Workplace Initiative weekly news roundup: October 21, 2019

Here are some highlights of this week’s news about disability inclusion in the workforce — and how you can use the information to make your company the best it can be.

1. Advocates push for better representation of people with disabilities in film and TV

What’s reported: People with disabilities aren’t well represented in TV and movies. That’s true in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes. An industry group hopes to change that with the release of “Employing Writers With Disabilities: A Best Practices Guide,” reports Globe Newswire.

The guide was written by members of the WGA Writers with Disabilities Committee and Chairs of the Media Access Awards. (You can download it from the Media Access Awards website.) The guide makes a few key points. One is the need for representation. Another is that writers with disabilities are essential to telling authentic stories .

What it means for you: Being represented helps break down stereotypes. That’s true whether it happens in the movies or in the workplace. Share news about your company’s commitment to inclusion. And encourage employees to discuss their differences and disabilities.

2. The U.S. Department of Labor updates toolkit to help companies with disability inclusion

What’s reported: The National Law Review reports that the U.S. Department of Labor has updated its Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Toolkit. This free resource helps companies create inclusive workplaces. It covers key topics like accommodations and best practices. It also offers tools like role-play videos and training presentations.

What it means for you: Companies that are inclusive don’t just follow the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They put policies and processes in place to support people with disabilities. Learn about best practices for disability inclusion (DI) and how to create an inclusive workplace.

3. Goodwill NYNJ honors employers creating workplaces without barriers for people with disabilities

What’s reported: Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey has championed workers with disabilities for more than a century. This month, it honored The TJX Companies for doing the same. The group presented TJX with its 2019 Outstanding Employer Support Award. “We are proud to work with great employers who are creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace,” said Goodwill NYNJ President & CEO Katy Gaul-Stigge.

What it means for you: Disability inclusion isn’t just good PR. Being known for having an inclusive culture helps you attract job candidates and customers. It’s important that your senior leaders promote your company’s DI efforts.

4. People with disabilities are “ready and able to work if they were given the opportunity”

What’s reported: WIS News covered the annual Hire Me SC Employer Summit in Columbia, South Carolina. HR professionals from around the state came to the event to learn how to make their companies more inclusive. The summit featured round-table discussions and mini-sessions on the benefits of DI.

“One in five South Carolinians has a disability and of those 70 percent are unemployed,” Sarah Nichols, a director of public relations with the nonprofit Able SC, told WIS News. “There’s a huge workforce here that’s ready and able to work if they were given the opportunity.”

What it means for you: People with disabilities are an untapped workforce in all areas of the country. A DI program can help your company build a pipeline of candidates and find the best people for every position. You can learn more about how Understood empowers companies to implement disability inclusion programs through our Special Projects and Inclusive Careers Cohort (ICC).

About the author

About the author

The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.