Assistant Secretary Martinez Joins DOL Acting Secretary Harris at National Summit to Boost Education and Employment Outcomes for Americans with Disabilities

Assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy Kathy Martinez joined acting secretary of labor Seth Harris as he made remarks at the “Building a More Inclusive Workforce: A National Summit to Boost Education and Employment Outcomes for Americans with Disabilities” event on May 31 in Wilmington, DE. Speaking to a group of employers, advocates and activists, acting Secretary Harris addressed the need to work together to achieve better outcomes for students, workers and job seekers with disabilities. The summit was co-sponsored by the National Governor’s Association, the Council on Foundations, and the U.S. Business Leadership Network, and was attended by Sen. Tom Harkin and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell.

Add-Us-In Kansas City Participant Achieves Success

Add-Us-In Kansas City, a grantee of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), operates an award-winning, six-week program providing skills training, job search assistance and links to local employment opportunities for youth with disabilities. Recently, one of Add-Us-In’s participants, Brittany McCurley, took advantage of these career preparation options and now works as a ticket taker at a local musical venue, in addition to attending classes at a community college. The Add-Us-In initiative is designed to identify and develop strategies to increase employment opportunities within the small business community for individuals with disabilities. Specifically included within the small business community are those located in or serving underrepresented and historically excluded communities. There are Add-Us-In grantees in eight sites across the country.

Employer Assistance and Resource Network Publishes EARN|Exchange Blog on Employee Mental Health

To wrap up Mental Health Awareness Month in May, the EARN|Exchange blog has posted “Employers Can’t Afford to Ignore Mental Health,” an article by Clare Miller, director of the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, a program of the American Psychiatric Foundation. The article explores how companies are approaching prevention, employee education, behavioral health benefits, and disability management to support employees and improve mental health in the workplace.

Job Accommodation Network Releases Just-in-Time Training Module on Assistive Technology in the Workplace

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has released its fourth Just-in-Time training module, which explores assistive technology in the workplace. Assistive technology enables individuals with disabilities to access devices, equipment, and services so that they can perform job tasks and maintain employment. Employers and employees with disabilities can greatly benefit from exploring the use of assistive technology as an accommodation in the workplace. This 21 minute introductory training module and accompanying transcript will cover the basics of assistive technology, alternative input, products, and resources available for use in the workplace. This module can be used to train new accommodation specialists, disability managers, and others responsible for making accommodation decisions.

Perspectives to Host Webinar on the Reasonable Accommodation Process — June 19, 1:00-2:30 PM EDT

The federal Perspectives on Employment of Persons with Disabilities group will host a webinar to provide an in-depth look at a step-by-step guide used to process requests for reasonable accommodation. Attendees will learn that, in most instances when there is a breakdown in the accommodation process, it is because either the management official or the employee has skipped a step. Bill Haig, National Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will present the webinar. The event will be held on June 19, 1:00-2:30 PM EDT.

Disability Equality Index(SM) Advisory Committee Announced

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) have jointly announced the formation of the Disability Equality Index(SM) Advisory Committee, a diverse group of thought leaders who have assembled to share with AAPD and the USBLN® their knowledge, expertise, and vision to enhance disability inclusion policies and practices in the workplace. The Disability Equality Index(SM) is under development and will be a transparent national disability inclusion benchmark tool that will offer major employers an opportunity to receive an objective score on their disability inclusion policies and practices.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases Youth Employment Rate Numbers for May 2013

Employment data for youth with and without disabilities is obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.