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Business Sense – Leveraging Remote Work to Increase Inclusion

September 14, 2021
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

If you ask people how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world of work, many are likely to cite the widespread move toward remote work arrangements. It’s a shift that has altered the workplace in ways that will be felt long after the pandemic subsides, with a high percentage of companies — large and small and everything in between — offering increased flexible work arrangements for their employees.

As today’s employers reassess their employee practices through the lens of COVID-19, now is a fitting time to prioritize disability inclusion within their organizations. To that end, the ODEP-funded Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) has issued a new practice brief, titled Leveraging the Shift to Remote Work to Increase Employment of People with Disabilities [PDF]

The brief explains how “the sudden and massive shift in the way business is performed has revealed a path forward to the future of work, and could create new opportunities for people with disabilities.” It features background on the increased popularity of remote work as well as strategies for inclusion of workers with disabilities in the remote workforce. For example, companies can take steps to create remote cultures of inclusion that consider the needs of workers with disabilities; review their reasonable accommodation policies to ensure they properly extend to home workspaces; and adopt integrated telework policies for workers with and without disabilities.

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