Did you know October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month? The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. The NDEAM 2014 theme is “Expect. Employ. Empower.”
Do you have a policy for service animals in the workplace? What about parking with access to a wheelchair ramp? Do you even need these policies or would another employment practice be a better fit for your public entity?
As with any employer, local government employers should be aware of potential disability accommodations for all employees. Failure to make accommodations outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) could result in a major loss in finances or reputation. However, these types of losses are preventable and there are many resources available to keep risk managers up-to-date on the latest technologies and policies for disabled employees.
5 online resources for disability employment practices:
- U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP): leads NDEAM each year and creates updated resources to evaluate the necessary personnel policy and procedural updates which best suit your public entity. Access ODEP’s resources by clicking here: http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/index-2014.htm
- U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division provides access to ADA regulations for businesses and state and local government. Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act can be found at: http://www.ada.gov/
- Job Accommodation Network (JAN): JAN hosts free monthly webcasts on disability etiquette, assistive technologies, and management techniques regarding the American Disabilities Act (ADA). The October webcast “Creative assistive Technology Solutions in Minutes – For the Workplace” will be broadcast on 10/14/2014 at 2:00 PM EST. For more information about JAN visit: https://askjan.org/
- The Library of Congress celebrates NDEAM “by recognizing the contributions of Americans with disabilities to our society and workforce.” The Library also released their BARD Mobile application which provides direct access to audio books. Learn more about Americans with disabilities recognized by the Library of Congress and their mobile app here: http://www.loc.gov/disabilityawareness/
- Campaign for Disability Employment is a collaborative effort between several disability and business organizations that seek to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Within this website, risk managers can access a toolkit and ideas on how to implement ADA employment practices throughout the year: http://www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org/blog/index.php/ndeam/
***Bonus: Follow #DisabilityAwareness on Twitter for tweets from the disability employment resources listed above including quick updates, stats, and more!
Additional resources including an employment application sample may be found within our Public Entity Risk Management resources pages on the OneBeacon Government Risks website. Don’t forget to subscribe to the OBGR blog so that you will be first to know when we post a new industry tip! To subscribe simply input your email in the “subscribe by email” form on the right sidebar of this page.