CORNELL UNIVERSITY

EMPLOYMENT IN THE FEDERAL SECTOR FOR

PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

A PUBLIC POLICY FORUM

MARCH 21, 2008

10:00 a.m. TO 12:00 p.m.

CART SERVICES PROVIDED BY

SHERRY C. KNOX, CCP

>> SUSANNE BRUYERE: OKAY. WE ARE READY TO GO AND I WOULD ASK IF YOU WOULD PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONES -- THANK YOU. IF YOU WOULD PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE AND YOUR BLACKBERRIES BECAUSE THEY COMPETE WITH OUR TECHNOLOGY AND WE ARE AT THIS TIME ALSO TYING INTO OUR EVENT PEOPLE AT A DISTANCE TO WEBINAR FORMAT AND SO YOU WILL SEE US BE TOGGLING BETWEEN THE MICS SO THAT WE CAN MAKE SURE THAT EVERYONE HEARS US AT A DISTANCE. AND WITH THAT, I'M GOING TO TURN THAT OVER TO ANDY IMPARATO TO DO THE FORMAL INTRODUCTIONS.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE, LET ME JUST FIRST CHECK. CAN THE FOLKS ON THE PHONE HEAR US?

>> SUSANNE BRUYERE: JEFF WILL BE CONTROLLING THAT AND I THINK HE'LL BE ABLE TO TELL US, ANDY.

>> ANDY IMPARATO: THANK YOU. OKAY. SO MY NAME IS ANDY IMPARATO AND I'M THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING OUT ON A GOOD FRIDAY FOR THIS TOPIC. THIS TOPIC THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TODAY IS SOMETHING THAT AAPD HAS BEEN WORKING WITH A NUMBER OF DISABILITY ORGANIZES TO TRY TO ADDRESS, INCLUDING THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON INDEPENDENT LIVING CONSORTIUM FOR CITIZENS WITH DISABILITIES EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING TASK FORCE AND OTHERS.

AND WE HAVE SOME GREAT SPEAKERS TO ADDRESS THE TOPIC TODAY.

THIS IS PART OF A SERIES OF FORUMS THAT CORNELL UNIVERSITY AND AAPD HAVE BEEN DOING WITH SUPPORT FROM THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION RESEARCH. WE'RE PART OF A RESEARCH AND TRAINING CENTER ON DISABILITY AND EMPLOYMENT POLICY, AND WE REALLY SEE THESE FORUMS AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SURFACE ISSUES, GET IDEAS FROM THE FOLKS IN THE AUDIENCE. WE ALWAYS BUILD IN A LOT OF TIME FOR Q & A, SO WE WANT YOU ALL TO -- AS PEOPLE ARE MAKING THEIR PRESENTATIONS, WRITE DOWN IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS, THINGS THAT PEOPLE SAY THAT YOU WANT TO RETURN TO AND I PROMISE WE'RE GOING TO HAVE LOTS OF TIME FOR Q & A.

SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADIEU, LET ME INTRODUCE OUR SPEAKERS. THE FIRST SPEAKER IS OUR GOOD FRIEND, CHRISTINE GRIFFIN WHO IS A COMMISSIONER AT THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION. CHRIS IS LEADING AN EFFORT, A FEDERAL GOVERNMENT-WIDE EFFORT TO IMPROVE EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND SHE'S GOING TO TALK MORE ABOUT THAT. BEFORE COMING TO THE COMMISSION, CHRIS WAS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE DISABILITY LAW CENTER AND PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY AGENCY IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, WHICH YOU'LL BE ABLE TO TELL WHEN SHE SPEAKS.

AND CHRIS, ONE OF THE INTERESTING THINGS IN HER BACKGROUND IS SHE IS THE FORMER ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME ASSOCIATION, WHICH HER ALMA MATER. SO SHE'S MULTITALENTED AND WE'RE LUCKY TO HAVE CHRIS TO WORK WITH IMPROVING EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

SPEAKING AFTER CHRIS WILL BE SUSANNE BRUYERE WHO IS THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR ON THIS GRANT INITIATIVE AND WHO HAS LOTS OF RESEARCH IN DOING RESEARCH IN EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUDING RESEARCH OF WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE FEDERAL SECTOR AND SOME OF HER PUBLICATIONS, COPIES OF THEM ARE HERE TODAY AND THEY ARE ALSO ON THE CORNELL WEBSITE, BUT SHE'S GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT SOME RESEARCH, SPECIFICALLY ABOUT WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING AROUND ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. AND ALSO BECAUSE SUSANNE AND HER TEAM HAS DONE A LOT OF RESEARCH ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR, SHE CAN DRAW SOME COMPARISON BETWEEN DATA THAT RELATES TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND WHAT THEY HAVE DONE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

SPEAKING AFTER SUSANNE IS STEPHEN KING, NOT THE AUTHOR.

( LAUGHTER )

>> ANDY IMPARATO: BUT THE DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGER FOR THE CENSUS BUREAU, WHICH CHRIS TELLS ME IS DOING ONE OF THE BEST JOBS IN TERMS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AROUND PARTICULARLY USING THE SCHEDULE A HIRING AUTHORITY WHICH YOU'RE GOING TO HEAR MORE ABOUT, WHICH IS A TARGETED HIRING AUTHORITY THAT MAKES IT EASIER FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO HIRE PEOPLE WITH TARGETED DISABILITIES WITHOUT HAVING TO GO THROUGH AS MUCH PAPERWORK AND THE TYPICAL COMPETITIVE PROCESS. BUT IT'S A VERY UNDERUTILIZED TOOL AND YOU'RE GOING TO HEAR MORE ABOUT THAT ON THE PRESENTATIONS.

AND THEN LAST BUT NOT LEAST, WE HAVE ANNE SOMMERS WHO IS THE POLICY COUNCIL AT THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND SPEARHEADS A LOT OF AAPD'S ADVOCACY AND INCLUDING OUR ADVOCACY ON THIS ISSUE AND SHE ALSO IS THE MODERATOR OF AAPD'S LIST SERV, JUSTICE FOR ALL, SO SHE'S COMMUNICATING REGULARLY WITH THE GRASS ROOTS ON THIS AN A LOT OF OTHER ISSUES AND WE'RE VERY HAPPY TO HAVE ANNE PRESENTING TODAY AS WELL. SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADIEU, COMMISSIONER CHRISTINE GRIFFIN.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: ALL RIGHT. THANKS, ANDY. I'M GOING TO NEED THAT, RIGHT?

OKAY. THANK YOU. AS ANDY SAID, WHEN I CAME TO THE COMMISSION AT THE EEOC, I WAS UNDER SOME SORT OF IMPRESSION -- AND I DON'T KNOW WHY. I JUST MADE THIS UP IN MY HEAD, BUT MAYBE BECAUSE I WORKED IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. BUT I THOUGHT THEY WERE REALLY GOOD EMPLOYER OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. I ASSUMED THEY WERE PROBABLY THE BEST OBVIOUSLY BUT WHEN I WAS BEING BRIEFED BY PEOPLE AT THE EEOC, BEING BRIEFED BY THE OFFICE DIRECTOR, THE GUY WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THE FEDERAL OPERATIONS WHICH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CHECKING DATA ON EMPLOYMENT OF ALL PEOPLE IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND HOW THAT BREAKS DOWN, I THINK I MADE THE REMARK OF, OH, THEY'RE REALLY GOOD ON HIRING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. THEY LOOKED AT ME AND SAID, WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?

AND THEN HE STARTED TO EDUCATE ME ABOUT THEY WEREN'T. IT WAS GETTING WORSE AND I BECAME ALARMED. SO IDEAS I HAD IN GOING -- BEFORE I WENT TO EEOC ON WHAT I WOULD BE WORKING, ON WHAT INITIATIVES I WOULD BE CREATING, THIS WASN'T ONE OF THEM AND I LOOKED AT THE STATISTICS AND STARTED TO REALIZE, THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM.

AND WE IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAVE NO BUSINESS TELLING PRIVATE EMPLOYERS WHAT TO DO UNTIL WE GET OUR OWN HOUSE IN ORDER AND ACTUALLY PRACTICE WHAT WE PREACH AND START DOING A GOOD JOB OF HIRING PEOPLE WITH SEVERE -- I'LL SAY TARGETED DISABILITIES. NOW, YOU REALLY KNOW WHERE I'M FROM.

( LAUGHTER )

>> ANDY IMPARATO: IT COMES OUT WITH SEVERE, TOO.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: REALLY?

I FIGURED IF I SUBSTITUTED SEVERELY, I WOULDN'T SOUND SO BAD.

IT WAS BETTER THAN TARGETED, RIGHT?

EXACTLY.

( LAUGHTER )

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: ALL RIGHT. WELL, I SAY SEVERE, BUT IT REALLY IS TARGETED DISABILITIES AND THAT'S THE DATA THAT WE COLLECTED AND I THINK THIS COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT BACK IN THE LATE '70S AND THE EARLY '80S OF ALL, YOU KNOW, THE AGENCIES LIKE THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, EEOC, AT THE TIME THAT THERE WAS

GOING TO BE THIS HUGE EFFORT TO INCREASE THE EMPLOYMENT OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THAT THEY ESTABLISH SOMETHING CALLED SCHEDULE A, WHICH YOU'LL HEAR MORE ABOUT. BUT THAT THERE WAS A SUBGROUP OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES THAT REALLY DON'T GET JOBS. AND SO THEY REALLY WANTED TO TARGET OUTREACH RECRUITMENT AND GET THOSE PEOPLE INTO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

AND SO THAT'S THE DATA THAT WE AT THE EEOC COLLECT AND, YOU KNOW, THERE IS A WHOLE -- THE TERMINOLOGY IS ALL ARCHAIC, BUT TARGETED DISABILITIES REPRESENTS THE HIGHEST AND THE MOST TARGETED PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN OUR COUNTRY.

SO LET ME JUST SHOW YOU THE FACTS.

ALL RIGHT. HERE IS WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING AND THIS ONLY GOES FROM, YOU KNOW, '96 TO LAST YEAR. WELL, ACTUALLY FY-06 IS WHAT WE HAVE STATISTICS OF AND AS YOU CAN SEE, THIS IS GOING DOWN, DOWN, DOWN, DOWN. AND WE'RE AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH I THINK IN '94 OF 1.2% AND, YOU KNOW, THAT WASN'T GREAT EITHER. BUT YOU CAN SEE WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING.

SO CLEARLY, PEOPLE WITH TARGETED DISABILITIES ARE NOT GETTING JOBS IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND WE'RE LOSING PEOPLE.

>> ANDY IMPARATO: CHRIS, FOR THE PEOPLE THAT CAN'T SEE, CAN YOU DESCRIBE THAT?

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: YES, THIS GRAPH SHOWS THE DOWNWARD TREND FROM THE YEAR '96 WHICH HAS A HIGH OF 1.18% OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF PEOPLE WITH TARGETED DISABILITIES ALL THE WAY DOWN TO WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW AT .94%.

AND IT'S JUST NOT GOOD.

LET ME SHOW YOU THE LATEST STATISTICS ON EVERYBODY.

THERE ARE 2.6 MILLION PEOPLE EMPLOYED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ACROSS THIS COUNTRY.

WE BREAK IT DOWN BECAUSE WE COLLECT ALL OF THIS DATA, THE 57% MEN, 43% WOMEN, 66% WHITE, 18.4 ARE BLACK OR AFRICAN AMERICAN, 8% HISPANIC OR LATINO, 6% ASIAN, .2 NATIVE HAWAIIAN OR OTHER PACIFIC ISLANDER, 2% AMERICAN INDIAN/ALASKA NATIVE, THEY ARE LUMPED TOGETHER AND THEN WE'RE NOW COLLECTING DATA ON PERSONS OF TWO OR MORE RACES AND THAT'S .1% AND THEN AGAIN, JUST TO RESTATE, PEOPLE WITH TARGETED DISABILITIES IS AT .94, SO WHAT THAT ACTUALLY MEANS IS THAT THERE OUT OF THOSE 2.6 MILLION FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, WE CURRENTLY HAVE LIKE 24,400 PEOPLE WITH SEVERE DISABILITIES.

SO IT'S BAD.

FOR THE LATEST STATISTICS, THESE ARE THE AGENCIES THAT HAVE THE HIGHEST POPULATION AND EEOC IS AT 2.3%. SOCIAL SECURITY AT 2%. DEFENSE --

>> FEMALE AUDIENCE: LOGISTICS AGENCY.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: WELL, DFAS.

DEFENSE FINANCE ACCOUNTING SERVICES IS ALMOST AT 2%. DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY 1.92%. AND GPO, 1.7. AND NOT TO TOOT EEOC'S HORN, WE'RE AT THE HIGHEST. SO THAT'S NICE THAT WE HAVE HIRED THAT PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, IT'S STILL NOT GOOD AND FRANKLY DOESN'T MEAN A LOT.

SOCIAL SECURITY'S 2% MEANS A LOT MORE. THEY ARE A HUGE AGENCY SO THEIR NUMBERS ARE A LOT BIGGER AND THEY HAVE SOME LEADERSHIP THERE THAT ACTUALLY EMBRACE THIS ISSUE, AND THEY SHOULD GIVEN WHAT THEY DO.

LET'S LOOK AT THE CABINET-LEVEL AGENCIES. THAT'S THE NEXT SLIDE. CABINET-LEVEL AGENCY, THE TWO THREE, TREASURY, VA AND EDUCATION. THE HIGHEST THERE IS TREASURY WITH 1.7%. AND THE BOTTOM THREE, HOMELAND SECURITY, .4%. DOJ, .39%. STATE DEPARTMENT, .36%, AND JUST WANT TO POINT OUT, STATE AND DOJ ARE ALWAYS IN THE BOTTOM THREE. AND WHY WE LOOK AT THE CABINET-LEVEL AGENCIES A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENTLY, THEY ACTUALLY REPRESENT 60% OF ALL FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT. IT'S IMPORTANT TO LOOK AT THOSE 15 REALLY BIG AGENCIES AND LOOK AT WHAT THEY'RE DOING.

AND, YOU KNOW, I WOULD -- YOU KNOW, AGAIN, I WOULD HAVE ASSUMED DOJ WAS BETTER. THEY HOUSE THE WHOLE ADA ENFORCEMENT DIVISION, YOU KNOW, YOU WOULD THINK THEY WOULD HAVE SPREAD THAT OUT AMONG THE REST OF THE AGENCIES. BUT I DON'T THINK THEY HAVE.

MY GUESS IS THE .3% -- I MEAN, THE .39% ARE ALL PROBABLY IN THAT DEPARTMENT AND NOWHERE ELSE.

IF I HAD TO GUESS.

SO LET'S GO TO THE NEXT SLIDE. AS I SAID FROM '97, '96 TO 2006, THE TOTAL WORK FORCE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THOSE TWO OR WHATEVER, 26 MILLION -- I MEAN, 2.6 MILLION, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INCREASED IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES.

AND THIS IS -- YOU KNOW, I THINK THIS IS AT A TIME WHEN EVERYONE WOULD ARGUE THAT THEY REALLY WEREN'T INCREASING A LOT, BUT THEY STILL HIRED 175,000 FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND INCREASED ALMOST 5% AND DURING THE SAME PERIOD, THE NUMBER OF TARGETED PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES DECREASED FROM ALMOST 15%.

THIS IS, I MEAN, YOU'RE NOT GETTING THE PICTURE HERE. WE'RE JUST GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.

ALL RIGHT. SO LET'S LOOK AT THE NEXT SLIDE AND LOOK AT THE AVERAGE PAY RATE. BECAUSE ONCE YOU GET IN THE DOOR, IT'S NOT LIKE EVERYTHING IS HONKY DORY. SO YOU GET IN THE DOOR, FY-06, THE AVERAGE GRADE FOR ALL FEDERAL EMPLOYEES IS GS-10. FOR PEOPLE WITH TARGETED DISABILITIES IT'S 8.5. IN FY-05 THE NUMBERS WERE A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT, BUT ULTIMATELY THE RESULT IS THE SAME, THE DISPARITY IS THE SAME.

WHEN WE LOOK AT THE HIGHER RANKS, THE SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICES, TOTAL SES EMPLOYEES THROUGHOUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ARE ALMOST 21 -- I MEAN, 20,100 EMPLOYEES.

PEOPLE WITH TARGETED OR SEVERE DISABILITIES, 93, A WHOPPING 93 PEOPLE.

AND THAT REPRESENTS .46% OUT OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF SES PEOPLE.

NEXT SLIDE...AND I DON'T THINK WE HAVE THIS ON THE SLIDE, BUT I JUST WANT TO ALSO POINT OUT THAT MORE THAN 50% OF PEOPLE WITH TARGETED DISABILITIES ARE AGGREGATED IN THAT GRADES 1 THROUGH 8. SO PEOPLE ARE STUCK. YEAH, IF YOU GET IN THE DOOR, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE DONE YOU A GREAT FAVOR AND YOU PROBABLY SHOULD BE HAPPY TO STAY IN A LOWER GRADE. GOD FORBID YOU TO APPLY TO BE A SUPERVISOR BECAUSE WE KNOW WITH SEVERE DISABILITIES CAN'T DO THAT. THEY JUST CAN'T DO IT.

SO I KNOW I'M BEING FACETIOUS, BUT I CAN'T HELP IT.

SO WE'RE LOOKING AT, YOU KNOW, IN JUST ONE YEAR FROM '05 TO '06, WE SAW THE WORK FORCE INCREASE BY 570 PEOPLE DURING THE SAME TIME PEOPLE WITH SEVERE DISABILITIES ACTUALLY DECREASED BY 700 AND DESPITE HAVING THE 1503 NEW-FIRES IN '05, ALMOST 2200 PEOPLE WITH TARGETED DISABILITIES LEFT FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT.

SO, YOU KNOW, WHAT'S HAPPENING THERE?

AND SUSANNE MAY TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT.

SO LET'S TALK ABOUT SOLUTIONS...I THINK MAKING THIS ISSUE A PRIORITY AND TALKING ABOUT IT AND ASKING, YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY IN THE LEADERSHIP POSITIONS FROM THE PRESIDENT ON DOWN TO HEADS OF AGENCIES, WITH CONGRESS, BETWEEN ASKING THEM TO MAKE THIS ISSUE A PRIORITY.

AGENCIES HAVE TO AND SHOULD BY REGULATION SET GOALS ON THE EMPLOYMENT OF PEOPLE WITH SEVERE DISABILITIES, YET IT DOESN'T HAPPEN.

ONCE THAT GOAL IS SET, BECAUSE A LOT OF TIMES AN AGENCY WILL SET A GOAL, PUT IT IN THEIR MD-1715 REPORT WHICH THEY SEND TO US, THEY DON'T TELL EVERYONE ELSE IN THE AGENCY ABOUT THIS GOAL. NO ONE SEES THE REPORT, NO ONE -- YOU KNOW, THEY JUST MAKE UP A GOAL, SEND IT OFF. LET'S KEEP THE PEOPLE AT EEOC HAPPY. WE HAVE GOT OUR REPORT IN ON TIME, IT HAS THE RIGHT ELEMENTS IN IT.

