimination laws and regulations, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Watch the EARN video.
DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT IN THE NEWS
Looking Ahead to “ADA30”
Throughout 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) through a variety of events and other collaborative activities, including the 75th annual National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) observance in October. Signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, the ADA is a landmark civil rights law that works to increase the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life, including employment. Learn more about DOL’s plans or the ADA.
Workforce Recruitment Program
The 2020 Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) database is now available! Managed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense, the WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal employers with highly qualified, pre-screened college students and recent graduates with disabilities seeking internships or permanent jobs. Federal employers can use the WRP database to source and contact candidates that meet their specific workforce needs. Learn more about the WRP.
Guide for Construction Companies with Federal Contracts
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently released a technical assistance guide for construction contractors. The guide can serve as a self-assessment tool to review construction contractors’ efforts to eliminate discrimination and achieve their equal employment opportunity (EEO) goals for protected bases under OFCCP regulations, including people with disabilities. Highlights include an overview of their obligations, steps for effectively implementing the Standard Federal EEO Construction Contract Specifications, and what to expect during a compliance evaluation. Read the guide.
Tips for Disability-Inclusive Branding
Today, more and more companies are proactively shaping an employer brand distinct from their general corporate brand. To that end, a commitment to inclusion can be a key differentiator in attracting and retaining qualified individuals with disabilities. For companies interested in branding themselves as a disability-inclusive employer in 2020, the National Business and Disability Council at The Viscardi Center offers six tips—from ensuring your application process is accessible to using disability-inclusive imagery in your marketing materials—in a recent blog post. Read the blog post.
Q: We are a small business with plans to hire in 2020. How can we ensure our recruitment efforts are inclusive of people with disabilities?
A: Congratulations on your plans for expansion, of both your business and workforce diversity, and best wishes for a happy and productive new year! When it comes to doing business, a diverse team, including people with disabilities, means more perspectives on how to confront challenges and achieve success. Small businesses can use a variety of strategies to recruit and retain people with disabilities. Learn more in our Small Business and Disability Employment: Steps to Success toolkit.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
January 16, 2020, 1:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Rise Up and Be Counted: Strategies to Increase Self-Identification
A strong self-identification program can encourage employees with disabilities to bring their “whole selves” to work and thus is an essential component of a workplace that is truly inclusive. During this webinar, co-hosted by EARN and the National Industry Liaison Group, participants will learn about strategies to address what research has shown to be the main barriers to self-identification. Register for the January 16 webinar.
January 31, 2020
Deadline: Disability Equality Index Registration
The deadline to register for the 2020 Disability Equality Index® (DEI) is January 31. Sponsored by the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN, an EARN partner, 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.
February 14, 2020
Deadline: Signature Employment Grants
The Kessler Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2020 Signature Employment Grants, which support innovative ideas for improving employment for people with disabilities. Any tax-exempt organization may apply, including nonprofit organizations, public or private schools, and public institutions, such as universities and governmental entities. The deadline is February 14. Learn more about the grants.
March 3, 2020
Deadline: Disability Employment Tracker
Sponsored by the National Organization on Disability (NOD), the Disability Employment Tracker™ provides companies a confidential assessment of their disability inclusion policies and practices. Completion of the Tracker by March 3 is required to qualify for the “NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal” and DiversityInc’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity.” Learn more about the Tracker.
As part of its commitment to an inclusive workplace, CVS Health takes proactive steps to connect individuals with disabilities to rewarding work experiences. One way it does this is through its “Abilities in Abundance” program. Led by the company’s Workforce Initiatives team and implemented through a partnership with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation’s National Employment Team, this program offers skills development, job training, and placement opportunities for people with a variety of disabilities. It also creates a talent pipeline to meet the company’s workforce needs.
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.