In this Issue: USDA Event, Mental Health Literature Review, Neurodiversity & More
EARN IN ACTION
Last month, EARN was pleased to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) TARGET Center’s 2019 Technology Showcase and Training, where we had the opportunity to share information with federal employers about how to increase disability inclusion across their agency’s infrastructure, both virtual and actual. Established in 1992, the TARGET (Technology and Accessible Resources Give Employment Today) Center provides integrative services to improve accessibility and productivity for USDA employees with disabilities. Learn more about the TARGET Center.
Workplace Mental Health: A Review of the Literature
EARN recently published a literature review it conducted as part of its research on mental health and employment. Now available online in EARN’s online Mental Health Toolkit, this review helps illustrate what workplace-based mental health interventions are most effective and how different companies have implemented mental health-related policies and programs. It was conducted for EARN via its partner the Global Social Enterprise Initiative at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Access the literature review.
If you’re interested in workplace diversity and inclusion, you may have heard a lot about neurodiversity lately. But what exactly is neurodiversity, and how can it benefit your organization? A new resource on the EARN website explains neurodiversity in the workplace context, addressing how it can benefit employers and employees alike, common accommodations for employees with autism and other neurocognitive differences, and related hiring initiatives and partnerships implemented by a range of companies. Visit the Neurodiversity in the Workplace webpage.
DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT IN THE NEWS
Disability Equality Index Registration
Registration for the 2020 Disability Equality Index® (DEI) is now underway. Sponsored by the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN, an EARN partner, this confidential benchmarking tool offers employers an opportunity 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.” The deadline to register is January 31, 2020; registered companies will then receive access to the survey on February 3, 2020 to begin submission of responses. Learn more about the DEI.
Showcasing Common Accommodation Solutions
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) recently added four more videos to its “Solutions Showcase” series, which highlights common workplace accommodation solutions for workers with a variety of disabilities. The new topics include: Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), Windows Accessibility, iPad Accessibility and Alternative Mice. JAN developed the videos with the assistance of the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology. Like EARN, JAN is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. Watch the videos.
NPR Spotlight on Disability Employment
Last month, National Public Radio’s (NPR) “All Things Considered” segment shined a light on disability employment, with a focus on the increasing numbers of people joining or rejoining the workforce after time receiving disability benefits. The segment chronicles the experiences of several workers and the accommodations and employment supports that enabled them to successfully transition from disability benefits to work, which more than 51,000 people did in 2017, representing a significant increase from about 32,000 four years earlier. Listen to the segment or read the article.
Q: We plan to hire in the coming months and a workforce service provider helping us source candidates said we might qualify for tax incentives if we hire job seekers with disabilities. Is this true?
A: Most likely, yes! A variety of employer financial incentives, including tax credits and deductions, exist to help employers effectively hire and retain people with disabilities. We have a page on the EARN website to help employers like you understand these different incentives. This page outlines federal and state tax benefits, including many that support worksite accessibility enhancements and accommodations, as well as several initiatives specific to veterans and return-to-work/stay-at-work programs. Access the Employer Financial Incentives webpage.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
June 13, 1:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Getting C-Suite Buy-In for Disability Inclusion
This webinar, presented by the National Business & Disability Council (NBDC) at The Viscardi Center, will address strategies for gaining executive support for efforts to increase disability inclusion across an organization. The featured speaker will be Carmen Daniels Jones, an NBDC consultant and president of the Solutions Marketing Group. Register for the June 13 webinar.
June 24, 2019
Application Deadline: Employer-Focused Disability Policy Development and Technical Assistance Center
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the availability of approximately $2 million in funds for the first year of a cooperative agreement for an employer-focused disability policy development and technical assistance center. The solicitation is a re-competition of an existing cooperative agreement. The deadline to apply is June 24, 2019. Learn more about the funding opportunity.
June 26, 2019, 1:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Being Tech Savvy: Procuring Accessible ICT
This EARN webinar will explore effective practices for procuring accessible information and communications technology (ICT), including how to develop strategic action plans for purchasing, maintenance and use. Presenters will include Jeff Kline of the Texas Department of Information Resources, Corinne Weible of the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology and Jay Wyant of the Minnesota Office of the Chief Information Officer. Register for the June 26 webinar.
Canon Solutions America
Recently, Canon Solutions America, in partnership with the Viscardi Center, launched the Enterprise Office Services Training Program, an initiative designed to meet the company’s projected workforce needs and increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Specifically, the program prepares participants for administrative positions in office environments through both classroom work and on-the-job training in a new state-of-the-art print center.
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 item was fully funded by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy in the amount of $9,241,750 (five year total grant amount) under Cooperative Agreement No. OD26451-14-75-4-36. 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.