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United Nations Working Group on Issues of Discrimination against Women in Law and Practice Visits Department of Labor

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor and other federal agencies met with the United Nations Working Group on Issues of Discrimination against Women in Law and Practice on November 30 in Washington, DC, to focus on preventing and combatting discrimination against women. The economic, family, and social issues affecting women in America were discussed, as well as the constitutional and legislative initiatives protecting women’s rights, promoting gender equality, and eliminating discriminatory practices, including discrimination against women with disabilities. Among the participating agencies was the Office of Disability Employment Policy.

Job Accommodation Network Posts Schedules for Monthly and Federal Webcast Series

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) presents free monthly Webcasts on a variety of topics, as well as a three-month Federal Employer Winter Webcast Series. The monthly webcasts are an opportunity to provide live, in-service training for management and employees on disability etiquette, assistive technologies, management techniques, the latest on accommodations, and the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. These Webcasts begin at 2:00 PM EST and are one hour long. The Federal Employer Winter Webcast Series, which will run in January, February, and March 2016, focuses on topics of special interest to federal employers. Federal Webcasts begin at 2:00 PM EST and are 90 minutes long.

New EARN Policy Brief Translates NPRM on Inclusive Apprenticeships

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on increasing the representation of people with disabilities and other historically under-represented groups in apprenticeship programs. To assist employers and other stakeholders in understanding the proposed changes, the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) prepared a policy brief synopsizing the key provisions in the NPRM applicable to all protected groups. This policy brief also provides a summary of the NPRM from a disability perspective. Employers are encouraged to review the policy brief and comment on the NPRM by January 5, 2016.

LEAD Center Publishes Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability

The LEAD Center’s Policy Update – Employment, Health Care and Disability is a monthly update focusing on the intersection of disability, employment, and health care policy. It provides policymakers, disability service professionals, individuals with disabilities, and their families with information about relevant policy developments regarding Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and related topics, with a focus on improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. The November/December 2015 update features stories on Open Enrollment for 2016 coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, an FY2016 budget deal that would prevent double-digit premium increases for many Medicaid and SSDI beneficiaries, an EEOC Notice of Proposed Rule Making that would amend Title II of the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act, and more.

Business Strategies that Work: Accompanying Research and Resource Compendium

A supplement to “Business Strategies that Work: A Framework for Disability Inclusion”, this compendium provides a review of recent literature (2011-2014) regarding the recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of people with disabilities and a selective list of technical assistance materials to aid employers in implementing or enhancing disability inclusion initiatives.

New Publications on Harassment in the Workplace Released by the Job Accommodation Network

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has released two new Effective Accommodation Practices Series publications on harassment in the workplace. Workplace harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. The JAN publication “Employees Experiencing Workplace Harassment” provides advice and resources for employees who feel they have been harassed. “Addressing Workplace Harassment: Employer’s Responsibilities” focuses on steps that employers should take when harassment issues arise in the workplace.

“Getting to Work” Training Curriculum for HIV/AIDS Service Providers

“Getting to Work: A Training Curriculum for HIV/AIDS Service Providers and Housing Providers” is a multi-media curriculum that educates service providers about proven strategies for incorporating employment into the HIV/AIDS service menu. This three-module online training program was developed collaboratively by the Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of HIV/AIDS Housing. It is being highlighted in honor of World AIDS Day which was observed on December 1.

Latest EARN Newsletter Now Available

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) has issued its November 25 newsletter, featuring information on the “Small Business & Disability Employment: Steps to Success” toolkit and webinar, the “Getting Down to Business” pilot program for business associations, the “At Your Service” customer service training video, and more.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Luis’ Long Road to the 7th Grade

In observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on December 3, Jessica Creighton, International Relations Officer with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB), posted a blog that tells the story of Luis, a student with autism who lives in Ecuador, and his journey back to the classroom. ILAB funds a project called EducaFuturo, which delivers targeted, direct services to vulnerable communities in Panama and Ecuador and serves students with disabilities like Luis who otherwise might fall into child labor. Another ILAB-funded project in Panama and Ecuador takes the approach of working with government agencies to weave disability issues into child labor eradication efforts. “At the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, we recognize that ending child labor means addressing issues like disability,” noted Creighton.

EEOC Issues Publications on the Rights of Job Applicants and Employees Who Have HIV Infection

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued two documents addressing workplace rights for individuals with HIV infection under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), including the right to be free from employment discrimination and harassment, and the right to reasonable accommodations in the workplace. The publication “Living with HIV Infection: Your Legal Rights in the Workplace Under the ADA” explains that applicants and employees are protected from employment discrimination and harassment based on HIV infection, and that individuals with HIV infection have a right to reasonable accommodations at work. The document “Helping Patients with HIV Infection Who Need Accommodations at Work” informs doctors that patients with HIV infection may be able to get reasonable accommodations that help them to stay productive and employed, and provides them with instructions on how to support requests for accommodation with medical documentation.

Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program Mobile App Provides Assistive Technology Resources

The Department of Defense’s Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) has released a free app now available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play. The app provides information about the services and resources that CAP offers to federal employees and service members who need assistive technology and other accommodations to perform their jobs successfully. Features include news and tips on the latest assistive technology, the ability to download CAP event presentations and materials, videos to learn about assistive technology, easy ways to contact CAP, and more. For those who are not federal employees or service members, the CAP app is a valuable starting place to learn more about assistive technology for use on the job.