New Videos Highlight Benefits of Internships for Young People With Disabilities Three new videos highlight employers’ experiences hiring interns through the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP). The WRP connects employers with qualified students and recent graduates with disabilities seeking summer or permanent jobs, and the videos showcase two federal workplaces (the Pentagon and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) and one federal contractor (SSB BART Group). Federal agencies interested in the WRP should visit WRP.gov; private employers can go to WRP.jobs.
Committee to Advise on Integrated Employment Opportunities Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the public members who will serve on a new Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals With Disabilities, a key provision of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act passed last summer. Among the members are two employer community representatives. Read more about the committee’s charge in Secretary of Labor Tom Perez’s blog post.
Fast Company Shines Light on People With Disabilities as an Untapped Talent Source A recent Fast Company article explored the contradiction between the labor force participation rate of people with disabilities and the skills and creativity they have to offer America’s employers. It also outlined six strategies smart employers use to attract and retain qualified people with disabilities, citing various resources including the Job Accommodation Network (JAN). Like the Employer TA Center/EARN, JAN is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.
Resource for Understanding Leave as an Accommodation Not all accommodations are tangible. In some cases, leave is what actually facilitates on-the-job success for employees with disabilities, allowing them to manage medical conditions while continuing to deliver for their employers. To help employers understand this issue, the Job Accommodation Network recently released a new publication on leave as an accommodation that offers a series of in-depth questions and answers examining the nuances of the subject. Also newly available is Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work: Supporting Employees Who Experience Unexpected Illness or Disability, a fact sheet co-authored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and Office of Disability Employment Policy that explains provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applicable in these situations, and how intermittent leave may assist employees to remain on the job.
Mark Your Calendar
Creating Resilient Workplaces: Safe Space Leads to Engaged, Productive Workers
JANUARY 27, 3:00-4:30 PM EST
Co-hosted by the Employer TA Center/EARN, in coordination with the Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma, this webinar will explore strategies for fostering a productive and inclusive workplace, one in which employees feel supported and safe to disclose a health condition or disability or request a work-life balance need, without fear, stigma or worry. There is still time to register, but space is limited, so be sure to do so today!
Document Accessibility in Microsoft Word
FEBRUARY 15, 3:00 PM EST
How to make Microsoft Word documents accessible will be the topic on hand during the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs’ (ATAP) second in a four-part webinar series on accessibility basics. The presenter will be T.J. Schlouski from the Illinois Assistive Technology Program. Future topics include accessibility in PowerPoint and audio and video products.
Promoting the Employment of Individuals With Disabilities in the Federal Workforce
FEBRUARY 18, 2:00-3:30 PM EST
This webcast is the second in the Job Accommodation Network’s three-part winter 2015 federal monthly webcast series. The speaker is Jo Linda Johnson from the Transportation Security Administration, who will field questions related to reasonable accommodations, conduct rules and job performance. Participants do not need to have participated in the series’ first webcast to participate in this one or the one planned for March.
Technology firm SSB BART Group believes that a disability-inclusive workforce is critical to its success. Reflecting this, the federal contractor actively sources qualified applicants with disabilities, including interns with disabilities. According to company CEO Tim Springer, “Society works best when we focus on accepting differences among people and facilitating broad participation.” Learn more in this video.
Workplace Mentoring Primer
January is National Mentoring Month—and an excellent time to explore workplace mentoring as a smart business strategy. Take a first step by checking out EARN’s Workplace Mentoring Primer, a free resource for employers and employees interested in establishing formal mentoring relationships. It offers specific strategies, tools and activities for implementing workplace mentoring programs, which can be especially critical in supporting the inclusion of employees with disabilities in your workforce.
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) is a resource for employers seeking to recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified employees with disabilities. It is a service of the National Employer Policy, Research, and Technical Assistance Center for Employers on the Employment of People with Disabilities (Employer TA Center), which 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.