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Job Accommodation Network (JAN) ENews: Volume 16, Issue 1, First Quarter, 2018

ENews: Volume 16, Issue 1, First Quarter, 2018

The JAN E-News is a quarterly online newsletter. Its purpose is to keep subscribers informed about low-cost and innovative accommodation approaches; the latest trends in assistive technologies; announcements of upcoming JAN presentations, media events, trainings, and Webcasts; and legislative and policy updates promoting the employment success of people with disabilities.

An e-mail announcement is sent to an opt-in list when a new issue is available. Please use the links at the end of this document to subscribe or unsubscribe.

Index

  1. The Evolution of Human Resources Management and Disability
  2. Long-Term Leave and the ADA after Severson
  3. Job Coaches and Support People for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
  4. Fear or Phobia? What is the Difference? Why Does it Matter at Work?
  5. One Man’s Trash: Practical Solutions for Workplace Clutter
  6. Winter Weather Woes? Accommodations Can Help!
  7. JAN Blog Growing
  8. JAN Releases New Resources
  9. E-vents
  10. JAN Exhibit and Training Schedule
  11. Subscribe to JAN Newsletter

1 – The Evolution of Human Resources Management and Disability

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other employment laws were born from as far back as colonization. As the country became filled with settlers who left England as prisoners, servants, slaves, and those seeking religious freedom, the foundations of the United States were built on the embers of artisanship. Artisans were those who came with trade expertise, but many also had disabilities. If you were an expert artisan and could work with your own accommodations, you were in high demand. If you couldn’t, you struggled to find employment. Agriculture, construction, and iron work were just a few. Most everyone was an independent worker, and once guilds took hold it became clear that when a group of individuals worked together to find common ground, changes would be made.

Merchant and craft guilds, at this time, were created to fight for fair compensation and trade. However, they were also charged with touting issues of social importance. They were there to take care of people with disabilities and workers who were injured or sick. Although antiquated from our perspective, this was the foundation for our current human resources (HR) system. We pushed through to the 1900s with terrible conditions as the Industrial Revolution created more people with severe injuries and seemed to leave those with disabilities behind even further.

By the late 20th century, a paradigm change was afloat. The birth of the personnel department took hold. Working conditions were improving because of the popularity of unionization. As unions pushed for better benefits and working conditions, it became clear that employers were faced with making changes to keep skilled workers. These changes included accommodations for individuals with disabilities and culminated with the passage of the ADA. Personnel departments were managing another piece of legislation and trying to balance productivity with compliance. The goal was to keep productive workers, and workplace accommodations did just that.

The beginning of the 21st century brought about a workplace that was global in nature. New technologies forced employers to demand a new skillset of workers, find ways to motivate their creativity, and use unique benefits to retain them. Its human resources were now the most important piece of a workplace, and workplace accommodations began to come in all shapes and sizes:

  • A mechanic, who used hearing aids, was having problems communicating with his co-workers and during trainings because of hearing loss.  As a reasonable accommodation, the employee requested TTY software and a mini-iPad, which the employer provided. The employee was very happy with the accommodation, stating that it improved his ability to communicate.  The employer stated that it improved interactions with co-workers and the public. Total cost was $300.
  • A quality control manager had trouble sitting for long periods of time due to chronic pain. As a reasonable accommodation, the employer purchased a sit/stand workstation. The employer stated that the accommodation allowed the employee to increase her productivity. Total cost was $500.

Stay in tune with JAN to learn more about what works and doesn’t for you and your workplace, how workplace accommodation improve productivity, how to retain experienced workers, and how to return workers after injury. It’s just another step in the evolution of what we now know as HR.

– Beth Loy, Ph.D., Principal Consultant

2 – Long-Term Leave and the ADA after Severson

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has long held the position that employers must consider providing leave as a reasonable accommodation, if it does not create an undue hardship. This position is made clear in the agency’s 2002 enforcement guidance on Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and more recently in their May 2016 resource document, Employer-Provided Leave and the ADA. The objective of providing leave as an accommodation is to enable employees with disabilities to take job-protected time off to manage their medical impairments and ultimately return to work to perform essential job duties. There is no pre-determined duration of leave time that is required to be granted under the ADA because the ADA is not a leave law.

