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EARN Newsletter: October 2022

Celebrating NDEAM and More!

EARN in Action

EARN Celebrates NDEAM

In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), EARN is participating in a variety of events and sharing information about the many contributions of America’s workers with disabilities, the importance of workplace disability inclusion and the key role people with disabilities play in workforce equity. EARN’s NDEAM activities include:

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Webcast

Earlier this month, EARN representatives joined JAN for the webcast “Building a Disability-Inclusive Organization.” The webcast explored the components of EARN’s Inclusion@Work Framework, which offers proven strategies to help organizations of all sizes become more welcoming and inclusive of job candidates and employees with disabilities. The Framework was developed with input from a range of employers with exemplary track records in disability employment and includes resources, information and corresponding workplace guides and online trainings.

DirectEmployers Association Webinar

On October 18, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. ET, EARN representatives will join Inclusion@Work Network Leadership Council member the DirectorEmployers Association for the webinar “Forming and Sustaining Partnerships to Improve Employment of People with Disabilities.” Presenters will discuss creating partnerships at the local, regional and national levels as a strategy for achieving goals around recruiting, hiring and training people with disabilities. Presenters will also share examples of innovative partnerships to support and retain employees with disabilities.

EARN Webinar

Join EARN on October 19, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. ET for the webinar “Retaining Valued Employees with Disabilities: The Importance of Performance Coaching and Management.” Learn about strategies for supporting and empowering employees with disabilities through performance management. Guest speakers include Harwinder Taunque, Senior Vice President, Testing Group Manager at Citi, and Cathy West, Vice President of JPMorgan Chase’s Office of Disability Inclusion.

National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Webinar

As part of NACE'S 2022 Disability Signature Series in recognition of NDEAM, representatives from EARN will join Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams for “A Conversation With Experts/Practitioners” on October 20, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Presenters will discuss efforts to connect people with disabilities with employment opportunities and other strategies, practices and resources to support workplace disability inclusion. NACE is a member of EARN’s Inclusion@Work Network Leadership Council.

Mental Health Listening Sessions

Earlier this month, EARN held a series of listening sessions with employers, employer intermediaries, human resource policy professionals and representatives from the mental health community. The “Intersectional Considerations in Workplace Mental Health” listening sessions aimed to identify employer policies and practices that support employee mental health and wellbeing with a focus on workers who are part of historically marginalized groups, including people of color, women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Participants shared their knowledge of the unique mental health pressures that members of diverse groups experience at work, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and successful strategies they have implemented to support employee wellbeing.

EARN at EEOC EXCEL Conference

Representatives from EARN presented at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Examining Conflicts in Employment Law (EXCEL) conference held late this summer on the topic of “Improving Online Outreach to Job Seekers with Disabilities.” The presenters shared findings from EARN’s research on how employers use disability-inclusive messaging on career webpages and how that messaging may influence job seekers with disabilities. The session also explored online outreach strategies most likely to motivate job seekers with disabilities to apply for a job and self-identify as a person with a disability.

EARN Presents on Mental Health on Campus

Earlier this month, EARN joined experts from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) as presenters for the workshop “Mental Health on Campus" at the American Association for Access, Equity & Diversity’s (AAAED) National Conference. Speakers included EARN’s Ashley Bryant, Ph.D., CRC, an Extension Associate for Cornell University’s Yang Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, UAB’s Josephine Banks, Ph.D., Executive Director for Talent Acquisition and Counseling Services, and Tami Mayes Long, Ph.D., Director of UAB’s Employee Assistance and Counseling Center. AAAED is a member of EARN’s Inclusion@Work Network Leadership Council.

Disability Employment in the News

Department of Labor Celebrates NDEAM

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) throughout October in a variety of ways to highlight the many accomplishments of America’s workers with disabilities and the important role disability inclusion plays in workforce equity. As part of DOL’s NDEAM activities, the Department shared a press release and a blog and video highlighting the 2022 NDEAM theme, “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.” DOL also hosted an “Employer Chat on Workplace Mental health and Well-Being” earlier this month featuring Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams, corporate leaders, disability advocates and other experts recognized for their innovative approaches to creating mental health-friendly workplaces. “People with disabilities make up a wonderfully multifaceted group. By recognizing the full complexion of our community, we can ensure our efforts to achieve disability inclusion are, in fact, truly inclusive,” said Assistant Secretary Williams.

