Special NDEAM 2020 Issue!
EARN IN ACTION
Celebrating “NDEAM 75”
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an annual campaign to honor the contributions of workers with disabilities and educate employers and others about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents. This year’s observance marks NDEAM’s 75th anniversary. Its origins trace to 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” It also helps bring to a close the yearlong commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Learn more about NDEAM or the ADA.
Ensuring Inclusive Recruitment in a Virtual World
Based on a recent analysis of strategies used by 40 Fortune 500 companies, EARN developed a suite of new materials to assist employers in ensuring their online outreach and recruitment efforts are inclusive of and accessible to people with disabilities. The new resources include assessment checklists for career pages and job descriptions and announcements, as well as a practice tool with examples to assist in crafting language that attracts qualified applicants with disabilities. Access the Career Pages checklist, Job Descriptions and Announcements checklist, or practice tool.
Mental Health Working Group
Earlier this month, President Trump signed an “Executive Order on Saving Lives Through Increased Support For Mental- and Behavioral-Health Needs.” This directive establishes a working group to develop a plan for addressing mental health impacts of COVID-19 and calls on federal agencies to maximize support for Americans in need of behavioral health treatment. It also highlights EARN’s Mental Health Toolkit and resources on centralized accommodation programs as resources that offer evidence-based models to support at-risk populations. Read the Executive Order.
Mental Health at Deloitte
EARN recently added a new employer profile of multinational professional services firm Deloitte to its Mental Health Toolkit. The profile details how the firm’s approach, referred to as “Empowered Well-Being,” encourages employees to prioritize “body, mind, and purpose” through a variety of programming promoting work-life balance and both physical and mental health. To amplify its efforts around the latter in particular, Deloitte appointed a Chief Well-Being Officer in 2015 and launched an internal campaign called “Mental Health @ Work” in 2019. Read the Deloitte profile.
DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT IN THE NEWS
NDEAM 2020 Presidential Proclamation
President Trump issued a proclamation declaring October 2020 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and honoring the skills and talents of America’s workers with disabilities. “Their resolve and determination strengthen our country and inspire us all,” he said in the proclamation, issued by the White House on September 30. “Together, we will continue to advance and promote an inclusive workforce in which everyone can provide for themselves and their families, achieve the American Dream, and enjoy the prosperity of our great Nation.” Read the Presidential Proclamation.
NDEAM Blog Post: “Increasing Access and Opportunity”
In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy penned a blog post exploring the importance of accessible technology in increasing access and opportunity for America’s workers with disabilities. “In the future, new and emerging technologies — autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, extended reality and more — will continue to transform how and where we work,” she said. “If accessible, they also have the power to increase access and opportunity for more people to work.” Read Sheehy’s blog post.
National Online Dialogue on Job Development for People with Disabilities
Employers are among the stakeholders invited to participate in a national online dialogue taking place now through October 18 focused on helping people with disabilities obtain competitive integrated employment during times of increased health risks and unemployment. This national online dialogue, the latest in a series hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy’s ePolicyWorks initiative, allows members of the public to share ideas and comments as well as view those contributed by others. Learn more about the national online dialogue.
A Conversation About Disability Employment
Forbes small business strategy contributor Rhett Buttle recently interviewed Disability:IN President and CEO Jill Houghton to discuss the impact the pandemic has had on employees and business owners with disabilities, ways that employers and policymakers can support them in the months and years ahead, and resources to assist in doing so. As part of the discussion, Houghton also shared information about her organization’s “Are You IN?” campaign, which encourages employers to recognize their role in creating an inclusive economy and commit to positive action. Read the interview.
Q: We’d like to do more to ensure our workforce recruitment efforts reach candidates with disabilities. Do you have ideas to help?
A: Yes! Many employers tell us that one of the greatest barriers they face to hiring people with disabilities is finding qualified candidates. That’s where effective outreach and recruitment strategies come in. Working with state and local service providers, such as vocational rehabilitation agencies, American Job Centers, Centers for Independent Living, and other community-based organizations, can help.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
October 20, 2020, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET
Event: “Building a Future that Works”
This virtual event, hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, will feature a range of notable speakers and video presentations to explore the crucial role technology plays in increasing access and opportunity for people with disabilities, and ODEP’s commitment to ensuring emerging technologies are accessible to all. Register for the October 20 event.
October 21, 2020, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET
Event: Virtual Disability Inclusion Summit
Sponsored by the National Business and Disability Council at the Viscardi Center, this virtual summit will explore a variety of strategies for increasing workplace disability inclusion in organizations of all sizes. Topics range from virtual recruiting to mentorship to mental health and wellness. Speakers include Viscardi Center President and CEO John D. Kemp and representatives from PepsiCo, Deloitte, and the University of Southern California, among others. Register for the October 21 summit.
October 29, 2020, 2:30 p.m. ET
Webinar: Reasonable Accommodations
Sponsored by the Great Lakes and Great Plains Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Centers, this webinar will help employers develop effective policies and procedures to ensure full compliance with the ADA’s employment provisions and successfully respond to reasonable accommodation requests in order to create a more productive work environment for all employees. Register for the October 29 webinar.
In a recent post on the Microsoft Accessibility blog, Director of Strategic Programs and Policy Jessica Rafuse used the occasion of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) to discuss differences in how America’s workplaces and perceptions of disability have changed since NDEAM’s first observance in 1945. She also discussed Microsoft’s commitment to increasing access and opportunity, starting with its own employment practices. “By bringing in talent with disabilities we are learning and growing our bar of inclusion with the help of feedback from employees,” she said.
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.