EARN Newsletter: September 2021
Disability Inclusion in the Federal Workforce, Telework Webinar and More
EARN in Action
Disability Inclusion in the Federal Workforce
In June, President Biden issued Executive Order (EO) 14035, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce. Since then, EARN has taken several steps to share information with federal agencies about the role disability plays in achieving the EO’s goals. These include hosting a special meeting of the Federal Exchange on Employment and Disability (FEED) to discuss how the EO relates to recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement of employees with disabilities. In addition, EARN developed a fact sheet and themes document summarizing the EO’s key disability-related provisions.
Telework in Action: A Disability Inclusion Practice Whose Time has Arrived
On August 12, EARN hosted a webinar exploring how organizations and employees have adapted to telework and its integral role in the post-pandemic workplace. Speakers included representatives from Microsoft, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC). The webinar was the last in a three-part series honoring the Americans with Disabilities Act’s 31st anniversary this summer. It is now archived, along with accompanying materials, to view at any time.
Workplace Mental Health as a Global Issue
The latest issue of the International Labour Organization’s Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN) newsletter features an article about EARN’s resources and tools to help employers navigate the post-pandemic workplace. GBDN—a member of EARN’s Inclusion@Work Network Leadership Council—is an employer-led initiative that promotes disability inclusion in workplaces around the globe by demonstrating the valuable contributions people with disabilities offer organizations of all kinds.
Disability Employment in the News
National Preparedness Month
Everyone should feel safe at work, including employees with disabilities. However, sometimes the needs of people with disabilities are not considered when planning for workplace emergencies. National Preparedness Month, observed each September, is an opportunity to ensure workplace evacuation and other emergency plans are inclusive of employees and customers with disabilities. To help, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) offers numerous resources.
September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, which spreads awareness that substance use disorders are treatable and people in recovery can live healthy, productive lives. For many people in recovery, employment plays an important role in continued sobriety. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) offers a range of resources to help employers and employees understand accommodations that can support people in treatment for or recovery from substance use disorders.
Podcast – Access and Inclusion in the Workplace
On a recent episode of the “Down to the Struts” podcast, Kathy Martinez, President and CEO of Disability Rights Advocates, spoke with series host Qudsiya Naqui about accessibility and inclusion in the workplace. She discussed strategies that help foster an inclusive, welcoming workplace culture, including disability-related employee resource groups and effective accommodation policies. In addition, she addressed the importance of understanding disability’s intersectionality with race, culture and other identify factors.
Practical Employer Videos
Two new videos from the Mid-Atlantic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center offer guidance on how to increase accessibility and inclusion during the recruiting process. The first addresses how to write job descriptions that clearly identify essential job functions and qualification standards, so that applicants with disabilities are not excluded from applying for jobs they can perform. The second focuses on accessible outreach activities and application processes. Both videos are part of a series titled, “The Practical Employer and the ADA: Successful Hiring.”
Google recently established a new initiative to recruit and retain employees on the autism spectrum for its Google Cloud services. The program will train up to 500 Google Cloud managers and others involved in hiring on how to ensure application, interview and onboarding processes are equitable and accessible to neurodiverse candidates. Google is implementing this program in partnership with the Stanford University Neurodiversity Project. Experts from Stanford will also provide job coaching to candidates and ongoing support to those hired.