AskEARN | EARN Newsletter: May 2022 Skip to main content

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About EARN

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) offers information and resources to help employers recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities; build inclusive workplace cultures; and meet diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) goals. 

Getting Started

Start here to learn how to recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities; why workplace inclusion of people with disabilities matters; and how EARN’s resources can help.

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    Phases of Employment

  • A woman in a wheelchair shakes hands with a colleague

    Recruit

    Build a pipeline of talent that includes people with disabilities.

  • Two men work at repairing an engine.

    Hire

    Identify people who have the skills and attributes for the job.

  • A woman with a disability wearing a helmet works in a factory

    Retain

    Keep talented employees with disabilities, including those who acquire them on the job.

  • A man uses sign language to communicate.

    Advance

    Ensure that employees with disabilities have equal opportunities for advancement.

News & Events

EARN makes it easy to stay up-to-date on disability employment news and information. Start by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and eblasts, which will connect you to upcoming events, developing news and promising practices in the world of disability diversity and inclusion. And don’t forget to follow EARN on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

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EARN Newsletter: May 2022

Mental Health Awareness Month

EARN in Action

Supporting Mental Health Awareness

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, EARN is highlighting best practices for building mental health-friendly workplaces, such as those included in its Mental Health Toolkit, as well as the Campaign for Disability Employment’s most recent public service announcement (PSA) campaign, titled “Mental Health at Work: What Can I Do?” Employers are encouraged to follow EARN on social media (Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn) and share content through their channels and use EARN resources to educate their employees about mental health issues and available supports.

Mental Health Training Module

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, EARN released a new training module on creating a mental health-friendly workplace. A complement to EARN’s Mental Health Toolkit, this short online course helps employers learn strategies for supporting employee mental health and wellbeing based on the “4 A’s” framework (awareness, accommodations, assistance and access to treatment) along with links to related resources. The module includes a quiz at the end to assess knowledge gained.

New Accessibility Checklists

EARN published three new checklists to assist organizations in ensuring events—whether in-person, virtual or hybrid—are accessible to all potential participants, including people with disabilities. The three checklists address general meetings and events, career fairs and other hiring events, and staff trainings by outlining steps to take before, during and after based on best practices for providing individual accommodations and enhancing overall accessibility.


Disability Employment in the News

White House, Labor Department Recognize Mental Health Awareness Month

In a proclamation honoring Mental Health Awareness Month, President Biden affirmed his administration’s commitment to supporting Americans with mental health conditions as well as the nation’s mental health workforce. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn M. Williams also released a statement acknowledging the month. "We're committed to helping America's employees and employers work together to promote workplace wellbeing, an issue that the past two years have really brought to the forefront,” she said.

ODEP and ASA Renew Alliance Agreement

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the American Staffing Association (ASA) recently renewed their alliance to advance employment of people with disabilities in the staffing industry, which employs an estimated 16 million temporary and contract employees annually. Through the formal partnership, now extended for five years, ODEP and ASA will conduct a range of activities aimed at equipping ASA members with information and resources to educate their networks and create disability-inclusive workplaces.

Mental Health in America: A 2022 Workplace Report

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation recently released Mental Health in America: A 2022 Workplace Report. Based on a survey of HR professionals conducted in January 2022, this report highlights what is and is not effective when it comes to addressing workplace wellness and supporting employees’ mental health needs. An overarching theme is the critical role the HR profession plays in connecting workers with resources and supports, while helping businesses retain talented employees and improve productivity.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

May 19, 2022 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). This annual event aims to advance discussion about digital access and inclusion for people with different types of disabilities. Employers can use this opportunity to educate their workforce about accessible technology and consider steps they can take to ensure their virtual doors are open to all qualified individuals, including people with disabilities. The Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT), a project funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, offers many resources to assist.


Ask EARN

Q: We are considering establishing a central point of contact for disability accommodations. Do you have resources to help?

A: Yes! It sounds like you are considering establishing a centralized accommodation program (CAP), which consolidates—whether via a single office, location and/or staff member—the expertise needed to assess, evaluate and select effective accommodations. A CAP may also consolidate funding for accommodations. EARN offers a guide called Increasing Disability Inclusion: Centralized Accommodation Programs as a Best Practice that explains CAPs in detail, including key decisions involved in designing them.

Read the CAP Guide (PDF)

Employer Spotlight

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

A recent CBS news segment highlighted how, through an innovative pilot program, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is leveraging the unique skills of neurodivergent workers—among them being able to identify patterns, see things differently and pinpoint seemingly minor details—to meet its critical workforce needs while advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the federal workforce.

Mark Your Calendar

May 20, 2022, 12:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: COVID-19 Updates

During this webinar, researchers from the Center for Research on Disability at the University of New Hampshire will present data from the monthly Current Population Survey and share their perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the employment of people with disabilities and other important issues in the coming months.

Register for the May 20 Webinar.

May 24, 2022, 3:30 p.m. ET
Webinar: Addressing the Needs of Youth with Disabilities and Other Intersecting Identities

In this webinar, presented by the Center for Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth, participants will learn strategies states can use to address the employment needs of youth and young adults with multiple intersecting identities, including people with disabilities, as they transition from school to adulthood and the world of work.

Register for the May 24 Webinar.

May 25, 2022, 2:00 p.m. ET
Event: Building Mental Health-Friendly Workplaces

This online event will explore mental health parity and strategies for cultivating supportive, inclusive workplaces for all workers. Speakers include U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su, Acting Employee Benefits Security Administration Assistant Secretary Ali Khawar and Office of Disability Employment Policy Assistant Secretary Taryn Williams.

Register for the May 25 Event.

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