News

More businesses are opening up to people with disabilities
USA Today, October 27, 2017

More than a decade ago, when Jenny Lay-Flurrie was looking for a job, she told an interviewer at Microsoft that she had some trouble hearing.

"I didn't tell them I was profoundly deaf," Lay-Flurrie tells USA TODAY through an American Sign Language interpreter. "It was Microsoft that educated me. They helped me realize that my disability is a strength that makes the company better."

Thirteen years later, Lay-Flurrie is the chief accessibility officer for Microsoft.

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A Global Untapped Talent Pool: Employees with Disabilities
USBLN, October 12, 2017

A first-of-its-kind study published by the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) in partnership with US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) finds that far more people than expected have a disability: In the U.S., 30 percent of college-educated employees working full-time in white-collar professions. CTI's report Disabilities and Inclusion has uncovered that employees with disabilities make up an enormous global talent pool that employers overlook far too often- to their own detriment.

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National Disability Employment Awareness Month
USBLN, October 04, 2017

Less than 20% of people with disabilities are currently employed, drastically lower than the 65% employment rate of people without disabilities. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the best possible time to educate ourselves about successful practices for job seekers, and the many resources available to Americans with disabilities and employers interested in recruiting people with disabilities.

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'Impossible Dream' Catamaran Gives Those With Disabilities a Chance to Sail
NBC News, August 21, 2017

A sailboat called 'Impossible Dream' was built with wide ramps, elevators and a wheelchair-level steering wheel to allow people with disabilities the chance to get out on the water.

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Service and Assistance Animals
The Maine Human Rights Commission, August 17, 2017

The Maine Human Rights Commission has developed a new educational video relating to what all too often is a confusing or contentious issue: service and assistance animals. This engaging and informative video illustrates the laws, rules, and issues that relate to service and assistance animals.

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Not Always Happy
The Derek Volk Show, August 10, 2017

Not Always Happy is a humorous and sharp chronicle about adopting and raising a son with Down syndrome from the Maine foster care system. The author quickly learns that life is best lived by expecting the unplanned when she makes the decision to become a parent in her late forties.

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What Professionals With Disabilities Really Want in Their Job Search
Think Beyond the Label, August 03, 2017

When we led a survey to find out what professionals with disabilities wanted in their job search, we got some surprising results. First and foremost we were thrilled to see that job seekers with disabilities look for jobs like anyone else. Around 93% of respondents use social media as online job search tools, with LinkedIn the No. 1 job tool, followed by Facebook.

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Special Surfers is a non-profit organization that provides the opportunity for special needs kids and young adults to surf
WLOB, July 24, 2017

Special Surfers is a non-profit organization (501c3) that provides the opportunity for special needs kids and young adults to surf. There is no cost to participants or their families, and all equipment and instruction is provided. Special Surfer events are held on the third Tuesday of each month in June, July, and August at Gooches Beach in Kennebunk, Maine. We have hundreds of special surfers and volunteers at each event providing a real sense of community and accomplishment for all.

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Love to ride a bike? Want to Give Back? Join Portland Wheelers!
Portland Wheelers, July 12, 2017

From May to October, the non-profit organization offers free recreational rides for people young and old and in between who are living with a disability and can't ride a bike by themselves.

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5 Pieces of Advice for Employers from an Adult with Autism
Op-Ed by Dylan Volk, July 05, 2017

My name is Dylan Volk. I am 25 years old and I have what is known as high functioning autism. In my experience with almost 40 jobs, having been fired from every one of them, I have some advice for employers. I would like to tell you 5 things that I want employers to know about people with autism.

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Open Style Lab teams up with The New School students to create beautiful, yet functional, wardrobes for disabilities in mind
New York Times, June 23, 2017

Shopping for and choosing clothes is challenging enough that an entire industry of stylists, magazine editors and fashion bloggers has been created to help. But imagine if your parameters included more than finding a sweater to complement your eye color, or a backpack to match your sneakers.

Imagine if you were unable to use your arms to do anything (let alone get dressed), or used a wheelchair and needed to have easy access to a catheter, or had a spine with a significant convex curve that made pressing up against any flat surface painful, or had muscles that spasm.