AND YET NO HIRING MANAGER IS TOLD THIS IS IMPORTANT TO US. WE REALLY HAVE THIS GOAL. WE SHOULD, YOU KNOW, GO OUT AND RECRUIT AND HIRE.

AND I THINK ONCE THEY DO THAT, THEN EVERYONE SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO ACTUALLY DOING THE JOB OF ATTAINING THAT GOAL.

WE THINK THAT TRAINING ALL AGENCY PERSONNEL ON THIS ISSUE, THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER THE REHAB ACT WHICH EXIST AND EXIST TO THIS DAY, THAT LAW HASN'T GONE AWAY. IT'S BEEN REAUTHORIZED TIME AND TIME AGAIN. THIS PORTION OF IT IS NEVER TAKEN OUT AND IT SAYS, AGENCIES SHOULD DO EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO HAVE AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAM THAT WILL HIRE PEOPLE WITH SEVERE DISABILITIES.

HOW TO USE SPECIAL HIRING AUTHORITIES, AND STEPHEN WILL TALK ABOUT THAT. BUT PEOPLE IN AGENCIES NEED TO KNOW -- I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MANY THINGS I GO TO WHERE A DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGER WILL ACTUALLY COME UP AND SAY I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT SCHEDULE A. ACTUALLY, WE WERE AT A MEETING WHERE TWO WOMEN CAME UP FROM THE NAVY AND THEY WERE DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGERS OUT IN THE FIELD SOMEWHERE AND THEY SAID WE HAVE NEVER HEARD THE WORD "SCHEDULE A" UNTIL TODAY. OH, THAT'S SCARY.

SO A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE HEARD IT. THEY DON'T USE IT. THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO. THEY NEED TO BE TRAINED.

AND THEN THE WHOLE ISSUE OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS...HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY PROVIDE A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION?

AND FRANKLY, YOU KNOW, THERE IS A REALLY GOOD PROGRAM WITHIN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ON HOW TO DO THAT.

AND IF PEOPLE DON'T KNOW, IT'S CAP, THE COMPUTER ACCOMMODATIONS PROGRAM IS HOUSED WITHIN DOD, BUT IT'S OPEN AND ELIGIBLE TO BE USED BY ALL FEDERAL EMPLOYEES.

THERE IS NO EXCUSE NOT TO ACCOMMODATE A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY WITH ANY TECHNOLOGY-BASED -- THERE'S NO EXCUSE NOT TO ACCOMMODATE THEM AT ALL. BUT REALLY NO ONE SHOULD LEAVE A ROOM SAYING OH, WE CAN'T DO THAT. THIS IS TOO EXPENSIVE. THIS IS PAID FOR BY A CENTRALLY-FUNDED ORGANIZATION FOR ALL AGENCIES.

SO HERE ARE SOME RECRUITMENT TOOLS THAT PEOPLE CAN USE, EARN, THE EMPLOYER ASSISTANCE AND RECRUITING NETWORK.

WE JUST HIRED I THINK 58 PEOPLE, ENTRY-LEVEL JOBS AT THE EEOC.

I TALKED I THINK TO SOME PEOPLE INTO TAKING A LOOK AT WHAT EARN CAN DO IN RECRUITING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND OUT OF THAT GROUP, WE ACTUALLY HIRED I THINK 20, 21 PEOPLE UNDER SCHEDULE A AND ANOTHER 10 WERE VETERANS WITH DISABILITIES. SO NOW OUR NUMBERS WILL REALLY GO UP NEXT YEAR.

BUT AGAIN, WE'RE ONLY 2400 PEOPLE NATIONWIDE. BUT EARN WAS VERY HELPFUL IN GETTING THE WORD OUT THAT WE HAD THE OPENINGS AND GETTING PEOPLE FUNNELED TO US.

AND THEN WRP, THE WORK FORCE RECRUITMENT PROGRAM, THIS PROGRAM CONNECTS THE FEDERAL SECTOR EMPLOYERS NATIONWIDE WITH PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES WHO HAVE APPLIED TO BE INTERNS AND SOME OF THEM ARE ACTUALLY STILL IN SCHOOL AND SOME OF THEM ARE ACTUALLY RECENT GRADUATES AND THERE IS A WHOLE RECRUITMENT EFFORT THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS AROUND --

>> FEMALE AUDIENCE: AND THE DATABASE WAS RELEASED ON WEDNESDAY.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: THE DATABASE WAS RELEASED ON WEDNESDAY SO EVERYONE CAN ACCESS --

>> FEMALE AUDIENCE: GO TO THE WEBSITE AND SIGN UP FOR AN ACCOUNT AND THEN SEARCH THE DATABASE.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: AND THE WEBSITE IS?

WRP.GOV.

SO FOR FOLKS THAT WANT TO TAKE A LOOK AT THAT, THAT'S A GREAT WAY OF ACTUALLY GETTING SOMEONE IN THE DOOR QUICKLY AND LETTING THEM WORK FOR YOU FOR A SUMMER OR, YOU KNOW, SOME OTHER PART OF THE SCHOOL YEAR AND HELPING THEM GET, YOU KNOW, PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT.

AND FOR VETERANS WITH DISABILITIES, WE HAVE THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR'S VETERANS EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING SERVICE AND HIRE HEROS USA AND WOUNDED WARRIORS PROJECT AND SHOULD I SAY ALL OF THOSE WEBSITES?

THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR'S IS DOL.GOV AND THEN YOU GO TO VETS AND WELCOME, HIRE HEROS IS WWW.HIREHEROSUSA.ORG. AND WOUNDED WARRIORS IS WWW.WOUNDEDWARRIORPROJECT.ORG AND THAT CAN HELP YOU IF YOU WANT TO RECRUIT SPECIFICALLY VETERANS WITH DISABILITIES AS WELL.

ADVOCACY GROUPS HERE TODAY, AAPD, NATIONAL COUNCIL ON INDEPENDENT LIVING, MIKE POLLO -- I'M SORRY, NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY, MIKE POLLO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. HE CAN WAVE TO YOU. BUT THEY ARE ALSO A RESOURCE. NATIONAL COUNCIL ON INDEPENDENT LIVING. DEB IS HERE. COUNCIL OF STATE ADMINISTRATIVE VOC REHAB, AGAIN, WE'LL HEAR MORE ABOUT THAT FROM STEPHEN KING IN THE ROLE THEY PLAY IN RECRUITING FOR SCHEDULE A.

DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING IN GOVERNMENT, DHHIG.ORG AND AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND, ACB.ORG.

THOSE ARE ALL GROUPS THAT ACTUALLY CAN HELP PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND HELP YOU RECRUIT IF YOU WANT TO DO THAT.

AND WILL GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT JOBS.

HOW AM I DOING ON TIME?

AND HIRING, SCHEDULE A, I'M GOING TO LEAVE THAT ON NO COMPETITION REQUIRED, NO VACANCY REQUIRED. YOU CAN DECIDE I HAVE AN OPEN-FUNDED POSITION. I'M GOING TO GO OUT AND HIRE A PERSON WITH A SEVERE DISABILITY AND GET THEM IN UNDER SCHEDULE A AND YOU DON'T. IS THERE ANYTHING TO DO EXCEPT JUST THAT?

IT'S VERY EASY AND IT WAS CREATED SO IT WOULD BE EASY.

SOME PEOPLE MAKE IT DIFFICULT.

I'LL SKIP OVER THE SCHEDULE A HIRING AUTHORITIES. STEPHEN'S GOING TO TALK MORE ABOUT THAT AND THEN AGAIN, ACCOMMODATIONS...THE COMPUTER ELECTRONIC ACCOMMODATIONS PROGRAM, CAP. IT IS KEY THAT EVERYBODY IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KNOW ABOUT THAT. I'M ALWAYS -- AS GOOD A JOB AS DINAH COHEN, THE DIRECTOR, DOES GOING AROUND THE COUNTRY TELLING EVERYONE ABOUT IT, AGAIN, I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MANY MEETINGS WE GO TO THAT PEOPLE DIDN'T KNOW THIS WAS A POSSIBILITY OR MAYBE THEY JUST SAY THAT. I DON'T KNOW.

BUT THE REALITY IS THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY THAT NO OTHER EMPLOYER REALLY HAS UNLESS THEY HAVE DEVELOPED, YOU KNOW, A CENTRALLY FUNDED AND THEY WERE REALLY COMMITTED TO THIS. THESE FOLKS WILL GO OUT, ASSESS AN EMPLOYEE, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE THEY ARE. THEY'LL ASSESS THE PERSON FOR WHAT THEIR NEEDS ARE. THEY'LL BUY IT, THEY'LL AUDIT IT. THEY'LL COME BACK AND TRAIN THEM ON IT AND TRAIN OTHER STAFF THAT NEED TO INTERACT WITH THAT PERSON ON THE EQUIPMENT IF NECESSARY AND IT'S JUST AMAZING.

WE ADD LEAD, LEADERSHIP FOR EMPLOYMENT FOR AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES, THAT'S THE NAME OF OUR INITIATIVE AT EEOC AND WE'RE PARTNERING WITH ODEP AND JAN AND SOME OTHER FOLKS ON THIS, WE HAVE SET A GOAL OF -- WOULD LIKE TO SEE ALL OF THE AGENCIES AT 2% BY 2010. SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE IT'S A 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PASSAGE OF THE ADA. AND WE THOUGHT THAT, YOU KNOW, THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR LEADIANS TO SET A GOAL, MAKE IT REALISTIC, SOMETHING ACHIEVABLE AND INCREASE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.

SO THOSE ARE THE FACTS AND IF THERE'S ANYTHING THAT I HAVE LEARNED OVER MY 27 YEARS OF BEING A WOMAN WITH A DISABILITY IS THAT WE REALLY DON'T CHANGE SOCIETY'S ATTITUDES ABOUT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES UNTIL WE'RE IN THE WORKPLACE WORKING WITH THEM. YOU CAN DO ALL THE SENSITIVITY TRAINING YOU WANT, YOU CAN DO ALL OF THAT NICE, YOU KNOW, OCTOBER EMPLOYMENT MONTH; DISABILITY ONE DAY, TWO-HOUR THING THAT FEDERAL AGENCIES DO AND, YOU KNOW, AND EVERYONE WILL FEEL GOOD FOR 45 MINUTES OR WHATEVER AFTER THEY LEAVE, BUT THEN NOT HIRE ANYONE. THAT'S WHAT I SEE.

SO I THINK WHAT I HAVE LEARNED IS THAT WE REALLY ARE NOT GOING TO CHANGE PEOPLES' VIEWS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES UNTIL YOU'RE ACTUALLY IN THE WORKPLACE. SO LET'S GET PEOPLE IN THE WORKPLACE AND THEN WE CAN ACTUALLY SEE AND REAP, I HOPE, THE BENEFITS OF SEEING SOCIETY'S VIEWS TOWARDS WHAT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ABILITIES ARE, AND WE'LL SEE THAT CHANGED. SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

( APPLAUSE )

>> SUSANNE BRUYERE: ANDY, DO YOU WANT TO HOLD QUESTIONS UNTIL THE END?

>> ANDY IMPARATO: YES.

>> SUSANNE BRUYERE: OKAY. GREAT. THANK YOU, CHRIS. THAT WAS TERRIFIC.

I'M GOING TO TALK ABOUT SOME RESEARCH THAT AS ANDY MENTIONED, HAS BEEN DONE BY CORNELL UNIVERSITY BOTH IN THE PRIVATE AND THE FEDERAL SECTOR.

AND WHAT I WILL SAY IS THAT THIS WORK WAS CONDUCTED OVER A 5-YEAR PERIOD AND IT IS DUE TO BE DONE AGAIN.

THIS WORK WAS DONE FROM 1998 THROUGH 2003, AND WE HAVE NOW OVER THE LAST 16 MONTHS BEEN IN CONVERSATION WITH BOTH SOME FEDERAL SECTOR AND PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYERS SO THAT WE CAN BRING UPDATES AND FOCUS MORE ON CULTURE AND CLIMATE ISSUES AND NEW TECHNOLOGY NEEDS. AND YOU WILL SEE FROM THE OVERVIEW OF THIS WORK WHY WE THINK THAT'S THE NEXT STEP.

THIS WAS A PRETTY COMPREHENSIVE STUDY. AT THE TIME, WE HAD THE SUPPORT IN THE FEDERAL AGENCY OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND 16 AGENCIES THAT WERE SERVING AS A CONSORTIUM PRESIDENTIAL TASK FORCE AND EMPLOYMENT ON ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES.

AND HAD WITH THAT MUSCLE BEHIND US, ABLE TO SERVE ALL 96 AGENCIES AND GOT A 97% RESPONSE. WE HAD PHENOMENAL COLLABORATION AND SUPPORT.

AND WE ALSO GOT A COMPARABLE SAMPLE FROM THE SOCIETY RESOURCE MANAGEMENT. AND WE WERE FOCUSED BOTH ON SUPERVISORS AND HR AND EEO PROFESSIONALS IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND HR PROFESSIONALS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR. SO WITH OUR SUPERVISOR GROUP, WE GOT ABOUT 1,000 SURVEYS COMPLETED WITH BOTH WHITE COLLAR AND BLUE COLLAR WORKERS BECAUSE WE WANTED TO SEE IF THERE WERE DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN THE TWO.

BUT IN THAT SURVEY, JUST 16 OF THE 96 AGENCIES.

SO JUST TO SHOW YOU, WE ARE GOING TO ONLY TOUCH A FEW THINGS, BUT IT WAS A VERY BROAD-BASED SURVEY. WE TALKED ABOUT ACCOMMODATION PROCESS. WE WERE REALLY TRYING TO SEE HOW HR MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS WERE RESPONDING TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE REHAB ACT AND THE ADA IN THE FEDERAL SECTOR.

RECRUITMENT, PREEMPLOYMENT SCREENING, TESTING, NEW EMPLOYEE ORIENTATION, HEALTH AND OTHER BENEFITS OF EMPLOYMENT, PROMOTION TRAINING, DISMISSALS, INTERACTION WITH LABOR OR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ISSUES IN OTHER EMPLOYMENT LEGISLATION, PARTICULARLY IN THE FEDERAL SECTOR. THERE'S A STRONGER UNIONIZED ENVIRONMENT MORE SO IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND A LOT OF LABOR RELATIONS AND EMPLOYEE RELATIONS THAT WE WANTED TO LOOK AT.

AND ALSO INTERACTION WITH HEALTH AND SAFETY, FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT, DRUG TESTING KINDS OF ISSUES, WHICH HR PROFESSIONALS WERE FINDING PARTICULARLY DIFFICULT.

WHO THEY HIRED AND WHAT TOPICS THEY HIRED ABOUT, WHO THEY WENT TO, TO TRY TO PROBLEM SOLVE AND THERE ARE DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN THE PRIVATE AND THE FEDERAL SECTOR. WHAT RESOURCES THEY WENT TO AND THE ROLE OF DISABILITY MANAGEMENT AND RETURN TO WORK PROGRAMS, WHICH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WAS JUST BEGINNING TO EXPLORE AND TRYING TO REPLICATE PRIVATE SECTOR INITIATIVES AT THE TIME. SO THAT WAS INTERESTING TO US.

AND IN HERE, IS JUST A SNAPSHOT, I JUST CAME WITH A FEW SLIDES TO SHOW YOU WE HAVE EXTENSIVE -- REPORTS THAT ARE AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE AND I'D BE HAPPY TO FOLLOW UP WITH ANYONE.

THE BLUE BARS ARE THE PRIVATE SECTOR. WE PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE MADE THE FEDERAL BLUE, BUT WE DID JUST THE OPPOSITE AND THE YELLOW IS THE FEDERAL SECTOR. AND YOU CAN SEE HERE WE PICKED AFTER INITIALLY BEING A LOT OF DISCUSSIONS WITH A LOT OF HR PROFESSIONALS WHAT SEEMED TO BE THE MOST TYPICAL ACCOMMODATIONS AND WHAT WE FOUND WERE THAT A LOT OF THE FACILITIES KINDS OF THINGS AND THE THINGS ABOUT PREEMPLOYMENT SCREENING PEOPLE HAD BEGUN TO GET THE DRIFT OF BY THAT TIME. IT WAS 10 YEARS POST-ADA. IT WAS 25 YEARS SINCE THE REHAB ACT AND SO PEOPLE HAD A FAMILIARITY. THEY WERE TELLING US THAT IT WASN'T AS DIFFICULT TO MAKE LOCATIONS ACCESSIBLE OR MAKE CHANGES IN THEIR INTERVIEW PROCESS, BUT THAT IT WAS STILL -- IT'S PARTICULARLY FOR THE PRIVATE SECTOR, BUT EVEN FOR THE FEDERAL SECTOR, DIFFICULT TO KNOW WHAT TO DO AROUND ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH SENSORY IMPAIRMENTS, WHICH WE FOUND TRAGIC BECAUSE THERE'S SO MUCH THAT CAN BE DONE IN THAT AREA AND IT'S ONLY ENHANCED DURING THIS TIME.

SO TO KNOW THAT INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE WITH HEARING IMPAIRMENTS AND VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS WERE SEEN AS THE MOST DIFFICULT IS SOMETHING THAT TOLD US WE NEEDED INTERVENTIONS.

AND SIMILARLY, WHEN WE ASKED THE QUESTION A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENTLY AND WE ASKED THESE HR PROFESSIONALS WHAT THEY WERE FAMILIAR WITH, THEY HAD LOTS OF FAMILIARITY WITH PREEMPLOYMENT SCREENING KINDS OF THINGS THAT HAD OBVIOUSLY PROBABLY BEEN DRILLED INTO THEM. BUT MUCH LESS FAMILIARITY IT SEEMED PERHAPS BECAUSE IT WASN'T SEEN AS MUCH AS A LEGAL COMPLIANCE ISSUE AROUND THESE ACCESS AND ACCOMMODATIONS ISSUES.

