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Welcome to AskEARN’s new website. As we transition to our new site, you can still visit EARN’s previous site.

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. 

Image of a woman illustrating how to perform a task to a man with down's syndrome.

Getting Started

Start here to learn how to recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities — and how EARN’s resources can help.

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

    Phases of Employment

  • A man in a wheelchair looks at his phone while waiting for an interview

    Recruit

    Build a pipeline of talent that includes people with disabilities.

  • A woman with a forearm crutch shakes hands with another person

    Hire

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

  • A man looks on as a young woman with Down syndrome makes a coffee drink in a cafe

    Retain

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

  • Image of a woman illustrating how to perform a task to a man with down's syndrome.

    Advance

    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 e-blasts and monthly e-newsletter, 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

Physical Accessibility

Physical accessibility ensures equal access in the workplace.  

Although the benefits of accessibility extend beyond compliance, it is important for employers to understand what is required by laws. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is an employer’s obligation to “provide access for an individual applicant to participate in the job application process, and for an individual employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of his/her job, including access to a building, to the work site, to needed equipment, and to all facilities used by employees.”

In addition to the building and work site, areas in which accessibility must be provided may include, but are not limited to:

  • Parking lots (handicapped parking spaces).
  • Entrances/exits.
  • Fire alarms/emergency exits.
  • Conference rooms and shared work space.
  • Desks and personal work space.
  • Hallways and stairwells.
  • Elevators.
  • Restrooms.
  • Cafeterias.

The U.S. Access Board is a main source for information on the ADA standards for the physical environment, including workplaces. For more information, see its Guide to the ADA Accessibility Standards.

The ADA National Network is also a good source for guidance about accessibility; employers can contact one of 10 regional ADA Centers for one-on-one assistance. When it comes to planning events and meetings, including workplace social gatherings, the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center’s Guide to Accessible Meetings, Events and Conferences offers tips that can assist with factors such as site selection, audio-visual materials and catering.

Businesses that make modifications to improve workplace accessibility may be eligible for tax credits or deductions to help offset costs incurred. For more information see Tax Benefits for Businesses Who Have Employees with Disabilities.

To learn about planning accessible ERG events, read this fact sheet (PDF) developed by EARN and the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT).

Phases of Employment

Recruit Hire Retain Advance

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accessibility inclusive culture