According to a National Survey of Consumer Attitudes towards Companies that Hire People with Disabilities, 92% of the American public view companies that hire people with disabilities more favorably than those that do not. And, 87% of the public would prefer to give their business to companies that hire people with disabilities. Studies such as this one are very valuable in making the business case to employers as to why employers should hire people with disabilities. What are some of the facts, statistics, or things you present to employers to help them understand the benefits of hiring workers with disabilities? Share your information and experiences in making a return on investment (ROI) case for hiring disabled workers here!
The primary focus of the survey was to determine how knowledgeable HR professionals are regarding various governmental incentives for hiring individuals with disabilities. In addition, the survey sought to find out how many companies actually take advantage of employer incentives and who in companies make decisions about using them. A secondary focus of the survey was to assess HR professionals’ attitudes and opinions regarding the impact of the ADA on the employment of individuals with disabilities; determine the level of effort companies expend in recruiting individuals with disabilities; and gain insight into senior managements' personal experiences with disabilities. Furthermore, the survey sought the opinions of HR professionals on how best to improve the employment of individuals with disabilities
People with disabilities can work and want to work. Given the growing body of evidence that demonstrates that workers with disabilities meet or exceed the job performance of co-workers without disabilities, the continuing high unemployment rate and low labor force participation rate of people with disabilities deprive the nation of a valuable pool of talent. Increasing the employment of people with disabilities produces significant benefits to the economy, the nation, and people with disabilities themselves.
“Diversity” may often be associated solely with individuals who represent multi-cultural minority groups. However, it is representative of individuals who exhibit a myriad of unique and differing attributes, characteristics and life experiences. Diversity is evident in aspects of race, culture, religion, age, language, gender, disabilities, sexual orientation, class and any traits which make us different from one another. Along with the nation’s growing diversity is a rise in globalization, in which communities, cultures and economies around the world have become more interconnected through the expansion of technology, communication and trade. As a result, all types of associations and the public sector must aim for the highest quality and most effective workforce to compete in a global marketplace.
This webinar is hosted as a National Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) and will be held on Wednesday, February 24, 2015, from 3:00 to 4:30 PM, EST. The webinar will focus on Social Security Programs and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 503 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against people with disabilities and requires them to take action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain more people with disabilities. The presentation includes: -- What Section 503 changes mean for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries; -- Tips for self-identification during the application and hiring process; -- Tips on how to demonstrate your skills and abilities at a virtual job fair. To register for this webinar, please click on View Page Now or go to: https://www.chooseworkttw.net/webinar/details
The National Organization on Disability (NOD) has released it's Disability Employment Tracker™ as a tool for companies to do a free and confidential online assessment that provides critical analysis of four aspects of a company’s disability employment practices, with an optional assessment of veteran employment practices. The four areas include: -- Climate & Culture -- Employment Lifecycle -- Tracking & Measurement -- Results & Opportunities The Disability Employment Tracker includes benchmarking scores relative to other companies. Most importantly, participating companies will benefit from extensive information on leading practices. To access this resource, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.nod.org/services/tracker.html
Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) has released information on accommodation enhancements and tools that employers can utilize for their employees with disabilities. All employees need the right tools and work environment to effectively perform their jobs. Similarly, people with disabilities may need workplace adjustments, or accommodations, to maximize their productivity. Having a clear process for requesting and providing accommodations is an easy step small businesses can take to send a clear signal about their commitment to a disability-inclusive workforce. Whether they realize it or not, accommodations are something most employers provide—to employees both with and without disabilities—every day. They span the tangible, such as certain technologies or special chairs or desks, to the non-tangible, such as a flexible schedule or the opportunity to telecommute. Regardless, most accommodations are no or low cost, while yielding considerable direct and indirect benefits through increased retention and productivity. To access more information on approaches employers can utilize, please click on View Page Now.
US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, conducted this review to provides practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a transparent, systematic assessment of the quality of research evidence supporting approaches to improve the employment-related outcomes of low-income individuals. To access this HHS study, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://employmentstrategies.acf.hhs.gov/
This webinar is sponsored by Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) and will be held on Thursday, February 18, from 3:00-4:30 PM ET. In recent years, corporate America has undergone significant shifts in how it talks about disability and employment, with leading companies now actively incorporating it into their workforce diversity and inclusion goals. In 2014, updates to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act added further impetus to these shifts by strengthening federal contractors' responsibilities to take affirmative action to recruit and retain qualified people with disabilities. One major component of these updates is the requirement that federal contractors invite applicants and employees to voluntarily self-identify as people with disabilities. This webinar will address strategies for achieving disability inclusion goals by encouraging employees to understand the value of self-identifying. It is targeted at federal contractors and other companies interested in fostering a disability-inclusive work culture. To register for this webinar, please click on View Page Now.
