EARN Newsletter: October 2021
National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2021.
EARN in Action
Building Disability-Inclusive Workplaces Webinar
As part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, EARN will host the webinar, “Disability-Inclusive Workplace Culture: Building it to Last,” on October 20 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET. During this webinar, participants will learn how leading companies build and sustain disability-inclusive cultures and the importance they play in the nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Guest speakers will include Jim Sinocchi, Managing Director, Global Office of Disability Inclusion at JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Vani Seshadri, Vice President, Global Inclusion and Diversity at Accenture.
NDEAM: A Time to Celebrate Diversity
In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), EARN recently published a blog post on LinkedIn exploring the important role disability plays in workplace diversity, equity and inclusion. The post outlines ways that all employers can participate in NDEAM and show their support for this year’s official theme, which is America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion. It also highlights resources to help businesses of all sizes and in all industries enhance workplace disability inclusion.
ASI Shines a Light on Disability Inclusion
Earlier this month, the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) Diversity and Inclusion Council interviewed EARN Co-Director Dr. Susanne Bruyère for a blog post in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. In the interview, Dr. Bruyère shares information about the bottom-line benefits of disability-inclusive workplaces and policies and practices employers can adopt to recruit and retain employees with disabilities. She also talks about new issues brought to light because of the COVID-19 pandemic, among them an increased focus on workplace mental health.
EY: Embedding Accessibility Throughout the Enterprise
A new EARN case study explores how global professional services firm EY devised and implemented an initiative to increase disability inclusion through enhanced digital accessibility across its operations. The key to success was the formation of a core team with members from not only information technology, but also marketing, communications, procurement, recruiting, learning, diversity and inclusion, career development and change management. Together, this team works to increase awareness, develop and assess policies and processes, and help institutionalize an accessibility mindset in all EY activities.
Disability Employment in the News
NDEAM Recognized by White House, Labor Department
President Biden issued a proclamation declaring October National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The proclamation summarizes recent administration efforts to increase the workforce participation of Americans with disabilities and ensure they’re included in America’s economic recovery from COVID-19. Taryn Williams, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, also penned a blog post in honor of NDEAM. She noted her agency’s long-standing work to change attitudes through public education.
ODEP at 20: Leading Voices – Dr. Roy Grizzard
In celebration of its 20th anniversary this year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) talked to its past leaders about the agency’s history and accomplishments to date. As part of this effort, ODEP Deputy Assistant Secretary Jennifer Sheehy recently interviewed Dr. Roy Grizzard, ODEP’s first Assistant Secretary, about his experiences launching the agency, its impact thus far and strategies for advancing disability employment in the post-pandemic workplace. Highlights from the conversation were captured in a DOL blog post.
Inclusive Apprenticeships Guide
A new resource from the Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship (PIA), titled Designing Inclusive Apprenticeships: A Guide for Recruiting and Training Apprentices with Disabilities, can help employers develop disability-inclusive apprenticeship programs. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, PIA works with employers and intermediary organizations to develop apprenticeship programs that meet workforce needs. It also enables people with disabilities to gain credentials and skills in high-growth, high-demand industries.
Ensuring Accessible Application and Interview Processes
A new video from the Mid-Atlantic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center offers guidance for employers to ensure their application and interview processes are accessible and inclusive of candidates with disabilities. Topics include providing reasonable accommodations to job applicants, restrictions on asking disability-related questions and medical exams, and ways to focus on essential functions to make informed decisions. The video is the third in a series titled, “The Practical Employer and the ADA: Successful Hiring.”
Finley’s, a Minnesota-based natural dog treat manufacturer, was founded by two former special education teachers committed to increasing the workplace inclusion of people with disabilities. Today, the company not only offers paid employment opportunities for people with disabilities, but also donates 50 percent of its net profits to initiatives that promote employment training, health and wellness for people with disabilities.