AS YOU CAN SEE HERE, THE FAMILIARITY IS GREATER WHICH IS ENCOURAGING. CHRIS'S ONE POSITIVE THING, IS THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAD BEEN AT THIS A WHOLE LOT LONGER SINCE 1973. AND SO PERHAPS I WOULD LIKE TO THINK THEY HAD INCREASING FAMILIARITY WITH ALL THOSE YEARS BECAUSE YOU SEE THERE'S HIGHER, ALTHOUGH STILL LOWER, THAN THE OTHER AREAS, HIGHER FOR THE FEDERAL SECTOR ON ADAPTING PRINT MATERIALS, WHICH IS 45% FAMILIARITY TO 28%, FEDERAL TO PRIVATE. USING A PERSON WHO IS A READER FOR A PERSON WITH A VISUAL IMPAIRMENT, 58 TO 31%. USING TTY, 51 TO 43%, ASSIGNING SIGN LANGUAGEERS INTERPRETERS, 76%, A LOT MORE IN THE FEDERAL THAN THE PRIVATE, ONLY 33%. SO WE TOOK SOME SIMILAR KINDS OF QUESTIONS. THERE WERE SOME DIFFERENCES AND WE TRIED TO DO A LOT OF PARALLELS WITH THE SUPERVISORS WHO ARE WHERE THIS USUALLY STARTS AND IF I HAD MY DRUTHERS, I WOULD GET TO MANY, MANY MORE SUPERVISORS. AND IT'S HARD TO REACH THEM. AND IT WAS GREAT THAT OUR FEDERAL PARTNER ALLOWED US TO DO THAT. IT'S DIFFICULT FOR US TO DO THAT WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR. EMPLOYERS REALLY KEEP YOU AT ARM'S LENGTH FROM MAKING THOSE KINDS OF INQUIRIES. SO TO HAVE A THOUSAND PEOPLE WHO RESPONDED, AGAIN, AT THE 90% RANGE, WE HAD EVERYBODY REALLY WORKING WITH US IS TERRIFIC. AND WHAT WE SEE ARE SOME SIMILAR KINDS OF DIFFERENCES, HOWEVER, AMONG SUPERVISORS LESS FAMILIARITY IN THE 30'S AND 40'S % AROUND ACCESS TO USING A READER TO ASSIST A PERSON WITH A LEARNING DISABILITY OR VISUAL IMPAIRMENT. USING A TTY OR RELAY SERVICE TO SET UP INTERVIEWS 38%. WE HAVE DOUBLE BARS IN HERE AND I'M NOT SURE WHY. I HAVE TO GO BACK AND LOOK. ACCESSING SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS, 49%. RESTRICTIONS ON LISTENING MEDICAL INFORMATION, 65%.

FRAMING QUESTIONS TO APPLICANTS ABOUT THE ABILITY TO PERFORM SPECIFIC TASKS GOT BETTER, BUT, AGAIN, YOU KNOW, THE ISSUES AROUND ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH SENSORY IMPAIRMENTS IS STILL PROBLEMATIC.

SOMETHING ELSE WE FOUND REALLY COMPELLING AND WHICH IS WHY WE WANT TO GO BACK AND LOOK MORE CLOSELY IN BOTH SECTORS ON CLIMATE, CULTURE KINDS OF ISSUES IS THAT ATTITUDES IN BOTH SECTORS AND THEN UNFORTUNATELY IT WAS EVEN HIGHER HERE, TWICE WHAT IT WAS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR, WHICH WE FOUND QUITE REMARKABLE. BUT THE ISSUES WERE NOT AROUND COSTS. NOT COST OF ADJUSTMENT OR ACCOMMODATION OR TRAINING OR SUPERVISION IN EITHER SECTOR. THOSE RANGED FROM 9 TO 19% ACROSS BOTH SECTORS. IT WAS ON ATTITUDES ISSUES. IT WAS ON THE SUPERVISOR'S KNOWLEDGE OF ACCOMMODATION BOTH THINGS WITHIN THE WORKPLACE. AND EITHER PERCEIVED OR ACTUAL DISPARITIES IN REQUISITE TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE. AND AGAIN, IT'S HARD FOR US TO KNOW DO WE INDEED DO A POOR JOB?

WE KNOW WE CAN DO A BETTER JOB OF PREPARING YOUNG PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN EQUITABLE TRAINING AND PROMOTION ENHANCEMENT FOR PEOPLE ONCE THEY ARE IN THE WORKPLACE. WE KNOW THERE'S DISPARITIES THERE, BUT IT'S HARD TO KNOW HOW MUCH IS AN ACTUAL DISPARITY IN TRAINING, IN PREPARATION, IN OPPORTUNITY AND HOW MUCH IS THE CONTINUING PERCEPTIONS OF PEOPLE THAT THERE IS A DISPARITY THERE?

SO WE NEED TO WORK ON BOTH. WE CAN'T AFFORD TO IGNORE ONE OR THE OTHER.

AND A BIT ON SUPERVISORS, AGAIN, TAKING A LOOK AT A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE PROSPECTUS OF AND THIS IS JUST FEDERAL SECTORS, WHAT THE SUPERVISORS THOUGHT AND WHAT THE HR PROFESSIONALS THOUGHT.

INTERESTING WE HEAR AND I THINK WE PROBABLY -- I THINK WE CAN CONJECTURE WHY THAT MIGHT BE, IS THE SUPERVISORS ARE LESS LIKELY TO SEE BARRIERS HERE -- ARE LESS LIKELY -- THANK YOU, TO SEE BARRIERS HERE THAN OUR EEOC PERSONS ARE. COST OF TRAININGS, COST OF ACCOMMODATIONS STILL IS AT THE LOW END AMONG THESE OTHER KINDS OF PERCEIVED BARRIERS. BUT SEEN AS LESS OF AN ISSUE, EVEN THAN THE HR/EEO PROFESSIONALS BY 2-4, IN SOME CASES 8% ACROSS EACH WHERE THE ATTITUDES, SUPERVISOR KNOWLEDGE, THE SKILLS OF THE INDIVIDUAL STILL AT THE HIGHER END FOR BOTH POPULATIONS, BUT SEEN AS MORE MARKETEDLY A BARRIER, IN SOME CASE TWICE AS MUCH FOR ATTITUDES ISSUE BY THE HR PROFESSIONALS AS THE SUPERVISORS.

AND I WOULD CONJECTURE THAT THAT MAY BE BECAUSE THE HR PROFESSIONALS GET THE MOST AUTHORITY ISSUES BROUGHT TO THEM AND THE SUPERVISORS PERHAPS DO MUCH MORE ACCOMMODATION AS A PART OF DOING BUSINESS AND TAKE CARE OF THINGS AND KNOW THAT THEY CAN PROBLEM SOLVE. I WOULD LIKE TO THINK THAT'S A PART OF WHAT WE ARE SEEING BUT WE DON'T KNOW FOR SURE AND WE DEFINITELY NEED TO GO BACK DEEPLY AND SEE WHY ARE THERE DIFFERENCES AND WHY THOSE REAL BARRIERS ARE CONTINUING.

SO WE ALSO ASKED TRYING TO FIND OUT HOW TO PROBLEM SOLVE THIS, WHAT WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE, BOTH IN THE PRIVATE AND THE FEDERAL SECTOR?

WE WANTED TO KNOW HOW CAN WE GO BACK IN, HOW CAN WE CREATE SOLUTIONS AND INTERVENTIONS THAT WILL HELP TO ADDRESS THOSE THINGS YOU STILL SEE AS PROBLEMS.

NUMBER 1 ACROSS THE BOARD AND THIS IS WHY WE ARE SO HAPPY TO HAVE CHAMPIONS HERE LIKE CHRIS AND STEPHEN, IN THE FEDERAL SECTOR, IS VISUAL TOP MANAGEMENT COMMITMENT, NUMBER ONE ACROSS THE BOARD. AND I HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT'S NOT JUST TRUE FOR DISABILITY. IF YOU LOOK AT ANY OTHER MINORITY GROUP'S INTEREST IN MAKING CHANGE IN THE WORKPLACE, IT ALWAYS TAKES THAT KIND OF COMMITMENT FROM TOP MANAGEMENT TO MAKE A CHANGE OF ANY KIND. AND PARTICULARLY CULTURE CHANGES. IT NEEDS TO BE A MESSAGE THAT'S CLEARLY SENT FROM THE TOP. EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT AND SO IT'S JUST A QUESTION OF MAKING SURE THAT HAPPENS. MENTORING...AND ANDY IS THE PERFECT PARTNER FOR THIS KIND OF DISCUSSION BECAUSE HE'S DONE A PHENOMENAL JOB OF BRINGING THE MENTORING PROCESS, YOU KNOW, INTO INTERNSHIPS IN THE SUMMER ACROSS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THAT PROGRAM HAS GROWN. THERE ARE SEVERAL OF THEM NOW JUST IN LEAPS AND BOUNDS AND HAS A STRONG FOUNDING IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR AS WELL. WE ARE DOING WELL THERE. IT'S AN IMPORTANT PART OF DOING A GOOD JOB AND THE HR PROFESSIONALS SEE THAT AS SOMETHING AS VALUABLE, ON SITE CONSULTATION, TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IS SEEN AS VALUABLE. SEEN AS MORE VALUABLE BY OUR FEDERAL SURVEY RESPONDENTS THAN THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND LAST BUT STILL EQUALLY OF INTEREST, STAFF TRAINING, LESS OUTSIDE SHORT-TERM ASSISTANCE. AND THIS EMPLOYER TAX INCENTIVES, THERE IS A SKEW HERE OF COURSE BECAUSE THE FEDERAL SECTOR DOESN'T AFFECT. AND HERE IS WHAT'S INTERESTING ABOUT THIS AND IT'S NOT NOTED HERE AND IT SHOULD BE, IS WE USED A DIFFERENT ITEM BECAUSE THE FEDERAL SECTOR IS NOT GOING TO BE INCENTIVIZED BY THE TAX INVENTIVE AND EMPLOYEES THAT INTEREST 1-4 BECAUSE ONLY REALLY THE SMALL EMPLOYERS SEE IT AS WORTH THEIR TIME OTHERWISE TOO MUCH PAPERWORK. BUT WHY YOU SEE SUCH A DIFFERENCE IS THE ITEM FOR THE FEDERAL SECTOR WAS CENTRAL POOL FUNDING FOR ACCOMMODATION. THAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE WE MADE. I APOLOGIZE FOR NOT HAVING IT THERE. BUT OF COURSE 2/3 OF THE PEOPLE SAID OF COURSE, WE WOULD DO BETTER IF WE HAD A CENTRAL POOL OF MONEY FOR ACCOMMODATION.

AND HERE ARE SUPERVISOR'S RESPONSES FOR NEEDS TO REDUCE BARRIERS. SIMILARLY THEY FOUND THE VERY SAME KINDS OF THINGS WERE GOING TO BE HELPFUL. 85% VISIBLE TOP MANAGEMENT COMMITMENT, SKILL TRAINING FOR EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES.

THAT WAS ONE OF THE QUESTIONS THAT WE ASKED THEM THAT WE DIDN'T ASK THE HR PROFESSIONALS AND WHAT'S IMPORTANT I THINK FOR US TO THINK ABOUT IS HAVING THOSE KINDS OF SUPPORTS AND OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE. 83% ALMOST AS IMPORTANT AS VISUAL TOP MANAGEMENT COMMITMENT. HOW DO WE DO THAT?

HOW DO WE PROVIDE THAT KIND OF SUPPORT AND ONGOING TRAINING TO PEOPLE?

MENTORING, STAFF TRAINING, ONSITE CONSULTATION, ALL, YOU KNOW, THREE OR FOUR PEOPLE SAID HELPFUL AND LESS CHANGING COWORKER ATTITUDES, BUT STILL 2/3 OF PEOPLE. WE KNOW WE HAVE TO ADDRESS THAT. ON DOWN, SPECIAL BUDGET ALLOCATION, CENTRALIZED ACCOMMODATION FUNDS, 2/3. DEVELOPMENT INPUT FROM A DISABILITY ADVISORY GROUP, 62% AND THESE WERE AGAIN SOME ITEMS WE DIDN'T ASK THE HR PROFESSIONALS.

60% SAID INCLUDE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND ACCOMMODATION FUNCTIONS AND SUPERVISORY ACCOMMODATIONS. ISN'T THAT TELLING -- I THINK THAT'S A WONDERFUL COMMENT FOR THEM TO SAY YOU HAVE GOT TO TELL ME. IT'S IMPORTANT. AND IF YOU TELL ME IT'S IMPORTANT AND I GET REWARDED FOR IT, I'LL DO IT. 2/3 OF THEM TELL US THAT. THAT'S A NO-BRAINER.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: WHAT GETS MEASURED IS TREASURE.

( LAUGHTER )

>> SUSANNE BRUYERE: AND I WOULD HOLD ALL THE WAY THROUGH UP AND DOWN THE ORGANIZATION. 59% IS SIMILAR KIND OF MESSAGE. DEPARTMENT REWARD OR RECOGNITION FOR THESE KINDS OF INITIATIVES, AND THEN 57% LESS POPULAR, BUT IT'S STILL, YOU KNOW, 1-2 SHORT-TERM ASSISTANCE OUTSIDE OF THE JOB. SO THIS WOULD BE SOMETHING LIKE JOB COACHING KIND OF ASSISTANCE THAT MIGHT BE USEFUL.

WHEN WE ASKED THE HR PROFESSIONALS THESE QUESTIONS, THE QUESTIONS ARE A LITTLE DIFFERENT ABOUT MEANS TO REDUCE -- SORRY. THIS IS THE RESOURCES USED TO RESOLVE ACCOMMODATION BY FEDERAL AGENCIES AND THIS IS THE HR PROFESSIONALS. THEY USE THEIR EEO OFFICE, ISN'T THIS INTERESTING?

AND AGAIN I WOULD SAY THAT IT IS OFTEN PROBABLY BECAUSE THE THORNYEST ISSUES, THE MOST COMPLEX ISSUES COME TO THEM, THEY TEND TO SEE THIS. 90% SAY THAT'S THEIR TOP RESOURCE. WE GO TO OUR EEO OFFICE FOR THAT. INTERNAL LEGAL COUNSEL NUMBER 2 AT 85%. AND THEN ERGONOMIC STAFF, 72% THAT WOULD SAY THAT THERE'S PROBABLY A LOT OF WORKPLACE ACCOMMODATION KIND OF ISSUES THAT SURFACE TO ME. THE EEOC, 66%. DISABILITY MANAGEMENT OR BENEFIT STAFF, 62%. DISPUTE RESOLUTION OR CENTER MEDIATION, HALF, 52%. HALF AGAIN, UNION REPRESENTATIVES WHICH YOU DON'T SEE. IT'S VERY LOW IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR. JOB ACCOMMODATION NETWORK. BETH WOULD BE HAPPY TO HEAR THAT. IS AT 43%. LOCAL INDEPENDENT LIVING CENTERS, 40%. REGIONAL ADA TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTERS, 20%. OUTSIDE LEGAL COUNSEL 13%, WHICH IS THE TOP RESOURCE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR. BIG DIFFERENCE AND NOT AS GOOD -- NOT AS WELL SUBSCRIBED OF THESE INDEPENDENT LIVING-TYPE CENTER RESOURCES AND JAN. THEY GO TO THE PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS. SHRM, THEIR LEGAL COUNSEL IS THEIR TOP ADVISOR ON THESE ISSUES.

ALL RIGHT. SO OUR RESULTING RECOMMENDATIONS...THAT TOP-MANAGEMENT COMMITMENT IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT THING. THAT'S WHY THE LEADERSHIP OF OUR FEDERAL COLLEAGUES HERE IS SO IMPORTANT. WE NEED TO HAVE ORGANIZATIONS, HAVE AGENCIES UNDERSTAND THEY HAVE TO SAY THAT THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR CHANGE TO OCCUR.

SO WE NEED TO INCREASE VISIBILITY OF GOALS, THE MEASURABLE OPPORTUNITY. METRICS IS ALSO AS IMPORTANT AS THE MESSAGE. PEOPLE NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT DOING A GOOD JOB IS.

NEXT, ADDRESS ACCOMMODATION KNOWLEDGE WITH SPECIFIC POPULATIONS. NOT ONLY DID WE HEAR THAT OUR SUPERVISORS DON'T KNOW WHAT ACCOMMODATIONS ARE, BUT WE KNOW THAT THERE IS A STRONG DEFICIT OF KNOWLEDGE AROUND CENSORING IMPAIRMENTS. THERE'S SUCH PHENOMENAL TECHNOLOGY OUT THERE THAT REALLY ADVANCES ALL OF US. THE UNIVERSAL DESIGN MESSAGE SHOULD BE STRONG AND CLEAR ON THIS ISSUE AND PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH DISABILITIES IS ANOTHER AREA THAT PEOPLE REALLY WERE STRUGGLING WITH, REALLY NEEDED MORE SUPPORT ON.

FAILURE TO MAKE ACCOMMODATION WAS THE NUMBER ONE COMPLAINT. INCREASE -- AND THIS IS A BUG FOR STEPHEN. INCREASED USE OF HIRING AUTHORITY. PEOPLE DIDN'T UNDERSTAND IT IF THEY KNEW ABOUT IT AT ALL. WE KNOW WE NEED TO ADDRESS CULTURAL AND ATTITUDINAL ISSUES AND WE KNOW, THAT NOT JUST TOP MANAGEMENT, BUT EVERYBODY, EVERY SERVICE, EVERY LINKING ORGANIZATION WITHIN THE FEDERAL SECTOR NEEDS TO BE ENGAGED IN THIS BECAUSE QUESTIONS GO TO HR, THEY GO TO EEO, THEY GO TO THE UNIONS, HEALTH AND SAFETY PROFESSIONALS, DIVERSITY NEEDS TO BE BROUGHT IN AS WELL AS DISABILITY MANAGEMENT AND RETURN TO WORK. THIS IS EVERYBODY'S ISSUE. SO WE NEED TO EDUCATE UP AND DOWN THE ORGANIZATION.

WITH THAT, I'LL SAY I'M READY FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORK. SO I'M HOPING THE WE ARE GETTING A MOVEMENT AFLOAT IN THIS CONSIDERATION. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION.

( APPLAUSE )

>> STEPHEN KING: I'M STEVE, STEPHEN KING. I APOLOGIZE IF YOU CAME EXPECTING SOMEONE ELSE AS ANDY ALLUDED TO EARLIER.

( LAUGHTER )

>> STEPHEN KING: ACTUALLY THE CENSUS BUREAU JUST HIRED ANOTHER STEPHEN KING. HE HAS A BETTER E-MAIL ADDRESS, HE DOESN'T HAVE TO USE HIS MIDDLE INITIAL EVEN THOUGH I'M THE FIRST ONE THERE. IF YOU DO SEND ME E-MAIL, I'LL SEND YOU INFORMATION LATER, THE “M” IS VERY IMPORTANT OR THE MESSAGE WILL NOT GET TO ME.

I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT SCHEDULE A.

NOW, I REALIZE THERE ARE VARYING DEGREES OF EXPERIENCE WITH SCHEDULE A IN THE AUDIENCE AND PEOPLE LISTENING, SO PLEASE BEAR WITH ME AS I GO THROUGH SOME OF IT.

SOME PEOPLE HAVE HEARD ME SPEAK TO GROUPS BEFORE AND I HAVE GIVEN SOME OF THE SAME MESSAGE TO GROUPS IN THE PAST, SO KEEP THAT IN MIND AS WELL.

THROUGHOUT THIS PRESENTATION, WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO IS ANSWER SOME BASIC QUESTIONS. I FIRST OF ALL WANT TO TALK ABOUT WHAT IS SCHEDULE A AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM THE TRADITIONAL COMPETITIVE HIRING PROCESS?

HOW CAN AGENCIES BEST UTILIZE SCHEDULE A?

I WANT TO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE ROLE OF THE DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGER IN THE ENTIRE PROCESS. AND ALSO HOW WE CAN POSSIBLY DO BETTER?

IT WON'T NECESSARILY BE IN THIS ORDER. I ALSO WANT TO SAY THAT I'M A PERSON THAT MAYBE NOT AT CHRISTINE'S LEVEL, BUT I DO SPEAK FREELY AND I WANT TO SAY THAT ALTHOUGH YOU SEE THE CENSUS BUREAU LISTED UP HERE, THAT THE VIEWS THAT I EXPRESS ARE MY OWN, EVEN THOUGH I AM HERE ON CENSUS BUREAU TIME AT THE MOMENT. I JUST THOUGHT I'D PUT THAT IN BEFORE I GET STARTED. A DISCLAIMER, EXACTLY.

