National Disability Employment Awareness Month Kicks Off Tomorrow! Tomorrow marks the start of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) 2015, and employers of all sizes are encouraged to participate! Held each October, NDEAM celebrates the many and diverse contributions of America’s workers with disabilities, both past and present, and employers can take part in a variety of ways. To help, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy offers a list of ideas as well as resources such as posters, sample media materials and more.
Disability Mentoring Day 2015 to Launch Oct. 21 A centerpiece of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) will take place this year on October 21 at workplaces across the nation. Sponsored by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), DMD is a job shadowing and career development program for young people with disabilities. While it typically takes place the third Wednesday of each October, employers can plan DMD programs at any time of year, and AAPD offers a variety of resources to help.
JAN Webcast Registration Opens Reserve your spot today! The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has opened registration for its 2015-2016 webcast series. This year’s lineup offers extensive opportunity for free training for individuals or groups on topics ranging from accommodations for different types of disabilities to assistive technology to performance issues and the ADA. All webcasts are captioned, and continuing education credits may be available. Like the Employer TA Center, JAN is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.
Exemplary Employers “Circle” to Discuss Disability Inclusion On Monday of this week, the “Circle” – a group of companies recognized for their commitment to exemplary disability inclusion policies and practices – met in conjunction with the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) 2015 National Conference in Austin, TX. Discussed were new disability-related initiatives as well as varying strategies businesses use to recruit and retain “Gen Xers” and Millennials. USBLN is a national non-profit that helps employers increase disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace. It manages the Circle as a partner of the Employer TA Center.
OFCCP Celebrates 50th Anniversary The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) celebrated its 50th anniversary last week. The agency was formally established on September 24, 1965 to enforce an Executive Order by President Lyndon Johnson requiring federal contractors to ensure equal employment opportunity for minorities. Later, its responsibilities expanded to include Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, which set similar requirements related to people with disabilities and certain protected veterans, respectively.
Today, more and more employers recognize the value of workplace flexibility in meeting employees’ diverse needs and attracting new talent. One of the most widespread examples is telework, which can benefit many employees but may be especially helpful in recruiting and retaining people with disabilities. During this free Society for Human Resource Management webcast, speakers from the Families and Work Institute, Cornell University and BDO USA will address how to “do it right.”
PEAT Talks: Embracing the Concept of BYOD
October 15, 2:00 p.m. EST
Sponsored by the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT), the next installment of the PEAT Talks virtual speaker series will address the increasingly popular workplace practice of “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD), focusing on the accessibility advantages it can offer both employers and employees and best practices for implementation. The speaker will be Dana Marlowe of Accessibility Partners, LLC. PEAT Talks are held on the third Thursday of each month.
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.
Kirtland Air Force Base
Established in 1941, Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico today employs more than 25,000 people. In 2011, as part of its commitment to delivering on the federal government’s pledge to be a model employer of people with disabilities, the base’s leadership, in collaboration with its Disability Advisory Working Group, developed a comprehensive five-strategy plan for recruitment and retention. A key component of this plan was establishing a relationship with the New Mexico Business Leadership Network.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees of covered employers up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for specified family and medical reasons – among them the employee’s own serious health condition. In certain circumstances, employees may take FMLA leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis. Furthermore, qualified employees with disabilities may be eligible for leave under both FMLA and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as a reasonable accommodation.
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.