AskEARN | EARN Newsletter: September 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. 

Getting Started

Start here to learn how to recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities; why workplace inclusion of people with disabilities matters; and how EARN’s resources can help.

A woman in a wheelchair addresses three colleagues around a small table

    Phases of Employment

  • A woman in a wheelchair shakes hands with a colleague


    Build a pipeline of talent that includes people with disabilities.

  • Two men work at repairing an engine.


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

  • A woman with a disability wearing a helmet works in a factory


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

  • A man uses sign language to communicate.


    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

A smiling man with an earpiece sits in a wheelchair

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.

Recovery Month

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.”


Q: We heard October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Is there a way our company can participate?

A: Yes! Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities and raises awareness among individuals and employers about the importance of a disability-inclusive workforce. Each year has a different theme. This year’s is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.” Employers of all sizes and in all industries are encouraged to take part.

Learn More About NDEAM 2021

Employer Spotlight 

Google Cloud

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.

Mark Your Calendar

September 17, 2021
Deadline: Henry Viscardi Achievement Award Nominations

The Viscardi Center is currently accepting nominations for the 2021 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards. Named for the Center’s founder and a leading disability advocate, Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., these awards honor leaders who carry on his legacy by improving quality of life for people with disabilities, including through employment. The deadline for nominations is September 17, 2021.

Learn more about the awards.

September 22, 2021, 2:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: COVID and the ADA

This webinar, hosted by the Great Lakes and Southwest Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Centers, will address the ADA in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, including in the workplace. Among the topics discussed will be COVID-19 as a disability under the ADA, employment rights, and mask and vaccine mandates.

Register for the webinar.

September 23, 2021, 2:00 p.m. ET
Twitter Chat: Preparing for NDEAM 2021

Join EARN and the Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) for a Twitter chat in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in October! Learn and share ideas about how employers and others can participate in NDEAM and incorporate this year’s theme, “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” into their workplace activities. Anyone can join using the hashtag #CelebrateNDEAM.

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