JAN receives many contacts from employers who understand that leave is an accommodation that must be considered, but who are faced with situations involving employees who have already taken several months of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a similar state leave law, or an employer’s leave policy, and still cannot return to work. According to EEOC, employers must consider extending leave beyond the maximum leave allowed by leave laws, and employer leave policies, when additional leave is needed due to a disability-related reason, and when an undue hardship will not result. In recent years, the EEOC has taken the position that inflexible leave policies that set a firm time limit for employees to be out on leave violate the ADA. As a result, a growing number of employers who have not engaged in the interactive process to determine if it is reasonable to extend leave beyond FMLA, or modify an inflexible leave policy to continue leave as a reasonable accommodation, have been met with a discrimination claim from EEOC.

Understanding Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc.

While the EEOC deems that extending leave can be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, some courts disagree. The federal appeals court in the 7th Circuit is a noteworthy example. After the decision in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., No. 15-3754 (7th Cir. Sept. 20, 2017), ADA-related long-term leave requests are likely to be analyzed more conservatively by employers in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Severson, a fabricator of retail display fixtures, was terminated after exhausting his FMLA entitlement and requesting a three month extension of leave as an accommodation to recover from back surgery. Heartland denied the request and encouraged Severson to reapply when he could work. The court awarded summary judgement to Heartland, asserting that an extended leave of absence is not a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

Courts across the country have ruled on leave-related ADA issues in the past, many leaving extended leave in the realm of possible reasonable accommodations, but the 7th Circuit in Severson drew the line by deciding that, “A multimonth leave of absence is beyond the scope of a reasonable accommodation under the ADA” (Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft Inc., 7th Cir., Sept. 20, 2017). This decision was made on the basis that a reasonable accommodation must allow an employee to work. In the 7th Circuit’s opinion, a medical leave of absence spanning multiple months does not permit an employee to perform the essential functions of the job – ultimately rendering the employee unqualified. The court interpreted the request for extended leave to be an open-ended extension of the FMLA.

The Impact of the Severson Decision

Will the Severson decision impact how employers analyze requests for long-term leave under the ADA? The short answer is yes, the decision will likely influence leave-related ADA decisions made by employers in the 7th Circuit – IL, IN, and WI. However, keep in-mind, the Severson ruling did not define what constitutes an “extended medical leave.” While employers in this Circuit are advised by the court that a long-term leave request is not a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, the absence of parameters regarding what constitutes a long-term leave still leaves this type of accommodation request open to case-by-case analysis. The ruling does not mean that employers can simply deny extended leave requests without analyzing if the employee is a qualified individual with a disability and if the leave will pose a hardship.

Employers outside of the 7th Circuit should be careful not to over-extend this ruling because other Circuits have ruled in opposition to Severson, generally following the EEOC guidance on leave and the ADA. The Severson holding does not place limitations on extended leave requests as accommodation under the ADA in jurisdictions outside of the 7th Circuit. Also, some state and local disability discrimination and accommodation laws may require employers to consider long-term leave requests. The Court did not preclude intermittent time off or short leaves of absence of a few days or weeks as being reasonable. What this means for employers outside the 7th Circuit – continue to individually analyze requests for long-term leave as an ADA accommodation. Engage in the interactive process to gather information and make an informed decision about the reasonableness of each leave request.

