Woman using a cell phone and lap top while using a wheelchair.

Employee Resource Group/Business Resource Group Resources

In 2014, the Disability:IN launched the ERG/BRG Leadership Committee with the charge to provide a business focused and integrated peer networking forum where knowledgeable representatives from partner companies can share challenges, strategies and best practices for developing, transforming or supporting a disability-focused affinity group that provides business value to the company and professional growth for its members.  The founding members of the committee decided to create an on-line toolkit on how a company’s disability-focused affinity group can promote disability inclusion through the employment life cycle and can enable employees with disabilities to bring their whole selves to work.

Disability Inclusion through the Employment Life Cycle Resources

In order to inform each phase of the Employment Life Cycle, the ERG/BRG can do a stakeholder analysis for each of the four stages. The ERG/BRG can forge partnerships with HR around learning and development teams and human capital management. ERG/BRG members can support managers during each employment phase and help showcase managers who excel in supporting employees with disabilities.

The Employment Life Cycle: The Four Phases

1. How to Engage Disability ERG/BRG Members in Creating Recruiting Materials that Attract Qualified Job Applicants with Disabilities

  • Invite them to serve as models, recruit co-workers and provide resources for professional models with disabilities for photoshoots for illustrating print and web-based recruiting materials
  • Ask them to provide positive quotes on disability inclusion and their own personal experiences during the recruiting process
  • Request them to engage in the development and the review of all recruiting materials to ensure disability appropriate statements and language
  • Request them to review all recruiting materials for accessibility

Resources:

BRGs Create Value for Business

  • Visit Disability:IN Partners Only Webpage Here for 2015 & 2016 archived webinars on BRGs Bringing value to their companies

Engaging BRG Members for Photoshoots for Recruiting Materials

BRG Members Sourced for Messaging Materials

Engaging BRG Members to Help Create and Review Recruiting & Outreach Materials for Disability Appropriate Statements and Language

Reviewing all Recruiting Materials for Accessibility
(Note: Disability:IN Corporate Members, please send your resources to [email protected])

2. How to Engage Disability ERG/BRG Members in Talent Acquisition

  • Invite them to present at disability career fairs, college events, and community events
  • Invite them to participate in disability training for company recruiters with emphasis on interviewing job candidates with disabilities that impact communication such as autism, certain psychiatric disabilities, deafness, and speech disabilities
  • Ask them to serve as mentors for interns with disabilities
  • Invite them to participate in disability mentoring programs

Invite them to participate in interviews with applicants with disabilities to raise the comfort level of applicants around disclosure, requesting accommodations and model that employees with disabilities have the same opportunities for a productive career as employees without disabilities

Resources:

ERG Members Present at College & Community Events and at Disability Career Fairs
(Note: Disability:IN Corporate Members, please send your resources to [email protected])

ERG Members Participate in Disability Training for Company Recruiters

ERG Members Serve as Mentors for Interns & Participate in Disability Mentoring Programs
(Note: Disability:IN Corporate Members, please send your resources to [email protected])

ERG Members Participate in Applicant Interviews
(Note: Disability:IN Corporate Members, please send your resources to [email protected])

1. How to Engage Disability ERG/BRG Members in Pre-First Day Planning:

  • Invite them to provide strategies on effective communications around accommodations with newly hired employees with disabilities including the physical plant as well as information and communication technology accessibility
  • Engage them in training for managers and work units of the in-coming employees with disabilities
  • Invite them to provide counsel on the types of disability-specific benefits and resources, including ERG information, that should be in new employee on-boarding packet

Resources: 

ERG Members Provide On-Boarding Staff Advice on Accommodations and Accessible Technology Communications
(Note: Disability:IN Corporate Members, please send your resources to [email protected])

  • Visit Disability:IN Partners Only Webpage Here for 2014 & 2016 archived webinars on accommodations.

ERG Members Participate in Manager and Work Team Briefings or Trainings
(Note: Disability:IN Corporate Members, please send your resources to [email protected])

ERG Members Provide Suggestions for On-Boarding Packets
(Note: Disability:IN Corporate Members, please send your resources to [email protected])

2. How to Engage Disability ERG/BRG Members in New Employee Orientation:

  • Invite them to serve as ambassadors to welcome new hires during initial orientation
  • Include them to serve for the first several months as ongoing guides to the company culture, events and programs

Resources:

ERG Members participate in orientation
(Note: Disability:IN Corporate Members, please send your resources to [email protected])

ERG Members serve as ongoing ‘guides’ for the first several months
(Note: Disability:IN Corporate Members, please send your resources to [email protected])

1. How to Engage ERG/BRG Members in planning, developing and executing training and career advancement opportunities and programs to ensure that individuals with disabilities are fully included and accessibility and inclusion requirements are addressed

  • Invite them to participate on the planning teams that develop training programs and materials and innovative career building opportunities
  • Invite them to serve as trainers or presenters
  • Feature images of ERG/BRG members in promotional materials for training sessions as well as in the training materials
  • Source the ERG/BRG for stories on successful ERG/BRG employees whose careers advanced after self-disclosure and participation in career advancement opportunities & use these stories to promote training and career advancement opportunities and programs (‘What’s In It for Me’)

2. How to Engage ERG/BRG Members in Developing/Reviewing Policies & Practices that Impact Employees with Disabilities

  • Invite them to initial conversations on the value and effectiveness of current disability management policies and practices
  • Include them on the planning and development team that develops or revises disability management policies and practices

3. How to Engage ERG/BRG Members in Mentoring and Sponsoring Programs

  • Invite seasoned ERG/BRG members to serve as mentors to newer employees with disabilities
  • Engage ERG/BRG members in Reverse Mentoring initiatives

Resources:

Engaging ERG/BRG Members in planning and developing training and career advancement opportunities and programs

Engaging ERG/BRG Members in Policies & Practices that Impact Employees with Disabilities
(Note: Disability:IN Corporate Members, please send your resources to [email protected])

Engaging ERG/BRG Members in Mentoring and Sponsoring Programs

  • IBM Reverse Mentoring: Reinforcing Collaboration Between Generations. Download.
  • IBM Volunteers with Youth with Disabilities. Download.

1. How to Engage ERG/BRG Members in reviewing Exit Interview Questions and Developing Informal Exit Interviews to Gain Helpful Data

  • Invite ERG/BRG members to review exit interviews for any indications that the person’s disability may have influenced the employee to terminate employment
  • Invite ERG/BRG members to assist in the development of an exit interview to assure that it is structured to create comfort in self-disclosure around any underlying reasons for the departure
  • Engage ERG/BRG members to formulate the questions that can address questions that the departing employee may not be comfortable answering such as why the questions are being asked, where the information will go, who owns the information and if the owner can make change

Resources:

ERG/BRGs Assist with Formal & Informal Exit Interviews
(Note: Disability:IN Corporate Members, please send your resources to [email protected])

2. How to Leverage the ERG/BRG to boost retention of Employees with Disabilities

  • Engage ERG/BRG in analyzing the culture of disability acceptance

Resources:

Engaging ERG/BRG in Boosting Retention
(Note: Disability:IN Corporate Members, please send your resources to [email protected])

3. How to Engage the ERG/BRG Members to Help Plan Alumni Events & Provide Speakers

  • Invite ERG/BRG to serve on planning team for Alumni Events
  • Engage ERG/BRG in recommending or providing speakers for Alumni Events

Resources:

ERG/BRG Members Help Plan Alumni Events
(Note: Disability:IN Corporate Members, please send your resources to [email protected])

ERG/BRG Members Recommend or Provide Speakers
(Note: Disability:IN Corporate Members, please send your resources to [email protected])

Bring Your Whole Self to Work: Enhancing Job Satisfaction, Career Advancement and Company Productivity

When a company disability-focused ERG/BRG develops effective strategies and tools to enable its members to bring their whole selves to work, it will better serve its members and its company. Employees who are able to bring their whole selves to work as competent and proud individuals with disabilities may find that they are better able to focus on their jobs, advance their careers and contribute to their company’s success. Resources that the ERG/BRGs of the Disability:IN partner companies have found useful are listed under three categories: 1. Messaging; 2. Exercises/Activities/Events; and 3. Connecting/Building Trust/Getting There.

1. On-Line Disability Inclusive Messages, Testimonials, and Profiles

2. Videos/Selfies: Personal Statements on an Inclusive Company

 3. Story Telling Programs

4. Innovation & Inclusion studies

5. Accessibility

6. General Resources

1. Exercises

(Note: Disability:IN Corporate Members, please send your resources to [email protected])

2. Activities

3. Events

4. Catchy Titles for diversity events:

  • “Be Yourself Everyone Else is Taken”
  • “Everyday Change of Everything”

1. Building Trust

General FAQs & Tip Sheets

2. Mentoring

3. Self-ID

ERG/BRG Company websites & Tools

Disability:IN Disability Acronyms

  • 503 References the Section in the Rehabilitation Act requiring affirmation action in hiring employees with disabilities
  • 508 References the Section in the Rehabilitation Act requiring federal agencies to purchase accessible technology
  • AAPD The American Association of People with Disabilities
  • ADA Americans with Disabilities Acti
  • ADA AG Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines
  • ADLs Activities of Daily Living
  • ASL American Sign Language
  • AT Assistive Technology
  • CART Communication Access Real-time Translation
  • DEI Disability Equality Index
  • DOBE Disability-Owned Business Entrepreneur
  • DSDP Disability Supplier Diversity Program
  • E&IT Electronic & Information Technology
  • EARN Employer Assistance & Resource Network on Disability Inclusion
  • GFG Going for the Gold
  • ICT Information & Communications Technology
  • ILC Independent Living Center (aka CIL)
  • IT Information Technology
  • JAN Job Accommodation Network
  • NCD National Council on Disability
  • NDEAM National Disability Employment Awareness Month
  • ODEP Office of Disability Employment Policy
  • OFCCP Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
  • PAS Personal Assistance Services (aka PCA – Personal Care Assistance)
  • PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • RLA Rising Leadership Academy
  • TBI Traumatic Brain Injury
  • TDD Telecommunication Device for the Deaf
  • TRS Telecommunications Relay Services or Voice Relay Services (VRS)
  • UD Universal Design
  • VR Vocational Rehabilitation
  • VRS Voice Relay Services or Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS)
  • WRP Workforce Recruitment Program