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Meet the World's First Comic Book Superhero with Down Syndrome
Nerdist, June 13, 2017

At the end of March, Sesame Street introduced the world to Julia, the first autistic Muppet. At the time, Julia’s puppeteer and mother of a son on the autism spectrum, Stacy Gordon, told NPR, “Man, I really wish that kids in my son’s class had grown up with a Sesame Street that had modeling [of] the behavior of inclusion of characters with autism.”

A similar sentiment might be applied to Lion Forge's newest creation. Superb launches in July and will feature the first superhero with Down syndrome-the chromosomal condition that affects roughly 1 in every 700 babies born in the United States, according to the National Down Syndrome Society. NDSS was a full partner in bringing Jonah, the main hero of Superb, to life alongside Lion Forge, whose slogan is, “Comics For Everyone.”

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Summer Destinations for People with Disabilities
Friendshipcircle.org, June 07, 2017

Summer vacation will be here soon. When planning a vacation with a person who has special needs, accessibility is the name of the game: wheelchair accessibility, accessibility to medical needs, a positive sensory environment, accessibility to old interests and new experiences.

Every destination on this list welcomes and accommodates visitors with special needs. You've probably heard of some of these places before, but others may get you thinking about vacations in a whole new way.

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2017 Inclusion Awards Announced at the State House
Maine Office of the State Treasurer, June 01, 2017

The Maine Development Disabilities Council (MDDC) presented awards in the Hall of Flags at the State House today, recognizing and celebrating students and schools that demonstrate the concept of inclusion, creating a world in which all people are valued members of the community.

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For Employers - Strategies for Creating an Environment that Encourages Self-Identification
Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN), May 24, 2017

While the choice to self-identify as a person with a disability is entirely up to the individual, employers are increasingly interested in fostering an environment that encourages self-identification in order to: Increase hiring and retention of qualified individuals with disabilities to capitalize on their unique skillset, talents, experiences and perspectives; Ensure they are creating and sustaining diverse and inclusive workplaces; and, Achieve compliance with federal regulations requiring affirmative action in disability hiring, such as Sections 501 and 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, which cover federal agencies and federal contractors, respectively.

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David Price Helps Bring 'Miracle Field' for Special Needs Kids to Hometown
NBC News, May 10, 2017

Red Sox pitcher David Price has built a baseball field that is wheelchair accessible and made of rubberized turf, giving children with special needs a rare opportunity to play the game Price loves.

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'He Livens the Group Right Up' - Checking in With STRIVE U's First Graduates
Maine Public Broadcasting, April 19, 2017

This month, seven young adults with developmental disabilities are opening their mailboxes and finding out that they've been accepted to STRIVE U, a first-of-its-kind postsecondary education and training program based in South Portland.

Students learn to live and work as independently as possible and reach their own potential along the way. We met the first STRIVE class back in 2004, and recently checked in with several graduates to see how they're doing more than a decade later.

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Emoloyer Success Story: Volk Packaging Corporation
Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN), April 11, 2017

Volk Packaging Corporation, a third generation family-owned corrugated box plant based in Biddeford, Maine, never set out to be an employer of people with disabilities. However, Volk's inclusive workplace culture has led to the company's employment of numerous people with diverse abilities, including workers who are deaf, blind and on the autism spectrum.

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'I Still Have Something To Give'
BDN Maine, April 04, 2017

Maine's constricting labor force offers an opportunity to pull people into the workforce who otherwise wouldn't work, and to move lower-paid workers up the job chain into positions that pay more. But the public programs in place to help people improve their job prospects are largely set to autopilot, or they are greatly limited in their reach due to the way they are designed and funded. This is the third in a series called Forgotten Maine Workers that examines how Maine could realize the hidden potential among its workers.

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Julia, A Muppet With Autism, Joins The Cast Of 'Sesame Street'
NPR, April 01, 2017

For the first time in a decade, the classic children's television show Sesame Street will introduce a new Muppet on the air. Her name is Julia. She's a shy and winsome 4-year-old, with striking red hair and green eyes. Julia likes to paint and pick flowers. When Julia speaks, she often echoes what she's just heard her friends Abby and Elmo say. Julia has autism.

