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JAN Newsletter – April 2024

Timely Information and Resources

April 2024 Newsletter

Featuring JAN's Accommodation and Compliance Series: Autism Spectrum

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Ask JAN!

Can an employer provide disability awareness training as an accommodation if an autistic employee requests it?

Some autistic employees want their coworkers to better understand their way of thinking and how they may function differently in the workplace, so they ask their employer to educate coworkers about autism. While office-wide training may, in some circumstances, constitute a reasonable accommodation, employers are always free to offer such training, even absent a request, as a means of promoting disability inclusion and awareness.

In granting any such requests, employers should be mindful of the strict confidentiality requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which, with a few exceptions, prohibit employers from disclosing to coworkers any medical or disability information about a specific employee. There are ways to promote disability inclusion by engaging employees in discussions and training, without the employer disclosing confidential information. To find out more, read Disability Awareness Training.

Consultants' Corner

You have worked really hard to get to this point and are just about ready to graduate and take the next big step. But are you truly ready? Interviewing for a job can put us on edge and make us somewhat unsure of ourselves. People on the autism spectrum and other neurodivergent people who experience nervousness about an upcoming job interview can use JAN's Interview Tips for New Grads on the Autism Spectrum to help them prepare.


JAN Report Indicates Accommodations are Low Cost and Positively Impact the Workplace
An ongoing survey conducted by JAN continues to indicate that workplace accommodations are not only typically low in cost, but also positively impact the workplace in many ways. JAN's "Low Cost, High Impact" report, updated in April 2024, includes information from JAN follow-up surveys completed up until December 31, 2023. Data shows that more than half (56%) of the 1,000+ employers who provided information related to the cost of accommodations reported the accommodations they made cost absolutely nothing to implement ($0). Of those accommodations that did have a one-time cost, the median one-time expenditure as reported was $300. The majority (67%) of employers also reported the accommodations made were either very effective or extremely effective at helping workers with disabilities perform their job duties. What is the bottom line? Workplace accommodations typically result in modifications that have a low cost and a high, positive impact.
Now Available! JAN Webcast on Accommodating Employees with Diverse Cognitive and Neurological Needs
Did you miss the JAN Webcast on "Accommodating Employees with Diverse Cognitive and Neurological Needs?" This training is now available to view at your convenience! Melanie Whetzel, JAN Principal Consultant and Cognitive/Neurological Team Lead, discusses accommodating people with cognitive and neurological disabilities, such as mental health conditions, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), brain injury and seizure disorders. In the workplace these types of disabilities may pose unique considerations that do not exist with other disabilities, as the need for accommodations may not always be apparent. Melanie shares scenarios involving medical documentation, applying performance and conduct standards, ensuring safety, preserving confidentiality, and more.
EARN Small Business Series Webinar: Local and State Disability Inclusion Incentives and Resources for Small Businesses
Many local and state governments provide incentives and resources to small businesses that hire people with disabilities to meet their workforce needs. These often include supports such as tax incentives and reimbursement for the cost of workplace accommodations. The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) is hosting a webinar, "Local and State Disability Inclusion Incentives and Resources for Small Businesses," on May 01, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. ET. It will include information about innovative state and local programs that help small businesses tap into a talented and diverse workforce and promote inclusivity with minimal cost. Experts from Minnesota's Employer Reasonable Accommodation Fund, the City of Tacoma, Washington's Department of Finance, and the National Disability Institute (NDI) will explain the benefits for developing these types of programs and guidance on how to implement them effectively.
Join the National Online Dialogue to Advance Disability Inclusion in Very Small Businesses
Did you know that more than 90% of businesses in the United States have fewer than 50 employees and approximately 1.8 million people with disabilities are small business owners? Very small businesses employ millions of Americans and often play an essential economic role in their communities. The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy invites you to participate in the "Advancing Disability Inclusion in Very Small Businesses" national online dialogue. By submitting ideas and insights on current policies and disability-inclusive practices, you can help inform the development of resources, tools, and actions to address the needs of very small businesses that employ disabled workers or are owned by a disabled person. Get started by visiting the dialogue at today. Simply log in, register, and submit your ideas, or comment and vote on ideas submitted by others.
U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy Joins LinkedIn
Interested in learning more about timely topics and trends in disability employment? The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy recently launched a LinkedIn page. Follow today to get regular updates.
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Ask JAN! Q&A: Cognitive / Neurological Team Edition

JAN consultants offer one-on-one consultation to help brainstorm accommodation ideas, provide practical guidance for addressing workplace accommodation issues, and work as a partner in the accommodation process. Join the JAN...

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