AskEARN | EARN Newsletter: November 2021 Skip to main content

Welcome to AskEARN’s new website. As we transition to our new site, you can still visit EARN’s previous site.

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.

A woman in a wheelchair addresses three colleagues around a small table

    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: November 2021

Meet the New!

EARN in Action

Meet the New!

This week, EARN was pleased to unveil the newly redesigned! The new site is structured around the four phases of the employment lifecycle—recruit, hire, retain and advance. It offers a range of resources, including self-paced online training courses, easy-to-use checklists, in-depth policy guides, videos and archived webinars on a variety of issues. The site also includes information on timely topics such as workplace mental health, COVID-19 and employment, inclusive telework, federal contractor requirements and neurodiversity. 

Training Courses: Strategies for Disability Inclusion

As part of its new website, EARN now offers a series of eight online training courses—seven addressing the different components of its employer policy framework, Inclusion@Work, and one on centralized accommodation programs. Each course takes about 10-15 minutes to complete and includes a quiz at the end. Human resources and diversity, equity and inclusion professionals, hiring managers, and other employer representatives are encouraged to use the courses. You can learn or enhance your knowledge about disability inclusion and share them with your staff as appropriate. 

New Employer Case Studies: Watlow and DMEC

New EARN case studies share how two different organizations implemented strategies to create an inclusive environment for people with disabilities. The first profiles steps electric heating element manufacturer Watlow took to increase disability inclusion to meet goals under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and its workforce needs. The second profiles how the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC), a small professional membership association, leveraged remote work to support workers during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

New Talent Case Study: Julie Meade

A new EARN case study shares the experiences of Julie Meade, a scientific writer with pharmaceutical corporation Bristol-Myers Squibb. Meade—who earned her Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology in the spring of 2020—secured her job as a result of her participation in Disability:IN’s NextGen Leaders Initiative. Through this program, she was matched with a mentor in the pharmaceutical industry who provided guidance on potential career paths, resume preparation, networking and interviewing. 

Disability Employment in the News

NDEAM Event: America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion

The U.S. Department of Labor celebrated National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) with a virtual event on October 20. During the event, Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Jenny Yang and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy explored this year’s NDEAM theme, “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.” 

Reflections on NDEAM

In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October, White House Office of Public Engagement Associate Director Emily Voorde interviewed two Biden Administration appointees: Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams and U.S. Department of Transportation Disability Advisor Kelly Buckland. The discussion focused on the value of diverse perspectives and guidance for young people with disabilities considering a career in public service. A summary of the interview was posted on the White House blog. 

AI and Disability Inclusion Toolkit

Recently, the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) developed a new resource to help organizations navigate the potential risks and biases that can come with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace, including the screening of candidates. In addition to an overview of how AI works and is used across the employment landscape, the new AI and Disability Inclusion Toolkit outlines best practices companies can use to ensure it is implemented equitably and inclusively. Like EARN, PEAT is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. 

National Apprenticeship Week

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) 2021 is November 15-21. Now in its seventh year, NAW is a nationwide campaign during which industry, labor, equity, workforce, education and government leaders host events to showcase the successes and value of apprenticeship to individuals and employers. Combining classroom instruction with on-the-job training, apprenticeships help bridge skills gaps and bring new and more diverse talent into the workplace—including people with disabilities.  


Q: We are considering establishing a central point of contact for accommodations for people with disabilities across our company. Do you have resources to help?

A: Yes! It sounds like what you are considering is a centralized accommodation program (CAP), which consolidates—whether via a single office, location and/or staff member—the expertise needed to assess and implement effective accommodations. A CAP may also consolidate funding for accommodations. EARN offers a guide, titled Increasing Disability Inclusion: Centralized Accommodation Programs as a Best Practice, that explains CAPs in detail, including key decisions involved in establishing one.

Read the Guide

Employer Spotlight 

NOD Leading Disability Employers 

Recently, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) honored 67 companies as 2021 “Leading Disability Employers.” Bestowed annually, this award honors organizations that have demonstrated positive outcomes in recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing people with disabilities. Winners are identified based on data from the NOD’s Disability Employment Tracker™, a self-assessment tool that allows companies to evaluate their disability inclusion policies and practices. 

Mark Your Calendar

November 18, 2021, 2:00 p.m. ET
Webcast: Return to Work after COVID-19 — Focus on Mental Health and Cognitive Limitations

During this Job Accommodation Network webcast, experts will answer questions about returning to the workplace and resuming regular operations in the wake of COVID-19. Topics will include strategies for helping workers experiencing stress, anxiety and safety concerns, as well as telework and other accommodations. Participants can submit questions during or in advance of the event. 

Register for the November 18 webcast.

November 23, 2021, 2:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Creating Accessible Digital Documents

Digital documents can create barriers for people with disabilities. However, all that is needed to improve their accessibility is a greater understanding about how people with different disabilities may use technology differently than people without those disabilities. During this webinar, sponsored by the Southeast, Great Lakes and Great Plains Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Centers, participants will learn how to create digital content that is accessible and inclusive to all

Register for the November 23 webinar.

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