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In this Issue: New EARN Video, Workforce Recruitment Program & More!
EARN IN ACTION
Learn More About EARN in 2019!
EARN recently developed a new animated video to introduce the many ways it stands at the ready to help employers recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified individuals with disabilities in the year ahead. The video reviews the benefits of a disability-inclusive workplace as well as resources available on the EARN website, including the Inclusion@Work employer policy framework, links to state and local community-based organizations, and information on various disability nondiscrimination laws and regulations. Access the EARN overview video.
Workforce Recruitment Program
The 2019 Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) database is now available! Managed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense, the WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal employers with highly qualified students and recent graduates with disabilities seeking internships or permanent jobs. Through EARN, the WRP is also available to private-sector employers seeking to diversify their workforce with people with disabilities, whether as short- or long-term hires. Learn more about the WRP.
Workforce Recruitment Programs Participants – Where Are They Now?
A new Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) “success story” on the EARN website chronicles the career path of Tamara (Tara) Hughes, deputy chief operating officer for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, where she oversees all the support services that allow for the day-to-day operation of the agency, including financial management, human resource management and security. Tara’s highly successful tenure with the Federal Government started when she applied for the WRP as a PhD student at Pennsylvania State University in 1995. Read the article.
DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT IN THE NEWS
Honoring Disability Leaders
Last month, the Viscardi Center recognized 10 individuals with Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards for their work to improve the lives of people with disabilities. First bestowed in 2013, these awards honor the spirit and legacy of the center’s founder, Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., himself a person with a disability committed to creating a more inclusive society. Among this year’s awardees were several individuals whose work focuses on increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities, both in the U.S. and abroad. Read about the award winners.
New OFCCP Directives
Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) – which enforces several federal laws that prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against people based on certain factors, including disability – issued three directives aimed at increasing accountability and efficiency. The first establishes an opinion letter process and enhances OFCCP’s Help Desk, the second outlines a process to resolve compliance evaluations at the earliest stage possible, and the third clarifies the agency’s compliance review procedures. Learn more about the directives.
Signature Employment Grants
The Kessler Foundation recently announced the opening of its Signature Employment Grant cycle for 2019. Awarded annually, these grants support new programs, demonstration projects or social ventures that reflect innovative approaches to improving employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities. Any organization recognized as tax-exempt may apply, for instance, nonprofit agencies; public or private schools; and public institutions, such as universities and governmental entities. The deadline for submission of grant concepts is February 22, 2019. Learn more about the grants.
Q: We are a small business with plans to hire in 2019. How can we ensure our recruitment efforts are inclusive of people with disabilities?
A: Congratulations on your plans for expansion – of both your business and workforce diversity. When it comes to doing business, a diverse team – including people with disabilities – means more perspectives on how to confront challenges and achieve success. Small businesses can use a variety of strategies to recruit and retain people with disabilities. A good place to learn about them is our Small Business and Disability: Steps to Success toolkit. Best wishes for a happy and productive 2019!
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
January 17, 2019, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET
Webinar: The Intersection of ADA, FMLA and Workers’ Compensation
This webinar, presented by TransCen Inc. and the Mid-Atlantic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center, will explore how and when the ADA, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Workers’ Compensation intersect and employers’ responsibilities in various related scenarios. The presenter will be Lauren Schipper, Regional Accommodation Manager for Amazon. Human resource (HR) professionals and others with HR responsibilities are encouraged to participate. Register for the January 17 webinar.
January 31, 201
Deadline: Disability Equality Index
The deadline to register for the 2019 Disability Equality Index® (DEI) is January 31. Sponsored by the American Association of People with Disabilities and EARN partner Disability:IN, this confidential benchmarking tool offers employers an opportunity to receive an objective rating on their disability inclusion policies and practices. Companies that score 80 percent or higher are named “DEI Best Places to Work.” Once registered, companies will receive access to the survey to begin their submission. Learn more about the DEI.
March 1, 2019
Deadline: Disability Employment Tracker
The deadline to complete the 2019 Disability Employment Tracker™ is March 1. Sponsored by the National Organization on Disability (NOD), this tool provides companies a confidential assessment of their disability inclusion policies and practices. Completion is required to be considered for DiversityInc’s annual list of Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities, and top scorers have the opportunity to earn an NOD “Leading Disability Employer Seal.” Learn more about the Tracker.
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) is a resource for employers seeking to recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified employees with disabilities. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy under a cooperative agreement with The Viscardi Center. For more information, visit AskEARN.org
Preparation of this material was funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, Grant No. [OD-26451-14-75-4-36]. This document does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.