Viscardi Center CEO Shares Strategies for Making the Corporate Ladder More Accessible In a recent Disability.gov guest blog post, John Kemp, President and CEO of the The Viscardi Center, posed the question of why, 25 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, there are not more people with disabilities in C-suite positions and shared resources employers can use to help more climb the corporate ladder, or “ramp.” “There is more untapped, educated talent out there than ever before. Embrace it,” Kemp said.
New Disability Awareness Employee Education Materials Available The Campaign for Disability Employment recently released a new suite of materials that employers can use to express a commitment to disability inclusion. The materials, which include a discussion guide and posters, all center around the “Who I Am” public service announcement, which features nine diverse people with disabilities, among them actor RJ Mitte, best known for his roles in the hit television series “Breaking Bad” and “Switched at Birth.”
Monthly Report Shows Positive Trajectory in Employment of People with Disabilities The March National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) report showed that, as the overall economy grew for the fifth consecutive month, so did the number of Americans with disabilities contributing to it. Issued since March 2013, the monthly nTIDE report is coordinated by the Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability and based on the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report.
Conference Highlights Accessible Workplace Technology Earlier this month, thousands of employers, technology providers and people with disabilities converged at the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference sponsored annually by California State University, Northridge—the nation’s premier event focused on accessible technology. This year’s conference featured an Employment and Workplace track as well as an exhibit hall brimming with innovative products for use at both work and play.
Brain Injury Awareness Month March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and an opportune time to learn about workplace accommodation ideas for employees who may have brain injuries, including veterans who may have traumatic brain injuries sustained in combat. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) offers a wealth of information on the topic. Like the Employer TA Center, JAN is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.
Hosted by the Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the American Institutes for Research, this webcast will explore research and policy related to return to work following TBI. Speakers include Dr. Jeffrey S. Kreutzer from Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia; Alyssa Bonser, a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist in Maryland; and Maria Crowley, State Head Injury Coordinator for the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services.
Cultivating Talent for Tomorrow: The Value of Interns with Disabilities!
March 26, 2:00-3:30 P.M. EST
Internships offer an easy and effective way to evaluate potential employees and cultivate a pipeline of talent for the future. Moreover, by targeting specific populations—such as people with disabilities—they can advance workforce diversity goals, including those related to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. This Employer TA Center webinar will address these benefits and how employers can use the Workforce Recruitment Program to source qualified interns with disabilities.
Accommodating Employees with Mental Health Disabilities in Higher Education
April 23, 1:00 – 2:00pm EST
This webinar will address accommodations for employees with mental health disabilities in the higher education setting. It is being coordinated by the Employer TA Center in collaboration with the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium as part of its alliance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. Speakers include John Kemp, Esq., President and CEO of The Viscardi Center, and Dr. Beth Loy, Principal Consultant at the Job Accommodation Network.
Through a partnership with the Starbucks Inclusion Academy, Starbucks has launched an on-the-job training program for people with cognitive and physical disabilities at its Carson Valley Roasting Plant and Distribution Center in Nevada. “The program has opened a lot of eyes,” said Todd McCullough, senior operations manager at the facility. “Supervisors and partners look past disabilities and realize we all have different abilities in the workplace.”
Opening the Doors of Small Business to People with Disabilities
When it comes to ensuring a disability-inclusive workplace, not all businesses, especially small businesses, may know where to start. Reading EARN’s Small Business Disability Inclusion Fact Sheet is a great first step. It outlines a range of free resources available to assist small businesses in not only finding qualified people with disabilities but also ensuring their success once on board. It also provides information about various tax incentives for which businesses that hire people with disabilities may be eligible.
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.