EARN Newsletter: March 2022
Disability is Diversity Campaign and More!
EARN in Action
Throughout March, EARN is celebrating the fact that “Disability is Diversity” with a campaign to help employers, HR, diversity and inclusion, and other employment professionals understand the value of expanding their DEI efforts to include people with disabilities. The campaign reflects the growing trend toward diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA). Anyone committed to advancing workforce disability inclusion can participate by following EARN on social media and sharing content using the hashtag #DisabilityisDiversity.
New Inclusion@Work Leadership Council Members
EARN is pleased to have recently added two new members—the National Association of Colleges and Employers and the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity—to its Inclusion@Work Leadership Council. A collection of diverse industry groups and professional organizations, the Inclusion@Work Leadership Council facilitates stakeholder engagement to assist EARN in identifying and promoting effective policies and practices to help employers recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities.
GBDN Newsletter Article
The March 2022 issue of the International Labour Organization’s Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN) newsletter featured an article about EARN’s video case study on PepsiCo’s efforts to foster more equitable and inclusive workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. The series of four videos highlights PepsiCo’s commitment to supporting employee mental health and workplace safety, among other topics. GBDN—a member of EARN’s Inclusion@Work Network Leadership Council—is an employer-led initiative that promotes workplace disability inclusion worldwide by demonstrating the valuable contributions people with disabilities offer organizations of all kinds.
Disability Employment in the News
New U.S. Access Board Chair
The U.S. Access Board—an independent federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabilities through leadership in inclusive design and the development of accessibility guidelines and standards—elected Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams as its new chair on March 7. “The work of the Access Board is critically important in light of the President’s commitment to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility,” Williams said. “I am honored to be selected as Chair and look forward to helping the Board achieve its ambitious equity and access goals in the coming year.”
Disability Employment Resources for Staffing Firms
The American Staffing Association (ASA) recently published a new webpage centralizing resources to help its members advance the employment of people with disabilities in the staffing, recruiting and workforce solutions industry. In addition to helpful links on a range of topics, including those from EARN, the page includes links to archived ASA webinars on issues including accommodations, workplace mental health and more. ASA developed the resource as part of its Alliance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).
New Training on Telework as an Accommodation
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) recently released a new training resource on telework as an accommodation. Comprised of a video with accompanying presentation slide deck, the training illustrates how, when an employee with a disability realizes teleworking enables them to be more productive, they may request it as an accommodation, even when a workplace policy or practice typically limits telework for employees without disabilities. The training is part of a series that showcases common accommodation situations and solutions.
Understanding Discrimination Against Caregivers
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently published a new technical assistance document titled “The COVID-19 Pandemic and Caregiver Discrimination Under Federal Employment Discrimination Law” and updated its existing “What You Should Know” fact sheet on discrimination against employees and job seekers with family caregiving responsibilities. Based on existing EEOC policy guidance, these documents outline how discrimination against caregivers can violate federal equal employment laws when based on protected characteristics, among them disability.
A recent EARN webinar highlighted the experiences of FALA Technologies, which—through an innovative partnership with the Resource Center for Accessible Living in New York’s Hudson Valley—developed and implemented a successful pre-apprenticeship program to train workers with disabilities for jobs in the advanced manufacturing industry. This webinar is now available to view, along with an accompanying learning guide.