Tips for Analyzing Leave Requests

  • Analyze all accommodation requests for extended leave individually. Remember, the EEOC opposes the Severson decision and will not likely back down from its position that a long-term medical leave should qualify as a reasonable accommodation, under certain circumstances. When the leave is of a definite, time-limited duration, is requested in advance, and will enable the employee to perform essential job functions upon return to work, the accommodation may be required under ADA, barring undue hardship.
  • Know the laws that apply in the jurisdictions in which you operate. Be informed about state and local laws governing leave and accommodation that may require long-term leave to be granted to qualified employees, as well as court rulings in your Circuit that can influence reasonable accommodation decisions under the ADA. Employers may address leave-related requests by applying various leave programs, including FMLA, Workers’ Compensation, employer leave policies, state and local leave requirements, and ADA.
  • Gather specifics about the need for leave. After receiving a request for leave, gather information about the frequency of the need for leave (e.g., if intermittent), the expected duration of the need for leave (e.g., a few days, weeks, months), and the anticipated date of return to work. An anticipated date of return that establishes a definite, time-limited duration, although sometimes provisional, is particularly important and will assist the employer in analyzing if the leave request is reasonable.
  • Factually assess undue hardship. It is useful to accurately and objectively document the impact of an employee’s absence on business operations, leaving feelings out of the analysis. It’s one thing to say that employee morale is low because Kenny hasn’t been to work in twelve weeks, but employee morale doesn’t factor in when assessing undue hardship. On the other hand, if Eric, Kyle, and Maria each have to repeatedly work ten hours or more of overtime each week Kenny is absent to meet production demands, then this is a fact to consider. For more information about undue hardship and leave, see Employer-Provided Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

JAN receives daily questions related to leave and the ADA. Even with EEOC guidance, this remains a complex reasonable accommodation issue. If you have questions about this topic, please contact JAN to speak with a consultant.

– Tracie DeFreitas, M.S., CLMS, Lead Consultant, ADA Specialist

3 – Job Coaches and Support People for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

As the lead consultant and a member of the cognitive / neurological team here at JAN, I feel it is time to address a few issues that seem to keep resurfacing about the role of a support person and/or a job coach in general, but particularly when it comes to individuals with intellectual disabilities. Consultants at JAN take calls with questions about accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) from individuals with disabilities, their family members, vocational rehabilitation professionals, job coaches themselves, and employers. Many of those questions involve job coaches and support persons.

The topic that keeps coming up is one that employers describe as confidential interactions, meetings, and evaluations where a support person or job coach is actually prohibited from assisting an employee with a disability. My first question is always going to be “Why?.”

If the employees themselves wish to have the support of another person in any type of employment meeting, it should be up to them whether they want any confidential information relayed to the external support person accompanying them. When an employee with a disability invites a support person to a personal meeting, it seems to go without saying that the support person will likely encounter some type of confidential or personal information about the employee. If an employer isn’t sure the employee understands the nature of the meeting and the type of information that will be revealed, then the employer can make it clear to the employee what topics will be discussed and determine if the employee still wants an external support person present for those meetings. Shouldn’t the revelation or disclosure of personal and/or confidential information about the employee be at the employee’s discretion?

I often wonder if the confidential information the employer refers to concerns the employer and not the employee. Could the employer truly have confidential or secret information that would prohibit an external support person from attending an employee meeting? Are there state secrets or special recipes at stake? Probably not. When employers refuse to allow a support person into a meeting as an accommodation that could assist the employee, it usually sends out a red flag. If everything is on the up and up, what harm does the support person actually present?

So let’s look at what a support person would actually do to assist the employee.  There are a myriad of valid reasons a person with an intellectual disability may need help in the form of a job coach or a support person.  Assistance in note-taking may be needed if concentration and/or memory are affected by the employee’s disability. If fatigue and/or cognitive impairments are an issue, a support person can help the employee focus on the purpose of the meeting and may offer actual assistance in following a dialog and remembering the concerns to be addressed.

Individuals who have difficulty managing emotions, stress, or anxiety may find a support person comforting, encouraging, and a necessary assistance in situations that may exacerbate stress and discomfort. In workplace situations where there might already be issues of strife and disagreement, an employee may feel extremely stressed about meeting with an employer. Bringing a support person to a meeting may help ease apprehension and allow for a more productive interactive meeting. Often times a person the employee is familiar and/or comfortable with can provide moral support when facing an employer in an interactive accommodation meeting, a performance evaluation, or disciplinary counseling. Sometimes during the above mentioned types of meetings, there can be several people present on the employer’s side. Just having a support person present can alleviate feelings of being alone, outnumbered, overwhelmed, and/or nervous.