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City of Biddeford teams up with UNE to form summer camp for children with Autism
University of New England, March 14, 2017

On February 21, 2017, the City of Biddeford announced a new summer camp for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The University of New England Westbrook College of Health Professions developed an academic course for undergraduate students in the Health, Wellness and Occupational Studies program about Autism. Students are currently enrolled in the course and will serve as the camp counselors, providing 1:1 care and support for the children. The UNE students receive course credits as well as valuable hands on experience with the children. The camp concept was developed and is being implemented with the help of the UNE Occupational Therapy Department and Community Therapy Center.

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In Breakthrough, Researchers Detect Autism Signs In Infants
Disability Scoop, February 21, 2017

For the first time, a new study suggests it's possible to predict within the first year of life if a child will develop autism.

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How a Deaf High School Mascot Moves the Crowd to His Beat
NBC News, February 15, 2017

On the court, the Portland High School Bulldogs are reigning Maine state basketball champions. But, during most games this season, the crowd often finds it inspiration from what's happening on the sidelines.

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PYD Expands Mentoring Opportunities To Community College Students With Disabilities On A National Scale
Maine State Chamber of Commerce, February 01, 2017

Over the next three years, Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) will be launching a new online, professional mentoring program to support community college students with disabilities across five states.

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First deaf mascot at Portland High 'not that special of a story'
BDN Maine, January 30, 2017

A couple months back, a press release came across my desk. It said, for the first time ever, a deaf student was playing the part of Portland High School's bulldog mascot. I thought, hey, that's a cool story that needs to be told. But the more I pondered it, the more I wondered if it was really a story. I mean, why couldn't a deaf student be a mascot? Would it be kind of insulting to suggest it was a big deal at all?

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UPS Delivers the
Lead Center, January 24, 2017

What does successful workplace inclusion for people with disabilities look like? An innovative program at Worldport, UPS's main air sorting hub in Louisville, Kentucky, is game-changing, reframing disability inclusion not only as social responsibility but also as a means of meeting strategic business needs.

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Anthem Inc. is kicking off a new initiative to recruit and hire people with Autism.
BusinessWire, January 18, 2017

Today, Mind Shift announces a new partnership with Anthem, Inc. to recruit and hire people on the autism spectrum for highly specialized jobs in data analytics. Anthem's Health Care Analytics department is hiring motivated, detail oriented talent with exceptional attention to accuracy to perform data cleansing and data entry.

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How can we encourage employees to self-identify as people with disabilities?
EARN, December 27, 2016

While the choice to self-identify as a person with a disability belongs solely to individual employees and applicants, employers are increasingly interested in fostering an environment that encourages self-identification...

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Limited-Edition Starbucks Cards Support Artists Living with Disabilities and Homelessness
Starbucks, December 05, 2016

From an early age, Lindsay Abromaitis-Smith loved creating art, which led her to become a puppetry artist and sculptor as an adult. She was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2012. Sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS is a rapidly progressive neurological disorder that attacks the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscles. But she didn't let the disease stop her from expressing creativity. She now uses her feet to paint.

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Deaf Awareness: Communication Made Simple
The Huffington Post, November 25, 2016

People who experience hearing loss can feel isolated and alone. It is important that the hearing public understand how to interact with deaf people and those who are hard of hearing. It is not difficult to adapt communication, but for those on the receiving end, it can be a breath of fresh air.

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This Comcast exec turns accessible tech into something for all
CNet, November 16, 2016

Tom Wlodkowski is working hard to put himself out of a job. Wlodkowski is the head of accessibility at Comcast, having joined four years ago from AOL. After working 25 years to make technology more inclusive for people with disabilities, he is aiming for the day when it's just part of the routine.

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Maine Department of Labor Receives Grant to Improve Employment Rates of Youth with Disabilities
Maine DOL, October 11, 2016

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announces that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, part of the Maine Department of Labor, $9 million to help students with disabilities prepare for postsecondary education and competitive integrated employment. Other states receiving a grant were California, Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont.

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#InclusionWorks for Employers
DirectEmployers Association, October 07, 2016

EARN's National Project Director, Brett Sheats, celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month (#NDEAM) in this DirectEmployers Association blog post by recounting his experiences at the recent US Business Leadership Network - USBLN conference and sharing all the ways in which the conference highlighted the value of an inclusive workforce.

