In this Issue: NILG Conference, Inclusion@Work Discussion Guides & More
EARN IN ACTION
Last month, EARN was pleased to join representatives from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) in presenting and exhibiting at the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) conference, where it had the opportunity to engage with federal contractors on best practices for disability inclusion. At the conference, EARN also joined ODEP in delivering a presentation titled “From Policy to Practice: Practical Tools for Encouraging Self-Identification.” Learn more about strategies for encouraging self-identification.
Talking About Inclusion@Work
To complement its Inclusion@Work employer policy framework, EARN recently developed a series of seven workplace discussion guides. Each of these guides can be used to spark conversation about a different component of the framework among colleagues or employer representatives (for example, human resource professionals, diversity and inclusion professionals, employee assistance professionals, business executives and supervisors/managers) in a group setting. Each guide is available on its respective page within the Inclusion@Work framework. Access the framework.
Employer Policy Development Center
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has announced the awarding of $2 million to Cornell University for the first year of a four-year cooperative agreement to operate an employer-focused disability policy development and technical assistance center. This center will build upon the prior work of EARN by conducting research; engaging with the business community; identifying effective policies and practices that support business needs; and providing resources, technical assistance, and training to help employers recruit, hire, retain and advance individuals with disabilities. Learn about the new center.
DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT IN THE NEWS
Excellence in Disability Inclusion Awards
The U.S. Department of Labor has extended the application submission deadline for its Excellence in Disability Inclusion (EDI) Awards to November 1, 2019. Employers who have already submitted an application award may also use this time to update it if desired. Established by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the Office of Disability Employment Policy, the EDI Awards will recognize federal contractors who go above and beyond to recruit, hire, retain and advance individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Learn more about the EDI Awards.
“The Dignity of Work”
In honor of Labor Day, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Jennifer Sheehy penned an op-ed affirming the intrinsic value of work and the importance of helping workers stay at or return to work after injury or illness, for the benefit of themselves, their families, their employers and the U.S. economy. Published in Spokane, WA’s The Spokesman-Review, the op-ed also noted that ODEP’s Retaining Employment and Talent after Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN) is modeled on a program implemented in Washington State. Read the op-ed or learn more about RETAIN.
“Working Works” PSA DVD and Discussion Guides
The Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) recently released a Discussion Guide and DVD package to complement its “Working Works” public service announcement (PSA). This resource includes an accessible DVD with all versions of the PSA, as well as discussion guides to help spark conversations about stay-at-work/return-to-work issues among different audiences, including coworkers and employer representatives, such as human resource and diversity and inclusion professionals. Like EARN, the CDE is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. Order the package.
Updated Workplace Accommodation Toolkit
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) recently revised and updated its Workplace Accommodation Toolkit, a free, comprehensive resource for employers seeking to move beyond basic compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act in order to create more disability-inclusive workplaces. This resource includes actionable accommodation policies and processes from leading businesses; forms, training presentations, and role-play videos; and best and emerging practices across all phases of the employment life cycle. Like EARN, JAN is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. Access the new toolkit.
Spotlight on Disability Employment
An article published by Reuters Business News in August explored recent positive trends in disability employment rates, noting that Americans with disabilities have, over the past few months, joined the workforce at a faster pace than their peers without disabilities, in part due to the tight overall labor market. It also highlighted the supports and accommodations that helped one individual with an acquired disability return to work and noted the barriers some people with disabilities still face when job searching, among them outdated attitudes. Read the Reuters article.
Examining Businesses’ Impact Beyond the Bottom Line
In a recent column for Forbes, contributor Jonathan Kaufman examined the potential impact of the recent “Statement of Purpose of a Corporation” by the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers (CEOs) of America’s leading companies focused on expanding economic and employment opportunities for all Americans. In the statement, which was signed by 181 CEOs, the Roundtable posits a new metric for defining corporations, noting the importance and value they have beyond delivering shareholder returns. Read the Forbes column.
Q: We heard October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Is there a way our company can participate?
Yes! Observed each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents. Each year has a different theme; this year’s is “The Right Talent, Right Now,” which emphasizes the essential role that people with disabilities play in America’s economic success, especially in an era when historically low unemployment and global competition are creating a high demand for skilled talent. Employers of all sizes and in all industries are encouraged to take part. Learn more about NDEAM.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
September 11, 2019, 2:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Section 503 Focused Reviews
This webinar, hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, can help federal contractors prepare for Section 503 Focused Reviews. Topics will include scheduling, the focused review process, common problem areas and best practices. Contractors will also have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about resources to assist in their disability inclusion efforts. Register for the webinar.
September 16, 2019
Deadline: Henry Viscardi Achievement Award Nominations
The Viscardi Center is currently accepting nominations for the 2019 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards. Named for the Center’s founder and a premier disability advocate, Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., these awards honor leaders who carry on his legacy by improving quality of life for people with disabilities, including through employment. The deadline for nomination submissions is September 16, 2019. Learn more about the awards.
October 2, 2019, 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Event: “The Right Talent, Right Now” NDEAM 2019 Celebration
Sponsored by the National Business and Disability Council at the Viscardi Center, this event will explore the impact people with disabilities have on organizations, as both employees and customers. It will take place at the Viscardi Center’s headquarters in Albertson, NY and include a keynote speech by Rohini Anand, Chief Diversity Officer of Sodexo. Register for the October 2 event.
Cosmetics company Sephora says its mission is to “inspire fearlessness”—and it applies this spirit to not only its personal care and beauty products, but also its employment policies and practices, which include a commitment to a diverse workforce that includes people with disabilities paid competitive wages. As part of this, it proactively works to recruit and hire people with disabilities and, through a targeted initiative, is working toward a 30 percent representation goal at its Olive Branch, MS distribution center.
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 Viscardi Center. 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 $9,241,750 (five year total grant amount) under Cooperative Agreement No. OD26451-14-75-4-36. 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.