In this Issue: COVID-19 Resources, FEED Meeting, and More
EARN IN ACTION
EARN and its funding entity, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy, care about the health and safety of America’s workers, at all times. In response to the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, DOL has compiled a list of resources for employers. Read the DOL press release.
Increasing Understanding of Federal Disability Employment
On February 25, EARN, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and U.S. Office of Personnel Management, hosted the first Federal Exchange on Employment and Disability (FEED) meeting of 2020. EARN’s Sarah von Schrader presented research on representation of people with disabilities in the Federal Government, including experiences and attitudes of federal employees with disabilities. FEED is an interagency working group focused on sharing best practices to make the Federal Government a model employer of people with disabilities. Any federal employee whose duties involve inclusion of people with disabilities can join. Learn more about FEED.
Neurodiversity in the Workplace
EARN recently added to the company profiles featured in its Neurodiversity in the Workplace web resource. These profiles illustrate autism-focused hiring initiatives implemented by a range of companies both large and small, many in partnership with other organizations. The new profile highlights a partnership between KeyBank and The Precisionists, Inc., a company that provides job training and placement services for people with disabilities. The web resource also explains neurodiversity in the workplace context, exploring how it can benefit both employers and employees alike and common accommodations for employees with autism and other neurocognitive differences. Visit EARN’s Neurodiversity Hiring Initiatives & Partnerships webpage.
State Government Employment
In some communities, the state government is the largest employer, providing competitive wages and benefits to people in a range of positions. Recognizing the importance of a workforce that reflects the diversity of the citizens they serve, many state governments are taking proactive steps to employ individuals with disabilities. Recently, EARN collaborated with the State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED) to update its State Government webpage to share information about these initiatives, often called State as Model Employer policies. Like EARN, SEED is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. Learn more about SEED or state government employment of people with disabilities.
DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT IN THE NEWS
Excellence in Disability Inclusion Awards
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the winners of its Excellence in Disability Inclusion (EDI) Awards: CVS Health and PepsiCo. Sponsored jointly by the Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Office of Disability Employment Policy, the EDI Awards recognize federal contractors that demonstrate excellence in including people with disabilities in their workforces. CVS Health and PepsiCo received the Gold Award for Excellence in Disability Inclusion in recognition of their exemplary efforts to recruit, hire, retain, and advance individuals with disabilities. Read the award announcement.
SHRM “Work Shouldn’t Work Against You” Campaign
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has launched a new campaign to emphasize the importance of ensuring workforce recruitment efforts are inclusive of all talent pools, among them people with disabilities. “Tearing down biases at work is good for people and business,” says SHRM CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. in a video released as part of the initiative. “Building workplace cultures that embrace and promote inclusion is the future of work, and the future is now. Work shouldn’t work against you. Together, let’s create better workplaces and a better world.” Watch the SHRM video.
DOL VOICE Initiative
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy recently announced that it has awarded funds to 12 states (Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin) and Washington, DC to participate it its Visionary Opportunities to Increase Competitive Integrated Employment (VOICE) initiative. The initiative will help these states develop policy to increase employment opportunities for people with mental health conditions. Read the VOICE announcement.
Annual Disability Statistics Compendium Release
Did you know that the Disability Statistics Compendium for 2019 was released last month? This web-based tool pools disability statistics published by various federal agencies to make finding and using such data, including related to employment of people with disabilities, easier for policymakers and other stakeholders. It is compiled by the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics, which is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research and managed by the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability. Access the Disability Statistics Compendium.
Q: Are there online job boards or websites where my company can advertise to reach job seekers with disabilities?
Yes! There are job posting websites geared toward job seekers with disabilities, and they can be an effective tool in a multi-tiered approach to disability-inclusive recruitment. What’s more, they clearly demonstrate an employer’s commitment to inclusive recruitment. To help, EARN has a list of job boards targeted to people with disabilities, as well as other sources for finding job candidates with disabilities.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
March 18, 2020, 1:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Federal Agency Recruiting and Outreach Federal Agency Recruiting and Outreach: The Role of Accessible Online Content
This EARN webinar will explore the importance of ensuring federal agencies’ online systems and content are accessible to job seekers with disabilities. Speakers will review the Section 508 standards that govern accessibility of federal information and communications technology and how they impact outreach and recruitment. They will also share practice strategies for improving accessibility. Register for the EARN webinar.
April 30, 2020
Deadline: HIRE Vets Medallion Program
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) is now accepting applications for the 2020 HIRE Vets Medallion Program, which recognizes employers of all sizes with exemplary track records in recruiting, employing, and retaining veterans, including wounded warriors. Learn more about the HIRE Vets Medallion program.
CVS & PepsiCo
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs recently awarded Excellence in Disability Inclusion Awards to two companies, CVS Health and PepsiCo, in recognition of their exemplary efforts to employ individuals with disabilities. For those wishing to learn more about the policies and practices these companies have implemented, EARN’s website has profiles of both. Learn more about disability inclusion at CVS Health and PepsiCo.
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.