The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) helps employers, human resources professionals, and diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) staff find the resources they need to recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities. EARN’s website, AskEARN.org, offers a variety of resources to assist employers, including state and federal government agencies, in making their workforces more inclusive and reflective of the citizens they serve and meeting their DEIA goals. For regular updates, be sure to subscribe to EARN's monthly newsletter and follow EARN on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Examples of major EARN activities and areas of focus include:
- Why Workplace Disability Inclusion Matters
People with disabilities can offer employers a competitive edge, helping diversify and strengthen workplaces through varied perspectives on how to confront challenges and get the job done. For those new to the issue, EARN's “Disability Inclusion in the Workplace: Why It Matters webpage outlines the what, why and how of creating a disability-inclusive workplace.
- Dinah Cohen Learning Center
EARN's online Dinah Cohen Learning Center offers webinars and other resources for employers interested in recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing people with disabilities. Browse the training courses and other resources to learn about employer responsibilities under various disability nondiscrimination and employment laws, interviewing and onboarding, and other topics related to disability inclusion.
- Inclusion@Work Framework
Developed with input from a range of employers with exemplary track records in disability employment, this framework outlines seven core components of a disability-inclusive workplace, along with a menu of strategies for achieving them.
- Federal Government Employment — Section 501 "InfoCenter"
EARN's Section 501 "InfoCenter" provides information to help federal agencies understand the updates to Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act issued in January 2017. Among other requirements, these updates say federal agencies must adopt employment goals for individuals with disabilities (with sub-goals for individuals with targeted disabilities) and provide personal assistance services to certain employees who need them because of a disability.
- Small Business & Disability Employment: Steps to Success
When it comes to ensuring a workplace inclusive of the skills and talents of people with disabilities, not all businesses, especially small businesses, may know where to start. This EARN resource provides a path, outlining effective strategies for recruiting and retaining qualified people with disabilities, as well as ways business associations can help their members understand the value disability diversity adds to their workplaces and communities.
- Self-Identification of Disability
In 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor made changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that require federal contractors and subcontracts to take affirmative action to hire people with disabilities. One way federal contractors can collect information about the number of people with disabilities they employ is through self-identification. EARN’s “Encouraging Self-Identification” webpage offers strategies businesses can use to encourage applicants and employees with disabilities to self-identify in order to meet recruitment and hiring goals.
- Neurodiversity in the Workplace
This EARN resource explains neurodiversity in the workplace context, addressing how it can benefit employers and employees alike, common accommodations for employees with autism and other neurocognitive differences, and related hiring initiatives and partnerships implemented by a range of companies.