Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN)
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) helps employers recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities. In addition to hosting webinars and other events, EARN also maintains a website, AskEARN.org, which provides information on: recruiting and hiring; retention and advancement; laws and regulations; creating an accessible and welcoming workplace; and federal contractor requirements. The website also offers a variety of resources to assist state and federal government agencies in making their workforces more inclusive and reflective of the citizens they serve. For regular updates, be sure to subscribe to EARN's bi-weekly newsletter and follow EARN on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Examples of major EARN activities and areas of focus include:
- Primer on Disability Inclusion
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 Primer on Disability Inclusion provides a starting point, outlining the what, why and how of creating a disability-inclusive workplace.
- Online Training Center
EARN's online Training Center offers webinars and other resources for employers interested in recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing people with disabilities. Browse the offerings to learn about employer responsibilities under various disability nondiscrimination and employment laws, interviewing and onboarding, and other topics related to disability inclusion.
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: 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.
- Fact Sheet on 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. "Do Ask, Do Tell: Encouraging Employees with Disabilities to Self-Identify" offers strategies businesses can use to encourage applicants and employees with disabilities to self-identify in order to meet recruitment and hiring goals.