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May 4, 2018
In this Issue: Recent Events, Mental Health Month & More
Networking for Inclusion
Recently, EARN facilitated an event with the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and DC Metro Business Leadership Network. At the event, EARN educated small businesses on the value of hiring people with disabilities and provided policy resources on “Building the Pipeline.” In addition, young people with disabilities from around the National Capital Region interested in small business ownership had the opportunity to discuss their ideas with experienced entrepreneurs. Read more about entrepreneurship for people with disabilities.
Going “Direct” to Employers
Last week, EARN was pleased to contribute its experience and insight into disability inclusion at the annual “DirectEmployers” Association meeting and conference in Seattle. EARN’s National Project Director Brett Sheats and Consultant Derek Shields presented a workshop on mentoring as a disability inclusion strategy. They also joined representatives from the Office of Disability Employment Policy‘s Job Accommodation Network and Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology in speaking with association members about their successes and challenges integrating disability into their diversity and inclusion initiatives. Read about DirectEmployers.
Mental Health Month
May is Mental Health Month and thus an opportune time to learn about successful employer practices to promote good mental health among employees and assist those who may have mental health conditions. Both the Center for Workplace Mental Health and the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) offer a range of resources to help, including turnkey programs for use in the workplace and case studies highlighting initiatives implemented by companies across America. Access the Center’s resources, DMEC’s resources or learn about accommodations for employees with mental health conditions.
Disability as a Market Segment
A new report from American Institutes for Research (AIR) quantifies the significant yet often overlooked purchasing power of working-age adults with disabilities and how inclusive hiring, product development practices and advertising can help businesses access a market segment worth billions of dollars. “Our study finds that working-age adults with disabilities are a large and relatively untapped market for businesses in the U.S.,” said Michelle Yin, the report’s lead author. “We hope that this report is a starting point to help businesses better understand and serve this group of consumers.” Read about the AIR report.
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Expressing a Commitment
Expressing commitment to a diverse workplace welcoming of the skills and talents of people with disabilities, both internally and externally, is one of the easiest ways to foster a disability-inclusive culture. Examples include equal opportunity statements that specifically mention disability, statements by top leaders, inclusive advertising and more. This page of AskEARN.org shares successful approaches used by businesses both large and small.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
May 15, 2018, 2:00 p.m. ET
Webcast: Ask the JAN Psychiatric Team
In this live webcast, Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Cognitive/Neurological Team members Melanie Whetzel and Sarah Small will talk about workplace accommodations for people with mental health disabilities, including in the context of disclosure, attendance, performance and conduct. They will also field questions about specific situations related to applicants or employees with mental health disabilities. The webcast is free of charge, but registration is required and processed on a first come, first served basis. Register for the May 15 webcast.
May 17, 2018
Event: Global Accessibility Awareness Day
May 17 is the annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), which aims to advance discussion about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access and inclusion for people with different types of disabilities. Employers can use the opportunity to both educate about accessible technology in their workplaces and consider steps they can take to ensure their virtual doors are open to all qualified individuals. Learn about GAAD or steps employers can take to build a technology-accessible workplace from the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology.
May 31, 2018, 1:00 p.m. ET
Twitter Chat: Making a Plan: Stay-at-Work and Return-to-Work Resources for Employers and Workers
When injury or illness occurs, workers may face difficult choices, including whether to stay at or return to work. If they leave the labor force for a period, they may have understandable concerns about how working will impact disability benefits and services. If they stay at or return to their previous job, they – and their employers – may have questions about how to ensure a smooth process. In this Twitter chat, the Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) will welcome experts from Social Security’s Ticket to Work Program and the Job Accommodation Network to explore both scenarios. To join in, use #CDEChat.
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In recent years, many forward-thinking employers have been paying attention to the issue of mental health and ways to ensure workplace success for employees with mental health conditions, during Mental Health Awareness Month and all year round. Global professional services consulting firm EY is one example. Through a program called “r u ok?,” EY’s employee assistance program (“EY Assist”) has developed and deployed a number of resources to help employees feel comfortable talking about mental health openly and frankly.
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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.