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Maine State Chamber Members Encouraged to Participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Maine State Chamber of Commerce/MEBLN, October 03, 2016

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and all members of the Maine State Chamber are encouraged to participate. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

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Waterville boxing gym packs more than a big punch
WCSH6, September 07, 2016

O'Leary's boxing gym is using techniques to help adults with developmental disabilities gain better balance, coordination and confidence. The gym teamed up with Families Matter Inc. a few months ago. The group responded very positively to the activities, their favorite is sparring in the boxing ring. It gives the adults a chance to do something different and have fun while doing it.

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Watch the Rio 2016 Paralympics Trailer and prepare to be inspired!
Paralympics Games, August 24, 2016

The 2016 Summer Paralympics are the fifteenth Summer Paralympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from September 7th to September 18th. This will be first Summer Paralympics to be held during the host city's wintertime. This will mark the first time a Latin American and South American city hosts the event, the second Southern Hemisphere city and nation, the first one being the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, and also the first time a Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) country hosts the event. These Games will see the introduction of two new sports to the Paralympic program: canoeing and the paratriathlon. Watch the trailer now!

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US Paralympics announce full delegation for Rio 2016
Paralympics Games, August 24, 2016

US Paralympics has announced its full team competing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, held 7-18 September. The 267-member team, which includes seven guides for athletes with visual impairments, is the largest US delegation in history.

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#InclusionWorks
U.S. Department of Labor, August 17, 2016

I've worked in the disability employment policy arena for more than 20 years, and a lot has changed in this time. Looking back, the progress I'm most thrilled about isn't just the policy action we've seen. Rather, it's the significant shift in how we as a nation talk about disability and employment.

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White Sox announcer with cerebral palsy finds his calling
CNN, August 11, 2016

Jason Benetti was in elementary school when his teacher asked him to write an essay. "The assignment was, 'I wonder what I'll be in 20 years,'" he recalled. "I would like to be the White Sox sportscaster. As long as I don't look like Harry Caray," the boy wrote, referencing the famed voice of the Chicago Cubs. Benetti's childhood dream came true in January, when the 32-year-old was hired by the Chicago baseball team to be the TV play-by-play announcer. But it's a dream that almost never happened.

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Call to Action: Make Disability Visible in Everything We Do
U.S. Department of Labor, August 04, 2016

Disability is part of the human experience, and one of the variables that contribute to the rich diversity of our nation. Disability is not a static condition - people can experience a disability from birth, or develop a disability as a result of genetics, aging, or trauma. Disability does not discriminate - anyone can acquire a disability, at any time. Individuals with disabilities are neighbors, teachers, community leaders, and parents. They are workers, managers, corporate CEOs and health care providers. Individuals with disabilities can and do participate in all realms of work, and their strong participation is vital to our economic growth.

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Pieces of Advice for Employers Working With Someone on the Autism Spectrum...
The Mighty, July 22, 2016

A 2012 study found that 35 percent of young adults (ages 19-23) with autism have not had a job or received postgraduate education after leaving high school, according to Reuters. And considering more than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder, that's a lot of people with unique perspectives and talents whose contributions to the workforce are being lost. The Mighty teamed up with Autism Society to ask our readers for one piece of advice they'd offer employers about working with people with autism.

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'Wheelchair rodeo' raises awareness about life on wheels
Ledger Enquirer, July 14, 2016

Kristine Newbold, who has been in a wheelchair since the age of 5 due to a brittle bone disease, challenged able-bodied people to raise awareness about some difficulties people in wheelchairs face when she hosted her first wheelchair rodeo event over the weekend at Woodruff Park in Columbus.

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Meet Jyotsna, a woman who is blind & leads Google's accessibility team of test engineers.
CNN Money, July 07, 2016

When Jyotsna Kaki got a call from Google, she was stunned. She had never applied for a job with the tech giant. "I thought that getting into Google was impossible for me," said Kaki, 33, who is blind. But it wasn't, thanks to her brother who passed her resume to a friend at Google.

