November 16, 2017
In this Issue: Honoring Veterans, Apprenticeship Week and more!
Last week, a grateful nation waved flags and staged parades to pay tribute to veterans of all ages who have served in the name of freedom. But one of the best ways to show support for today’s veterans, including those with disabilities and combat-related injuries, is to ensure they can put their proven skills and talent to work on the home front and succeed in the civilian workplace. Learn more about strategies for recruiting veterans and common workplace accommodations that can help disabled veterans give their all on the job, every day.
National Apprenticeship Week
This week is National Apprenticeship Week, which educates about apprenticeship and offers leaders in business, labor and education an opportunity to showcase their apprenticeship programs and how they help prepare a highly skilled workforce for employers in their communities. Combining classroom instruction with on-the-job training, apprenticeship programs help bridge skills gaps and bring new and more diverse talent into the workplace, including people with disabilities. Learn more about National Apprenticeship Week or read a blog post about disability-inclusive apprenticeship.
FEED Quarterly Meeting
In early November, EARN, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and U.S. Office of Personnel Management, hosted the Federal Exchange on Employment and Disability (FEED) quarterly meeting. The discussion topic was best practices for creating affirmative action plans for federal agencies. FEED is an interagency working group focused on increasing disability representation in the federal workforce, and participation is open to federal employees at any level committed to inclusive hiring and retention. Learn more about FEED.
Buy IT Purchasing Guide for Employers
Implementing accessible technology in your workplace means buying accessible tech in the first place. To help, the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) recently launched “Buy IT,” a free online resource for employers and purchasing staff about how to build accessibility and usability into the information technology (IT) procurement processes. Featuring background and sample language, Buy IT offers step-by-step guidance on researching vendors, specifying accessibility requirements in requests for proposals, and validating the accessibility of product choices. Access Buy IT.
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To grow and thrive in today’s economy, employers in all industries need a highly skilled workforce. Now, more and more are discovering a proven strategy for building one: apprenticeship. In honor of National Apprenticeship Week, check out AskEARN.org’s page on apprenticeships, which includes a video and other resources to help employers learn more about apprenticeship programs and how to ensure they’re welcoming of the skills and talents of people with disabilities.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Thursday, November 16, 2:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Creative Recruiting Strategies for the Digital Age
PEAT Talks is a monthly virtual speaker series showcasing organizations and individuals who are advancing accessible technology in the workplace. This month, Jessica Miller-Merrell of Xceptional HR Consulting will discuss how recruiters and HR professional can maximize their digital recruiting options by using strategies that reach all job candidates, including those with disabilities. Register for the PEAT Talk.
Tuesday, November 21, 2:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Service Animals and the ADA: Exploring Common Issues and Scenarios
Sponsored by the Great Lakes Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center, part of the ADA National Network, this online discussion will explore the rules governing service animals in a variety of settings, including but not limited to the workplace. Employers and other participants are welcome to bring up scenarios to share and discuss with the presenter. Register for the November 21 webinar.
December 12, 2017
Deadline: Introduction to Inclusive Talent Acquisition
This free, self-paced online course co-developed by Perkins School for the Blind and Harvard Extension School is currently open and available through December 12. It educates about how to identify barriers to employment; recruit, interview and onboard candidates of diverse backgrounds and abilities; and improve workplace accessibility to support candidates with disabilities. Learn more about the course.
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In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October, Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft, penned a blog post about how “Inclusion Drives Innovation” at the company, highlighting its Autism Hiring Program as one example. “When we are more inclusive, our company, our products, and our teams are quite simply better. This starts with intentionally opening doors to employment for people with disabilities,” Lay-Flurrie said.
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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.