( LAUGHTER )

>> STEPHEN KING: SCHEDULE A IN SHORT IS A HIRING AUTHORITY, A SPECIAL APPOINTING AUTHORITY IF YOU WILL OR A HIRING FLEXIBILITY, A TOOL, WHICH FEDERAL AGENCIES CAN USE TO NONCOMPETITIVELY HIRE OR APPOINT PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES INTO THE, EXCEPT SERVICE WITHIN, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

MORE SPECIFICALLY, IT TARGETS PERSONS WITH MENTAL RETARDATION, SEVERE PHYSICAL DISABILITIES OR PSYCHIATRIC DISABILITIES.

WHAT'S GREAT ABOUT SCHEDULE A IN PART IS THE FLEXIBILITY OF IT.

IT CAN BE USED TO PLACE PEOPLE NONCOMPETITIVELY INTO PERMANENT POSITIONS, TYING LIMITED APPOINTMENT OR TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT.

FOR EXAMPLE, IT'S GREAT FOR SUMMER INTERNSHIPS AS WELL AS PERMANENT PLACEMENTS.

ONE OF THE GREATEST BENEFITS OF SCHEDULE A IN MY OPINION THAT MAKE IT SO EASY TO USE IS THE FACT THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO POST A VACANCY.

I'M GOING THE STEP ASIDE FOR A MOMENT AND TALK ABOUT THE STANDARD TRADITIONAL HIRING PROCESS FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH IT. BASICALLY A MANAGER WILL PUT IN A REQUEST WITH THEIR HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT SAYING, HEY, I NEED TO HIRE SOMEONE. I HAVE A VACANCY, I NEED TO GET THIS FILLED.

THEY GO TO THEIR HR DEPARTMENT TO DO THAT. AN HR SPECIALIST WILL WORK WITH THE MANAGER TO PREPARE A VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT.

YOU HAVE TO DETERMINE, FIRST OF ALL, WHAT SKILLS ARE REQUIRED -- ARE GOING TO BE REQUIRED OF SOMEONE WHO WILL BE FILLING THIS POSITION.

YOU HAVE TO DETERMINE HOW YOU'RE GOING TO RATE AND RANK ALL OF THE CANDIDATES. I'LL TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THAT IN A MOMENT.

YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DECIDE HOW LONG THE VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT IS GOING TO BE OPEN AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE.

AND ALSO THE QUESTIONS THAT YOU'RE GOING TO ASK. YOU KNOW, THERE ARE COMPETENCY-BASED QUESTIONS, QUALITY-RANKING FACTORS, THINGS OF THAT NATURE THAT APPLICANTS WILL HAVE TO ADDRESS DURING THE APPLICATION PROCESS.

I CAN TELL YOU AS A MANAGER WHO HAS WENT TO HIRE A NEW STAFF MEMBER WHO FOLLOWED THE TRADITIONAL HIRING PROCESS YEARS AGO, IT'S VERY TIME CONSUMING. YOU COULD SPEND SEVERAL MONTHS WORKING ON ALL THE BACKGROUND STUFF BEFORE THE VACANCY EVER GOES LIVE.

SO IT DOES TAKE A LOT OF YOUR TIME BECAUSE LET'S FACE IT, MANAGERS DON'T HAVE THE TIME TO SIT AT THEIR DESK WITH AN HR SPECIALIST AND KNOCK THIS OUT IN A FEW DAYS. IT JUST DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY.

IF THE VACANCY DOES OPEN -- USUALLY THE VACANCY WOULD OPEN LET'S SAY FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS. AFTER IT CLOSES, EVERYONE IS RATED A RANK. AN HR SPECIALIST HAS TO GO THROUGH AND MAKE SURE EVERYONE WHO APPLIED IS QUALIFIED. EVERYONE IS ASSIGNED A SCORE. THAT'S WHERE VETERAN'S PREFERENCE COMES INTO PLACE FOR ALL THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE DEFINITELY HEARD OF THAT. A LIST IS CREATED OF THE MOST QUALIFIED PEOPLE WHO APPLIED FOR THAT POSITION.

DEPENDING ON HOW THE JOB IS POSTED AND OTHER FACTORS, IN SOME CASES A MANAGER MAY ONLY BE ABLE TO SELECT FROM THE TOP THREE CANDIDATES ON THE LIST OF THE MOST QUALIFIED PEOPLE.

IF AN AGENCY IS USING WHAT'S CALLED CATEGORY RATING AS A RATING PROCESS, THEY COULD HAVE MORE OPTIONS. THEY COULD BE EVERYONE THAT SCORED OVER A CERTAIN SCORE. LET'S SAY 90 AND ABOVE. IT COULD GIVE YOU A POOL OF LET'S SAY 15 CANDIDATES.

BUT AS I MENTIONED, A VACANCY NEVER HAS TO BE POSTED TO BEGIN WITH IF AN AGENCY IS AWARE OF SOMEONE WHO IS QUALIFIED WHO HAS A DISABILITY, WHO HAS AS THE FIRST BULLET SAYS, UNDER THE SCHEDULE A, YOU CAN USE IT TO HIRE PEOPLE WITH MENTAL RETARDATION, SEVERE PHYSICAL DISABILITIES OR PSYCHIATRIC DISABILITIES, IF YOU HAVE A CANDIDATE THAT MEETS THAT AND THEY ARE QUALIFIED AND A STRONG CANDIDATE, THEN A MANAGER COULD HIRE THAT PERSON WITHOUT EVER GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS OF OPENING IT UP.

HOWEVER, IF A CANDIDATE DOES -- A CANDIDATE WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR SCHEDULE A, WHO DOES HAVE A DISABILITY AND WOULD LIKE TO APPLY TO A VACANCY THAT THEY DO SEE POSTED ONLINE, THEY CAN USE THEIR SCHEDULE A ELIGIBILITY THEN AS WELL.

WHAT HAPPENS IN THAT CASE IF THE VACANCY'S BEEN OPEN AND SOMEONE WHO HAS A DISABILITY APPLIES AND UTILIZES THEIR SCHEDULE A ELIGIBILITY, AS LONG AS THEY ARE QUALIFIED, THEY ARE GOING TO BE AUTOMATICALLY REFERRED TO THE MANAGER. SO THEY WILL COME ACROSS THE MANAGER'S DESK.

NOW, IF YOU WANT ME TO BE HONEST WITH YOU AND TALKING TO A LOT OF HR PROFESSIONALS, A LOT OF MANAGERS NEVER WELL LOOK AT THE NONCOMPETITIVE LIST THAT'S GIVEN TO THEM. THAT'S SOMETHING WE NEED TO CHANGE.

AND YOU'VE HEARD BOTH OF THE SPEAKERS BEFORE ME TALK ABOUT TRAINING. I'M GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT THAT IN A LITTLE WHILE AS WELL BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT'S KEY, IT'S KEY TO MAKING THIS WORK AND FOR US UTILIZING THIS MORE.

THAT LIST THAT I TOLD YOU OF THE MOST QUALIFIED PEOPLE, THAT'S CALLED A CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBLE OR CERTIFICATE.

IT CAN BE UTILIZED AT ALL GRADE LEVELS. THERE USED TO BE I THINK IN AUGUST OF 2006, THE SCHEDULE A WAS CHANGED. THERE USED TO BE A GRADE LIMIT. NOW THERE IS NO GRADE LIMIT ON SCHEDULE A AND HOW IT IS USED. IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THE QUALIFICATION STANDARDS REMAIN. I THINK SOMETIMES MANAGERS THINK IF YOU TALK ABOUT SCHEDULE A, YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE WHO IS PROBABLY NOT AS QUALIFY AND THEY ARE GETTING IN DUE TO THEIR DISABILITY. THAT'S NOT TRUE.

YOU WANT -- YOU HOLD EVERYONE TO THE SAME QUALIFICATION STANDARDS, EITHER SOMEONE'S QUALIFIED FOR A POSITION OR THEY'RE NOT.

I CAN TELL YOU AS A DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGER IF ANYTHING, I KIND OF HOLD A HIGH BAR BECAUSE I WANT STRONG PLACEMENT. I WANT TO GIVE THAT MANAGER THE BEST PERSON THAT I POSSIBLY CAN FROM MY POOL OF RESUMES THAT I RECEIVE FROM CANDIDATES. I WANT TO HAVE STRONG PLACEMENT. ALTHOUGH WHAT I'M GOING TO SAY MAY NOT BE FAIR, BUT IF I WERE TO REFER SOMEONE TO A HIRING MANAGER WHO HAS A DISABILITY, WHO'S ELIGIBLE FOR SCHEDULE A, THE MANAGER HIRES THEM AND LET'S SAY THINGS DON'T WORK OUT, SOME MANAGERS WILL NOT UTILIZE YOUR PROGRAM AGAIN. IS THAT FAIR?

NO, AND AS FOLKS AT THE EEOC AND JOE, MY BUDDY IN THE BACK, THAT WORKS WITH THE COMMISSIONER WILL TELL YOU, WE ALL HAVE PROBLEMS, WE HIRE PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, IF SOMEONE IS A WHITE VELVS, DOES THAT MEAN YOU NO LONGER HIRE WHITE VELVS?

NO. THAT'S SOMETHING WE NEED TO ADDRESS.

PERFORMANCE STANDARDS REMAIN. WHEN I GO OUT AND TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT SCHEDULE A, THE LAST THING I WANT THEM TO DO IS TO UTILIZE MY PROGRAM BECAUSE THEY WANT TO DO WHAT'S WRONG. THEY WANT TO HIRE SOMEONE WITH A DISABILITY BECAUSE THEY FEEL SORRY FOR THEM, ET CETERA, I DON'T WANT THAT.

BECAUSE IF THEY DO THAT, THEY ARE MUCH LESS LIKELY TO ACTUALLY HOLD THEM TO THE SAME STANDARDS AS THEY DO ALL OF THEIR OTHER EMPLOYEES.

WE RECENTLY HAD A SITUATION WHERE SOMEONE -- A MANAGER CAME TO ME WHO HAD NEVER WANTED TO USE MY PROGRAM IN THE PAST IN MY OPINION, VERY HESITANT TO DO SO. AND HE HAPPENED -- DUE TO A REORGANIZATION -- HAPPENED TO ACQUIRE AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAD A DISABILITY. QUITE FRANKLY THE PERSON IN MY OPINION IS NOT QUALIFIED TO DO THE JOB.

AND I ASKED HIM, I WAS LIKE, WELL, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

IN MY OPINION, THIS CANDIDATE IS NOT CAPABLE OF DOING THIS JOB. HE'S NOT QUALIFIED FOR THIS JOB. AND THE MANAGER SAID, NO, I DON'T WANT TO GO AT IT THAT WAY. I DON'T WANT TO HAVE THIS PERSON REMOVED. I WANT TO WORK WITH THEM. I THINK IT'S GREAT THAT A MANAGER WANTS TO WORK WITH SOMEONE, BUT YOU SHOULDN'T CHANGE YOUR STANDARD -- IF YOU ARE GOING TO HOLD ALL OF YOUR OTHER EMPLOYEES TO CERTAIN EMPLOYEE STANDARDS AND HAVE EXPECTATIONS OF THEM, YOU'RE DOING NO ONE A FAVOR BY NOT HOLDING A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY TO THE SAME STANDARD AND THE SAME EXPECTATIONS.

SURE, THAT PERSON MAY BE ABLE TO WORK FOR YOU AS A MANAGER, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A NEW MANAGER COMES IN?

HOW'S THAT PERSON GOING TO BE TREATED?

HOW'S THAT PERSON GOING TO SURVIVE?

HOW ARE THEY GOING TO THRIVE?

HOW ARE THEY GOING TO POSSIBLY MOVE UP?

PROBABLY NOT QUITE FRANKLY.

SO YOU'RE DOING NO ONE A FAVOR BY DOING THAT.

SCHEDULE A ELIGIBILITY...IF A PERSON WOULD LIKE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SCHEDULE A HIRING AUTHORITY FROM AN APPLICANT STANDPOINT, WHAT WOULD THE APPLICANT NEED?

THE APPLICANT IS GOING TO NEED WHAT'S CALLED A PROOF OF DISABILITY. AND I'LL TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THAT MOMENTARILY. THEY ARE ALSO GOING TO NEED A CERTIFICATE OF JOB READINESS. BASICALLY IT'S A STATEMENT THAT SIMPLY SAYS THE PERSON IS LIKELY TO PERFORM WELL IN THE POSITION, OR LIKELY TO BE ABLE TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF THE POSITION.

IF A CANDIDATE DOES NOT HAVE A CERTIFICATE OF JOB READINESS BUT THEY DO HAVE PROOF OF A DISABILITY, AGENCIES ARE PERMITTED TO HIRE PEOPLE INTO A TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT AND KIND OF JUST MONITOR THEM IN THAT TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT, MAKE SURE THAT THEY CAN PERFORM WELL IN THE POSITION AND THEN THEY COULD BE CONVERTED LATER VIA SCHEDULE A.

SOMETIMES BOTH OF THESE ARE PUT TOGETHER ON WHAT'S CALLED A SCHEDULE A CERTIFICATION LETTER OR SCHEDULE A CERTIFICATION.

THAT COULD BE OBTAINED THROUGH SEVERAL DIFFERENT RESOURCES.

YOU CAN GET YOUR PROOF OF DISABILITY AND CERTIFICATION OF JOB READINESS FROM A LICENSED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. YOU CAN GET IT FROM A LICENSED VOC REHAB SPECIALIST OR FEDERAL, STATE OR DISTRICT OR U.S. TERRITORY AGENCIES PROVIDING DISABILITY SERVICES.

I HAVE MENTIONED AND ACTUALLY COMMISSIONER GRIFFIN HAD MENTIONED THE FLEXIBILITY AND EASE OF USE OF SCHEDULE A.

IT LITERALLY WILL TAKE MOST MANAGERS WHEN THEY OPEN UP THE HIRING PROCESS, ACCEPT THE APPLICATIONS, ARE ABLE TO MAKE A SELECTION, EASILY TWO TO SIX MONTHS --

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: AND HIGHER WITH SECURITY CLEARANCE AND --

>> STEPHEN KING: THAT'S TRUE, VERY TRUE. EASILY TWO TO SIX. I THINK THE MERIT SYSTEMS PROTECTION BOARD DID A SURVEY. I THINK IT WAS LAST YEAR OR MAYBE LATE '06 THAT STATED I THINK THE AVERAGE IS ABOUT 103, 105 DAYS, SOMEWHERE IN THERE. AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT OPM HAS A 45-DAY HIRING MODEL FOR FEDERAL AGENCIES TO FOLLOW. 45 DAYS, THEY MEAN BUSINESS DAYS WHICH IS ABOUT 60 CALENDAR DAYS. AGENCIES ARE FAR ABOVE THAT RIGHT NOW AND THAT'S JUST UNTIL THE TIME THE VACANCY OPENS UNTIL THE TIME AN OFFER IS MADE. IT'S NOT ALL OF THAT STUFF THAT I SAID OF WHAT IT TAKES TO OPEN IT. SO EVEN WITH OPM, IT'S AT LEAST TWO MONTHS, AT LEAST.

THE COMMISSIONER HAD ALSO MENTIONED SEVERAL PROGRAMS. AND I THINK SCHEDULE A IS GREAT WHEN IT'S USED IN CONJUNCTION OF COURSE WITH OTHER PROGRAMS AND I'LL EVEN EXPLAIN A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THAT BUT THE WRP PROGRAM FOR EXAMPLE AND ALL THE OTHER INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS THAT ARE OUT THERE. IT IS GREAT TO UTILIZE SCHEDULE A. IF YOU'RE AT AN AGENCY AND YOU'RE TRYING TO INCREASE THE USE OF SCHEDULE A AND TRYING TO INCREASE THE REPRESENTATION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES WITHIN YOUR ORGANIZATION, INTERNSHIPS ARE A PERFECT WAY TO START THAT.

VERY NONTHREATENING, IF YOU WILL, FOR SOME MANAGERS.

TEN TO 12 WEEKS OVER THE SUMMER. IF SOMEONE DOESN'T WORK OUT, THEY'LL BE GONE SOON QUITE FRANKLY.

IF SOMEONE DOES WORK OUT AND WORKS OUT WELL, THEN THEY CAN ALWAYS COME BACK AND WORK FOR YOU LATER OVER A BREAK, THE FOLLOWING SUMMER, ET CETERA.

AND AS THEIR COWORKERS, THE PERMANENT FEDERAL STAFF THAT WORKS ALONG WITH THEM HAS EXPOSURE TO A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY WHEN LET'S SAY THEY HAVEN'T WORKED WITH SOMEONE WHO HAD AN APPARENT DISABILITY BEFORE, IT HELPS.

IT CHANGES, IT CHANGES ATTITUDES.

THE EMPLOYER ASSISTANCE RECRUITING NETWORK...I'VE USED THEM BEFORE. MY MOST SUCCESSFUL OR HIGHEST LEVEL PLACEMENT UTILIZING SCHEDULE A WAS ACTUALLY WITH THE HELP OF EARN. I WAS ABLE TO HIRE SOMEONE AT THE GS-14 LEVEL VIA SCHEDULE A AND THAT'S PRETTY HARD TO DO ACTUALLY IN MOST CASES.

BUT WITH EARN'S HELP, I CAN TELL YOU I WAS LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WITH VERY SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE. EARN WAS ABLE TO SUPPLY ME WITH ONE RESUME AND THAT ONE PERSON, THE MANAGER WAS VERY IMPRESSED BY. SO, YES, IT WAS ONLY ONE, BUT THEY SAVED ME. THAT MANAGER THOUGHT I WAS GREAT. YOU KNOW, HEY, HE GOT ME SOMEONE LIKE THAT. WITHIN TWO WEEKS, HE HAD A RESUME. THE PERSON WAS CALLED IN THE FOLLOWING WEEK AND WE WERE ABLE TO EXTEND THE OFFER WITHIN THREE WEEKS. IT'S PRETTY EASY TO DO.

THE COMPUTER ELECTRONIC ACCOMMODATIONS PROGRAM, CAP. AGAIN, THE COMMISSIONER TALKED ABOUT THIS AS WELL. AS LONG AS A FEDERAL AGENCY HAS AN AGREEMENT WITH THE CAP AGENCY AND MOST FEDERAL AGENCIES DO, YOU CAN UTILIZE THIS. WHENEVER I TALK ABOUT SCHEDULE A AT MY AGENCY, CAP IS ALWAYS MENTIONED. WHY?

BECAUSE NOT ONLY CAN YOU HIRE SOMEONE EASILY, IF THEY NEED AN ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY, IT'S COVERED AT NO COST THROUGH THE CAP PROGRAM. AGAIN, YOU ALWAYS WANT TO HIGHLIGHT HOW EASY IT IS AND HOW ALL OF THESE PROGRAMS CAN WORK TOGETHER.