Employees with intellectual disabilities may need to bring someone with them to a performance evaluation or disciplinary meeting to help ask questions about the purpose of the meeting, to help the employee understand the evaluation, and to explain the job evaluation results. Employers who are about to take disciplinary action against an employee with intellectual disabilities will want to make sure that the employee fully understands the purpose of the meeting and any consequences that may come from the performance or conduct issues. Having a support person who knows the employee and his/her abilities may be an asset in communicating the information to the employee and assisting in the comprehension of that information (EEOC, 2004).

Most professionals coming into a workplace as a job coach will be trained in confidentiality. If not, or if the support person designated by the employee is a friend or family member, the employer can have a brief “training” session in order to make sure the support person understands the nature of the information that will be disclosed during the meeting and the limitations placed upon them in regards to repeating or revealing any of the information discussed behind closed doors.

If an employer truly does have confidential information that cannot be trusted to anyone outside of the workplace, an onsite mentor may be a great substitute for a job coach / support person. There would be the same concerns for the employee’s information being kept confidential, but the exclusive details the employer wouldn’t want an outsider privy to should remain safe and private.

Consider the examples below of how a support person / job coach can be of beneficial assistance in the workplace:

  • Jack has broken several conduct rules in his workplace. His supervisor determines that Jack may need assistance when they sit down to talk about these issues. The supervisor knows that Jack is unable to live independently and resides with his brother. He asks Jack if he would like for his brother to come in with him for the meeting.
  • Cecily was supported by a job coach when she first started working in a large grocery store. After about a year of successful employment, Cecily’s position has changed up a bit. She is now having difficulty grasping some of the new job tasks. She asks her employer to allow her job coach to return temporarily to meet with them and help her learn these new tasks.
  • John works in a fast food restaurant, He is having trouble initiating tasks on his own and is often found loitering between specifically assigned tasks. When the employer tells him that they are calling him into a meeting to discuss their displeasure with him, John feels panicked. He tells the manager that if his father could come to the meeting, he could offer John both moral support and help with solutions.
  • Xavier asked his manager if his previous job coach could come in to help him explain his medical condition, how it has recently worsened, and how it affects his job. His manager welcomed the opportunity to better understand Xavier’s needs in the workplace.
    With forethought and preparation, an employer who allows the presence of a job coach or a support person to assist an employee with an intellectual disability should find more purpose and productivity not only from meetings, but also from the employee’s job tasks. It seems like a win-win for all, does it not?

Additional Resources:

– Melanie Whetzel, M.A., CBIS, Lead Consultant, Cognitive/Neurological Team

4 – Fear or Phobia? What is the difference? Why does it matter at work?

Imagine you live in New York City and work for a company that is being relocated to a different building. The move is coming up and, as the supervisor, one of your employees approaches you to ask for an accommodation after hearing the news that the department will be assigned to the 12th floor. The employee states that he has a phobia of heights and is concerned about his ability to work that high up in the building. Suddenly you are thinking, “Wait, I have a fear of heights. I would never ride a Ferris wheel, but I live on the top floor of my apartment complex. What is the difference?”

According to the Mayo Clinic, a specific phobia is “an intense, persistent fear of a specific object or situation that’s out of proportion to the actual risk.” The fear or anxiety triggers an immediate response that is stronger than the actual danger involved. Many types of phobias exist and it is not uncommon for someone to have multiple phobias or a phobia in addition to another type of anxiety disorder. You might be familiar with some of the terms such as claustrophobia, the fear of being confined to a space, or in the above example acrophobia, the fear of heights.

When it comes to the difference between a fear and a phobia, one key factor might be the term persistent. We all experience fear and may even encounter times of extreme fear during our lifetime. However, a phobia is a persistent fear that elicits the same reaction when the person encounters the trigger. If someone has a specific phobia they might do anything it takes to avoid encountering the object or situation even if that means isolating themselves or giving up something that they love. If someone has a specific phobia it can affect them in all aspects of life, including the workplace.

