January 25, 2017
In this Issue: Federal Employment, Inclusive Talent Acquisition Course & More
Disability Employment and Accommodations in the Federal Workforce
Earlier this month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued updates to Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which 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 the updated regulations 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. Read the policy brief.
Inclusive Talent Acquisition Course
Employers interested in fostering a company culture that attracts and supports a diverse workforce – including employees with disabilities – can now access “Introduction to Inclusive Talent Acquisition,” a free online course co-developed by Perkins School for the Blind and Harvard Extension School. Through this self-paced course, hiring managers and recruiters will learn how to identify barriers to employment; recruit, interview and onboard candidates of diverse backgrounds and abilities; and improve workplace accessibility and culture to support candidates with disabilities. The current session of the course runs through March 6, 2017; another session will be offered from March 14 – May 8, 2017. Learn more about the course.
National Online Dialogue on Building a Disability-Inclusive Talent Pipeline
Building upon a previous online dialogue engaging the federal contractor community, EARN is currently hosting “Building a Disability-Inclusive Talent Pipeline: Ideas for Effective Outreach and Recruitment Strategies.” Through this second national online dialogue, EARN aims to gather insight into successful strategies federal contractors are using to recruit and hire qualified candidates with disabilities. Ideas will then be used to inform the development of technical assistance materials to help more covered employers ensure their doors are open to all qualified individuals, including people with disabilities. The dialogue is open until January 31. Register for the dialogue.
Updated ICT Accessibility Requirements
The U.S. Access Board recently released a final rule updating accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which applies to ICT developed, procured, maintained or used by the Federal Government. The rule restructures provisions so that they are categorized by functionality instead of by product type, reflecting the increasingly multi-functional capabilities of ICT products. The revisions are intended to improve usability, including interoperability with assistive technologies, and to clarify the types of products covered. The rule will take effect next year. Learn more about the final rule.
Federal Agency Promising and Emerging Practices Facilitating Self-Identification of Disability
Updates to Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission earlier this month consolidate existing requirements for federal agencies related to the employment of people with disabilities and set uniform representation goals of 12 percent for individuals with disabilities and 2 percent for individuals with “targeted” disabilities. Key to measuring progress toward these goals will be encouraging applicants and employees with disabilities to voluntarily self-identify. This EARN policy brief can help federal agencies understand effective strategies for doing so.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
January 31, 2017, 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET
Webinar: Section 508 Refresh – ICT Final Standards and Guidelines
In this webinar, presenters from the U.S. Access Board will review the agency’s recently issued final rule that implements a refresh to accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Communications Act. Federal employees are among the target audience, and continuing education recognition is available. Register for the webinar.
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 in-depth discussion on topics such as accommodations and the Rehabilitation Act. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion. Register for the webcast.
Comcast NBCUniversal recently earned a place in the spotlight for its company-wide commitment to inclusion when it was featured by Easterseals as one of the companies to score 100 percent on the most recent Disability Equality Index sponsored by the U.S. Business Leadership Network and American Association of People with Disabilities. In recognizing the company, Easterseals highlighted three employees with disabilities who work for Comcast NBCUniversal, including Vice President of Accessibility, Tom Wlodkowski.
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.