KEYS TO INCREASED USE...ONE, THE DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGERS NEED TO BE MORE INVOLVED AND THEY NEED TO BE KNOWLEDGEABLE. DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGERS NEED TO INTERACT WITH DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGERS FROM OTHER AGENCIES. WE NEED TO INTERACT MORE WITH OUR VOC REHAB COMMUNITY QUITE FRANKLY. I'M REALLY BIG ON DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGERS GETTING OUT TO LOCAL COLLEGE CAMPUSES MEETING WITH DISABILITY SERVICES OFFICES.

I WAS SOMEWHAT SURPRISED. TWO YEARS AGO I DECIDED THAT I WANTED TO GO TO ALL OF THE LOCAL AND REGIONAL SCHOOLS MYSELF WITH MY WRPM TURNOVER THIS SUMMER. WE VISITED THE OFFICES AT ABOUT 10 CAMPUSES. IT WAS PRETTY MUCH ALL COLLEGES IN D.C. AS WELL NORTHERN VIRGINIA AND I THINK WE MADE IT DOWN TO SOME OF THE SCHOOLS IN CENTRAL VIRGINIA AS WELL. DID NOT GET UP TO BALTIMORE YET. WHAT I LEARNED WAS THAT A LOT OF THE DISABILITY SERVICES OFFICES FOR ONE DO NOT NECESSARILY COMMUNICATE WITH THE CAREER SERVICES OFFICE, HUGE PROBLEM, HUGE PROBLEM.

ONE SCHOOL, I BELIEVE IT WAS AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OR GEORGETOWN, TOLD ME THAT SOMEONE FROM THE CAREER SERVICES OFFICE, A COUNSELOR ACTUALLY COMES OVER TO THE DISABILITY SERVICES OFFICE ONCE A WEEK TO MEET WITH THE STUDENTS THAT RECEIVE SERVICES FROM THE DISABILITY SERVICES OFFICE AT THAT COLLEGE. I THINK THAT'S PERFECT. THEY NEED TO COMMUNICATE.

OFF OFFERED ALL THOSE COLLEGE CAMPUSES, I TOLD THEM THAT I WOULD BE WILLING TO COME BACK AND PROVIDE TRAINING TO ALL COUNSELORS AS WELL AS TO THEIR STUDENTS. MANY OF THEM TOLD THEM THAT THEY WOULD CALL ME. I'VE NEVER BEEN CALLED TO DO SUCH A THING. I AM MORE THAN WILLING TO DO IT. I LOVE GETTING ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES AND TALKING TO STUDENTS. I LOVE TALKING TO THEM ABOUT THAT. EVERYONE UP HERE IS PASSIONATE. A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE IS VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT THIS. ALL I WANT IS A PHONE CALL AND I'LL GO OUT AND DO IT.

CERTIFICATION...THIS IS JUST SOMETHING -- SEVERAL AGENCIES ARE LOOKING AT VARIOUS WAYS OF PUTTING TOGETHER TRAINING FOR DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGERS. AND IT WOULD BE GREAT IF THERE WAS SOME SORT OF CERTIFICATION THAT COULD BE AWARDED FOR DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGERS JUST TO SORT OF SAY, HEY, THEY WENT THROUGH THE BASICS, THEY UNDERSTAND THIS. THIS IS A PERSON IN MY ORGANIZATION WHO'S HAD THIS TRAINING. THEY ARE A GO-TO PERSON. ONE THING, I WAS VERY FORTUNATE EARLY IN MY CAREER AT THE CENSUS BUREAU TO HAVE A MANAGER WHO I CONSIDER SOMEWHAT OF A MENTOR TO ME, HE TOLD ME THAT -- WHEN HE FOUND OUT THAT I HAD THIS INTEREST IN CREATING A DISABILITY PROGRAM AT CENSUS, HE SAID, STEVE, I WOULD LIKE WHEN ANYONE MENTIONS THE WORD "DISABILITY," I WANT THEM TO THINK OF YOU. HE SAID WE HAVE AN SES EMPLOYEE WHO'S THE CHAMPION FOR HISPANIC EMPLOYMENT ISSUES. WE HAVE NO ONE, NO ONE WHO PEOPLE THOUGHT OF WHEN THEY HEARD THE WORD "DISABILITY." AND I THOUGHT, WOW, YOU WANT THAT PERSON TO BE ME?

THIS IS GOING TO BE INTERESTING. A DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGER DOES SO MUCH MORE THAN HIRING. THE HIRING IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT PART THOUGH. YOU DO HAVE TO WORK WITH THE SAFETY OFFICE, THE SECURITY OFFICE, TRANSPORTATION, FACILITIES. WE HAVE SO MANY DIFFERENT CAPS THAT WE WEAR, BUT WE LOVE GETTING THOSE PHONE CALLS BECAUSE WE WOULD RATHER GET THE PHONE CALLS AND GET INVOLVED WITH THE PROCESS, WHETHER IT BE EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLANNING, WHETHER IT BE ADDRESSING ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES OF A NEW BUILDING THAT'S GOING UP LIKE WE RECENTLY HAD. WE LOVE THOSE PHONE CALLS. BUT A LOT OF TIMES WE DON'T GET THEM. PEOPLE TAKE ACTION WITHOUT HAVING SOMEONE TO GO TO OR WITHOUT CHOOSING TO CONTACT THAT PERSON.

MANAGERS, WE NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB OF EDUCATING OUR MANAGERS. WE NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB OF QUITE FRANKLY PATTING THEM ON THE BACK WHEN THEY DO SOMETHING RIGHT. ACCOUNTABILITY IS IMPORTANT AT ALL LEVELS OF THE ORGANIZATION, NOT ONLY HIRING MANAGERS BUT AT THE VERY TOP LEVELS.

RECRUITERS...OUR RECRUITERS HAVE TO GO -- THE DISABILITY PROGRAM OFFICE IS INVOLVED IN THE TRAINING OF RECRUITERS. I WANT THE RECRUITERS AT THE CENSUS BUREAU TO KNOW HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE WHO HAVE DISABILITIES.

AND WE ALSO HAVE A REQUIREMENT THAT OUR CADRE OF PROBABLY OVER 100 RECRUITERS MUST PERFORM OUTREACH, TARGETED OUTREACH ON CAMPUSES BEFORE WE ARRIVE ON CAMPUS.

WE DO NOT REQUIRE THAT THEY PERFORM OUTREACH TO THE DISABILITY SERVICES OFFICE, BUT THEY HAVE TO PERFORM OUTREACH TO THREE MINORITY GROUPS, OR ORGANIZES ON CAMPUS BEFORE ARRIVING AND TO SOMEWHAT PROMOTE THE DISABILITY COMMUNITY, I HAVE ACTUALLY WENT THROUGH ALL OF THE 70 COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES EACH SEMESTER THAT THE CENSUS BUREAU RECRUITS AT AND WE HAVE CREATED A LIST OF ALL THOSE CONTACTS ON THE CAMPUS. THAT IS MADE TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO INCLUDE PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES AS THE GROUP THAT THEY PERFORM OUTREACH TO.

SCHOOL COUNSELORS, I HAD ALREADY MENTIONED. VOC REHAB SPECIALISTS...WE ARE FORTUNATE TO BE IN THE D.C. AREA. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGERS AND HR OFFICES TO GET PHONE CALLS FROM VOC REHAB OFFICES IN SMALL TOWNS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE THEY HAVE HEARD ABOUT SCHEDULE A, BUT THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT IT.

WE NEED LEADERSHIP ON SCHEDULE A AND TRAINING AND I DO NOT WANT TO -- AND THIS IS ME SPEAKING FOR MYSELF. LET ME REPEAT THAT.

WE NEED SOMEONE TO TAKE LEADERSHIP IN AGENCIES TO REALLY TAKE LEADERSHIP ON THIS AND IN MY OPINION, OPM IS PERFECT AS FAR AS THEY ARE THE PERSONNEL ARM OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

HOWEVER, IF YOU GO TO OPM.GOV/DISABILITY RIGHT NOW AND YOU CLICK ON SCHEDULE A CERTIFICATION, YOU WILL FIND THE FOLLOWING... IT ACTUALLY SAYS -- I KNOW I HAVE IT HERE SOMEWHERE. IT ACTUALLY SAYS "CERTIFICATION OF DISABILITY, FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT HIRING PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, CONTACT THE INDIVIDUAL FEDERAL AGENCY DIRECTLY." ALL OF THE INFORMATION THAT HAD BEEN THERE ABOUT CERTIFICATION, ABOUT REACHING OUT TO VOC REHAB OFFICES TO GET YOUR CERTIFICATION, ALL OF THAT WAS REMOVED. IT DOES SAY THAT MORE INFORMATION WILL BE COMING. BUT THIS STATEMENT HAS BEEN UP THERE FOR A WHILE. IF APPLICANTS DO NOT HAVE -- IF AN APPLICANT WAS TO CONTACT A FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY AND THEY DON'T FIND SOMEONE WHO IS KNOWLEDGEABLE AT THAT AGENCY, WHERE CAN THEY GO?

THIS USED TO BE THE PLACE I SENT THEM. NOT ANYMORE. THAT IS A HUGE PROBLEM. THAT'S A HUGE PROBLEM THAT WE HAVE. APPLICANTS...LIKE I SAID, IF THEY CONTINUE GO THERE, WHERE CAN THEY GO?

HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT...COORDINATION WITH AN ORGANIZATION, I AM ALSO A PERSON WHO ADVOCATES DISABILITY PROGRAMS QUITE FRANKLY, IF NOT BEING IN HR, WORKING EXTREMELY CLOSELY WITH HR. IF YOU'RE IN AN EEO OFFICE AND YOU'RE THE DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGER AND YOU WANT TO HIRE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, YOU CAN'T DO IT. YOU HAVE GOT TO HAVE HR. YOU HAVE TO HAVE THEM ON BOARD. IF THEY ARE NOT ON BOARD, YOUR JOB IS GOING TO BE VERY, VERY DIFFICULT.

ADDITIONALLY, AND THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART, AND AGAIN, I WISH SOMETHING -- WE COULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT-WIDE, HAVING A POOL OF QUALIFIED APPLICANTS AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES WOULD BE GREAT. MANAGERS WILL CONTACT ME AND SAY, STEVE, I WANT TO USE YOUR PROGRAM TO FILL THIS VACANCY. YES, IN THAT ONE CASE WHERE I TALKED ABOUT THE GS-14, I WENT TO EARN. THEY WERE ABLE TO PULL THROUGH. ONE RESUME WAS ALL I HAD. THAT HAPPENED TO BE ENOUGH THIS TIME. THIS WAS A GS-14 IT SECURITY SPECIALIST I BELIEVE IF I RECALL CORRECTLY, SEVERAL YEARS AGO.

IT WASN'T ONE OF OUR MISSION-CRITICAL POSITIONS, LOWER GRADE LEVELS WHERE I KEEP A FILE OF RESUMES THAT I'VE RECEIVED READY TO GO WHEN I GET THAT PHONE CALL.

IT WOULD BE GREAT IF THERE WAS A NATIONWIDE DATABASE, EITHER THROUGH OPM OR ANOTHER AGENCY MAYBE WHERE PEOPLE WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR SCHEDULE A COULD PUT THEIR RESUME IN THERE, A RESUME DATA BANK OF SOME SORT WHERE PEOPLE SUCH AS MYSELF COULD EASILY GO AND NOT JUST GET A FEW CANDIDATES, BUT ACTUALLY GET A LARGE NUMBER OF CANDIDATES. I WENT TO LOOK FOR GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS, I GOT SIX OR EIGHT. I WANT TO REFER MORE THAN THAT. I HAVE GOT FOUR GEOGRAPHY MANAGERS THAT WANT TO HIRE INTERNS. ONE PROGRAM IS NOT ENOUGH. BUT A NATIONWIDE DATABASE THAT IS AROUND FOR A WHILE, THAT'S BEEN IN EXISTENCE FOR A WHILE, THAT IS MARKETED HEAVILY THROUGHOUT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE HUGE.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: USAJOBS.GOV SHOULD BE -- I MEAN, IT SHOULD BE.

>> STEPHEN KING: EXACTLY. WHICH BRINGS UP YET ANOTHER PROBLEM THAT I SEE WE HAVE. THE MSPB, THE MERIT SYSTEMS REPORT ACTUALLY I THINK HIGHLIGHTED THIS PROBLEM. THEY COULD SEE ANNOUNCEMENTS THE WAY THEY ARE WRITTEN FOR ANYBODY THAT WANTS TO GET INTO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS DIFFICULT, VERY DIFFICULT.

ADD TO THAT, YOU HAVE A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE HEARD ABOUT THIS THING CALLED SCHEDULE A, YOU WANT TO UTILIZE IT, YOU READ THE VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT, YOU DON'T SEE SCHEDULE A MENTIONED ANYWHERE. YOU SEE THINGS LIKE NONCOMPETITIVE HIRING AUTHORITY. WELL, MY VOC REHAB COUNSELOR DIDN'T SAY IT WAS A NONCOMPETITIVE HIRING AUTHORITY. SHE SAID SCHEDULE A.

WE HAVE TO RESOLVE THAT. SO TRAINING FOR HR SPECIALISTS IS IMPORTANT AS WELL. MY CONTACT INFORMATION AS I SAID, STEPHEN.M.KING@CENSUSBUREAU.GOV. THE M IS VERY IMPORTANT. YOU'LL BE GETTING SOMEONE IN CHICAGO. HE'S BEEN FORWARDING THINGS TO ME. BUT I CANNOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THINGS THAT NEVER MAKE IT TO ME. THAT'S ALSO A GOOD EXCUSE ACTUALLY. I PROMISE I'LL NEVER USE IT.

THANK YOU.

( APPLAUSE )

>> ANNE SOMMERS: I HAVE REALLY ENJOYED LISTENING TO ALL THE PRESENTATIONS THIS MORNING AND AM I TALKING INTO THIS ENOUGH?

OKAY. I'M SEVEN YEARS OUT OF COLLEGE AND TWO YEARS OUT OF LAW SCHOOL AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE, THAT SCHEDUALE A HAS NOT BEEN THE EASIEST THING WHEN I TRIED TO PURSUE IT MYSELF. I GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE IN 2001 AND DECIDED TO PURSUE MY JOB SEARCH AND I HAVE QUITE A FEW MEDICAL EXPENSES AND I THOUGHT WHAT BETTER EMPLOYER FOR ME THAN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHO HAS 50 ODD SOME HEALTH INSURERS TO START MY EMPLOYMENT WITH?

SO I STARTED DOWN THE PATH OF LOOKING FOR A JOB IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT USING THE WEBSITE, DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT SCHEDULE A, HAD NEVER HEARD OF IT, CERTAINLY DIDN'T HEAR ABOUT IT FROM MY DISABILITY STUDENT UNION OR THE SERVICES OFFICE AND NEVER HEARD ABOUT IT FROM CAREER SERVICES AND I WENT TO ONE OF THE LARGEST STATE UNIVERSITIES IN VIRGINIA FOR COLLEGE. SO THAT'S JUST ONE EXAMPLE SORT OF A PERSONAL VIGNETTE. IT'S NOT HAPPENING ON A COLLEGE LEVEL.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES WHO ARE FORTUNATE TO GET ALL THE WAY THROUGH WHAT SOMETIMES IS A VERY VEXING FOUR YEARS, FIVE YEARS, SIX YEARS WHO ARE READY TO BRING THEIR TALENT AND ENERGY INTO THE WORK FORCE ARE HITTING A LOT OF HURDLES AS SOON AS THEY ARE OUT OF THE GATE.

SO THAT'S -- I APPRECIATE THAT THOSE ITEMS WERE IDENTIFIED AS AREAS THAT DEFINITELY NEED FIXING.

FIVE YEARS LATER, I DECIDED TO -- I HAD GRADUATED FROM LAW SCHOOL AND DECIDED TO PURSUE A JOB AGAIN. SO I WAS AT THE GATE AGAIN. THIS TIME, I KNEW ABOUT SCHEDULE A. I HAD FOUND OUT ABOUT IT SORT OF AS A FLUKE, BUT CHANCE, IN A CONVERSATION WITH A FRIEND WHO HAD USED IT.

AND I APPLIED FOR A JOB IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT USING SCHEDULE A.

I DON'T KNOW WHERE THE ONE TO THREE-WEEK FIGURE COMES FROM, BUT THAT WASN'T MY OWN EXPERIENCE. AND WITH RENT BILLS AND MEDICAL BILLS AND COBAR HEALTH INSURANCE PAYMENTS, I COULDN'T WAIT. SO I ENDED UP TAKING A GREAT JOB AT AAPD AND I'VE BEEN THERE EVER SINCE. BUT CERTAINLY AGAIN THERE WERE ISSUES FOR ME, BOTH ON A COLLEGE FRONT AND AGAIN WHEN I GRADUATED FROM LAW SCHOOL TRYING TO PURSUE EMPLOYMENT IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BECAUSE OF THE BENEFITS AND A NUMBER OF THE OTHER PERKS THAT FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OFFERS. SO I'M VERY CONCERNED BY THE INFORMATION THAT CHRIS HAD SHARED AND WHEN I HEARD THAT, IT REALLY STRUCK A PERSONAL CORD FOR ME. SO THAT'S MY PERSONAL INTEREST ON TOP OF OBVIOUSLY MY EMPLOYMENT INTEREST THROUGH MY EMPLOYER AAPD.

ONE OF THE HATS I WEAR AS ANDY ALLUDED IS THAT I WORK ON A LOT OF ADVOCACY WORK ROUNDS, SPECIFICALLY ONES THAT AAPD PLACES AS PRIORITIES AND AAPD ALONG WITH MANY OTHER DISABILITY ORGANIZATIONS OBVIOUSLY HAS AS ONE OF THEIR TOP PRIORITIES IMPROVING THE OUTCOMES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN EMPLOYMENT.

AND ONE OF THE PIECES OF LEGISLATION WE'RE VERY INTERESTED IN IN THIS CONGRESS IS THE ADA RESTORATION ACT. A NUMBER OF YOU ARE NODDING YOUR HEADS THAT YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT IS AND YOU'RE FAMILIAR WITH IT.

WE CAN'T REALLY HOPE TO IMPROVE EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES WITHOUT A SOLID, DEPENDABLE CIVIL RIGHTS BASE IN THE WORKPLACE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

AND I HAVE TO COMMENT ALSO ON SUSANNE'S MENTION OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR ACCORDING TO THE DATA USING SHERM AS THEIR PROFESSIONAL SERVICE ADVICE GIVER. SHERM IS OPPOSED TO THIS LEGISLATION AND WE HAVE BEEN SORT OF DISAPPOINTED AND DISHEARTENED THAT A NUMBER OF THE ORGANIZATIONS -- A NUMBER OF THE, EXCUSE ME, FEDERAL OFFICES IN ADDITION TO HAVING ABYSMAL RATES OF HIRING PEOPLE WITH TARGETED DISABILITIES, THEY ARE ALSO ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW, STANDING BY A LOT OF THE OPPOSITION AROUND THIS PIECE OF LEGISLATION WHICH SEEKS TO IMPROVE THE EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

AND THEY ARE ACTUALLY SAYING FALSE THINGS ABOUT THE LEGISLATION, SO WE HAVE SOME REAL SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS AND IT'S NOT -- IT'S NOT ALL EASILY REMEDIABLE.

