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EARN Newsletter: October 2023

Celebrating NDEAM and More!

EARN in Action

Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities and gives employers a chance to showcase their supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices that benefit both their workers and their businesses. Each year, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) selects a theme—this year’s theme is “Advancing Access and Equity.” Learn more about NDEAM and explore EARN’s resources to help you advance access and equity in your workplace.

Webinar Learning Guide on Accommodations and Disability Inclusion

A companion piece to EARN’s “Creating a Disability-Inclusive Workplace: The Role of Accommodations” is now available. The new learning guide explores the importance of accommodations in creating inclusive workplaces that support the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehab Act). The guide includes questions and answers about these pieces of legislation, an explanation of the interactive accommodations process, and examples of no- or low-cost accommodations.

New Resources on the Schedule A Hiring Authority and Federal Employment of People with Disabilities

The Schedule A hiring authority allows federal agencies to hire people with disabilities without requiring them to go through the competitive hiring process. EARN developed two new resources to help federal employers understand how to use Schedule A to support the employment of people with disabilities. “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Schedule A Excepted Service Hiring Authority for People with Disabilities” provides answers to common Schedule A questions, including about eligibility. The “Schedule A Excepted Service Hiring Authority for People with Disabilities Resource Guide” offers guidance on using Schedule A to support the Federal Government’s commitment to being a model employer of people with disabilities.

Disability Employment in the News

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Rehab Act

DOL continued its year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Rehab Act with a series of blog posts and a new animated video. The latest in the series “Examining 50 Years of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973—Advancing Access and Equity for Individuals with Disabilities,” is penned by Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams. She highlights the legislation that makes many employment opportunities available to people with disabilities while recognizing that there is still more to do to build a more accessible and equitable workplace for all, including workers with disabilities.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Releases Video Series on Workplace Mental Health

DOL’s OSHA developed a video series to help employers create mental health-friendly workplaces. The videos address topics such as talking about mental health at work, improving workplace relationships, and building a mental health toolkit. OSHA’s website includes additional resources to help employers and workers handle workplace stress and address other mental health issues.

DOL Publishes Data Spotlight on Employment of Hispanics with Disabilities in Skilled Trade Professions

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, ODEP published a data spotlight on the employment of Hispanics with disabilities in skilled trade professions. Skilled trade jobs are critical for maintaining the country’s infrastructure and include occupations in industries such as farming, construction, maintenance, and transportation. The blog includes an analysis of responses to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey with data breakdowns for five specific categories. Among the findings is that approximately 430,000 (30.5%) Hispanic workers with disabilities are employed in skilled trades, with the largest representation in transportation. The blog is the latest in an ongoing series exploring disability employment data.


Q: November is National Family Caregivers Month and my company would like to take this opportunity to show our support for employees who are caregivers. Does EARN have any resources to help?

A: Yes! EARN’s “Caregiving and Workplace Flexibility” issue brief explores how flexible workplace policies support employees who are family caregivers. It also shares strategies organizations can implement to ensure they are taking employee needs into consideration when developing flexible workplace policies.

Read the Caregiving Brief

Employer Spotlight

REI: Navigating Inclusion through Innovative Partnerships

Recreational Equipment, Inc., commonly known as REI, has taken steps to make the company—and by extension outdoor recreation—more inclusive for people with disabilities. Embracing the spirit of NDEAM and advancing its inclusive workplace culture, REI partnered with the National Organization on Disability to recruit and hire employees with disabilities.

The content in this newsletter does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Mark Your Calendar

November 3, 2023, 12 p.m. ET
Webinar: nTIDE Lunch & Learn

This webinar will provide an overview of the National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) Jobs Report and an update 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, Denise Rozell from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, and a guest panelist.

Register for the nTIDE Webinar.

November 9, 2023
Observance: World Usability Day

World Usability Day brings together individuals, communities, accessibility and usability professionals, industry leaders, employers, and government agencies to promote the importance of ensuring products and services are easy to access and simple to use for everyone, including people with disabilities. This year’s theme is “Collaboration and Cooperation,” highlighting the importance of working together, globally and locally, to identify solutions for usability issues.

Find ideas for celebrating World Usability Day.

November 9, 2023, 1 p.m. ET
National Organization on Disability (NOD) Webinar: From Deployment to Employment: Hiring + Supporting Veterans with Disabilities

Veterans offer organizations of all sizes valuable skills and experience gained from their military service. Many employers have questions about how to attract and retain this often-underutilized talent pool, including veterans with disabilities. In honor of Veterans Day, this webinar will explore the benefits of hiring disabled veterans and the steps employers can take to create a supportive workplace culture.

Register for the NOD Webinar.

November 9, 2023, 2 p.m. ET
Mental Health America (MHA) Webinar: Holding on for Others: Caregiving, Chronic Illness, and Self-Care

Living with a chronic health condition can significantly impact workers’ physical and mental health. This webinar, hosted by MHA and the National Pancreas Foundation, will highlight resources to support the mental health of people living with chronic health conditions and their caregivers while offering information on how others, including employers, can help.

Register for the MHA Webinar.

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