What are some things employers can do?
- For more information on this, go to the Making Work Happen website [makingworkhappen.com] and find the employerâ€™s a tutorial on veterans with disabilities in the workplace.
- Consider the workplace climate and culture. Is there a climate of trust and openness around disability and accommodation? What actually happens to people with disabilities when they come forward with an accommodation request? Is there a quick and effective response? Or is this the first road to termination? What happens to people with disabilities will happen to vets with disabilities.
- Is there someone that veterans with disabilities can reach out to so they do not feel isolated?
- Learn to accommodate the signature disabilities (PTSD, TBI and depression). A resource that can help is the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) [askjan.org]. JAN has documents for all three of the signature disabilities.
- Understand that many of the signature disabilities might unfold over time. These disabilities may not be manifested immediately after the veteranâ€™s return to civilian life. Be prepared to respond quickly and effectively.
- Communicate to veterans in your workforce (as well as all employees) about the availability of accommodations or other veterans resources/services provided in your workplace.
- Have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with expertise in veteransâ€™ issues.
- Train managers/supervisors
- Develop partnerships with vets and disability organizations so that you can recruit, coach and accommodate vets with disabilities (This will also be required by Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) rule changes.)