New Resources Available to Assist Employers in Educating Employees about Section 503 The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs released two new resources this month to support federal contractors in achieving their goals under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. The first, a video titled “Disability Inclusion Starts with You,” can be used to educate applicants and employees about why they are asked to self-identify if they have a disability, emphasizing that such data is collected solely to ensure equal opportunity. The second, an employee pocket card, reviews the process for requesting accommodations.
Guide Provides Updated Guidance on Meeting Accessibility An updated version of a guide that employers can use to ensure the accessibility of their meetings, events and conferences is now available. Published by the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, the aptly titled Guide to Accessible Meetings, Events, and Conferences provides extensive information on accessibility in the context of all stages of event planning, from site selection and room layout to audio-visual considerations to food service, as well as tips for presenters and attendees. It also summarizes regulations governing employers’ responsibilities to ensure accessible events.
Employers Encouraged to Participate in Training and Research Study on Cancer and Employment Fortunately, medical advancements have led to higher-than-ever cancer survival rates, with many people staying at work during or returning to work following treatment. To help employers understand how to maintain a productive, supportive environment for affected employees and their colleagues, the Center for Knowledge Translation for Employment Research developed a free, one-hour online training that is open to all and can be viewed at any time. Eligible participants may also sign up to participate in an associated study for which they may receive continuing education credit.
Latest Data on Federal Employment of People with Disabilities Released The most recent data on the representation of people with disabilities in the federal workforce – released by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) earlier this month – indicate continued progress toward reaching the goals of President Obama’s 2010 Executive Order 13548. As outlined in OPM’s report to the President, total permanent federal employment for people with disabilities in 2014 reached 247,608, or 13.56 percent, and new hires with disabilities totaled 20,615, or 19.74 percent. Both of these numbers represent increases over 2013.
ODEP Technical Assistance Centers: Making Workplaces More Inclusive of People with Disabilities
November 10, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy funds five technical assistance centers, one of which is the Employer TA Center/EARN. Another is the Job Accommodation Network, which is hosting this webcast to introduce its services as well as those of three others: the Employer TA Center, Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology, and National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities.
This webcast, part of the Job Accommodation Network’s 2015-2016 monthly series, will analyze challenging accommodations in order to distill the interactive process at their core. Examples may include the use of service/emotional support animals in the workplace, accommodations that impact other employees, alternative supervisory methods, telework, task reassignment, leave and more.
In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2015, JetBlue is screening a video on all its flights showcasing how – through a partnership with NY-based disability services provider The Viscardi Center and its Henry Viscardi School – the airline is working to increase crew members’ understanding of accessibility and how to best serve travelers with disabilities, as well as gain insight into a future talent pool.
Professional Development and Advancement of Employees with Disabilities
Disability inclusion is about more than hiring – it’s about supporting existing employees with disabilities across the entire employment lifecycle. A key part of this is ensuring opportunities for professional development and advancement in the same manner as for all employees. To learn more about strategies for doing so, read AskEARN.org’s Professional Development and Advancement of Employees with 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.