EXCUSE ME. NOT ONLY ARE AGENCIES FLUNKING THE GRADE AS WE SAW SOME OF THE WORST AGENCIES HIGHLIGHTED HERE, WE HAVE, YOU KNOW, CERTAIN OFFICES -- WHEN WE GO IN FOR INSTANCE TO DO ADA RESTORATION WORK, A NUMBER OF THE DISABILITY ORGANIZES WILL GO AND COALITION TOGETHER TO THE HILL.

AND WE HEARD MENTION OF THE NEED FOR INTERNSHIPS, FOR EXAMPLE, TO SENSITIZE AND BREAK DOWN ATTITUDINAL BARRIERS WITHIN ALL AREAS OF GOVERNMENT. WE HAVE BEEN TO THE HILL MANY, MANY TIMES AND COALITIONED AND IT'S AMAZING TO ME AS A YOUNG PERSON STARTING OFF MY CAREER, WHEN WE GO INTO THESE OFFICES HOW MANY TIMES MEMBERS OF OUR OWN COALITION WHO ARE THERE TO LOBBY ON A PIECE OF LEGISLATION WE HAVE TOLD THEM IN ADVANCE IS ABOUT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES HAVE INACCESSIBLE OFFICES OR WE CAN'T GET THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR. THEY ARE NOT QUITE SURE WHAT TO DO WITH US WHEN WE COME WITH DOGS AND CANES AND WHEELCHAIRS AND THEY ARE REALLY CONFUSED. AND THEY LOOK VERY FRAZZLED. SO THE IDEA OF INCREASING THE EMPLOYMENT RATE OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AT ALL AREAS OF THE GOVERNMENT IN MY OPINION AS A YOUNG PERSON THAT'S BEEN THROUGH EDUCATION AND NOW IS IN THE WORK FORCE WITH BOTH THE ADA AND IDEA, I CAN TELL YOU THAT ATTITUDINAL BARRIERS AND I'M SURE ALL OF YOU WOULD AGREE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO BE SOME OF OUR LARGEST BARRIERS AS WE CONTINUE TO TRY TO BE FULLY INCLUDED INTO ALL ASPECTS OF SOCIETY.

SO TO THE EXTENT THAT WE HAVE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES WORKING IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, YES, IT'S SOMETHING THAT WE SHOULD DO. BUT IT'S NOT AS CHRIS HAS SAID BEFORE, SOMETHING THAT'S NICE. IT'S NOT A CHARITY. IT'S NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN FEEL GOOD ABOUT, GO HOME, PUT IN YOUR CHRISTMAS NEWSLETTER THAT MY OFFICE HIRED A BUNCH OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. THIS IS ALSO A MATTER OF CIVIL RIGHTS. IT'S A MATTER OF FULFILLING THE PROMISE OF THE ADA AND BREAKING DOWN ATTITUDINAL BARRIERS BECAUSE LET'S FACE IT, AS STEPHEN ALLUDED TO, IF YOU HAVE A BAD EXPERIENCE WITH ANYBODY ON THE BASIS OF WHATEVER IN THE WORKPLACE, YOU DON'T CATEGORICALLY TURN AWAY EVERYBODY WHO FITS INTO THAT DESCRIPTOR FOR ALL TIME. BUT THAT'S HAPPENING TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND IT'S A MAJOR PROBLEM AND IT GETS DOWN TO THAT BASE OF STIGMA AND STEREOTYPES AND MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES THAT ARE SO ENTRENCHED IN OUR CULTURE THAT NO MATTER HOW MANY LAWS THAT WE PASS, IT'S STILL THERE AND IT'S MUCH HARDER TO BREAK DOWN THOSE BARRIERS THAN IT IS TO REMOVE PHYSICAL ONES AND WE HAVE TO TAKE THIS SERIOUS. AND AS A YOUNG PERSON IF THERE SOUNDS LIKE THERE IS A SLIGHT TONE OF ANGER IN MY MESSAGE IS BECAUSE THERE IS. I WENT THROUGH SCHOOL, HAD THE PROTECTIONS OF IDEA AND WAS USED TO PEOPLE WORKING WITH ME. GOT TO HIGHER EDUCATION, GOT TO A COLLEGE CAMPUS THAT WAS COMPLETELY INACCESSIBLE, THE DISABILITY STUDENT SERVICES WAS ON THE THIRD FLOOR OF A BUILDING WITH ONLY A FREIGHT ELEVATOR AND YOU HEAR THESE STORIES FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT I CAN TELL YOU THIS IS REAL -- THIS IS A REAL PROBLEM. SO WHEN I GOT TO THE END GRADUATING SUMMA CUM LAUDE AT MY CLASS, I COULD NOT IN WE EASE GET A JOB WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THAT WAS A REAL PROBLEM AND AGAIN, EVEN SCHEDULE A I FOUND VERY DAUNTING, WHICH IS WHY I ENDED UP NOT -- ONE OF MANY REASONS WHY I ENDED UP NOT PURSUING A JOB IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AFTER I GRADUATED FROM LAW SCHOOL.

SO I DON'T THINK ALL OF YOU WHO'RE HERE AS RUBBER NECKERS, HERE TO SEE SORT OF LIKE HOW BAD IT IS AND THEN TO LEAVE. SO YOU HAVE HEARD A NUMBER OF THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING INTERNALLY IN TERMS OF THE GOAL SETTING AND WHAT WE'RE HOPING TO DO AND SEE WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT, SETTING UP LEADERSHIP, TRAINING, EMPHASIZING, PUTTING MORE FOCUS ON INTERNSHIPS AND MENTORING. SO WE HAVE SEEN ALL OF THAT INSIDE AND I KIND OF LIKE TO JUST SPEND A LITTLE BIT OF TIME TO TELL YOU WITHIN THE GRASS ROOTS WHAT WE'RE SORT OF DOING AROUND THIS ISSUE AS WELL. A NUMBER OF YOU MAY WORK IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND FEEL THAT THE BEGINNING OF THE PRESENTATIONS WITH REGARD TO WHAT'S HAPPENING WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT IS SORT OF WHAT YOU ALL CAN DO. BUT YOU ALL ARE ALSO JOE AND JANE PUBLIC TOO AND THERE ARE DAYS YOU TAKE OUT AND YOU CAN BE GRASS ROOTS ADVOCATES AS WELL SO EVERYTHING THAT I'M ABOUT TO SAY IS NOT JUST FOR THE FOLKS HERE FROM DISABILITY ORGANIZATIONS IN THE NONPROFIT SECTOR, BUT TO ALL OF US.

CHRIS ALLUDED TO BUT JUST TO MENTION BRIEFLY, THREE WEEKS AGO A BROAD COALITION OF DISABILITY RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS FROM THE CONSORTIUM FOR CITIZENS WITH DISABILITIES, AAPD, THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON INDEPENDENT LIVING AND A NUMBER OF INDIVIDUAL ADVOCATES, WE MET THREE WEEKS AGO WITH CHRIS AND A FEW OTHERS FROM EEOC AND WE SAT DOWN AND REALLY KIND OF PLOTTED OUR NEXT STEPS. WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO REALLY ELEVATE THIS ISSUE IN THE BROADER -- IN A BROADER AUDIENCE TO BRING AWARENESS TO THIS ISSUE?

BECAUSE IT'S EASY TO LOOK AT THESE CHARTS AND GET MAD. SO HOW DO WE BRING THIS INFORMATION TO THE FRONT?

AND WE PLODDED SOME OF THOSE STEPS. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT A LOT OF DISABILITY ORGANIZATIONS ARE DOING RIGHT NOW IS WE ARE WRITING LETTERS TO CONGRESSMAN WAXMAN AND WE ARE CALLING FOR AN OVERSIGHT HEARING ON THIS TOP IN, SO I WANT TO MAKE YOU AWARE OF THAT AND AS SOON AS WE HAVE ANY INFORMATION AS TO ANY RESPONSES FROM THESE LETTERS, WE'LL LET YOU KNOW AND THE BEST WAY TO FIND OUT IS JOINING OUR JUSTICE FOR ALL LIST SERV.

IF ANY OF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN GETTING IT, I CAN TALK TO YOU AFTERWARDS. SO WE ARE ENCOURAGING FOLKS TO SEND LETTERS TO CONGRESSMAN WAXMAN CALLING FOR AN OVERSIGHT HEARING ON PRECISELY WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD TODAY AND I THINK WE'RE GOING TO TAKE QUESTIONS AT THE END.

>> ANDY IMPARATO: HOLD ON.

>> FEMALE AUDIENCE: I JUST WANTED TO MENTION THAT THEY COULD LOOK AT SAMPLES ON DIFFERENT WEBSITES.

>> ANNE SOMMERS: THAT'S RIGHT. THANK YOU, MARCY. THERE IS A SAMPLE LETTER THAT THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON INDEPENDENT LIVING HAVE ON THEIR WEBSITE TO CONGRESSMAN WAXMAN AND AAPD HAS ONE AS WELL. SO IF YOU WANT A SAMPLE LETTER SO YOU DON'T IS THERE TO START FROM SCRATCH, SOMETHING YOU DON'T HAVE TO MODEL AFTER, FEEL FREE TO VISIT BOTH OF THOSE WEBSITES AND CHECK OUT UNDER POLICIES AND POSITIONS, YOU KNOW, WHAT EACH OF THOSE RESPECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS WHAT WE HAVE DONE AROUND THAT.

ANOTHER THING THAT AAPD IS DOING ALSO IN CONJUNCTION WITH NCIL AND SEVERAL OTHER ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDING ADAPT AND SELF- ADVOCATES BECOMING EMPOWERED IS WE ARE REALLY TRYING TO USE THIS ELECTION CYCLE TO RAISE THIS ISSUE WITH THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES. THIS IS A HUGE OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO GET OUR ISSUES TO A BROADER AUDIENCE AND TO TRY TO GET SOME COMMITMENTS FROM THE CANDIDATES REGARDING THIS VERY TOPIC HERE, FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN THE WORK FORCE AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

SO TWO WAYS THAT WE HAVE DONE THAT TO DATE...IN NOVEMBER, WE HELD A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES FORUM IN MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE AND WE WERE VERY EXCITED THAT WE HAD PARTICIPATION FROM SEVEN DIFFERENT CANDIDATES. WE HAD A COUPLE -- WE HAD A SURROGATE AND A CALL-IN AND THEN WE HAD FIVE LIVE BODIES IN THE ROOM OVER THE COURSE OF THE DAY, WHICH WAS VERY EXCITING.

AND SOME OF THEM GOT THIS AS A QUESTION. AND A FEW OF THEM ANSWERED AFFIRMATIVELY THAT THEY WOULD IN FACT REFRESH PRESIDENT CLINTON'S EXECUTIVE ORDER AROUND THE GOAL OF HAVING 100,000 PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN THE FEDERAL WORK FORCE.

SO IF YOU WANT TO SEE WHO SAID THAT, AGAIN, WE HAVE ALL OF THAT INFORMATION. A TRANSCRIPT FROM THE ENTIRE DAY ON OUR WEBSITE IF YOU'RE INTERESTED, BROKEN DOWN. AND I BELIEVE IT WAS HILARY CLINTON AND JOHN MCCAIN THROUGH US -- NOT JOHN MCCAIN. I'M SORRY. JOHN EDWARDS THROUGH A SURROGATE WHO BOTH AFFIRMED THAT THEY WOULD REFRESH THAT EXECUTIVE ORDER.

ALSO AROUND THE ELECTION WE HAVE BEEN FOR OVER A YEAR NOW, OR JUST SHY OF A YEAR, WE HAVE HAD OUT ON OUR WEBSITE AND WE HAVE BEEN ISSUING TO THE CAMPAIGNS MANY OF WHOM HAVE UNFORTUNATELY FALLEN AWAY, A QUESTIONNAIRE, A POLICY QUESTIONNAIRE TO ALL THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES. AND THE QUESTIONNAIRE CONTAINS ISSUES ON EMPLOYMENT BROKEN DOWN BY CATEGORY AND ONE OF THE QUESTIONS WE ASKED WAS, YOU KNOW, AMONGST OTHERS, WAS WOULD THEY -- WHAT WOULD THEY DO AROUND EMPLOYMENT FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES TO IMPROVE OUTCOMES, SORT OF A GENERAL BROAD QUESTION. AND THEN WE ASKED SPECIFICALLY WHETHER THEY WOULD ENCOURAGE AND INCORPORATE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES INTO THEIR CABINET. SO WE HAD QUESTIONS LIKE THAT ON OUR QUESTIONNAIRE AND AGAIN ALL OF THAT INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE. AND YOU CAN SEE -- I THINK TO DATE WE HAVE RECEIVED SEVEN RESPONSES FROM DIFFERENT CAMPAIGNS. AND YOU CAN VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO SEE WHERE THE CANDIDATES FELL ON THOSE ISSUES.

WE ENCOURAGE ALL OF YOU, BY THE WAY, TOO, AS VOTERS, TO PUSH THOSE ISSUES WITH THE CANDIDATES. IF THIS IS SOMETHING THAT MATTERS TO US AS INDIVIDUALS, SOMETHING THAT WE FEEL PASSIONATE ABOUT, WE SHOULD BE HOLDING OUR PROSPECTIVELY ELECTED OFFICIALS RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE END RESULTS.

ANOTHER THING THAT I SUGGEST TO A FEW OF THE ORGANIZATIONS HERE WHO MAY DO LOBBYING AND THIS MAY ONLY BE A FEW PEOPLE I REALIZE IN THE ROOM. BUT THERE MAY BE SOME FOLKS ON THE PHONE THAT THIS APPLIES TO AS WELL. WHENEVER I GO UP TO THE HILL TO LOBBY ON A PIECE OF LEGISLATION TIED TO EMPLOYMENT LIKE THE ADA RESTORATION ACT, I ALWAYS WAIT UNTIL THE END, WE'RE ALL GETTING UP AND THEN I HAND THEM A COPY OF THE EEOC REPORT AND I PUT A LITTLE BUG IN THEIR EAR FOR 30 SECONDS. MENTION WHAT CHRIS HAS TOLD US TODAY AND I TELL THEM THIS IS A REAL ISSUE AND I TELL THEM THAT WE HAVE SENT A LETTER TO WAXMAN CALLING FOR AN OVERSIGHT HEARING AND MAKE THEM AWARE OF IT. A LOT OF THEM, YOU KNOW, HAVE SORT OF HUGE GAZING EYES BACK AT ME. REALLY?

I HAD NO IDEA. AND THEY ARE THE ONES, YOU KNOW, WHO AGAIN ARE STARING AT THE DOGS AND THE WHEELCHAIRS AS WELL. BUT...SO TRYING TO EDUCATE AS YOU GO, WHEREVER YOU CAN FIND AN END ROAD TO MAKE PEOPLE AWARE THAT THIS IS A REAL ISSUE WOULD BE HELPFUL.

AND I THINK THAT'S REALLY ALL I'VE GOT.

( APPLAUSE )

>> ANDY IMPARATO: THANK YOU, ANNE AND I JUST WANT TO MENTION THE NCIL WEBSITE IS NCIL.ORG. THE AAPD'S WEBSITE IS AAPD.COM. AND YOU CAN FIND A LOT OF INFORMATION THAT ANNE TALKED ABOUT ON BOTH OF THOSE SITES. ALSO IF YOU DO WANT TO SIGN UP FOR THE JUSTICE FOR ALL LINK, IF YOU GO TO AAPD.COM, IT'S FREE.

SO NOW WE'RE GOING TO GET INTO COMMENTS WITH THE AUDIENCE AND I SEE DEB. DEB, DO YOU WANT TO KICK IT OFF?

WILL YOU USE THE MIC?

WE CAN ALSO REPEAT IT.

>> FEMALE AUDIENCE: I'M DEB CONNOR WITH THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON INDEPENDENT LIVING AND WE ARE CIRCULATING, WE'RE JUST DRAFTING RIGHT NOW, BUT WE'LL BE CIRCULATING A SIGN-ON LETTER FOR ORGANIZATIONS TO SIGN ON REQUESTING THAT CHAIRMAN WAXMAN HOLD THE OVERSIGHT HEARING ON THIS ISSUE. IT'S THE HOUSE GOVERNMENT PERFORMING AN INVESTIGATION ON OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE, SO IT'S ON OUR WEBSITE WHICH ANDY MENTIONED IS NCIL.ORG.

>> ANDY IMPARATO: THANK YOU. I SEE A BUNCH OF QUESTIONS. I THINK MARCY -- AND I WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE MARCY'S DONE A LOT OF LEADERSHIP ON THIS ISSUE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AND I DON'T KNOW IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION OR A COMMENT, BUT I'M GLAD YOU'RE HERE AND THANKS FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP.

>> FEMALE AUDIENCE: I JUST WANT TO THANK STEPHEN KING FOR HIS GREAT PRESENTATION YESTERDAY. I WAS AT A PRESENTATION YESTERDAY AND THE GUY, VANCE WILLIAMS, FROM OPM.

>> ANDY IMPARATO: THANKS, MARCY. I DON'T KNOW IF PEOPLE HEARD THIS. SHE SAID SHE HEARD A PRESENTATION FROM AN OPM GUY YESTERDAY WHO BASED ON WHAT HE SAID, HE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND. SO IF THAT'S THE LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING, HOW CAN WE EXPECT CHANGES?

OKAY. THANK YOU. DID ANYONE WANT TO COMMENT ON THAT?

I DON'T KNOW IF IT NEEDS A RESPONSE, BUT, CHRIS --

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: I THINK -- WHAT WE COULD ACTUALLY SAY IS THAT WE'RE DOING SOME THINGS TO TRY TO MAKE UP FOR THOSE SHORTCOMES THAT WE SEE COMING OUT OF OPM AND WE HAVE DEVELOPED SOME BROCHURES SPECIFICALLY FOR HIRING MANAGERS AS WELL AS SELECTIVE PLACEMENT COORDINATORS, PROGRAM COORDINATORS AND WE'RE IN THE PROCESS NOW OF ACTUALLY WORKING WITH ODEP AND JAN, JOB ACCOMMODATION NETWORK, TO FURTHER THOSE EFFORTS AND TO DEVELOP WHAT WE'RE CALLING TOOL KITS THAT WE CAN GIVE TO EVERYONE FROM APPLICANTS WITH DISABILITIES, TO VOC REHAB AGENCIES, AS WELL AS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO TRY AND PRESENT THEM WITH THE INFORMATION THAT THEY NEED AND HOW TO CORRECTLY USE SCHEDULE A. IN SOME WAYS, IT'S A LITTLE BIT DISCRIMINATORY, BUT IT IS THE BEST MARKETING TOOL WE HAVE RIGHT NOW TO GET PEOPLE IN QUICKLY.

SO THAT'S HOW YOU WANT TO CONVINCE THE HIRING MANAGERS. YOU KNOW, THIS IS WHAT I'M OFFERING YOU, IT'S VERY QUICK HIRE AND IT'S IMPORTANT.

