AskEARN | Professional Development Skip to main content

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. 

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.

Dinah Cohen Learning Center

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

Woman using assistive technology on a computer workstation.

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

Professional Development

Assess your professional development activities and paths to ensure they are accessible to employees with disabilities.

People with disabilities very often stay in the same positions longer than their non-disabled peers. This situation happens not because of a lack of ambition, but rather due to a lack of access to the training, development and career advancement opportunities that are available to others within an organization. These opportunities include mentoring and coaching. 

You are more likely to keep valued employees with disabilities if you invest in training, development and career advancement opportunities. The EARN resource, Professional Development and Advancement of Employees with Disabilities, explains how organizations can ensure equal access to these important programs for employees with disabilities. 

Reskilling and Upskilling

“Reskilling” means offering training to employees who demonstrate an ability to learn new skills to benefit the organization and move ahead in their careers. “Upskilling” is learning additional skills for enhancing existing skills in order to advance. You can learn more about reskilling and upskilling, and other emerging workplace issues, in the EARN policy brief, The ADA@31: A Review of Emerging Implementation Issues

Mentoring and Coaching

Mentoring and coaching are effective strategies to help develop and advance employees with disabilities. Mentoring means forming a professional relationship with a colleague in order to advise or train them. Mentoring helps to encourage personal growth, build skills and increase knowledge of the work or industry. Coaching aims to improve performance by helping them to learn new skills. It allows people to enhance their current performance within an organization. 

Mentoring is an effective tool for shaping an inclusive culture. EARN’s resource on Mentoring as a Disability Inclusion Strategy will help you learn more. Visit EARN’s Workplace Mentoring Playbook to learn about strategies, tools, types of mentoring and other vital information to develop a mentoring program in your organization. Peer mentoring and coaching can be an effective means of professional development for all employees, and can ensure the success of workplace neurodiversity initiatives.