EARN Newsletter: December 2022
Ensuring Accessibility of Holiday Gatherings and More!
EARN in Action
Ensuring Holiday Gatherings are Accessible for Everyone
The holiday season often means office parties and other celebrations. Whether in-person or online, make sure all of your employees and their families and friends can join in the festivities by using EARN’s “Checklist for Planning an Accessible Meeting or Event.” Find ideas about what to do before, during and after events so they are accessible to and inclusive of all attendees.
EARN Webinar on Organization-Wide Accessibility
Join EARN on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET for the webinar “Organization-Wide Accessibility: Everyone Plays a Part." Learn from a panel of accessibility experts on how to create an organization where “Accessibility is Everyone’s Responsibility.” This approach encourages employees at all levels to embrace a holistic and organization-wide accessibility plan that yields numerous benefits, including increased productivity; long-term retention; and strengthened diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility efforts.
In Memory of Bobby Silverstein
The disability community lost a powerful voice for inclusion last month with the passing of attorney and disability rights advocate Bobby Silverstein, one of the “architects” of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To honor his many contributions to the disability employment field, employers and others are encouraged to watch an archived version of EARN’s webinar “The ADA @ 31: A Conversation with Bobby Silverstein and Susan Mazrui.” Recorded in July 2021 in celebration of the 31st anniversary of the law, the webinar explores the role business and disability communities played in securing the enactment of the ADA, examines the core principles of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination articulated in the legislation, and discusses emerging ADA implementation issues.
EARN Website Wins MarCom Award!
EARN’s website received an Honorable Mention from the 2022 MarCom Awards in the “Digital Media, Website” category. The MarCom Awards are an international competition that receives more than 6,000 entries a year from over 45 countries. AskEARN.org includes information, tools and resources to help organizations of all sizes in all industries recruit, hire, retain and advance employees with disabilities and learn about workplace diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.
Disability Employment in the News
Celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Observed annually on December 3, International Day of Persons with Disabilities promotes awareness of disability issues and mobilizes support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of people with disabilities around the world. This year’s theme, “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world,” recognizes innovations that support accessibility, equity and inclusion, including those related to disability employment. In celebration, the United Nations (UN) Department of Economic and Social Affairs and UN Enable hosted a virtual event featuring guest speakers including Andy Imparato, Executive Director of Disability Rights California; Irene Kirika, Founder and Executive Director of inABLE, a nonprofit organization providing assistive technology to people in Kenya who are blind or have visual disabilities; and Hafsa Qadeer, CEO and Founder of ImInclusive, an online platform connecting people with disabilities in the Middle East to careers with inclusive companies.
Employers' Guide to Accommodations During the Hiring Process
The Job Accommodation Network’s (JAN) new publication “Employers' Practical Guide: Reasonable Accommodation During the Hiring Process” helps employers understand how to quickly and easily address accommodation requests they receive from job applicants with disabilities. The guide includes information about the “interactive process” and reviews Americans with Disabilities Act regulations related to workplace accommodations. Like EARN, JAN is a resource of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.
American Indian and Alaska Natives with Disabilities in the Labor Force
In celebration of National Native American Heritage Month in November, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy published a blog providing a data snapshot of American Indian and Alaska Native adult workers with disabilities (age 16 and older) in the U.S. labor force. Highlights include:
- More than 500,000 working-age American Indian or Alaska Native adults in the U.S. have a disability.
- 57% of working-age American Indian or Alaska Native adults with disabilities are multiracial and/or of Hispanic origin.
- American Indian or Alaska Native adults with disabilities work in a range of industries, with the largest numbers in education and health care. They also hold a variety of occupations, including managerial positions, medical professions, retail, production and teaching.
Justice Department Launches new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Website
The U.S. Department of Justice has updated and expanded ADA.gov, its website for information about the civil rights law that protects people with disabilities from discrimination, including in the workplace. The goal of the redesigned site is to better empower employers and other stakeholders to comply with ADA regulations. The revamped site includes a more interactive mobile version, easy-to-use navigation tools and resources written in plain language. Employers can find answers to questions about reasonable accommodations, how the ADA applies to small businesses and more.
Powering Up Inclusion at Best Buy
Electronics retailer Best Buy has partnered with digital platform Joshin to support its employees with disabilities and measure progress toward meeting diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility goals. Joshin will provide specialized, on-demand training and live coaching for neurodivergent workers to help them feel more confident and experience less work-related stress. The program will also assist the company in gathering data to gauge the impact of workplace inclusion from a business standpoint.