AskEARN | EARN Newsletter: September 2022 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.

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    Phases of Employment

  • A woman in a wheelchair shakes hands with a colleague

    Recruit

    Build a pipeline of talent that includes people with disabilities.

  • Two men work at repairing an engine.

    Hire

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

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

    Retain

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

  • A man uses sign language to communicate.

    Advance

    Ensure that employees with disabilities have equal opportunities for advancement.

Dinah Cohen Learning Center

EARN’s Learning Center offers a wide range of training resources, including self-paced online courses.

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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

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EARN Newsletter: September 2022

Inclusive Hybrid Work Models and More!

EARN in Action

Exploring Inclusive Hybrid Work Models

The widespread shift to hybrid work, which includes a combination of in-office and remote work, is one of the most significant changes to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although efforts are being made by some employers to bring employees back to the office, hybrid work is likely here to stay. To help employers navigate current issues and future considerations, EARN has developed “Exploring the Possibilities: Disability-Inclusive Hybrid Work Models.” The policy brief offers strategies organizations can use to develop and implement hybrid work models that are inclusive of people with disabilities and facilitate workplace diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.

Adding Accessibility to Federal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives

The addition of the term “accessibility” along with “diversity, equity and inclusion” (DEI) in Executive Order 14035: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) in the Federal Workforce marks a significant shift in the federal approach to workplace disability inclusion. Historically, federal equal employment opportunity efforts for people with disabilities were included in disability-specific initiatives, not as part of wider DEI efforts. A new policy brief from EARN discusses the important role diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) play in supporting federal employment of people with disabilities. Although meant for federal audiences, the information in “Adding Accessibility to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives” may also be relevant to state, local and private sector employers.

New Resources on Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Neurodivergent workers offer a variety of skills and perspectives that can benefit organizations of all sizes in all industries. To assist employers in recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing neurodivergent talent, EARN developed a suite of resources including a webinar, learning guide and toolkit. A recording of the webinar, “Hiring and Supporting Neurodivergent Workers: Strategies for Success,” which features a panel discussion with neurodivergent professionals and employers who have developed successful neurodiversity programs, is now available on the EARN website. In conjunction with the webinar, EARN created a downloadable and printable learning guide that includes resources, statistics and testimonials from neurodivergent workers. EARN also updated its Neurodiversity in the Workplace Toolkit with assistance from subject matter experts. The Toolkit includes information on the business benefits of a neurodiverse workforce, workplace accommodations, mentorship and more.

Ensuring Accessibility in the Federal Government

Earlier this month, EARN, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Office of Personnel Management, hosted the fourth and final Federal Exchange on Employment and Disability (FEED) meeting of 2022. The meeting explored strategies for ensuring federal workplaces, events, and information and communication technology is accessible for all employees, including those with disabilities. Guest presenters from the Northeast Americans with Disabilities Act Center and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation discussed considerations for physical, digital and document accessibility, and representatives from the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy provided an overview of the development of DOL’s agency-wide events accessibility guidance.


Disability Employment in the News

Celebrating Labor Day

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) celebrated Labor Day earlier this month by creating and sharing a variety of resources honoring the many contributions workers have made to America's strength, prosperity and wellbeing. The materials included a video, infographics and a blog post in which DOL leaders such as Secretary Marty Walsh and Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams highlighted agency priorities and efforts to ensure all Americans have access to good jobs. Priorities of the Office of Disability Employment Policy include advancing competitive integrated employment and supporting workers with Long COVID and mental health conditions.

Resources for National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month, a nationwide observance to bring awareness to mental health and substance use recovery and help end the stigma surrounding these conditions. In observance, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is holding events including rallies, panel discussions and a leadership summit, and sharing resources for Americans in recovery. To support workers with mental health conditions or substance use disorders and their employers, the U.S. Department of Labor published a blog post with information on workers’ rights, employers’ responsibilities and resources that can help, including the Campaign for Disability Employment’s “Mental Health at Work: What Can I Do” public service announcement.

Department of Labor Awards Funding to Policy Center on Employment of People with Disabilities

The National Disability Institute (NDI) has been awarded a four-year cooperative agreement from the Department of Labor (DOL) to operate a policy development center focused on employment of people with disabilities. NDI and its partner, Social Policy Research Associates, will develop and manage the center, which will help advance the work of DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. The center is being funded under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and will support WIOA programs and services, competitive integrated employment and economic advancement for people with disabilities.

NAMI Health Equity and Mental Health Series

All three sessions of the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) “Equity and Mental Health” webinar series are now available for viewing on NAMI’s website. The series, which was sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), includes sessions on “Cultivating Cultural Humility and Managing Biases with Families Facing Serious Mental Illnesses and Serious Emotional Disturbances,” “Cultivating Effective Cross-Cultural Communication in Behavioral Health Organizations while Interacting Effectively with Families Coping with Serious Mental Illnesses and Serious Emotional Disturbances,” and “Healing the Wounds of Racial Stress and Trauma in Racially and Ethnically Diverse Communities Facing Serious Mental Illnesses and Serious Emotional Disturbances.” The sessions address topics such as implicit and explicit biases, microaggressions and how culture influences communication.


Ask EARN

Q: I know National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is coming up in October. Do you have any resources to help my organization celebrate?

A: Yes, we do! NDEAM is celebrated every October to honor the many contributions people with disabilities make to America’s workplaces and economy. This year’s theme – “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation” – recognizes the important role workers with disabilities play in a diverse and inclusive workforce. You can find information and resources to help people and organizations celebrate, including a link to download or order the 2022 NDEAM poster, on our NDEAM webpage.

Visit the NDEAM Webpage

Employer Spotlight

Mastercard: Mastering the Possibilities of Inclusion

A pilot program recently launched by Mastercard, with support from Disability:IN and nonprofit organization Neurodiversity in the Workplace, is helping the company become more inclusive of neurodivergent workers. The program is just one of the ways in which Mastercard is working to meet workforce needs by identifying new sources of diverse talent.

Mark Your Calendar

September 28, 2022, 1:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Building a Successful Document Accessibility Program: Strategies, Methods, and Workplans for Inclusive Programs

This Section 508 Best Practices webinar hosted by the Great Lakes Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center will explore strategies federal agencies can use to ensure that all of the documents they produce are accessible for everyone. Presenters from the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration will discuss the importance of developing accessibility workplans and creating internal partnerships that support accessibility.

Register for the Great Lakes ADA Center webinar.

October 7, 2022, 12:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: nTIDE Lunch and 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.

October 13, 2022, 2:00 p.m. ET
Webcast: Building a Disability-Inclusive Organization

This webcast hosted by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), in collaboration with EARN, will explore the core components of a disability-inclusive workplace. Learn about practical strategies to help organizations of any size in any industry be more welcoming and inclusive of job candidates and employees with disabilities.

Register for the JAN and EARN webcast.

October 19, 2022, 2:00 p.m. ET
EARN Webinar: Retaining Valued Employees with Disabilities: The Importance of Performance Coaching and Management

All employees, including those with disabilities, can benefit from regular feedback on their job performance. Join EARN for this webinar to hear from a panel of human resource experts about effective strategies that people managers can use to support and empower employees with disabilities and confidently engage in coaching and performance dialogues.

Register for the EARN webinar.

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