May 3, 2017
In this Issue: Neurodiversity, Mental Health Month & More
HBR on Tapping the Power of Neurodiversity
A number of recent articles and activities have highlighted how many employers are recognizing and reaping the benefits of workforce neurodiversity – the strategic inclusion of people with neurological disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum. Reflecting this, the current issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) took an in-depth look at how many technology industry companies have implemented the talent acquisition strategy, and Dr. Susanne M. Bruyère, Director of the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University, penned a post for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) blog sharing insight from a recent conference on the topic. Read the HBR article or DOL blog post.
Mental Health Month
May is Mental Health Month, and an opportune time to learn about successful employer practices to promote good mental health among employees and assist those who may have mental health disabilities. The Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, a program of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, offers a range of employer resources, including turnkey programs for use in the workplace and case studies highlighting mental health awareness initiatives implemented by a range of companies across America. Access the Partnership’s resources or learn about accommodations for employees with mental health disabilities.
Federal Exchange on Employment and Disability
Last week, EARN was pleased to assist the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in hosting the quarterly meeting of the Federal Exchange on Employment and Disability. The meeting was held at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with the feature presentation focusing on its mentoring program and how other agencies can implement similar efforts to advance disability inclusion. Other topics on the agenda included Section 501 and OPM’s plans for resurveying the federal workforce later this year. Learn more about Federal Government disability inclusion efforts.
Understanding Workplace Personal Assistance Services
One of the provisions of the updated Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act regulations issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in January of this year requires federal agencies to provide personal assistance services (PAS) to certain employees with disabilities as a form of affirmative action. PAS is not required as a reasonable accommodation in the private employment context, however, except when needed for work-related travel. A recently updated resource from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) explores the new Section 501 requirement and provides general information about PAS in both the federal and private sectors. Read the JAN publication on PAS.
Back to top
Federal Agency Promising and Emerging Practices Facilitating Self-Identification of Disability
This guide, one of three in a series recently developed by EARN, explores strategies federal agencies can use to encourage employees to voluntarily self-identify as people with disabilities, something of increased importance due to the January 2017 updates to Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, which established uniform representation goals of 12 percent for individuals with disabilities and 2 percent for individuals with targeted disabilities.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Thursday, May 11, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Twitter Chat: #CDEMentalHealth: Creating Inclusive Work Environments for People with Mental Health Disabilities
The Campaign for Disability Employment’s next Twitter chat will focus on mental health in the workplace and feature special guest Andy Imparato, mental health advocate and Executive Director of Association of University Centers on Disabilities. Don’t miss this chance to engage with him and others in a discussion about strategies for helping people with mental health disabilities thrive on the job. Join using the hashtag #CDEMentalHealth. Learn more about the Twitter chat.
Wednesday, May 24, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Webinar: The Interplay Between the ADA and the FMLA
Smart employers recognize the value of supporting employees, especially when illness or injury occurs. But the interplay between various laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), under which employees may be entitled to leave can cause confusion. This webinar, sponsored by the Great Lakes ADA Center, will compare these two laws and their regulations to help employers navigate leave under them. Register for the webinar.
Back to top
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
In Australia, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is partnering with Denmark-based Specialisterne and the Australian Department of Human Services to implement an innovative program designed to meet the technology company’s specific skill needs by recruiting individuals on the autism spectrum. At the heart of the program is an alternative approach to the onboarding process and provision of ongoing employment supports.
Back to top
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.