In this Issue: National Mentoring Month, Inclusive Outreach & Recruitment, and More!
EARN IN ACTION
National Mentoring Month
January is National Mentoring Month—an annual effort to educate about the importance of mentoring young people, both personally and professionally. While career mentoring can promote employment success for young people new to the workforce, it may be especially beneficial to individuals with disabilities. It can also benefit employers by boosting retention and workforce inclusion. EARN’s Workplace Mentoring Playbook provides key information for employers on the benefits of disability-inclusive mentoring initiatives. Access the Playbook or learn about National Mentoring Month.
Inclusive Outreach and Recruitment
Today more than ever, businesses need workers with the ability to adapt to different situations and circumstances. These are attributes often possessed by people with disabilities. However, while research shows that perspectives of people with disabilities can add value to an organization, not all employers know how to effectively recruit individuals with disabilities. That is where inclusive outreach comes in. Working with service providers, such as vocational rehabilitation agencies, American Job Centers, and Centers for Independent Living, can help. Learn more about inclusive outreach.
All About EARN Video
Is ensuring an inclusive workplace on your agenda for 2021? Check out our animated video, which introduces the ways EARN stands 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. You will also find valuable resources available on the EARN website, such as the Inclusion@Work employer policy framework, links to state and local organizations, and information on disability nondiscrimination laws and regulations. Watch the video.
DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT IN THE NEWS
DOL Guidance to Support Workplace Flexibilities
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recently published new guidance on telework arrangements and virtual communication to help employers continue to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19. As part of this, WHD issued a Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) addressing when it will consider telemedicine an “in-person” visit for establishing a serious health condition, which qualifies an eligible employee for protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Read the FAB.
Workforce Recruitment Program
The 2021 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. It connects federal employers with highly qualified, pre-screened college students and recent graduates with disabilities seeking internships or permanent jobs. Learn about the WRP.
New Training from the Center for Workplace Mental Health
The Center for Workplace Mental Health, an initiative of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, developed a new training resource for employers—“Notice.Talk.Act.™ at Work.” This e-learning module provides company leaders, managers, and supervisors valuable information on the impact of mental health on employees and organizations. It also shares how to “notice” signs of mental health conditions, “talk” with people about the issue, and “act” by connecting them with services and supports. Access the training.
A recent AdWeek article explored disability inclusion in advertising. It highlights “10 of the Most Accessible Brand Campaigns and Actions of 2020”—a year that marked both the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 75th observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Among the campaigns featured are those implemented by Microsoft and Mattel, whose 2020 “American Girl of the Year” was deaf and wears an ear implant. Read the article.
Q: We are a business with workers returning onsite and want to protect both their jobs and health and safety. Do you have guidance to help?
A: Yes. The pandemic requires employers to navigate a number of issues to facilitate the employment and health and safety of employees, including those with disabilities. EARN’s policy brief, COVID-19 and Job Applicants and Employees with Disabilities: Emerging Practices to Employ and Protect Workers, can help employers identify different perspectives that should be considered, including where and how the Americans with Disabilities Act comes into play.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
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.
March 5, 2021
Deadline: Disability Employment Tracker
The 2021 Disability Employment Tracker™ assessment is now available. Sponsored by the National Organization on Disability (NOD), this tool provides companies a confidential assessment of their disability inclusion policies and practices. Completion is required to qualify for the 2021 NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal and the 2021 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity. Learn about the Tracker.
In response to results of a survey of its own workforce, multinational pharmaceutical company Merck implemented a number of steps in recent years to support employee mental health and replace silence and stigma with acceptance and compassion. Examples include awareness building activities for employees and supervisors, “Mental Health First Aid” training, and volunteer ambassadors the company calls “Mind Well Champions.”
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.