EARN Newsletter: July 2023
Celebrating the ADA Anniversary and More!
EARN in Action
Honoring the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Anniversary
July 26th marks the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Title I of the ADA protects the rights of job applicants and employees with disabilities from discrimination based on disability in hiring and other aspects of employment. The ADA also requires that covered employers provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with a disability, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship to the employer. July is a good time to ensure managers, supervisors, and others understand the law’s requirements and the important role it plays in fostering a more equitable and inclusive workforce.
Celebrating Disability Pride Month
July is Disability Pride Month, a time when people with and without disabilities celebrate disability as an important part of a person’s identity and America’s diversity. To help employers create inclusive and welcoming workplace cultures for disabled employees and customers, this month and all year long, EARN developed the “Working Together” online course. This self-paced training offers best practices for communicating and engaging with applicants, employees, and customers with disabilities respectfully.
Supporting Intersectionality in the Workplace
A person’s identity may include many factors, such as their race, ethnicity, gender, disability status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. People with disabilities who also have other marginalized identities are considered to be “multiply marginalized.” To assist employers in supporting multiply marginalized workers, EARN created two new resources: a webpage on disability and diversity at work and a research-to-practice brief on intersectionality in the workplace. The webpage offers resources for employers, while the brief provides actionable steps organizations can take to ensure diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) efforts are inclusive of multiply marginalized workers.
Attending the Disability:IN Annual Conference
Earlier this month, the EARN team had the opportunity to interact with employers committed to recruiting, hiring, retaining, and advancing workers with disabilities at Disability:IN’s annual conference in Orlando, FL. The event brought together leading corporations, government agencies, disability-owned businesses, and others to discuss topics such as digital accessibility, employee resource groups (ERGs), and inclusive marketing. At the conference, EARN shared an exhibit booth with the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), another resource of the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Disability:IN is an EARN collaborative partner.
Disability Employment in the News
Honoring National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (NMMHAM)
NMMHAM is observed every July to bring awareness to the unique mental health concerns faced by racial and ethnic minority communities in the United States. Throughout the month, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health (OMH) is highlighting resources to help mental health care providers support racial and ethnic minority communities. Find ideas for observing NMMHAM, including in the workplace, and access tools such as an e-Learning program on improving cultural competency for behavioral health professionals.
Working with Long COVID Factsheet
Some people who had COVID-19 experience a range of new or ongoing symptoms—known as post-COVID conditions or Long COVID—that can last weeks, months, or years and may worsen with physical or mental activity. A new ODEP factsheet provides information about temporary or longer-term supports that can help people with Long COVID stay on the job or return to work when ready. “Working with Long COVID” was developed in collaboration with JAN and includes accommodations ideas for Long COVID symptoms.
Celebrating 50 Years of the Rehab Act
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehab Act), a recent DOL blog post examined how the law helps advance access and equity for people with disabilities in the federal workforce. The blog highlighted a conversation between ODEP Chief of Staff Anupa Iyer Geevarghese, alongside Associate Director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Office of Federal Operations Dexter Brooks and former EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum. During the discussion, Brooks and Feldblum share their thoughts on the importance of the Rehab Act’s Section 501, which covers federal agencies.
Helping States Engage Employers to Support Disabled Youth and Young Adults
The ODEP-funded Center for Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth (CAPE-Youth) recently released a new guide to help policymakers, state agencies, and others encourage employers to support employment of youth and young adults with disabilities. “Guideposts for Success: States Engaging Employers through Policy” offers policy considerations for employer organizations, state and regional business councils, and state and local governments to increase employers’ engagement with disabled youth.
Innovating Inclusion at FALA Technologies
Staying ahead of the competition and ensuring your organization has the skilled workforce necessary for success can be particularly challenging for small businesses. To help meet these goals, FALA Technologies, a family-owned manufacturing company located in New York’s Hudson Valley, partnered with a local non-profit organization to develop an innovative pre-apprenticeship program to train people with disabilities for jobs in advanced manufacturing. Two new EARN video case studies explore how the program was created and now helps FALA support its workforce needs.
The content in this newsletter does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.