EARN Newsletter: November 2021
Meet the New AskEARN.org!
EARN in Action
Meet the New AskEARN.org!
This week, EARN was pleased to unveil the newly redesigned AskEARN.org! 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.
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.