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College Student Launches Food Truck, Theresa's Twists, to Hire Others With Autism
The Mighty, July 01, 2016

Theresa Daniels is starting a business with a twist. Daniels, a college junior on the autism spectrum, is launching a food truck that will be staffed primarily by people with autism.

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Woman who is paralyzed hikes Appalachian Trail - alone
Today, June 27, 2016

Life is full of challenges and obstacles, but one woman - who is paralyzed from the chest down - isn't letting that stop her from taking on one of nature's biggest feats.

Stacey Kozel, a 41-year-old hiker from Medina, Ohio, is aiming to hike all 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail, which runs from Maine to Georgia. And she's doing it alone.

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Individuals with Autism Can Get Work Experience at Ford Through New FordInclusiveWorks Pilot Program
Ford, June 24, 2016

Ford Motor Company today announces it is collaborating with Autism Alliance of Michigan on a pilot program that aims to provide individuals who have autism with an opportunity to gain work experience with the company in an on-the-job training program funded by the alliance.

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How Social Media is Changing Talent Recruiting
PEAT, June 20, 2016

Social media has forced change in so many ways, it should come as no surprise that it has also changed how organizations recruit talent to fill job openings. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) (link is external), the world's largest HR professional society, 84% of organizations are now using social media for recruiting, up from 56% in 2011.

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Students Invented Gloves That Can Translate Sign Language Into Speech And Text
Huffington Post, June 15, 2016

Two undergraduate students at the University of Washington have worked to invent a new way to communicate. Navid Azodi and Thomas Pryor won a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize - a nationwide search for the most inventive undergraduate and graduate students - for their invention, SignAloud gloves, which can translate American Sign Language into speech or text.

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New Jersey Mom Creates Fashionable Clothes for 'Differently-Abled' Son: 'He's Seen Me Turn a Problem Into Something Amazing'
People, June 08, 2016

Mindy Scheier, 44, is a fashion designer by trade with a flare for bold outfits. "Since I was a little girl, the reason I wanted to be in fashion was because it allows you to be who you want to be," she tells PEOPLE. "I love to stand out."

But for her son Oliver, 11, who has rigid spine muscular dystrophy - a rare degenerative disorder that affects his muscle tone and causes him to need leg braces - standing out because of his personal style wasn't an option. "I was 100 percent committed to fitting in," she says.

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National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2016 theme announced
U.S. Department of Labor, June 01, 2016

To reflect the important role disability plays in workforce diversity, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced that the theme of 2016's official National Disability Employment Awareness Month is "#InclusionWorks."

"By fostering a culture that embraces individual differences, including disabilities, businesses profit by having a wider variety of tools to confront challenges," said Jennifer Sheehy, deputy assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. "Our nation's most successful companies proudly make inclusion a core value. They know that inclusion works. It works for workers, it works for employers, it works for opportunity, and it works for innovation."

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Small Business & Disability Employment: Steps to Success
AskEarn.org, May 04, 2016

Small businesses looking to be disability-friendly should check out EARN - Employer Assistance and Resource Network resources.

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Why Hire Disabled Workers? 4 Powerful (and Inclusive) Companies Answer
The Huffington Post, May 02, 2016

The disability community, from grassroots advocates to powerful cross-disability organizations, devotes a lot of time and energy to proving the value of hiring disabled workers. This is a common theme for our community, and extremely necessary, as there are a number of workforce-related challenges that workers with disabilities face. The unemployment rate for workers with disabilities is twice that of workers without disabilities. It is still legal for workers with disabilities to be paid well below the minimum wage based on a law that dates back to 1936, when the talents and potential of workers with disabilities were even more horribly misunderstood. And of course, while the Americans with Disabilities Act provides vital protections to the disabled workforce, it can't solve every issue in the disabled workforce, such as the systemic problem of fewer opportunities for advancement for workers with disabilities.

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Is your online job application accessible to people with disabilities?
Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT), May 01, 2016

f not, you could be missing out on top talent. To learn more about this issue and take action, check out TalentWorks - a free online resource from the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT). Designed for employers and human resources (HR) professionals, TalentWorks will help you make your eRecruiting tools accessible and ensure your virtual doors are open to all qualified job candidates.

