EARN Newsletter: April 2022
Mental Health PSA Campaign, Inclusive Apprenticeship and More!
EARN in Action
Mental Health at Work: What Can I Do?
As a member of the Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE), EARN is pleased to have helped shape its most recent public education campaign. Launched late last month, the new campaign is centered around a public service announcement (PSA) titled “Mental Health at Work: What Can I Do?” The PSA addresses the role all people in an organization play in promoting workplace wellbeing. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, the CDE is a collaborative of several organizations that showcases supportive, inclusive workplaces for all workers.
On April 7, EARN joined representatives from the Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship (PIA) for the webinar, “Disability Inclusive Apprenticeship: A Successful Business Strategy.” The event, which was hosted by Appteon, Inc., discussed how apprenticeship programs designed with inclusion and accessibility in mind can benefit people with disabilities seeking long-term career paths and employers looking to build diverse talent pipelines to meet workforce needs. Like EARN, PIA is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.
Federal Agency Disability Working Groups
Last week, EARN, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Office of Personnel Management (OPM), hosted the second Federal Exchange on Employment and Disability (FEED) meeting of 2022. During the meeting, representatives from OPM, the Department of Education, the Federal Communications Commission and Deaf In Government discussed establishing disability working groups as a strategy for meeting goals under Executive Order (EO) 14035: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce.
Autism Acceptance Month
April is Autism Acceptance Month, and an opportunity to learn and educate about neurodiversity—an umbrella term that encompasses neurocognitive differences including autism and other conditions—in the workplace context. To help, EARN offers an online resource that explores the benefits of workplace neurodiversity for both employers and employees and shares information about common accommodations for neurodivergent employees. The resource also highlights neurodiversity hiring initiatives that have been implemented by companies in a variety of sectors.
Disability Employment in the News
Voices of Women’s History Month
In honor of Women’s History Month in March, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy published two guest blog posts. In the first, Shirley Wilcher, Executive Director of the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity, discussed two women who made their mark on women’s history, disability history and American history—Harriet Tubman and Fannie Lou Hamer. In the second, Kathy Tran, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, discussed work being done in Virginia and other states to build a more inclusive workforce.
COVID-19, Long COVID and the Workplace
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) recently updated its COVID-19 and Long COVID webpage. This webpage features quick links to resources for workers, employers, youth and policymakers. A number of the resources relate to Long COVID—a term that refers to a range of symptoms that can last months after a person has COVID-19. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, people with Long COVID may be eligible for accommodations to help them to work during their recovery or return to work following their recovery.
Advancing DEIA at USAID
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) recently announced the launch of its new Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA). The new office, which will report directly to the USAID Administrator, will lead the agency’s DEIA efforts across its workforce and programs worldwide, and support the continued implementation of USAID’s DEIA Strategic Plan under Executive Order (EO) 14035: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce. Among the populations the office will work to ensure representation of are people with disabilities.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
A new video case study on the EARN website explores how the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) worked to keep America’s workers safe during the pandemic, including shifting its own employees to a hybrid work model. A key component of the success of these efforts was the diversity of the agency’s workforce and its inclusive workplace culture.