AskEARN | EARN Newsletter: October 2021 Skip to main content

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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. 

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Getting Started

Start here to learn how to recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities — and how EARN’s resources can help.

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    Phases of Employment

  • A man in a wheelchair looks at his phone while waiting for an interview


    Build a pipeline of talent that includes people with disabilities.

  • A woman with a forearm crutch shakes hands with another person


    Identify people who have the skills and attributes for the job.

  • A man looks on as a young woman with a developmental disability makes a coffee drink in a cafe


    Keep talented employees with disabilities, including those who acquire them on the job.

  • A woman in a power wheelchair sits in an auditorium


    Ensure that employees with disabilities have equal opportunities for advancement.

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: 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.” 


Q: In honor of Veterans Day next month, we’d like to assess our hiring policies and processes to ensure they’re welcoming of disabled veterans. Can you help?

A: Yes! Indeed, one of the best ways to express “thanks for your service”—on Veterans Day and every day—is to ensure veterans, including those with service-connected disabilities, are welcomed and valued in your workplace. This includes providing accommodations, if needed, to help them perform their best on the job. EARN’s website has more information about this as well as other topics related to employing disabled veterans, including related laws and regulations.

Visit the Disabled Veterans Webpage

Employer Spotlight 

Webinar promotion for Summer Workplace Inclusion Webinar Series: the ADA at 31


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. 

Mark Your Calendar

October 20, 2021, 2:00 p.m. ET
Virtual Event: NDEAM 2021: Powered by Inclusion

Join the U.S. Department of Labor for a virtual celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)! Featured guests include U.S. 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. 

Register for the October 20 event

October 28, 2021, 1:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Mental Health Conditions and Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace

This webinar will explore mental health conditions in the context of the ADA, including common concerns employees with psychiatric disabilities may have about stigma, disclosure and requesting workplace accommodations. It will also address common accommodation solutions for individuals with mental health conditions. The Northeast Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center will host this webinar. 

Register for the October 28 webinar.

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.

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