When it comes to workplace situations, there may be a need to consider reasonable accommodations to help someone who is having difficulty due to a phobia. We commonly receive questions here at JAN as to whether a person with a phobia is covered by the ADA. This is a tough question because there is no direct answer. In fact, when it comes to any disability or medical condition there is not a yes or no response. Under the ADA, there is no set list of disabilities or medical conditions. Instead, it is about determining whether a specific person meets the ADA’s definition of disability, which is “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities”.

If an employee were to approach an employer about a phobia, the employer would want to acknowledge the request and engage in the interactive process, not brush it off or assume that because everyone has something they are afraid of there is no need to consider it. The employer would, however, be able to ask for some medical documentation to help support the need for accommodation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that an employer may ask for limited medical documentation any time that a condition is not known or obvious. Because a phobia is not typically something that would be obvious, the employer would be able to ask for the documentation as a part of the interactive process unless the employee previously provided documentation.

This brings us to another tricky question regarding phobias. What if the person does not have documentation? With conditions like phobias, people who do not have a separate underlying condition may not have talked to their doctors about it. Instead, they may have developed their own coping mechanisms to avoid or deal with the phobia. It could be that the workplace situation is the first time they have faced a significant issue.

What does this mean for employers? If an employee approaches you about a phobia in the workplace, acknowledge that they are coming to you with the concern and further the conversation. If the employee has documentation, great. If they do not, then consider what you know and assess if you feel there is enough to move towards looking at accommodations. While an employer is entitled to medical documentation, it is also not a requirement. When it comes to phobias you might be able to consider if something can be done simply by talking with the employee about the situation. If you do feel that gathering some documentation is needed you might ask the employee if that might be possible or refer them to an employee assistance program (EAP) if it could be helpful.

What does this mean for employees?  If you are having difficulty in the workplace due to a phobia it may be something that asking for an accommodation could help with. If you have documentation, you might be prepared to share it if needed. If you do not have documentation, you might try to explain as best as you can how the phobia is affecting you at work. Any information you can give about the limitations you are experiencing and how the accommodation will be beneficial can play a part in helping the employer understand. If the employer is insistent that documentation is a part of its interactive process then you might consider having the conversation with your doctor or see if there might be services available to you such as an EAP that might be able to help with the process.

At the end of the day, the important thing to remember is that all disabilities and medical conditions are individualized. What affects one person may affect someone else in a completely different way. It’s important to remember that the same goes for fear; while someone may be afraid of heights, it does not mean that everyone who is afraid of heights feels exactly the same. If someone tells you they have a phobia, don’t make assumptions; simply engage in the conversation.

– Sarah Small, M.S., CRC, Consultant, Cognitive/Neurological Team

5 – One Man’s Trash: Practical Solutions for Workplace Clutter

Some employees are able to thrive in untidy work environments. While the stacks of documents, books, and memos strewn about their desks may appear unmanageable to coworkers, these employees likely know exactly where to find what they need at a given moment.  For others, however, disorganization and clutter can contribute to significant problems in the workplace. An office or cubicle in disarray may interfere with an employee’s ability to concentrate, complete tasks in a timely manner, and meet performance and conduct standards.

Accommodations may be necessary if an employee’s ability to keep a tidy workstation is related to a disability. One particular condition many associate with clutter is hoarding disorder. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) (APA, 2013), hoarding disorder is marked by difficulty in parting with possessions, regardless of the actual value of the items. Individuals with this condition experience significant distress when attempting to part with items, which often leads to an accumulation. Hoarding behaviors can carry over into the workplace, making it difficult for the individual to maintain an orderly work area. Conditions that impact executive functioning, such as ADHD, learning disabilities, and depression, can impair organizational skills and contribute to the build-up of clutter.

