Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion
March 4, 2015 EARN Newsletter
by Ask EARN Staff
March 4, 2015
Op-Ed Addresses Benefits Veterans with Disabilities Offer America’s Employers When military personnel transition to civilian employment, America’s businesses stand to benefit. That’s the simple but compelling message of a recent op-ed titled “Employers Can Benefit from Disabled Veterans’ Skills” penned by National Organization on Disability’s President Carol Glazer as part of Aetna’s Executive Perspective series. In the article, Glazer addresses the benefits of hiring veterans, including those with disabilities, and strategies employers can use to not only recruit them, but also ensure their success once onboard.
‘Dear Hiring Manager’ Letter Outlines Value Disability Adds in the Workplace In a recent Huffington Post blog post, Sarah Blahovec outlined the value people with disabilities offer employers—in cover letter form. “Dear Hiring Manager: All the Disability-Related Skills I Can’t Put on My Resume” challenges employers to rethink misconceptions they may have about people with disabilities and consider instead the skills they have honed managing their conditions. “I am not my disability, but my disability is a part of me. It causes complications in my life, but the ways in which I have overcome those obstacles should carry more weight than the obstacles themselves,” Blahovec writes.
OPM Director Discusses Progress on Disability Hiring in the Federal Workforce Katherine Archuleta, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, was a recent guest blogger on Disability.gov, using the platform to discuss progress on Executive Order 13548’s goal of hiring 100,000 people with disabilities into the federal workforce. Among other data, she noted that the latest report on the Executive Order revealed that the federal government has hired people with disabilities at a higher rate than at any time in the past 33 years. She also highlighted resources both people with disabilities and federal employers can use to help continue the positive trajectory.
U.S. Access Board Proposes Updated ICT Accessibility Requirements The U.S. Access Board recently released a proposed rule updating accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) in the federal sector under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The rule would also update guidelines for telecommunications equipment subject to Section 255 of the Communications Act. Public comments on the changes, which aim to address fundamental shifts and trends in the technology market, are due by May 19, 2015, and public hearings will be held in San Diego on March 5 and Washington, D.C., on March 11.
Employer Engagement Strategy White Paper Now Available In recent years, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) worked with the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania to develop a new strategy for engaging employers on the issue of disability employment. Key components of this strategy are market segmentation and using insight into human behavior to influence decision making. Recently, ODEP released the second of two white papers outlining this new strategy, which will provide the foundation for the agency’s employer-focused work going forward.
Florida Bill Proposes for State to Become Model Employer of People with Disabilities Earlier this month, Florida’s Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee passed a bill proposing to add people with disabilities to the populations the state takes action to hire, alongside women and minorities. To do this, the bill would require a variety of activities, such as internships for people with disabilities and training for state hiring officials. It would also require data collection and annual reporting. “This legislation will help establish our state as a model employer for people with unique abilities,” said Senate President Andy Gardiner, who helped champion the bill.
On March 5, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will launch a new initiative to ensure that the federal workforce reflects the diverse citizenry it serves, including people with disabilities. Called the Recruitment, Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) roadmap, this initiative will leverage data, social media and collaboration to build, develop and retain a purpose-driven federal workforce in the years to come.
This webinar, sponsored by the ADA National Network, will provide participants the opportunity to ask questions on any topic relevant to the U.S. Access Board’s activities, including those related to workplace accessibility, both physical and virtual, as well as transportation, emergency preparedness, state and local government services, and other areas of concern to people with disabilities. Participants are requested to submit questions in advance.
Best Practices for Complying with Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act
March 11, 2:00-3:30pm EST
This webcast is the final in the Job Accommodation Network’s (JAN) winter 2015 federal monthly webcast series. Speakers will include Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Jeanne Goldberg and JAN representatives, who will address current developments in Section 501 and practical tips for compliance. Participants do not need to have participated in the series’ earlier webcasts to participate in this one.
An innovative program at The Prospector Theater in Ridgefield, Conn., is helping people with disabilities gain work skills—and employers gain skilled workers. “They’re an untapped resource. They’re really excited about their jobs, and they’re really dedicated. They just need a workplace that’s accommodating and welcoming,” said Mike Santini, the theater’s director of development.
Opening the Doors of Small Business to People with Disabilities
When it comes to recruiting and retaining people with disabilities, small businesses may achieve success using different practices than their larger counterparts. Opening the Doors of Small Business to People with Disabilities: Critical Concerns and Strategies for Success addresses these differences within the context of five critical issues: establishing top management commitment, finding qualified employees, retention, costs, and business growth.
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) is a resource for employers seeking to recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified employees with disabilities. It is a service of the National Employer Policy, Research and Technical Assistance Center for Employers on the Employment of People with Disabilities (Employer TA Center), which 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.