Employer TA Center Welcomes New National Project Director The Employer TA Center welcomed a new national project director last week. Brett Sheats adds to the team significant experience working with corporate America on issues surrounding disability and employment, especially related to veterans with disabilities. Most recently he was with Wounded Warrior Project, where he managed the Warriors to Work program, which helps disabled veterans obtain employment and educates employers on how to support their success on the job. In that position, he drew upon his personal experiences, having served in the U.S. Army from 2001-2005. Brett looks forward to hearing from employers on ways in which the Employer TA Center can continue to help them create a disability-inclusive workplace. Share your ideas, or send a welcome message, at email@example.com.
National Preparedness Month Reinforces Importance of Inclusive Emergency Plans People with disabilities should feel as safe and secure at work as all employees. Sometimes, however, their needs are not taken into account in workplace emergency planning. National Preparedness Month, observed each September, is an opportune time to ensure workplace evacuation and other emergency plans are inclusive of employees with disabilities and, depending on the nature of the business, customers with disabilities as well. To help, the Job Accommodation Network, a service of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, offers an Employers’ Guide to Including Employees with Disabilities in Emergency Evacuation Plans.
Monthly nTide Report Shows Continued Positive Trend in Disability Employment The most recent National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) report showed that, as the overall U.S. economy continued to grow for the 11th consecutive month, so did the number of Americans with disabilities contributing to it through employment. August did see a flattening among the percentage of people with disabilities looking for work, though. Issued since March 2013, the monthly nTIDE report is coordinated by the Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability and based on the monthly jobs report issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Viscardi Center Invites Nominations for Achievement Awards The Viscardi Center is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards. Bestowed annually, these awards honor exemplary leaders who have helped shape attitudes, raise awareness and improve quality of life for people with disabilities in all areas of community life, including employment. They are named in honor of the Center’s founder and one of the world’s foremost advocates for people with disabilities, Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., who himself wore prosthetic legs. This year’s selection committee is co-chaired by Robert Dole, former U.S. Senator, and Rosangela Berman Bieler, Chief, Disability Section – Program Division, UNICEF.
Sponsored by the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT), the next installment of the PEAT Talks virtual speaker series will feature a panel of state accessibility Chief Information Officers, who will speak about an approach to information technology called Policy Driven Adoption for Accessibility (PDAA), which aims to improve the accessibility of vendor-provided products and services over the long term. PEAT Talks are held on the third Thursday of each month.
The Expanding Disability Market: Scenario Clinic
September 30, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST
This Northeast ADA Center event will explore specific scenarios related to serving people with disabilities in a variety of sectors, including health care, retail, hospitality, recreation and education. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the facilitator. It is a follow up to the September 9 webinar titled The Expanding Disability Market: Serving Customers with Disabilities, but participation in that one is not required to participate on this one. Registration is required.
2015 Section 508 Interagency Accessibility Forum
October 20, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST
This one-day conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies will focus on Section 508 technology accessibility and is open to federal employees and contractors interested in the issue. Participants will share best practices, learn about new technologies and network with others to broaden the conversation about accessibility. It will be held at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Through the experiences of Audit Partner Dana Foote and other employees with disabilities, tax advisory firm KPMG has learned first-hand the value people with disabilities add to its workforce. After hiding her multiple sclerosis early in her career, Ms. Foote now works to foster an inclusive work environment at KPMG, one in which employees feel comfortable disclosing their disabilities. “People with disabilities are much more connected and much more dedicated to their employer because if you give to me, I’ll give back to you at 120, 150 percent,” she said.
Joint Resolution/Executive Order Package for State Policy Teams
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act this summer, the Employer TA Center developed a new resource package for state policymakers. The centerpiece of this package is a customizable model Joint Resolution or Executive Order for States as Model Employers of People with Disabilities, which can serve to encourage examination of state policies and assess where improvements might be made to improve employment outcomes for people 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.