How should an employer address the mess? The first step could be identifying problems caused by the untidy workspace. Is the employee meeting performance and conduct standards? Does the clutter distract or disrupt other employees? Are there any health and safety concerns? These are just a few of the factors an employer should consider when determining what action may be appropriate. Let’s look at a few practical examples:

Situation

Jim, a customer service representative in a large call center, has accumulated a significant amount of items in his cubicle. Many of the items seem to have no practical use, such as expired coupons, outdated fliers, and shopping bags. Several piles of newspapers are stacked underneath the cubicle. Some of Jim’s coworkers have complained that the items are beginning to spill into their workstations.

Solution

Jim’s employer meets with him to discuss the cubicle concerns. Because he works in an open office, the employer insists that his workspace must be kept neat and orderly so as not to distract or disrupt others. During the meeting, it is revealed that Jim has been diagnosed with hoarding disorder. Upon learning that the concerning behaviors are disability-related, the employer initiates the interactive process. As an accommodation, the employer allows Jim to bring a support person into the office to assist him with removing unneeded items. Jim also agrees to a weekly check of his cubicle to help prevent further accumulation of items.

Situation

Laura is an accountant at a legal firm. Her private office is often cluttered, with documents and office supplies scattered on her desk. Despite the disorganized appearance of her work station, Laura’s work is always completed in a neat and timely manner.

Solution

Laura’s employer determines there is no reason to believe her cluttered office is negatively impacting her job performance. Because she does not share the space with coworkers, the mess does not cause significant disruption. The employer concludes that further action is not warranted at this time.

Situation

Felipe, a college admissions assistant with ADHD, must collect and organize incoming documentation from applicants. He is struggling to maintain an orderly filing system. The documents have begun to form an unorganized pile on his desk. When asked to provide information on a particular applicant, Felipe is unable to find the appropriate documentation.

Solution

Felipe’s employer suggests the use of color-coded folders and labels for the admissions information. The employer also agreed to provide a checklist that Felipe could use to ensure all relevant documents were included in the folders.

If you have questions about a particular workplace situation, feel free to contact JAN for an individualized consultation. For additional information, see the following resources:

Reference:

American Psychiatric Association:  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth edition. Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013.

– Brittany Lambert, M.S., CRC, Consultant, Sensory and Cognitive/Neurological Teams

6 – Winter Weather Woes? Accommodations Can Help!

Short days, low temperatures, and difficulty shoveling snow or navigating icy walkways can all make it challenging to get to work on time.  Many employees with disabilities do not realize that they can request accommodations to help with commuting problems, especially if they only occur occasionally.  Often, employees can drive themselves to and from work most of the time, but could be helped by accommodations that would allow them to delay or avoid driving in snowy, icy, or cold conditions.

Some typical limitations that can impact winter driving and travel include vision limitations such as night blindness or contrast sensitivity issues, fear of driving in adverse conditions, respiratory and circulatory impairments where exposure to cold or exertion from shoveling exacerbate symptoms, pain from cold intolerance or exertion, and gross motor impairments or balance disorders that make it harder to walk on ice or to clear off a vehicle or driveway.  Whether driving independently, walking, using public transportation, carpooling, or using a ride sharing service, employees whose morning routines are disrupted by inclement weather may benefit from accommodations such as flexible start times that allow them to arrive a bit later without being penalized, permission to work from home for a morning or a day, or policy modifications that allow use of leave when weather and disability related needs collide.

Employees with certain limitations, such as night blindness or other difficulties with driving at dawn, dusk, or in darkness may be able to work more effectively and attend work more consistently, with accommodations that allow them to arrive later and leave earlier on a regular basis.  This can allow them to drive themselves at a time that works best for them, or plan to use public transportation or other ride options.  As the days grow longer with the arrival of spring, it may be possible for employees who drive themselves to gradually increase their time at work so that the accommodation is slowly phased out until needed again in fall.  A calendar that shows sunrise and sunset times may be helpful in predicting suitable arrival and departure times.  Depending on the type of work involved it may be possible for them to make up this time by working from home after hours, by working through lunches or other breaks, or by making arrangements to arrive earlier or stay later on days when suitable transportation options, such as carpooling, are available. Find out more below.

