AskEARN | EARN Newsletter: January 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


    Build a pipeline of talent that includes people with disabilities.

  • Two men work at repairing an engine.


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

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


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

  • A man uses sign language to communicate.


    Ensure that employees with disabilities have equal opportunities for advancement.

Dinah Cohen Learning Center

EARN’s Learning Center offers a wide range of training resources, including self-paced online courses.

Woman using assistive technology on a computer workstation.

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: January 2022

National Mentoring Month, New Case Studies and More!

EARN in Action

Celebrating National Mentoring Month

January is National Mentoring Month, an annual celebration highlighting the importance of mentoring young people, both personally and professionally. While career mentoring can help promote workplace success for many employees, it may be especially beneficial for people with disabilities. It can also benefit employers by boosting retention and workforce inclusion. EARN’s Workplace Mentoring Playbook provides key information for employers interested in developing and growing disability-inclusive mentoring initiatives. 

New Talent Case Study: Ethan Och

A new EARN case study shares the employment journey of Ethan Och, a 24-year-old from Swanville, MN who develops satellite mission planning software for the Northrop Grumman Corporation (NGC). Through his participation in Disability:IN’s NextGen Leader Initiatives, Ethan learned valuable career planning skills, including networking. This led to securing a job at NGC and achieving his goal of working in the aerospace engineering field. Ethan, who has spinal muscular atrophy, was attracted to NGC’s inclusive and flexible workplace culture, which allows him to work remotely and receive workplace accommodations. 

PepsiCo’s Disability-Inclusive Pandemic Response

EARN’s new video case study series spotlights PepsiCo’s efforts to create more diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible workplaces. The videos illustrate the emphasis PepsiCo has put on employee mental health and workplace safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional topics addressed in the videos include the important role employee resource groups (ERGs) play in workforce inclusion and how virtual trainings can help ensure effective recruiting and hiring of people with disabilities. 

Disability Employment in the News

Celebrating MLK Day with HIRE

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, held each year on the third Monday in January, honors the legacy of the civil rights leader’s life and work. In celebration, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have launched the Hiring Initiative to Reimagine Equity (HIRE). HIRE will work to advance equal employment opportunity and provide access to good jobs for workers from underrepresented communities, including people with disabilities. OFCCP and EEOC hosted a virtual public roundtable on January 19, 2022 to commemorate MLK Day and launch the initiative.

ODEP at 20: Driving Change Through a Focus on the Future

Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) concluded a blog series celebrating its 20th anniversary. In the final blog post, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams reflects on ODEP’s accomplishments and outlines current and future priorities, including ensuring a disability-inclusive pandemic recovery and advancing workforce equity, inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities. 

Explore the 2022 WRP Database

The 2022 Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) database is now available! The WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal employers with highly qualified, pre-screened college students and recent graduates with disabilities seeking internships or permanent jobs. It is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense. Executive Order (EO) 14035, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce, which was issued by President Biden on June 25, 2021, highlights the WRP as an important tool for expanding federal employment opportunities for college students and recent graduates with disabilities. Private employers can also utilize the WRP by contacting EARN at

Guide to Handling Captioning and ASL Requests for Virtual Meetings

With remote work and video conferencing more commonplace, employers may have questions about how to handle requests for captioning and American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters for online meetings. To help, the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) recently published a guide addressing relevant considerations, including creating and sending the invitation, sharing materials in advance and navigating vendors and logistics. 


Q: Does EARN have any resources to help ensure employees with disabilities feel welcome and included at work?

A: Yes! In fact, we just developed a webpage entitled “Working Together: Ensuring People with Disabilities Feel Welcome and Included in the Workplace” with tips on communicating and interacting with people with disabilities in a respectful way. The page helps managers, coworkers and others develop a basic understanding of “disability etiquette” in order to advance workplace inclusion.

Visit the Working Together Page

Employer Spotlight 

CVS Health: Drafting a Playbook for Success

A new EARN employer case study highlights CVS Health’s Abilities in Abundance program. The program aims to address barriers to employment for people with disabilities, while helping CVS Health meet workforce needs by tapping into an often underutilized talent pool. CVS has experienced many benefits from the program, including reduction in turnover and lower training costs. Abilities in Abundance also reflects CVS Health’s commitment to creating a workforce that reflects the communities they serve. 

Mark Your Calendar

January 21, 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. They will also share their perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications on employment and other issues in the coming months. 

Register for the January 21 webinar.

February 16, 2022, 2:00 p.m. ET
EARN Webinar: Expanding Your Talent Pool: Disability Inclusion in Advanced Manufacturing 

During this webinar, participants will hear from companies in the advanced manufacturing field that have successful track records of hiring workers with disabilities. They will share how they recruit, hire, integrate and support workers with disabilities in a manufacturing setting. Learn why employees with disabilities, including autism and other neurodiverse conditions, thrive at advanced manufacturing companies. 

Register for the February 16 webinar.

March 11, 2022
Deadline: Disability Employment Tracker

The deadline to participate in the 2022 Disability Employment Tracker™ is March 11, 2022. Sponsored by the National Organization on Disability (NOD), this tool provides companies a confidential assessment of their disability inclusion policies and practices. Companies must complete the tool to qualify for the 2022 NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal and the 2022 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity. 

Learn about the Tracker.

April 7, 2022, 12:00 p.m. ET
American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED) Virtual Career Fair

AAAED’s Virtual Career Fair is designed to promote access, equity, diversity and inclusion in colleges and universities, private industry and government. Employers seeking a diverse workforce including individuals with disabilities, veterans, minorities and women are encouraged to participate. Participation is free for job seekers. The deadline for recruiters and employers to register is March 16, 2022. AAAED has partnered with ABILITY Corps’ SCORE to ensure the event is accessible for everyone. 

Register for the Virtual Career Fair.

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