Sunday, December 16, 2007

Advocacy Update: Employment Goals for 2010

“Two Percent by 2010!” is the challenge issued by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Commissioner Christine Griffin to the Federal government. Speaking at a workshop at the U. S. Department of Labor, Commissioner Griffin urged Federal agencies to increase their hiring of people with disabilities by taking advantage of the Schedule A Hiring Authority.

At present, employees with severe disabilities make up less than one percent of the Federal workforce. Schedule A allows agencies to hire qualified individuals with severe disabilities into open positions without competition. To assist agencies, the EEOC has developed a series of booklets titled The ABCs of Schedule A, one for human resource professionals, one for hiring managers and one for disability program managers or selective placement coordinators.

Joining Commissioner Griffin in this effort is Dinah F.B. Cohen, Director of the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) at the Department of Defense (DOD). CAP provides assistive technology, devices, and services free of charge to Federal agencies. Since inception, CAP has provided over 60,000 accommodations, and spends over $2.5 million each year to ensure that employees with disabilities across the government have the tools they need to get the job done. CAP also provides significant support to Wounded Service Members by providing needs assessments, assistive technology and training throughout all phases of recovery and transition to employment.