On December 16, 2015, the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) entered into an agreement with the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor concerning Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Section 14(c) permits employers to pay wages less than the federal minimum wage, after receipt of a certificate from the Department of Labor, to individuals whose earning or productive capacity is impacted by a physical or mental disability for the work that is to be performed. NDRN, made up of the nationwide network of Protection and Advocacy agencies, has for years investigated instances of abuse and exploitation of workers with disabilities by employers, including employers who hold 14(c) certificates. The agreement demonstrates the commitment of the WHD, NDRN and P&A agencies to protect the rights of workers with disabilities. The agreement: -- Improves the sharing of information between NDRN, the P&As and the Wage and Hour Division on potential violations of subminimum wage certificates by employers; -- Utilizes the resources, knowledge, and expertise of the P&As on disability issues in each particular jurisdiction, such as locations of suspected wage and hour violations. -- Supports exchanging information about the laws and regulations of common concern to NDRN, the P&As, and the Wage and Hour Division. To view the full press release, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.ndrn.org/en/media/releases/577-press-release-dol-agreement.html
In December 2015, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the LEAD Center issued three Employment First Technical Briefs for individuals and organizations working to implement Employment First in their state, region or agency. The Briefs include the followings: Technical Brief #1: Connecting the Dots: Using Federal Policy to Promote Employment First Systems-Change Efforts, provides a robust summary and overview of public policy, regulations, rules and informational bulletins that support employment outcomes and employment first for youth and adults with disabilities. Technical Brief #2: Federal Legal Framework that Supports Competitive, Integrated Employment Outcomes of Youth and Adults with Significant Disabilities, “highlights various legal actions by Federal enforcement agencies that have significant implications for how states prioritize and deliver services for individuals with disabilities. Technical Brief #3: Criteria for Performance Excellence in Employment First State Systems Change & Provider Transformation, provides guidance to states that are involved in systems change efforts aimed at improving competitive, integrated employment outcomes of youth and adults with disabilities. To access more information on these briefs, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.leadcenter.org/resource-center/publication/employment-first-technical-briefs
For those receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), there are work supports that can help cover the costs of training, accommodations, transportation and help build assets that support goals towards working and living independently in the community. An Employment Network can assist with employment supports, and connect eligible beneficiaries to a certified work incentive benefits advisor who can assist in leveraging applicable work incentives, as well as help people manage their benefits while working. To find a provider click on View Page Now or go to: : http://www.chooseworkttw.net/.
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) has issued Disability Etiquette in honor of National Disability Awareness Month. The norms for being courteous and respectful to people with disabilities, including co-workers, are generally the same as those for being courteous and respectful to all people. National Disability Employment Awareness Month is an opportune time to ensure employees, especially those who may be new to an organization, understand this. To help in doing so, the Employer Assistance and Resource Network offers a primer, including tips for communicating with people with different types of disabilities. To access this resource, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://askearn.org/refdesk/Inclusive_Workplaces/Etiquette
This webinar is hosted by the Employer Assistance and Resource Network and will be held on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 from 2:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern Time. In this webinar, participants will learn about a wide range of "stay at work" and "return to work" strategies employers can use to help valued employees stay at work or return to work following the onset of illness or disability. These strategies can reduce workers' compensation costs and health-related absences while increasing productivity and retaining essential human capital. To register for this webinar, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://askearn.org/m-events.cfm?show=day&CURRENTDATE=10%2027%202015
$12.6 Million in Grants Awarded to Help Improve Outcomes of Individuals with Disabilities in Vocational Rehabilitation and Workforce Development On October 9, 2015, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) announced more than $12.6 million in grants in multiple project areas to help improve the outcomes of individuals with disabilities—from cradle through career. The investments are aimed at promoting inclusion, equity and opportunity for individuals with disabilities to help ensure their economic self-sufficiency, independent living and full community participation. They include awards to: -- Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) to Mississippi State University; -- American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) to Northern Arizona University; -- Career Pathway Projects for Individuals with Disabilities to Georgia VRA, Nebraska Department of Education, Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services, and Kentucky Office for the Blind. -- TA Center for VRA Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance to Stout, University of Wisconsin; -- VRA Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities to Southern University; -- Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center to San Diego State University; -- VRA TA Center - Youth with Disabilities to Institute for Educational Leadership. To learn more about these grant awards, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/126-million-grants-awarded-help-improve-outcomes-individuals-disabilities-vocational-rehabilitation-and-workforce-development
The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) created a new “Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation” pocket card. The pocket card helps applicants, employees and other interested parties understand the process for requesting a reasonable accommodation. The card uses simple language and answers these four common questions about seeking a reasonable accommodation: -- What is a reasonable accommodation? -- How do I request a reasonable accommodation? -- What do I need to tell my employer? -- What happens after the request is made? The pocket card is a part of OFCCP’s continuing outreach and education efforts to stakeholders regarding their rights under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. More information and technical assistance tools on Section 503 is available on OFCCP’s Web site at (www.dol.gov/ofccp). To access the Pocket Card, please click on View Page Now.
The Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), has released this video encouraging individuals with disabilities to voluntarily self-identify. The video explains why companies doing business with the federal government ask job applicants and employees to voluntarily self-identify if they have a disability, and the important role that self-identifying plays in ensuring equal employment opportunity for people with disabilities. OFCCP, as part of its ongoing efforts to support greater self-identification by individuals with disabilities, created this video to explain why voluntary self-identification is a good thing. Contractors may wish to download and post this video on their Intranet or company Web sites to share with their employees and job applicants who may be reluctant to self-identify, or who may not understand why they are being asked to self-identify. Disability organizations and community groups may also wish to share the video with their members to encourage them to voluntarily self-identify when invited to do so by an employer that is a federal contractor. To view this video, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/SelfIdVideo.html
Thi Policy Forum and Live Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, October 22, 2015 from 11:45 a.m.–1:30 p.m. EST, and sponsored by the Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Policy Collaborative and the Center for Studying Disability Policy at Mathematical Policy Research. Each year, millions of workers in the United States lose their jobs or leave the workforce after their ability to work has been disrupted by a medical condition. Keeping these workers in the labor force could help them maintain their standard of living; stay productive; and avoid dependency on Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicare, and other federal programs. As part of the Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Policy Collaborative—funded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy—three expert-led policy workgroups have developed actionable policy recommendations to help workers keep their jobs if they experience a potentially career-ending medical condition. At this forum, the leaders of each workgroup will share their insights and address the central question: How can we reduce the number of workers who eventually lose their jobs due to a medical condition? To register for the Policy Forum or Live Webinar, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/events/csdp-forum-october-2015-promoting-stay-at-work?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CSDP%20Forum%20Reminder%2010%2022%2015%20(2)&utm_content=&spMailingID=12659472&spUserID=Njc2ODkyNzQ1MTcS1&spJobID=640873925&spReportId=NjQwODczOTI1S0
U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy has announced the availability 5 more states to participate in an Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program with applications due October 12, 2015. The Office of Disability Employment Policy started the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP), a cross-disability, cross-systems change initiative, to assist states in aligning their efforts to support individuals with disabilities toward an Employment First approach. EFSLMP provides a platform for multi-disciplinary state teams to focus on implementing the Employment First approach with fidelity through the alignment of policies, coordination of resources, and updating of service delivery models to facilitate increased integrated employment options for people with the most significant disabilities. Through an application process, states have an opportunity to become an EFSLMP Core State. In FY 2015, 15 states were awarded core state funding. In FY 2016, the existing 15 states will receive another year of core state funding, and up to five new states will be funded. To learn more about application requirements, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/EmploymentFirst.htm
The US Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has released a new interactive tool to help federal contractors assess their compliance with the affirmative action program (AAP) requirements of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Checklist for Compliance with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was developed by OFCCP in coordination with the US Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy. While contractors are not required to use it (and using it doesn't ensure compliance), doing so may prove beneficial in enhancing awareness of AAP obligations and flagging potential problem areas in need of correction. To access this interactive tool on Section 503, please click on View Page Now or go to: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/ChecklistforCompliancewithSection503_JRF_QA_508c.pdf