Special National Disability Employment Awareness Month Edition!
October 14, 2015
NDEAM 2015: My Disability is One Part of Who I Am The 70th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is now underway, with activities and events taking place across the nation. To help kick things off, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy penned a post for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) blog in which she reflects on this year’s theme, “My disability is one part of who I am.” To help employers interested in observing NDEAM, DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy offers a list of ideas as well as posters, ready-to-use training materials and more.
USBLN Honors Disability Inclusion Leaders The U.S. Business Leadership Network’s (USBLN) annual leadership awards provided a fitting start to National Disability Employment Awareness Month, honoring six companies for exemplary efforts to advance disability inclusion across the workplace, marketplace and supply chain. Microsoft earned the Employer of the Year award, while Capital One, Jemni, IBM, Wells Fargo and AT&T won in other categories. Oswald “Oz” Mondejar of Partners HealthCare received the John D. Kemp Leadership Award. The ceremony took place the last night of USBLN’s annual conference.
State Department Highlights Working #WithoutLimits Given the nature of their work, U.S. Department of State employees regularly work across literal borders. In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the agency is running a campaign to highlight how its employees with disabilities – and those of other organizations – cut across figurative boundaries as well. Participating is easy; workers with disabilities should simply snap a photo of themselves holding a sign that says their name, disability and job and email it to NDEAMWithoutLimits@state.gov and/or share it on social media with the hashtag #WithoutLimits.
Celebrating NDEAM at the State Level The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) – an Employer TA Center partner – is helping spread the word about National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) at the state level, using the opportunity to educate state policymakers about the ways in which disability employment impacts their workforce and economic development efforts. As part of this, NCSL policy specialist Kyle Ingram wrote a blog post about the employment gap between people with and without disabilities and steps states can take to help bridge it, including “States as Model Employers” initiatives, among others.
Sponsored by the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT), the next installment of the PEAT Talks virtual speaker series will address the increasingly popular workplace practice of “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD), focusing on the accessibility advantages it can offer both employers and employees and best practices for implementation. The speaker will be Dana Marlowe of Accessibility Partners, LLC. PEAT Talks are held on the third Thursday of each month.
Technology and Work: Improving Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities
October 21, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST
Hosted by Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Employment and Disability Institute, this webcast will focus on the power of technology to enhance employment for people with disabilities on two levels, both actual job opportunities and the creation of tools for facilitating productivity in select job tasks, including access to workplace communication channels. Participation is free, but registration is required.
Stay at Work and Return to Work: A Smart Strategy for Corporate Continuity
October 27, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST
In this Employer TA Center/EARN webinar, participants will learn about a wide range of “stay at work” and “return to work” strategies employers can use to help valued employees stay at work or return to work following the onset of illness or disability – thereby reducing workers’ compensation costs and health-related absences while increasing productivity and retaining essential human capital. Participation is free, but spots are filling up fast, so reserve yours today!
The University of California, Riverside is one of many colleges and universities observing National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and its Human Resources department is using the opportunity to raise awareness institution-wide. Planned activities include visits to each department to educate about disability etiquette and a half-day workshop on inclusive culture presented by the Chancellor’s Diversity Education Program, which is open to the entire campus.
The norms for being courteous and respectful to people with disabilities, including co-workers, are generally the same as those for being courteous and respectful to all people. But National Disability Employment Awareness Month is an opportune time to ensure employees, especially those who may be new to an organization, understand this. To help in doing so, EARN offers a primer, including tips for communicating with people with different types of disabilities.
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.