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Renewing Our Commitment to Inclusive Employment
Autism Society of America, April 01, 2016

A letter from Scott Badesch, President/CEO of the Autism Society of America

Across the country, the Autism Society and our nationwide network of affiliates share success stories of people with disabilities thriving in the workplace. From engineers to animal caretakers and all career paths in between, employees with autism are embedded into the fabric of small and large businesses across the country. Yet, for every worker with autism who obtained their first real career opportunity, there are two who face barriers toward getting a foot in the door and a slice of the American dream. The United Nations estimates nearly 80 percent of people with autism across the globe are unemployed. We know this to be a staggering statistic by any measure.

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Labor Department announces availability of $338 million in grants
US Department of Labor, March 15, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the opening of a $338 million grant competition for national organizations to provide critical job training and related services to low-income, older American workers through the Senior Community Service Employment Program.

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5 Tips for Employers on Improving Disability Inclusion
US Department of Labor, March 11, 2016

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the recent White House Summit on Disability Employment explored how we can better include people with disabilities in the workplace. Here are five top takeaways from the summit for employers on improving disability inclusion:

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JAN Issues Quarterly ENews
Job Accomodation Network, November 20, 2015

The latest issue of the Job Accommodation Network’s (JAN) quarterly newsletter has been issued, providing information on a range of topics, from when an employer may proactively ask if an employee needs a reasonable accommodation, to disability disclosure in the workplace, to strategies for retaining aging workers. >

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Ask EARN
Employer Assistance and Resource Network, November 19, 2015

An updated version of a guide that employers can use to ensure the accessibility of their meetings, events and conferences is now available. Published by the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, the aptly titled Guide to Accessible Meetings, Events, and Conferences provides extensive information on accessibility in the context of all stages of event planning, from site selection and room layout to audio-visual considerations to food service, as well as tips for presenters and attendees.

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October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Disability Employment Initiative , October 06, 2015

We are excited to observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month, or NDEAM. The purpose of NDEAM is to educate the public, and especially businesses, about disability employment issues while celebrating the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. NDEAM is important because in Maine about one in six residents has a disability, and we value everyone's abilities, including in our workforce.

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Where Internships and Inclusion Intersect
U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy , September 03, 2015

Across the nation, public and private employers of all sizes are reaping the benefits of internships - temporary positions that deliver practical, on-the-job training to "beginners" in a particular profession. In addition to helping develop the work experience, skills and career goals of America's future workforce, internships offer employers direct access to a pool of motivated individuals who bring fresh thinking and innovation to their workplaces. What's more, they offer employers a pipeline of potential candidates to consider for permanent positions.

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Qualifications Do Count in the Accommodation Process
Cornell University, Employment and Diability Institute, August 10, 2015

Two recent EEOC cases highlight the importance of employee qualification when negotiating accommodations under Title I of the ADA. As these cases prove, the decision to grant more complex accommodations such as reassignment or telecommuting requires that both the employer and the employee work together to find an accommodation that is reasonable, effective, and congruent with the skills and qualifications of the employee.

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Maine Voices: People with disabilities are often overlooked as potential employees
Portland Press Herald, July 18, 2015

It's the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The good news is that people who use wheelchairs can now use ramps to get into public buildings. But the bad news is that for most people with disabilities, the on-ramps to success are still blocked. Only 3 out of 10 of Maine's 200,000 working-age people with disabilities are employed.

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Employers Are Seeking Out Autistic Workers
The Daily Beast, May 11, 2015

An increasing number of companies are launching initiatives to find job candidates with autism. How a cluster of society struggling to find jobs became the tech world's most wanted.

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Observing National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Maine State Chamber of Commerce, March 31, 2015

In October of each year, our nation observes National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign to educate businesses and the general public about disability employment issues, as well as celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

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New White House receptionist is a West Wing pioneer: 'Deaf people can do anything'
Today, March 27, 2015

Anyone wanting to speak to the president must stop by her desk first. Leah Katz-Hernandez, 27, is the new White House receptionist.

She is also deaf.

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We Can All Be Change Leaders: Employing People with Many Abilities
The White House, October 20, 2014

I am surprised and incredibly honored to be recognized as a White House Champion of Change for Disability Employment. What began as a small project has led to be my passion, encouraging businesses to find good-paying and sustainable employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

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