SO I THINK THERE IS A BUNCH OF THINGS. WE'RE ALSO WORKING ON, STEPHEN TALKED ABOUT TRAINING. THERE IS A COUPLE OF US THAT ARE IN THE BEGINNING STAGES OF TALKING ABOUT A CERTIFICATION PROGRAM FOR DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGERS. THAT'S KEY. WE DON'T EVER WANT SOMEONE COMING UP AT THE END OF THE MEETING SAYING I HAVE NEVER HEARD ABOUT SCHEDULE A BEFORE. WE ONLY DON'T WANT THEM TO KNOW THE WORD, BUT HOW TO USE IT AND SO THERE ARE SOME THINGS WE ARE USING TO OVERCOME SOME ISSUES.

>> ANDY IMPARATO: I WANTED TO POINT OUT THAT WE TALKED AT THIS PRESENTATION OF THE LEADERSHIP THAT EEOC IS PROVIDING AND WHAT STEPHEN HAS IMPLIED THAT A ROLE THAT OTHERS CAN PLAY. I THINK WHAT WE CAN LOOK AT IS THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET. I MEAN, AT SOME LEVEL, THIS IS A MANAGEMENT ISSUE THAT SHOULD COME UP WHEN AGENCIES ARE MEETING WITH OMB AROUND THEIR BUDGET. IT'S JUST ANOTHER WAY TO HAVE ACCOUNTABILITY BUILT IN.

>> FEMALE AUDIENCE: HI. MY NAME IS EVELYN KAISER. I AM THE BUSINESS MANAGER WITH THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATIVE SERVICES AND I WANT TO THANK ALL THE PANELISTS, GREAT PRESENTATIONS.

I WANT TO THANK EEOC FOR REALLY TAKING THE LEAD IN MOVING FORWARD AND FROM MY OWN PERSPECTIVE, I HAVE SEEN A CHANGE. HOWEVER, I THINK SOME GLITCHES HAPPENED AND I'LL JUST GIVE YOU AN EXPERIENCE THAT I HAD RECENTLY. THERE WAS A NATIONAL EFFORT TO RECRUIT INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES FOR POSITIONS WITHIN THE FEDERAL AGENCY.

AND THEY HAD A TIME FRAME AND WE COLLECTED THE RESUMES AND WE SENT THEM IN. HOWEVER, THERE IS A PROCESS BECAUSE I CAN TELL YOU THAT VOC REHAB PEOPLE PROBABLY HAVE ABOUT 100 CONSUMERS ON THEIR CASE LOADS. AND IN ORDER TO REALLY GET INTO THOSE LITTLE CAVES OF INDIVIDUALS THAT THEY ARE NOT SEEING ON A REGULAR BASIS, IT DOES TAKE SOME TIME. AND SO WHAT WAS HAPPENING IS THAT I WAS GETTING INFORMATION AND REFERRALS CONTINUING AND WHEN I SENT THEM TO THIS RECRUITER THAT WAS THE POINT OF CONTACT, IS THAT SHE REFERRED ME THEN TO TELL THEM TO APPLY ONLINE. AND I THINK IF THAT HAPPENED TO REALLY LOSING THE OUTREACH THAT YOU DO AND WE NEED A POINT OF CONTACT. WE'RE ALWAYS -- AND, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT SEE ME IN SOME OF THE MEETINGS, I SAY I SHOULD BE GETTING SO MANY PHONE CALLS THAT I HAVE TO SAY TO MY REGIONAL DIRECTOR, I NEED SOMEBODY JUST TO ANSWER MY PHONE MESSAGES. AND THAT IS NOT HAPPENING.

SO I THINK THE OUTREACH IS THERE, BUT I THINK IT'S BEEN DROPPED OFF. THERE'S NO WAY TO CONTINUE IT, AND WE ARE REALLY LOOKING FOR A POINT OF CONTACT. SO I'LL LEAVE THAT.

I ALSO WANT TO SAY THAT I THINK REACHING OUT TO FEDERAL AGENCIES, ABSOLUTELY, YES, THAT 2% BECAUSE I THINK THERE NEEDS TO BE ACCOUNTABILITY THERE. BUT I THINK WE SHOULD LOOK AT SOME OF THE FEDERAL CONTRACTORS. WITHIN METRO D.C. AREA, ESPECIALLY IN VIRGINIA, THERE IS A SLEW OF POSITIONS THAT ARE OPEN AND FEDERAL CONTRACTORS, THERE IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES TO BE APPOINTED BY FEDERAL CONTRACTORS. BUT THEY ARE NOT ECHOING WHAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS DOING AND THEY SHOULD BE.

ALSO, THERE IS AN ISSUE ON CERTAIN DISABILITIES AND MOST OF THEM HAS TO DO WITH INTELLECTUALLY DISABLED, AND WHERE THEY WILL NOT GET A -- THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GET A SECURITY CLEARANCE. I THINK THAT'S AN ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED.

AND SO WHAT I SEE AND THIS IS PERSONALLY MY OWN OPINION, IS THAT BECAUSE THIS IS AN ISSUE, I THINK THEY'RE DROPPING THE WHOLE DISABILITY OUTREACH.

SO I THINK WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THAT.

ANOTHER ONE IS THAT -- YOU KNOW, BUT I REALLY HAVE IMPORTANT THINGS TO SAY HERE.

>> ANDY IMPARATO: I'M SURE YOU DO.

>> FEMALE AUDIENCE: I'M GOING TO SAY THEM. AND TOO, I KNOW THERE ARE COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN HR/EEO AND YOUR HIRING MANAGERS. THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE BECAUSE THERE IS A DISCONNECT.

DISABILITY MANAGERS AND SELECTIVE PLACEMENT COORDINATORS, TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, THEY ARE REALLY CONFUSED ABOUT WHAT THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES ARE AND WHAT I WANT TO TELL YOU IS THAT MY OWN EXPERIENCE IS THAT SELECTIVE PLACEMENT COORDINATORS, THERE'S ONLY TWO THAT I KNOW OF THAT HAVE THAT RESPONSIBILITY FULL-TIME WITHIN FEDERAL AGENCIES, AND THERE IS PART-TIME, THESE ARE PART-TIME DUTIES. AND I GUESS THEIR JOB IS TO DO SOME OUTREACH. WELL, THAT'S LOW ON THEIR TOTEM POLE.

THE DISABILITY MANAGERS ARE PEOPLE THAT ARE REALLY WORKING WITHIN THEIR OWN ORGANIZATION AND THEY HAVE A LOT TO DO. I MEAN, THEY HAVE A LOT TO DO TO HELP THOSE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES GET THE RIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS, WORK WITH THEM. I MEAN, SO THAT THEY DON'T LOSE THEIR JOB. SO WE REALLY NEED TO SAY WHAT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY?

WHERE IS THE OUTREACH?

AND WHO CAN WE CONNECT WITH?

MY LAST COMMENT IS THAT I KNOW THERE HAVE BEEN ON THE OPM WEBSITE CONTACTS FOR SELECTIVE PLACEMENT COORDINATORS. IT'S NOT THERE ANYMORE.

BUT --

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: THEY ARE NEVER UPDATED.

>> FEMALE AUDIENCE: THEY ARE NEVER UPDATED.

AND IF THE DISABILITY MANAGER HAS PART OF THE RESPONSIBILITY, WE NEED TO HAVE THOSE CONTACTS, TOO.

SO WE NEED TO KNOW WHO TO CONTACT. IF THEY ARE NOT GOING TO CONTACT US, WE WANT TO CONTACT THEM.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: I JUST WANT TO SAY WE'RE WORKING ON EVERYTHING YOU TALKED ABOUT. THE ONLY THING THAT I HEARD NEW IS THE SECURITY CLEARANCE ISSUE, DISCRIMINATION AGAINST THE CERTAIN GROUP OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT THAT AND SPECIFIC INSTANCES AND I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE CAN MAYBE TACKLE A DIFFERENT WAY. BUT ALL THE OTHER THINGS WE'RE AWARE OF AND WE'RE TRYING TO WORK THROUGH THEM.

>> ANDY IMPARATO: OKAY. I'M JUST TRYING TO GO IN THE ORDER THAT I SAW PEOPLE RAISE THEIR HANDS.

>> FEMALE AUDIENCE: HI, MY NAME IS ALICIA NET AND I WORK WITH NICH. AND I JUST WANT TO CLARIFY IN TERMS OF SECURITY CLEARANCE, THAT WE ARE WORKING ON SOLVING SOME ISSUES WITH THE DEFENSE AUTHORITY ACT.

IT'S ACTUALLY THE SMITH AMENDMENT. SO I'M JUST LETTING YOU KNOW ABOUT COMMENTING ON WHAT YOU SAID A MINUTE AGO ABOUT THE CLEARANCE ISSUE.

BUT I DO HAVE A COMMENT TO AND I'M NOT SURE IF YOU HAVE EVER DONE ANY WORK TO PEOPLE LEAVING THE FEDERAL WORK FORCE FOR WHATEVER REASONS AND GOING INTO PRIVATE BUSINESS ELSEWHERE AND WHAT WE'RE DOING TO SOLVE THAT PARTICULAR ISSUE.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: THAT'S ACTUALLY ONE OF THE PLACES WHERE WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH INFORMATION ABOUT WHY THEY ARE LEAVING. WE BREAK IT DOWN -- PEOPLE THAT WANT TO SEE MORE INFORMATION, EEOC ISSUE REPORTED THAT TALKED ABOUT ON THE EMPLOYMENT IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF PEOPLE WITH TARGETED DISABILITIES. IT'S ON OUR WEBSITE, EEOC.GOV. IT'S UNDER RECENT RELEASES, PUBLICATIONS. IT'S ON THE HOME PAGE, FRONT PAGE. YOU'LL SEE IT TO THE RIGHT. IT'S IN A COLUMN ON THE RIGHT. CLICK ON THAT AND YOU'LL GET THE WHOLE REPORT AND DOWNLOAD IT. BUT IN THERE YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE THE LITTLE BIT OF DATA WE HAVE ABOUT WHY PEOPLE ARE LEAVING AND IT'S NOT VERY CLEAR. IT'S NOT VERY GOOD.

SO THAT IS AN AREA WHERE WE REALLY DO NEED TO DO SOME WORK. YOU KNOW, IS IT BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT BEING ACCOMMODATED?

IS IT BECAUSE THERE'S NO PROMOTION POTENTIAL?

I PERSONALLY KNOW SEVERAL PEOPLE THAT HAVE LEFT RECENTLY WHO ARE AT VERY HIGH LEVELS, BUT COULD NEVER GO HIGHER AND JUST FINALLY SAID ENOUGH'S ENOUGH. SO WE DO NEED TO DO MORE WORK ON THAT.

>> ANDY IMPARATO: OKAY. BOB?

BOB RUTNY.

>> MALE AUDIENCE: HI. I'M BOB RUTNY. I'M A COMMUNITY FELLOW THIS YEAR WITH SENATE SANDERS OFFICE AND THERE ARE TWO HAZARDS IN CONGRESS AND WE WOULD LIKE VERY MUCH TO WORK WITH YOU ON THIS ISSUE. I'M VERY COMMITTED TO THIS ISSUE AND I KNOW THE SENATOR IS AS WELL.

I WEAR ANOTHER HAT, THAT IS, AS THE HEAD OF EXCEL. ANDY KNOWS THIS ORGANIZATION. IT'S A NETWORK OF PROFESSIONALS WITH DISABILITIES HERE IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C. AREA WITH, YOU KNOW, TREMENDOUS EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUNDS AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND MANY OF THEM ARE VERY, VERY INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND WOULD BE HAPPY TO PROVIDE INFORMATION ON THAT ORGANIZATION AFTER THIS SESSION.

TWO COMMENTS...IS ONE COMPONENT THAT WAS ACTUALLY MISSING IN YOUR PRESENTATIONS AND THOSE ARE AFFINITY GROUPS OF EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES INSIDE FEDERAL AGENCIES. EXCEL FOCUSES ON NETWORKING, JOB NETWORKING. THAT'S 60 OR 70% JOBS ARE FOUND. AND THESE AFFINITY GROUPS, A VERY, VERY ACTIVE ONE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, COULD BE REAL RESOURCES IN TERMS OF NOT ONLY NETWORKING CONTACTS, BUT ALSO MENTORS. SOMEONE WHO IS, YOU KNOW, OUTSIDE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WITH SIMILAR INTERESTS WITH AN EMPLOYEE INSIDE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN GET A LOT OF TIPS OR INFORMATION OR REFERRALS THAT WAY. SO I WOULD REALLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO TRY TO DEVELOP, YOU KNOW, AFFINITY GROUPS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE WITHIN THE AGENCY. I DON'T KNOW IF THERE'S ONE IN CENSUS.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: YOU KNOW WHAT,

AND I MENTIONED DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING IN GOVERNMENT, THAT'S ONE OF THEM. THEY ARE VERY ACTIVE AND YOU'RE RIGHT, THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HAS ONE. THERE AREN'T MANY TO BE HONEST WITH YOU.

>> MALE AUDIENCE: AND THERE ARE A LOT OF SENIOR PEOPLE IN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THIS IS THE IMPRESSION I HAVE, WHO HAVE NOT DISCLOSED, THEY DON'T SHOW UP ON SUSANNE'S STATISTICS BECAUSE THEY'RE CONCERNED ABOUT THE DISCLOSURE OR ELSE THEY HAVE NEVER HAD TO, THEY HAVE NEVER NEEDED TO DISCLOSE. BUT THEY MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING INTERNALLY IN ONE OF THESE AFFINITY GROUPS AND WE CAN REALLY TAP INTO THAT RESOURCE. THAT REALLY IS CRITICAL. THE OTHER POINT I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE JUST QUICKLY IS THAT SCHEDULE A REQUIRES A TWO-YEAR TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT. I WAS WONDERING IF THERE'S BEEN ANY SORT OF STATISTICAL ANALYSIS TO SEE WHETHER PEOPLE ARE EITHER DROP OUT OR ARE FIRED DURING THAT TWO-YEAR HIATUS BECAUSE IT SEEMS TO ME THAT MAY BE ONE REASON WHY THERE IS A DROP-OFF IN TERMS OF PEOPLE EMPLOYED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: IT'S ACTUALLY A TWO-YEAR PROBATIONARY PERIOD AND IT'S NOT TEMPORARY. INSTEAD OF A ONE-YEAR PROBATIONARY PERIOD, YOU GET A TWO-YEAR. I ALLUDED TO, AND I GUESS IT'S THE QUID PRO QUO OF NOT HAVING TO BE PART OF THE PROCESS. IF I COULD BE KING OF THE WORLD AND CHANGE THAT SCHEDULE A, I WOULD DO THAT. BUT SEEING THAT IT JUST CHANGED RECENTLY, I THOUGHT A LOT OF US THOUGHT THE REALITY OF SEEING THE THING CHANGED QUICKLY WITHOUT PROBABLY THE LEADERSHIP IS NOT REALISTIC. BUT I WOULD THINK THAT WE SHOULD ACTUALLY LOOK AT THAT ASPECT. WE DON'T HAVE REALLY GOOD DATA ON EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS.

I THINK JOE, OPM MIGHT HAVE THAT?

>> FEMALE AUDIENCE: I DOUBT IT.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: IF ANYONE HAS IT, IT WOULD BE OPM, BUT I HAVE NEVER SEEN IT. SO WHAT HAPPENS TO THESE FOLKS WHEN THEY ARE BROUGHT IN AND WHETHER THEY CONVERT TO CAREER AFTER TWO YEARS.

I KNOW SOME PEOPLE SPECIFICALLY IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THAT HAVE COME IN UNDER SCHEDULE A MANY YEARS AGO, THEY DON'T WANT TO CONVERT OVER. THEY THINK THERE'S SOME ADVANTAGE TO STAYING AS EXCEPTED SERVICE. I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT ADVANTAGE IS.

I THINK THAT IT'S GOING TO PROTECT THEM FROM LAYOFFS AND STUFF. IT WON'T. SO I DON'T KNOW WHY PEOPLE DO IT. BUT SOME PEOPLE CHOOSE NOT TO CONVERT OVER. SO...

>> ANDY IMPARATO: LET ME SEE HOW MANY FOLKS -- I THINK I'M SEEING FOUR PEOPLE. I JUST WANT TO POINT OUT WE HAVE GOT ABOUT 12 MINUTES, SO IF PEOPLE CAN KEEP THEIR QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS BRIEF, WE CAN GO TO THEM ALL. AND START WITH BOB UP IN THE FRONT.

>> MALE AUDIENCE: BOB HARTMANN WITH THE ABILITY 1 PROGRAM. QUICK QUESTION FOR COMMISSIONER GRIFFIN, IN THE LEAD INITIATIVE REPORT I THINK IT DOES PROMOTE ESTABLISHING GOALS FOR HIRING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, WHICH, YOU KNOW, I SUPPORT. BUT I'M WONDERING WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO GET THIS ACROSS TO MANAGERS, ARE THERE CONCERNS ABOUT ESTABLISHING QUOTAS?

WHAT'S THE DISTINCTION?

BECAUSE I'M IMAGINING YOU'RE GOING TO GET SOME PUSHBACK THERE IF IT'S GOING TO BE PUT IN PEOPLES' EVALUATIONS AND GIVEN MORE PRIORITY. SO CAN YOU ADDRESS -- IS THAT A SOURCE OF CONFUSION?

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: ACTUALLY IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, IT ISN'T A BIG SOURCE OF CONFUSION.

THEY ACTUALLY ARE REQUIRED IN THEIR -- AND THEY ALL HAVE TO SUBMIT AN MD 715 REPORT TO US ON THE ANNUAL REPORT. WHERE ACTUALLY THEY ARE REQUIRED TO ADDRESS THE BARRIERS THAT EXIST THAT THEIR AGENCY FOR EMPLOYMENT FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. THEY ARE REQUIRED TO SET A GOAL. THERE ARE NUMERICAL GOALS AND ALSO NONNUMERICAL GOALS. IF YOU LOOK AT OUR REPORT, YOU'LL SEE HOW MANY ACTUALLY DO WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO DO. HOW MANY ACTUALLY ESTABLISH THE GOALS.

NUMERICAL GOAL, I THINK IT'S LESS THAN 50%. BUT THEY ARE REQUIRED TO AND THEY ARE REQUIRED TO DO IT BY, YOU KNOW, REGULATION AS WELL AS STATUTE. SO THEY JUST DON'T DO IT. YOU GET THE CLEAR PICTURE AFTER A PERIOD OF TIME. THIS IS NOT IMPORTANT TO ANYBODY AND WE HAVE TO MAKE IT IMPORTANT AND SO THAT'S WHY WE'RE DOING THIS TODAY. THIS IS NOT IMPORTANT ENOUGH FOR THEM TO EVEN MAKE A GOAL UP. THEY JUST DON'T EVEN DO IT. SO IT'S NOT A QUESTION THAT THEY DON'T THINK THAT THEY CAN DO IT. IT'S A QUESTION OF IT'S NOT IMPORTANT.

