A rule passed in January raised the bar for disability hiring. Now agencies are trying to figure out how to reach that goal.
During an April 19 Twitter chat, experts from the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and the Employer Assistance and Resource Network discussed problems and solutions in implementing a rule regarding the hiring of people with disabilities.
The rule codifies executive orders and management directives related to Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, which blocks agencies from discriminating against people with disabilities, and requires agencies to maintain and continually update affirmative action plans to ensure the federal government is hiring and promoting individuals with disabilities.
The final rule requires agencies to boost the number of their employees who have a disability and employees who have a “targeted disability” — such as deafness — and provide personal assistance services to employees who need it.
EARN kicked things off by asking feds what roadblocks they’ve experienced in trying to increase disability hiring.
The SF-256 is an optional form that prospective or current employees can choose to fill out, self-identifying as disabled. The Office of Personnel Management uses these forms to compile its disability hiring statistics.
But encouraging employees to self-identify as having a disability can be a point of concern with agencies. Toward that end, EEOC and OPM will be conducting a survey in July, and offered assurances that the information self-identification will be kept confidential.