Working Group on Mental Health and Employment

The U.S. Department of Labor’s State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED) and the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) have joined forces to create the Mental Health and Employment Working Group. The goal of the Working Group is to identify policies and practices that support the mental health of workers in cities throughout the country. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams announced the launch of the new initiative last month at USCM’s Executive Leadership Meeting in Miami, FL. The Working Group, which is part of SEED’s Mental Health Initiative, reflects the shared commitment between the Department and USCM to ensure America’s workers have access to mental health supports.

National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers

One in five Americans are caregivers of an adult or child on a regular basis. Responsibilities related to caregiving can greatly impact both workers and employers. The 2022 National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers was created to identify policies and practices that benefit caregivers of all ages. Advisory councils created by the RAISE Family Caregiving Act and the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act developed the Strategy, which is open for public comment through November 30, 2022. Input from the public will help these councils identify priorities for future updates of the Strategy.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated each year from September 15 to October 15, recognizes the many contributions, diverse cultures and extensive histories of the American Latino community. In celebration, the U.S. Department of Labor published a blog providing a data snapshot of Hispanic workers with disabilities in the U.S. labor force. Highlights include:

  • Nearly 2.4 million working-age Hispanic adults (ages 16 to 64) in the U.S. have a disability.
  • Approximately 1.1 million Hispanic adults with disabilities (age 16 and older) are currently working or want to work.
  • Hispanic women and men with disabilities (age 16 and older) are present in all stages of working life, with the highest numbers among workers age 55 and older.
  • 748,000 disabled Hispanic workers (age 16 and older) hold wage and salary jobs in the public, private or nonprofit sectors, while 74,000 are self-employed.
  • Hispanic adults with disabilities (age 16 and older) work in a range of industries, with the largest numbers in education and healthcare. They also hold a variety of occupations, including managerial positions, medical professions, retail, production and teaching.


Q: In preparation for Veterans Day next month, my company is reviewing our hiring policies and processes to ensure we can attract candidates who are disabled veterans. Does EARN have resources to help?

A: Yes, we do! Disabled veterans can bring many skills and talents to your workforce. Understanding the laws and regulations related to employment of disabled veterans as well as providing workplace accommodations, if needed, are key first steps to attracting and retaining dedicated, skilled employees who have served our nation.

Visit EARN’s Disabled Veterans Webpage

Employer Spotlight

Lowe's logo

Advancing Disability Inclusion at Lowe’s

Hardware giant Lowe’s is celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) by showcasing their inclusive employment policies and practices. These efforts include sharing the resource “Disability Etiquette: A Starting Guide,” which was developed by Lowe’s ABLE, the company’s disability-focused Business Resource Group. Lowe’s also created a Talk-to-Text app so associates who speak American Sign Language (ASL) can communicate with hearing coworkers and customers in real time. In addition, the company offers vests, shirts, badges and pins that indicate if an employee speaks ASL. Lowe’s has been named as a Disability:IN “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” for the last four years.

Mark Your Calendar

October 21, 2022, 12:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: COVID-19 Updates

This webinar will discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way employers recruit, hire, train and retain people with disabilities as indicated by the results of the 2022 Kessler Foundation “National Employment and Disability Survey: Supervisor Perspectives.” The survey is the fourth in the Foundation’s series designed to gather detailed information on workplace disability inclusion.

Register for the COVID-19 Updates webinar.

November 4, 2022, 12:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: nTIDE Lunch & Learn

This webinar will provide an overview of the National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) Jobs Report, as well as updates from the field of disability employment. Presenters include Andrew Houtenville from the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability, John O’Neill from the Kessler Foundation and Denise Rozell from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. 

Register for the nTIDE webinar.

November 7, 2022, 4:00 p.m. ET
Informational Session: Disability:IN’s 2023 Disability Equality Index (DEI)

Learn what the 2023 DEI entails and how it can help organizations track their progress in meeting disability inclusion goals. This Zoom meeting offers an opportunity to ask questions and gain insight into the benefits of participating in the DEI.

Register for the DEI info session.

November 10, 2022, 2:00 p.m. ET
Webcast: Providing Reasonable Accommodations to Veterans with Disabilities

This training hosted by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) will explore common workplace accommodations to help ensure veterans with cognitive disabilities and mental health conditions can succeed at work. JAN consultants James Potts and Melanie Whetzel will discuss real-life scenarios and offer effective solutions for employers.

Register for the JAN webcast.

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