The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) monthly newsletter has a new feature called Spotlight. In this section, EARN recognizes employers’ successful practices for outreach, recruitment, hiring, and accommodating workers with disabilities. EARN invites employers who would like to highlight their effective practices in employing people with disabilities to submit articles for future issues of the EARN newsletter. This month, EARN spotlights Deloitte LLP for fostering and strengthening an inclusive environment by working to support, accommodate and retain an employee with an acquired a disability.
RETAINING A HIGH PERFORMANCE EMPLOYEE
Deloitte LLP continually focuses on strengthening its inclusive environment and works toward the shared mission of attracting, developing, retaining, and advancing the best talent representing the broadest range of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. When a Deloitte employee developed a physical disability and became a wheelchair user, the company worked with the employee to provide support, solve accommodation issues and ultimately retain his services.
Working interactively with the employee, Deloitte determined what the employee needed for travel and what adaptive equipment was covered by the insurance provider. Any equipment not covered was purchased by Deloitte. Deloitte also provided flexibility so the employee could attend physical therapy sessions.
As a result of a small monetary investment, the employee continued his same level of productivity and the company retained a strong performer.
EMPLOYER NETWORK PROMOTES JOBS FOR WOUNDED VETERANS
A national network of more than one hundred U.S. employers is on a mission to find, hire, and accommodate injured military veterans in the workplace. The Network of Champions has its origins in Operation IMPACT (Injured Military Pursuing Assisted Career Transition), a recruiting program for wounded former service members at Northrup Grumman. An estimated 23,000 American troops from Afghanistan will return with injuries and with skills that can translate to the civilian workplace. The Network of Champions was established to prepare for this influx and take the mission of employing injured military veterans nationwide. Click here to read more.
DOD INCREASES HIRING OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
A recent report from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) indicated that 14 percent of the Defense Department’s civilian employees have disabilities, putting DOD in second place among cabinet-level agencies for disability hiring. The upward trend in DOD’s disability hiring stems from several initiatives and programs, including the Hiring Heroes jobs fairs and the Veterans Hiring Initiative. Click here to read more.
WORKPLACE INCLUSION: GOOD FOR BUSINESS
More than 1,500 human resource professionals and practitioners gathered to discuss ways to diversify their organizations at the Professionals in Human Resources Association annual conference last month in Anaheim, California. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez delivered the keynote address and participated in a panel discussion, “The Business Case: Why Disability-Based Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Are Good for Business.” She introduced ODEP’s new policy framework, “Business Strategies that Work,” and said that “change begins at the top, so getting leadership commitment to advancing people with disabilities is vital. By fostering a work culture respectful of individual differences, employers benefit from varied perspectives on how to confront challenges and achieve success.” Learn about Strategies That Work.
PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER IMPROVING ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR VETERANS, SERVICE MEMBERS, MILITARY FAMILIES
A new executive order signed by President Obama August 31 expands behavioral health services for veterans and military families. The order requires Veterans Affairs to ensure that veterans in crisis who seek help see a mental health professional within 24 hours, and to hire additional mental health employees to meet increasing demand for treatment. In addition, the order requires the Department of Defense to create and institute a suicide prevention program aimed at assisting service members with finding mental health treatment. Click here to read more.
JAN RELEASES “LOW COST, HIGH IMPACT” ANNUAL FINDINGS
“Low Cost, High Impact,” a study conducted by the Job Accommodation Network, consistently shows that the benefits employers receive from making workplace accommodations far outweigh the low cost. Employers reported that providing accommodations resulted in such benefits as retaining valuable employees, improving productivity and morale, reducing workers’ compensation and training costs, and improving company diversity. These benefits were obtained with little investment. The employers in the study reported that a high percentage (57%) of accommodations cost absolutely nothing to make, while the rest typically cost only $500. Click here to read the report.
*In August 2012, the employment rate of people 16-64 years of age was 27.0% for persons with disabilities compared with 70.5% for persons without a disability. The gap between the employment rate of persons of 16-64 years of age with and without disabilities was 43.4%, not seasonally adjusted.
PRESIDENTIAL FORUM TO ADDRESS DISABILITY ISSUES
President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have been invited to participate in the National Forum on Disability Issues on September 28 at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, OH. The event is sponsored by over 50 disability organizations from across the country and is being billed as the only forum during the campaign to look exclusively at the candidates’ views on issues pertaining to Americans with disabilities. Click here to read more.
EARN OFFERING FREE WEBINARS
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network is offering a series of free webinars in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in October. Topics will include:
October 4: Strategies for Hiring Veterans with Disabilities
October 11: Research and Practice for Promoting Disability Disclosure
October 18: A Better Bottom Line: Disability Employment Initiatives of the National Governors Association
October 25: Tapping the Talents of College Students and Graduates with Disabilities
In addition, on September 27, EARN will present the webinar “The Interplay Between ADA and FMLA” at 2:00 PM (EST). HRCI credits will be offered for participants.
PARTNERSHIP PROMOTES EMPLOYMENT OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
DirectEmployers Association and the National Employer Technical Assistance Center (NETAC) for Employers on Employment of People with Disabilities have formed an alliance to provide employers with information, guidance, and resources to aid in the outreach, recruitment, hiring and retention of workers with disabilities. The organizations will work in tandem to educate employers on the benefits of employing people with disabilities while improving distribution of job opportunities to the disability community.
The U.S. Department of Labor awarded $10,000 in prizes for three innovative apps helping to improve employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities. Winning apps included “Access Jobs” receiving the $5,000 innovation award; “VoisPal-Speak as You Think!” receiving the $3,000 People’s Choice Award; and “AccDC: Accelerated Dynamic Content” receiving the $2,000 Above and Beyond Accessibility Award. A panel of judges including Secretary Hilda Solis, Assistant Secretary of Education for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Alexa Posny, Deputy Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn Colvin, Craigslist founder and CEO Craig Newmark, and Assistive Technology Industry Association Executive Director David Dikter selected three winners out of nearly 20 submissions that demonstrated innovation, usability, and accessibility. The contest, launched in May, encouraged third-party developers to build tools using publicly available resources and employment data. Click here to read more.
VIDEO: EDUCATING NURSING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
A documentary film produced by Bronwynne Evans, RN, PhD and Beth Marks, RN, PhD chronicles the experience of a nursing student who entered a baccalaureate program using a wheelchair. The 23 minute film provides a forum for the voices of nursing students, faculty, administrators, and agency nursing staff to discuss trials and triumphs encountered during this experience. It is a real life example of the exploration of roles and responsibilities in nursing education, experiential learning, shifting perspectives, and being a part of old ways turning into new ways in the world of nursing. Visit the National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities at www.nond.org for more information. Click here to watch the video.
MORE OLDER WORKERS MAKING UP LABOR FORCE
Many older Americans are delaying retirement and being added to the workforce in record numbers. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans age 65 and older are working or looking for jobs—the highest in almost half a century. Senior employment has jumped 27% in the last five years, surpassing 7 million in July. This trend reflects a long-term population and lifestyle shift intensified by the recession. Click here to read more.
EARN is funded by the
U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy