Disability General

 

2017 Disability Matters Keynote Speaker: Scott Burrows

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Springboard Consulting is proud to announce

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Scott Burrows

2nd Day Keynote Speaker 

As an all-star athlete, Scott played college football at Florida State University and was a top-ranked kickboxing Black Belt champion whose last fight was broadcast by ESPN. During the height of his athletic career, Scott survived a devastating car crash as a passenger.  He suffered a serious spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down and diagnosed a quadriplegic. What Scott has accomplished since, is nothing short of a miracle.

Scott presents around the globe sharing his compelling story of tragedy and triumph.  His real-life experiences, captivating message of hope, courage and perseverance and eloquent storytelling is sure to leave you spellbound. 
 

Scott Burrows… Just one more reason to attend Disability Matters
 
Register your team today

https://consultspringboard.com/disability-matters/ticket-purchase/

For additional information, please contact
Ivette Lopez E: ivette@consultspringboard.com T: 1+(973) 813-7260 x102 


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ABOUT SPRINGBOARD®
Founded in 2005, Springboard is recognized as the expert in mainstreaming disability in the global workforce, workplace and marketplace. Serving corporations and organizations throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia, Springboard has become a trusted partner in relation to disability issues and initiatives across virtually every business category. Springboard annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote the outreach, support & engagement of people with disabilities as employees and as consumers through the Disability Matters Awards.


Help The Springboard Foundation meet its Goal Starting today #GivingTuesday!

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The Springboard Foundation, Inc.

This Not-for-Profit 501(c)(3) Corporation is incorporated under the laws of the State of New Jersey. The purpose of the Foundation is to raise funds to be used to award scholarships to full-time college students who have documented disabilities of any type, deemed to be protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act and/or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The Foundation’s intent in providing these scholarships is to contribute to the increase in employment opportunities for college students with disabilities. www.thespringboardfoundation.org

Mental Health in The Workplace: It Matters

Employers around the world continue to struggle with how to appropriately address and accommodate individuals with disabilities in the workplace.  But of all disability types, Mental health is still one of the most invisible, stigmatized and not understood.  Springboard has heard many employers say they would not hire someone, if they knew they were currently experiencing depression or some other form of mental health issue. If this were not alarming enough, consider that researchers analyzing results from the U.S. National Comorbidity Survey, a nationally representative study of Americans ages 15 to 54, reported that 18% of those who were employed said, “they experienced symptoms of a mental health disorder in the previous month.”

Although it’s the Human Resource professionals that are the typical go-to folks in the organization relative to the employment of individuals with disabilities, most say they are not properly trained for addressing many of the issues that come up, especially, in the mental health arena.  And even when a manager wants to help, they are typically not equipped with the training to do so.

As with any disability, if the individual is not feeling well, being communicated with appropriately and receiving the appropriate accommodation, they are not going to be as productive and engaged as they could be.

A major part of de-stigmatizing a mental health or other disability in the workplace is about creating a culture where employees feel they can safely, comfortably, and appropriately disclose their disability without negative repercussions. To accomplish this, today Corporate best-practices include Disability Etiquette and Awareness training; Immersion training on Accommodations and the Interactive Dialogue for Human Resources professionals; Hiring Managers and Recruiters; the use of a Disability Disclosure Guidance Tool; Disclosure Road-Shows and Video Vignettes to name a few.  By doing these things, all of which Springboard Consulting provides worldwide, companies demonstrate their interest in successfully mainstreaming individuals with disabilities into their workforces and workplaces, including those with mental health issues

A really good place to begin the education portion of this work is to begin ridding ourselves of the conscious-bias that exists toward folks experiencing mental illness and with most disabilities. When asked, many managers have said, “they think an employee is trying to take advantage of the system when they request an accommodation due to stress or even depression.”

So how do you think these managers will respond to the individual who does disclose?  Probably not well.

While many companies offer Employee Assistance Plans (EAP’s), which can offer wonderful resources for individuals with disabilities, inclusive of mental illness, EAP’s cannot replace the work that must be done internally with HR, Talent Acquisition and Management.

Given mental health issues are prevalent in today’s workplaces, Springboard is committed to writing more on this topic and answering your questions.

To learn more about Springboard’s offerings in this space, please contact Ivette Lopez T: +1(973) 813-7260 x102; E:ivette@consultspringboard.com

 

Company Fired Temporary Agency Staff Member and Failed to Hire Her for Full-Time Position Because of Association with a Child with Disabilities

New Mexico Orthopedics Associates, P.C. (NMOA), which owns and operates a medical facility in Albuquerque, will pay $165,000 to settle a lawsuit for associational disability discrimination filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to EEOC's suit, NMOA violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by firing Melissa Yalch Valencia, a temporary staffing agency employee, and failing to hire her for a full-time position because of her relationship with her then three-year old daughter, who had disabilities or was regarded as disabled.

In addition to requiring NMOA to pay monetary damages to Valencia and provide her a letter of reference, the consent decree settling the suit requires NMOA to conduct annual anti-discrimination training for its employees, managers, supervisors, and human resources employees. NMOA will also develop and implement a management evaluation and compensation system which takes into account compliance with equal employment opportunity laws, policies and laws prohibiting retaliation, and this decree. NMOA will also adopt and distribute its anti-discrimination policies and report to EEOC if there are any complaints of disability discrimination. The court approved the settlement and will retain jurisdiction for purposes of compliance for two years.

Discrimination victim Melissa Yalch Valencia said, "It should never have happened. A mother should never have to worry about losing her job because her child has a disability. I hope the lawsuit encourages moms and dads to stand up fearlessly when things like this happen. I also hope this lawsuit and this resolution encourages companies to train supervisors and employees to assure things like this don't happen in the workplace."

Employers MUST remember that the ADA specifically prohibits discrimination against mothers, fathers, caregivers, family members or others who are associated with persons with disabilities.

#Springboard Consulting can help employers to understand and better prepare for those kinds of situations. 

Contact us today at info@consultspringboard.com to learn more.

www.consultspringboard.com

Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation for Employees with Disabilities

There seems to be a lot of confusion these days about Employer-Provided Leave and the ADA.  For instance, did you know that under the EEOC’s guidance, employers are required to provide disability accommodation leave, job protections and reinstatement rights even for disabled employees who have exhausted all FMLA and other required or permitted medical leaves?   I think the confusion stems from the fact that while this is not a law, the EEOC uses it to enforce an employer’s obligation to provide disability accommodation leave and reinstatement rights to employees with disabilities.

Some things to consider:

  • Existing law provides that a leave of absence may be required as a possible reasonable accommodation even if the employee has already used up all available leave, is not entitled to leave under the employer’s policies, and even if the employer does not offer paid or unpaid leaves.
  • An employer is not required to grant a request for leave as a reasonable accommodation if it would create an “undue hardship.”
  • An employer does not have to provide an “indefinite leave” of absence as a reasonable accommodation, because indefinite leave will constitute an undue hardship. The EEOC defines an “indefinite” leave as when an employee cannot say whether or when she will be able to return to work.
  • Under the ADA, an employee on disability accommodation leave is entitled to return to his or her original position at the end of leave, meaning the employer must keep the position open for the employee unless the employer can show undue hardship. This is so even if the employee has run out of job-protected leave under the FMLA or similar state laws.

There are many things an employer should consider relative to using Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation. One in particular, is that if your company has a policy setting a maximum amount of leave you may want to include an exception in the policy and specify that the employer may provide unpaid leave as an accommodation beyond the leave maximum on a case-by-case basis.

Springboard works with companies on these and many other important issues relative to the employment of individuals with disabilities. To learn more about Springboard’s services, please contact Ivette Lopez at ivette@consultspringboard.com or 973-813-7260 x102.

Minnie Driver portrays a DisAbility Mama on ABC ‘Speechless’ Tonight!

little-glovesA major television network is set to air a comedy about a family with a child who has #specialneeds.  ABC has confirmed that it has picked up the 30-minute series “Speechless,”. The show stars actress Minnie Driver as Maya DiMeo, a mother “who will do anything” for her husband and kids including her eldest son JJ, who has special needs; a true #DisAbilityMama.

“As Maya #fights, as any #DisAbilityMama does, injustices both real and imagined, the family works to make a new home for themselves, and searches for just the right person to give JJ his ‘voice,'” according to the network’s description of the show.

JJ is played by Micah Fowler, an actor who has #cerebralpalsy in real life. He previously appeared in the 2013 film “Labor Day.”

ABC initially committed to a pilot for “@Speechless_ABC” in January. Now, the network is launching the series beginning tonight Wednesday September 21st at 8:30 p.m. ET right before “Modern Family.”

Are you a #DisAbilityMama who #fights the good #fight everyday on behalf of your son or daughter or do you know of a #DiAabilityMama?  Check out Disability Mama & Co. at www.disabilitymama.com. #jointhemamamovement 

Apply Today for The 2017 Disability Matters Award!

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2017 Disability Connect Forum: Disability-LGBT-Veterans Better Together!

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The 2017 North America
DISABILITY CONNECT FORUM
"We Are Better Together"
March 2, 2017
MENDHAM, NJ (9/13/16) - Springboard Consulting, LLC is excited to announce the production of our third annual Disability Connect Forum. Disability Connect is a full day event specially designed for Disability, LGBT and Veteran Employee Resource Group members, leaders and their sponsors to address the common issues, intersections and resulting opportunities of collaboration and in doing so, creating a more inclusive and effective workplace.

Aligning with the Forum’s theme, “Communities in Common”, Disability Connect provides attendees with the perfect platform for:

  • Understanding each other’s workplace related issues,
  • Making powerful connections with like-minded professionals,
  • Sharing best practices, and
  • Formulating success strategies to implement in your own organizations.
"We are honored to have KPMG, LLP serve as the Host of the 2017 event. Their hosting speaks volumes about their commitment to these very important constituencies within their workplace," said Nadine Vogel, Chief Executive Officer of Springboard Consulting.
We hope you will join us on March 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, CA for what is sure to be a highly educational, inspirational and powerful event.
Companies interested in becoming a proud sponsor and/or purchasing tickets should contact:  Ivette Lopez
T: 973-813-7260 x102; E: ivette@consultspringboard.com

ABOUT SPRINGBOARD CONSULTING®
Founded in 2005, Springboard is recognized as the expert in mainstreaming disability in the global workforce, workplace and marketplace. Serving corporations and organizations throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia, Springboard has become a trusted partner in relation to disability issues and initiatives across virtually every business category. Springboard annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote the outreach, support & engagement of people with disabilities as employees and as consumers though the Disability Matters Awards.  www.consultspringboard.com

Disability Matters 2017: Join your Peers by Becoming a Sponsor Today!

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The celebrations begin in just 8 weeks!

Only two months stand between you and the fourth quarter of 2016!

OctoberNovember and December represent a quarter filled with reasons to CELEBRATE:

Individuals with Disabilities ***** Veterans ***** Service-Disabled Veterans

All 3 Months Combined
Contact Springboard today to book any one, two or all three celebratory events. 
Ivette Lopez (E: ivette@consultspringboard.com; T: 1-973-813-7260 x102).

ABOUT SPRINGBOARD®
Founded in 2005, Springboard is recognized as the expert in mainstreaming disability in the global workforce, workplace and marketplace. Serving corporations and organizations throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia, Springboard has become a trusted partner in relation to disability issues and initiatives across virtually every business category. Springboard annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote the outreach, support & engagement of people with disabilities as employees and as consumers through the Disability Matters Awards.



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