OUTSIDE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHENEVER YOU TALK TO SOMEONE, I, LIKE STEPHEN, TALK TO PLACEMENT PEOPLE AT EVERY SINGLE LAW SCHOOL HERE IN THE AREA OF WHICH IS QUITE A FEW, LOOKING SPECIFICALLY FOR INTERNS FOR MY OFFICE WHO HAVE SEVERE DISABILITIES BECAUSE I WANT TO GIVE THEM A WORK EXPERIENCE THEY CAN TRAIN ON LATER AND I WAS TOLD THEY ABSOLUTELY COULD NOT SPECIFICALLY RECRUIT BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT IT VIOLATED SOME LAW. THESE ARE LAW SCHOOLS, TOO, TO REALLY MAKE THIS EQUALLY TROUBLING. I ASSURE THEM THERE WASN'T. I ONLY GOT TO MEET WITH THEM AFTER I HAD WRITTEN THEM ALL LETTERS WHICH THEY NEVER RESPONDED TO AND THEN I MET THEM -- I WENT AND HAD A MEETING FACE TO FACE WITH THEM TO TALK ABOUT THIS. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY REFERRALS I GOT FROM THOSE LAW SCHOOLS?

AND I KNOW THEY HAVE SOME STUDENTS. ZIPPO. NONE. SO IT IS REALLY, REALLY TROUBLING THAT THERE STILL IS THAT, YOU KNOW, I GUESS IGNORANCE OUT THERE AROUND THE EMPLOYMENT OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.

AND I JUST WANT TO SAY IT LOUD AND CLEAR, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR AS WELL AS THE FEDERAL SECTOR IS ALIVE AND WELL.

NOBODY'S KILLED IT YET, SO...

>> ANDY IMPARATO: I'M GOING TO GO TO THE QUESTION HERE BUT I JUST HAD A COMMENT HEARING WHAT YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THE LAW SCHOOLS IS.

I KNOW THERE IS A NEW NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR LAW STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES WHERE THEY ARE STARTING TO GET ORGANIZED AND THIS IS FOR STEPHEN AND CHRIS, IF YOU ALL HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT WAYS TO BYPASS THE PROFESSIONALS AND POSSIBLY USE THE INTERNET, USE FACEBOOK AND PLACES WHERE STUDENTS GO TO GET THIS INFORMATION AND GET SOME THINGS HAPPENING THAT DON'T RELY ON THE PROFESSIONAL NETWORKS IN TERMS OF --

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: FOR INTERNS, I WAS AT THEIR MEETING LAST YEAR. THEY DO A RECRUITMENT FAIR AND THEIR LAW STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES IN CONJUNCTION WITH SOME OTHER FOLKS AND ACTUALLY FOUND SOME INTERNS THERE.

SPECIFICALLY LAW STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES. SO OBVIOUSLY THEY CAN DO IT AND THERE IS A GROUP OUT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA LAW SCHOOL THAT SORT OF SPEARHEADS A CAMPAIGN LIKE THIS ON AN ANNUAL BASIS TRYING TO GET LAW STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES JOBS.

I HAVEN'T USED THE FACEBOOK THING BUT ONE OF MY INTERNS WHO FOUND ME -- NOT LAST SUMMER, THE SUMMER BEFORE. HOW LONG AGO WAS THAT JOELEN?

WAS IT LAST YEAR?

IT'S USUALLY PASSING QUICKLY. IT'S PASSING SLOWLY. REBECCA WILLFORD AND SHE IS NOW THE PRESIDENT OF LAW STUDENTS DISABILITY ASSOCIATION, SO WE HAVE A GOOD IN THERE AND SHE'S ACTUALLY WORKED FOR US, WITH US AND WE'RE HOPING THAT THAT ORGANIZATION GROWS AND DOES BYPASS THEIR CAREER OFFICES WHICH ARE NOT HELPING THIS GROUP OF STUDENTS MUCH LIKE IN THE UNDERGRAD LEVEL AS WELL.

>> ANDY IMPARATO: DID YOU WANT TO SAY SOMETHING?

>> STEPHEN KING: WELL, JUST OTHER THAN I'LL SAY OUR RECRUITERS ARE REQUIRED TO PERFORM OUTREACH, THEY USE INTERNET TO DO THAT, TO PERFORM SEARCHES FOR THE STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS ON CAMPUS TO FIND OUT WHEN LET'S SAY MEETINGS MAY BE HELD FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES ON CAMPUS AND TRY TO NETWORK WITH THEM. BUT THAT'S PRETTY MUCH THE EXTENT OF IT.

>> FEMALE AUDIENCE: HELLO, I'M DEBRA TITAS FROM THE INDEPENDENT LIVING CENTER IN MANASSAS AND I'M AN INDEPENDENT LIVING ADVOCATE. AND I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE REPORT THAT WAS PRESENTED AND I HAVE A QUESTION FOR CHRISTINE GRIFFIN. HAS ANYBODY THOUGHT ABOUT HAVING OPM DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGER WHERE HE OR SHE CAN SET UP A CLOSER CONTACT WITH ALL OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AS EPS?

HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT IT?

MAYBE THAT WOULD HELP INCREASE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ON TO A FEDERAL WORK FORCE.

>> STEPHEN KING: THE ONLY THING I COULD SAY ABOUT THAT IS -- I DON'T BELIEVE I'M CORRECT IN SAYING THIS, IS THAT THE PERSON THAT WAS THE DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGER AT OPM, I DON'T BELIEVE THAT SHE'S THERE ANYMORE. I JUST HEARD THAT.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: SHE JUST RETIRED.

>> STEPHEN KING: SO THEY ARE WITHOUT A DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGER AT THE MOMENT. I'LL BE HONEST WITH YOU, I DON'T KNOW IF I WOULD WANT TO TACKLE THAT. I MEAN, IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT. BUT JUST THINK OF WHAT COULD BE DONE IF OPM WAS PART OF THIS EFFORT. THEY ARE POSITIONED TO DO SO MUCH FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THEY REALLY ARE.

SO THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THERE FOR SOMEONE TO STEP IN THERE AND DO A HUGE JOB. COULD IT BE DONE BY SOMEONE AT THE DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGEMENT LEVEL?

PROBABLY NOT. BUT EVERY PERSON HELPS.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: AND THE DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGER IS FOR THEIR OWN INTERNAL PROGRAM. BUT THERE IS A GROUP -- FEDERAL DISABILITY WORK FORCE CONSORTIUM WHICH IS TRYING TO GAIN MOMENTUM. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN WEBSITE NOW, AND IT IS A PLACE WHERE THE DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGERS AND I THINK SELECTIVE PLACEMENT COORDINATORS ARE TRYING TO GENERATE SOME MOMENTUM, I THINK, BASED ON WHAT WE HAVE INITIATED AND GET PEOPLE TO PAY MORE ATTENTION TO HOW IMPORTANT THIS ISSUE IS AND HOW THEIR JOBS REALLY ARE. AND FRANKLY, THEY SHOULDN'T BE PART-TIME AND ALL THE OTHER THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT. THEY SHOULD BE, GIVEN THE SAME, YOU KNOW, I THINK RECOGNITION AND AUTHORITY THAT SOME OF THE OTHER SPECIAL EMPHASIS PROGRAMS ARE GIVEN.

>> MALE AUDIENCE: THANK YOU. THIS IS MIKE COLLINS AND I'M THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY. THANKS, CHRISTINE, FOR STRAIGHTENING THAT OUT.

A GREAT PRESENTATION, GUYS. I THINK YOU OUGHT TO COME BACK IN 30 DAYS AND SEE IF THERE'S ANY PROGRESS MADE.

( LAUGHTER )

>> MALE AUDIENCE: THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY IS IN THIS AS WELL AS YOU KNOW BECAUSE WE HAVE PUSHED THIS ISSUE FORWARD SINCE THE ADA AND SINCE ANDY WAS A BOY. AND WE HAVE A VESTED INTEREST IN SEEING THAT THE ADA RESTORATION ACT GETS PASSED AND TAKEN PROACTIVE STEPS TO ANSWER THE CRITICS. AND WE ALSO -- I ALSO PERSONALLY AS -- SOMEWHERE ON MY LIST IS SELECTIVE PLACEMENT COORDINATOR SO THEY HAVE UPDATED THAT LIST SINCE JUNE AND I DON'T KNOW WHICH AGENCY HAS IT. BUT I GET E-MAILS, SEVERAL A WEEK FROM PEOPLE WITH disabilities ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHO HAVE ADVANCED DEGREES OR MAY NOT, BUT THEY ARE INTERESTED AND REALLY DON'T KNOW THE PROCESS. AND I'M REALLY INTERESTED IN SEEING WHAT YOU HAVE DEVELOPED, CHRISTINE, AND WHAT I WOULD RECOMMEND IS THAT IF THIS IS A GOOD DOCUMENT, IF IT'S AN ABSOLUTELY FINE, OUTSTANDING TRIFOLD BROCHURE THAT HAS ALL THE ANSWERS ABOUT SCHEDULE A FROM THE CONSUMERS' PERSPECTIVE AS WELL --

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: WELL, WE DON'T HAVE THAT YET.

>> MALE AUDIENCE: THAT'S THE ONE WE NEED. JUST LIKE INDEPENDENT LIVING CONSUMER NEEDS TO HAVE A CLIENT BROCHURE IN THEIR HAND THE DAY THEY WALK OUT OF THE DOOR THAT FIRST TIME, WE NEED TO GIVE THEM THAT SAME DOCUMENT SO THEY CAN WORK TOWARDS THAT GOAL AND WE NEED TO MAKE A LINK ON EVERY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S HOME PAGE, NOT BURIED BACK, BUT JUST A LINK TO YOUR BROCHURE OR WHATEVER IT IS AND IT COULD BE SOMETHING DEVELOPED OUTSIDE OF GOVERNMENT IF IT'S NOT TOO FLAMMATORY, ANDY. IT COULD BE SOMETHING THAT JUST GIVES THE CONSUMER THE ANSWERS AND GIVES THEM HOPE THAT THEY CAN MAKE THIS BIG LEAP AND YOU AND I AND SEVERAL OF US IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ARE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK ON THIS PROMOTIONAL ASPECT OF SCHEDULE A BECAUSE I'VE HEARD THAT FROM FAR TOO MANY PEOPLE. BUT THAT'S ME TALKING PERSONALLY, NOT THE COUNCIL. BUT THE COUNCIL IS VERY MUCH IN FAVOR AND ARE GOING TO BE TAKING A VERY SERIOUS LOOK AT THIS FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, WHY IT HASN'T IMPROVEED AND WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO HELP CORRECT IT AND YOU ARE OUR PARTNER OF COURSE IN THAT AREA.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: THANK YOU.

THE BROCHURES ARE GREAT AND WE FOCUSED ON THE INTERNAL ASPECTS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FIRST BECAUSE FRANKLY WE WERE RELUCTANT TO GO OUT AND SAY TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, OH, APPLY. EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT BECAUSE IT'S NOT.

( LAUGHTER )

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: AND IT STILL ISN'T. BUT THE FIRST STEP WAS TO ACTUALLY GET SOME INFORMATION THAT WAS VERY CLEAR.

WE HAD SEVERAL MEETINGS AND TRAININGS THAT FOLKS FROM OPM WOULD COME TO AND, YOU KNOW, IT'S PART OF, YOU KNOW, THE WAY THEY ARE TRYING TO OPERATE, YOU KNOW, SO IT'S NOT REALLY, YOU KNOW, A SLAM AGAINST THEM. YOU KNOW, THERE IS THIS PREMISE THAT EVERY AGENCY IS THEIR OWN BUSINESS AND THEY SHOULD DECIDE THINGS THEMSELVES AND ALL THIS OTHER STUFF. BUT THE REALITY IS I GO TO TRAININGS AND MEETINGS AND PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO OPERATE LIKE THAT. THEY WANT CLEAR-CUT GUIDANCE. THEY WANT TO DO SOMETHING THAT THEY THINK IS RIGHT OR WRONG AND THEN HAVE OPM COME IN AND AUDIT THEM AND SAY YOU DID IT WRONG AND, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO CORRECT THAT.

SO WHAT HAPPENS IS THEY DO NOTHING, A LOT OF THEM. SO THEY SIT AND DO NOTHING BECAUSE THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. AND WE SAW A REAL OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE THEM THE INFORMATION THEY NEED TO ACTUALLY USE SCHEDULE A. AND WE VENTED WITH, YOU KNOW, LOTS OF PEOPLE BEFORE WE EVER PRINTED IT AND STEPHEN KING AND JOB ACCOMMODATION NETWORK...EVERYONE, ODEP, LOTS OF PEOPLE WITHIN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GOT TO LOOK AT THIS, AS WELL AS OUTSIDE, AND GIVE US THEIR FEEDBACK AND WE TRIED TO WRITE SOMETHING THAT WAS VERY SIMPLE FOR MANAGERS, FOR HR PEOPLE, AND FOR OUR DISABILITY PROGRAM MANAGERS TO USE.

AND WE ARE NOW WORKING ON THE APPLICANT PIECE AND JAN IS NOW A PARTNER IN THIS, WHICH IS GREAT BECAUSE THEY ARE OUTSIDE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, BUT JUST THINK ABOUT HOW MANY PEOPLE CALL JAN FOR INFORMATION AND ULTIMATELY I WANT TO SEE THE -- YOU KNOW, IF THEY CAN'T GET A STRAIGHT ANSWER FROM OPM ON HOW TO DO SOMETHING WITH SCHEDULE A AND HIRING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, YOU KNOW, AGENCIES CAN CALL JAN, APPLICANTS CAN CALL JAN AND IT'S A FREE SERVICE. EARN PLAYS A ROLE IN THIS AS WELL. AND SO THERE REALLY -- I THINK WE'RE IN THE PROCESS OF DEVELOPING A REALLY GOOD TEAM OF PEOPLE TO GET THE INFORMATION OUT. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, YOU AND I AND OTHERS HAVE TO PARTNER ABOUT MAKING THIS A LEADERSHIP ISSUE BECAUSE, AGAIN, IF LEADERS AREN'T ON BOARD, IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. IT JUST WON'T.

>> ANDY IMPARATO: WE HAVE TIME FOR ONE MORE AND I APOLOGIZE. BUT SHE'S ALREADY GOT THE MIC.

( LAUGHTER )

>> FEMALE AUDIENCE: AND I HAVE LOTS OF IMPORTANT THINGS TO SAY. NO, WAIT LONG ENOUGH AND MOST OF YOUR POINTS HAVE ALREADY BEEN COVERED. BUT MY NAME IS BETH BEABANU, I'M FROM ODEP AT LABOR AND WE ARE THE ONES THAT FUND EARN AND JAN AND COSPONSOR WRP. SO WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT THESE ISSUES. WE'RE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE FEDERAL ISSUE. I WANTED TO MENTION THE FDWC, THE FEDERAL WORKPLACE CONSORTIUM. THEY ARE DOING A LOT OF TRAINING, SELECTIVE PLACEMENT TRAINING AND OTHERS. FDWC.GOV I BELIEVE IS THEIR NEW WEBSITE SO YOU CAN CHECK THAT OUT AND I ENCOURAGE EVERY AGENCY REPRESENTED MAKE SURE SOMEONE GOES TO THAT. WRP DATABASE IS ALSO A SOURCE FOR PERMANENT HIRES, NOT JUST INTERNS, SO THERE'S GRADUATING SENIORS AND GRAD STUDENTS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN PERMANENT JOBS.

AND I HAD TO GET ON THE PHONE. I HAD TO RUN OUT AND CALL EARN, TYLER MATNY, MANY OF YOU MIGHT HAVE WORKED WITH HIM. THEY DO HAVE A JOB BANK OF CANDIDATES WITH DISABILITIES. IT'S A RESUME POOL. I BELIEVE YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH THEM TO ACCESS IT. SO THEY DO HAVE A POOL OF CANDIDATES AND I'VE ALSO HEARD OF CASES WHERE THEY GET MANY MORE THAN JUST ONE RESUME FOR A JOB. I REALIZE YOURS WAS PROBABLY VERY SPECIFIC.

>> CHRISTINE GRIFFIN: AND THEY DID FOR US. AS I SAID, THEY HELPED US DO THE REPORT FOR PEOPLE THAT WE HAVE HIRED RECENTLY AND THEY GAVE US -- I THINK THE TOTAL NUMBER WAS LIKE 70 SOMETHING OF WHICH WE ENDED UP OFFERING POSITIONS TO 20 SOMETHING.

>> FEMALE AUDIENCE: AND THEY HAVE BEEN DOING A GREAT JOB WITH THAT. AND FINALLY STEPHEN WAS TALKING ABOUT -- NO, ACTUALLY SUSANNE WAS TALKING ABOUT THE MOST IMPORTANT WAYS TO REACH -- THE MOST IMPORTANT WAYS TO BREAK DOWN THE BARRIERS AND EDUCATE ON SCHEDULE A IS YOU TALKED ABOUT TRAINING, TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND ALSO LEADERSHIP BUY-IN AND I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO THAT DIRECTLY ONE ON ONE AT THE SMITHSONIAN. I WAS THERE FOR FOUR MONTHS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WAS THE -- WHAT WERE THE PROBLEMS AND THEN DELIVER TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND IF OTHER AGENCIES CAN DO THAT, IF THEY CAN GET SOMEONE TO COME IN AND DO THAT, YOU KNOW, FOR A PERIOD OF TIME, UNFORTUNATELY WE ARE NOT ABLE TO DO THAT IF MORE OTHERS, BUT IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE. WE GOT SOME GREAT LESSONS OUT OF IT AND THAT KIND OF DIRECT TA CAN BENEFIT AND WE HAVE SEEN SOME RESULTS. WE HAVE GOTTEN A NUMBER OF SCHEDULE A HIRES THERE, INCLUDING A WRP INTERN THAT GOT A PERMANENT POSITION THERE, SO...THANKS.

>> ANDY IMPARATO: THANK YOU. I WANT TO JUST POINT OUT THAT ALL THE PRESENTATIONS TODAY ARE AVAILABLE AND ARE WE GOING TO POST THEM ON THE CORNELL WEBSITE?

>> SUSANNE BRUYERE: AS LONG AS IT'S OKAY WITH MY COLLEAGUES, WE WILL.

>> ANDY IMPARATO: DO YOU WANT TO GIVE THAT URL, SUSANNE?

OKAY. SO WE'LL ALSO E-MAIL THE PRESENTATIONS TO EVERYBODY WHO SIGNED IN AND EVERYBODY ON THE PHONE AND I THINK IT WOULD BE GOOD IF WE COULD PUT IT ON THE WEBSITE. THERE'S MATERIALS HERE THAT HAS THE URL FOR IT. I KNOW IT STARTS WITH CORNELLWD --

( LAUGHTER )

>> ANDY IMPARATO: AGAIN, LET'S HEAR IT FOR OUR PRESENTERS.

( APPLAUSE )

>> ANDY IMPARATO: AND AGAIN, THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING ON AN ALMOST HOLIDAY. WE APPRECIATE IT.

>> SUSANNE BRUYERE: PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EVALUATIONS FOR US. IT REALLY HELPS US TO IMPROVE OUR NEXT SET OF PROGRAMS. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

( THE END )