Article for With-TV
U.S. Federal Government Hiring
Buzzing in the Workplace
Note to Readers: Article below focuses on U.S. Federal Government hiring of people with disabilities. If you are a reader from outside the U.S. and have interesting information to share regarding your government’s hiring of people with disabilities, please feel free to contact me.
In January 2008, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a report on the federal employment of people with disabilities*. Overall, the EEOC concluded that the federal government employs fewer people with disabilities now than it has at any point during the last 20 years. The EEOC’s finding is troubling for the following reasons:
· The federal government has a mandate to be a model employer in the hiring and advancing individuals with disabilities.
· During the past 20 years, significant technological advancements afford people with disabilities a greater opportunity to work.
· The Office of Disability Employment Policy, a division of the U.S. Labor Department, indicates that roughly half of individuals with disabilities in the United States are unemployed (note: the office cautions the statistic may vary based on definition of disability and data source).
The EEOC made several recommendations for improving efforts to hire and retain individuals with disabilities. These recommendations include:
· Establishment of numerical goals for hiring individuals with disabilities on an annual basis.
· Ensuring procedures that make agencies and officials accountable for reaching goals and verifying that goals are obtained.
The initial implication of the EEOC’s findings has been a surge in commitment among federal government leaders to re-focus efforts on hiring people with disabilities. While a commitment from leaders is a great start, a push from our community will help.
If you are seeking employment, consider reaching out to your local congressional representative about potential opportunities.
· If you aren’t sure who your Senator is, click on the following link: http://www.senate.gov/. On the top right side of your browsers select your state.
· If you aren’t sure who serves your district in the House of Representatives, click on the following link: http://www.house.gov/. On the top left side of your browser, type in your zip code and click “search”.
When contacting your local representative about potential employment opportunities, be sure to mention in the course of your conversation the EEOC’s report on federal hiring of people with disabilities. By networking with your representatives now, you may be able to reap the benefits of future efforts by the federal government to hire people with disabilities.
Feel free to contact me with your questions or thoughts…firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The Federal Government defines people with disabilities per codes on the Office of Personnel Management’s Standard Form. The coded disabilities are as follows: deafness, blindness, missing extremities, partial paralysis, complete paralysis, convulsive disorders, mental retardation, mental illness, and distortion of limb and/or spine.
** Sources: http://www.dol.gov/odep/faqs/working.htm, http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/report/pwtd.html.