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.
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.