– Teresa Goddard, Lead Consultant, JAN Sensory Team

7 – JAN Blog Growing

The Ask JAN Blog provides an opportunity for you to share with others your workplace accommodation solutions. JAN receives over 40,000 contacts per year – conversations with all of you that help us better understand what’s working effectively in your workplaces. We have a great deal to learn from one another. We encourage you to share your experiences and interact with the JAN staff. Your accommodation success stories can benefit many others around the Nation. Enjoy the new postings and additional Spanish selections:

Become a part of the new JAN blogging community!

8 – JAN Releases New Resources

  • Mobile Accommodation Solution App Released. The new Mobile Accommodation Solution app, developed by West Virginia University’s Center for Disability Inclusion in partnership with the Job Accommodation Network and IBM and funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research, is now available in the iOS version in the app store. The MAS tool helps employers and others manage workplace accommodation requests throughout the employment lifecycle. Using the app, employers can track the status of requests, access fillable forms, and store, print, and export records that can be imported into enterprise information systems.
  • JAN Distributes PAS Training. Find out more about Section 501 Affirmative Action requirements with JAN’s Webcast featuring EEOC. >> View PAS and Section 501 Affirmative Action Requirments and other JAN documents.
  • JAN Discusses Getting to Work on Time. A new Consultants’ Corner talks about ideas for getting to work on time and how a flexible schedule may help. >> Read Consultants’ Corner, Volume 13, Issue 01.
  • JAN Talks about Decluttering. A new Consultants’ Corner gives tips for decluttering your workspace. >> Read Consultants’ Corner, Volume 13, Issue 02.
  • JAN Addresses Disability Awareness Training. A new Consultants’ Corner explains disability awareness training and confidentiality issues. Find information on Disability Awareness Training. >> Read Consultants’ Corner, Volume 13, Issue 3.
  • JAN Discusses the Employee Accommodation Inquiry Letter. A new Consultants’ Corner discusses the speed of the accommodation process. Find information on Employee Accommodation Inquiry Letter. >> Read Consultants’ Corner, Volume 13, Issue 4.

9 – E-vents

  • The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) Highlighted in Blog. The Workforce Recruitment Program, managed by ODEP and the U.S. Department of Defense, offers employers access to a database of pre-screened college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are interested in summer or permanent jobs. Lauren Karas, in a blog published by the U.S. Department of Labor, discusses her journey from WRP student to her current position as manager of the program. >> Read the blog.
  • New Feature from ODEP. ODEP offers a new feature on its Data and Resources to Inspire a Vision of Employment website that allows users to sign up for periodic updates on state-level policy and practice innovations, technical assistance initiatives, and outcomes. . >> Sign up now.
  • New EARN Employer Financial Incentives Webpage. To assist employers in understanding the financial incentives available to help them capitalize on the talents of people with disabilities, the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion has developed an Employer Financial Incentives webpage. >> Learn more about employer financial incentives.
  • New ODEP Policies in Practice Profile — Roxanna Arce-Tyndale. Roxanna Arce-Tyndale is a hair stylist at the BlueBell Salon in Bethesda, Maryland. Roxanna, who recently returned to work after taking several months off following hip replacement surgery, has been a stylist at a range of salons across the Washington, D.C., area during her 20-year career. She gives advice to anyone who needs to take time off to address a medical issue is to communicate openly with employers and co-workers to simplify the process. >> Learn more about Roxanna’s journey.

10 – JAN Exhibit and Training Schedule

Events of particular interest: Get the most up-to-date and comprehensive training on employing people with disabilities. To view the complete JAN travel schedule go to JAN-on-the-Road.

11 – Subscribe to JAN Newsletter

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This document was developed by the Job Accommodation Network, funded by a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (DOL079RP20426). The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Department of Labor. Nor does mention of tradenames, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Labor.