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					Recruiting and Retaining Individuals with Disabilities in
                the Federal Workforce

                    Richard L. Horne, Ed.D.
                    horne.richard@dol.gov
                        March 18, 2009
ODEP’s VISION



   “A world in which people with
     disabilities have unlimited
    employment opportunities”

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         A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
WHO WE ARE




•The only federal agency dealing solely
 with disability employment policy

•Led by an Assistant Secretary

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          A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
WHAT WE DO



Build knowledge and advance
disability employment policy
that affect and promote
systems change
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        A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
ODEP’s APPROACH IS
MARKET-BASED



Demand…
                        and

                         …Supply
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         A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
EXPECTATIONS




•Increased Capacity of Service
 Delivery Systems



                                                                  6

         A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
EXPECTATIONS




•Increased Planning and
 Coordination within Service
 Delivery Systems


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         A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
EXPECTATIONS




•Increased Employer Access to
 Supports & Services for
 Recruitment, Hiring, Retention,
 & Promotion

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         A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
 Trends in
  Federal
Employment
Percentage of the Executive Branch of
Workers with Disabilities

      8
      7
      6
      5                                     Workers with
      4                                     Disabilities
      3                                     Severely
                                            Disabled
      2
      1
      0
          1996 1998 2000 2002 2003
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               A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
Distribution of Employees with Disabilities
by Agency

                                                    Navy
      17.3                     10.5
                                           12.6     Army
6.4
                                                    Airforce

                                            9       All other agencies

             44.2                                   Homeland Security
                               N=120,000
                                                    VA

                                                                             11

                    A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
TRENDS IN FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT

Trends in Hiring Schedule A employees
      2,500


      2,000
                                                   Schedule A New Hires
                                                   Severely Disabled
      1,500
                                                   Schedule A New Hires
                                                   Other Disabled
      1,000
                                                   Schedule A New Hires
                                                   Total Disabled
       500


        -
              FY2004 FY2003 FY2002 FY2001 FY2000
                                                                             12

                    A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
TRENDS IN FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT

• From FY 1995 to 2004, total Federal workforce decreased
  by 251,000 employees, net change of -8.78%.
• Number of Federal employees with targeted disabilities
  declined from 31,359 in FY 1995 to 25,917 in FY 2004 – a
  net change of -17.35%
• In FY 2004, individuals with targeted disabilities were less
  than one percent (0.99%) of the workforce
• Employees with targeted disabilities at the Department of
  Commerce represented 0.84% of the workforce.
  – Source: EEOC FY 2004 Annual Report on the Federal Work Force
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                A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
TRENDS IN FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT

  • Average GS grade level for employees with targeted disabilities
    was 8.4, nearly 2 grade levels below the government-wide
    average of 9.9
  • Between FY 1995 and 2004, the representation rate for
    employees with targeted disabilities in SPL (Senior Pay Level)
    positions remained essentially unchanged (0.43 in 1995 to 0.44 in
    2004)
  • In FY 2004, the “feeder grades” to SPL (GS 14 and 15),
    employees with disabilities were only 1.03%
  • According to OPM, 6.9% of the total civilian workforce has
    disabilities
     – Source: EEOC FY 2004 Annual Report on the Federal Work Force
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                 A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
Perspectives of
    Federal
  Managers
PERSPECTIVES OF HR/EEO & MANAGERS

• Two surveys conducted in 2000 and 2001 of Federal
  agency managers and leaders
• Conducted by Cornell University and the Presidential
  Task Force on Employment of People with Disabilities
• 403 HR/EEO professionals (97% response rate)
• 1,001 supervisors (93% response rate) – 56% were
  senior management and 95% had been with their
  agency for 5 or more years
     • Source: Bruyère, S., Erickson, W. and Horne, R. (2002)
       Disability Employment Policies and Practices in U.S.
       Federal Government Agencies: EEO/HR and Supervisor
       Perspectives
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                 A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
PERSPECTIVES OF HR/EEO

Findings from the HR/EEO Managers
  – 94% made their existing facilities accessible
  – 7 out 10 have formal process for accommodations
  – Quarter of respondents frequently used Schedule A or B
    provisions
  – Staffs least familiar with interview considerations for visual
    disabilities and deaf/hard of hearing
  – 93% said that they needed to change co-worker and
    supervisor attitudes towards employees with disabilities (only
    29% said it was easy or very easy)


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                 A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
PERSPECTIVES OF HR/EEO

• Greatest barriers to advancement of people with
  disabilities according to the HR/EEO managers:
  –   Lack of related experience (56%)
  –   Lack of requisite skills and training (47%)
  –   Attitudes and stereotypes (45%)
  –   Supervisor knowledge of accommodations (34%)
  –   Cost of accommodations (19%)
  –   Cost of training (12%)
  –   Additional cost of supervision (11%)


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                  A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
PERSPECTIVES OF MANAGERS

• Nearly 2/3 of the supervisors had at least one
  employee with a disability or made least one
  accommodation over the past 5 years
• ¾ said their agencies had formal processes for
  handling accommodation requests
• Nearly half were not aware of accommodation
  resources, irrespective of their own experience
  supervising employees with disabilities
• Over half of those involved in hiring were familiar with
  special hiring authorities of the Federal government
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                A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
PERSPECTIVES OF MANAGERS

• 1/3 of white collar supervisors thought it was possible
  to relocate some office-based full-time positions to
  home-based or other off-site facilities
• 60% of supervisors were not aware of Executive Order
  13163 (requiring the hiring of 100,00 qualified
  individuals with disabilities)
• 2 out of 5 were aware of EEOC guidelines for Federal
  agencies to establish written procedures on
  accommodations (Executive Order 13164)

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               A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
PERSPECTIVES OF MANAGERS

• Greatest barriers to advancement of people with
  disabilities according to the Federal supervisors:
  –   Lack of employee’s related experience (48%)
  –   Lack of employee’s requisite skills and training (43%)
  –   Supervisor knowledge of accommodations (23%)
  –   Accommodation not provided when needed (21%)
  –   Attitudes and stereotypes (20%)
  –   Lack of established procedures (17%)
  –   Additional travel costs (17%)
  –   Cost of accommodations (11%)
  –   Additional cost of supervision (10%)
  –   Cost of training (8%)
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                   A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
PERSPECTIVES OF MANAGERS

• Resources used by supervisors
  –   Central human resource personnel 30% (15% not aware)
  –   EAP 30% (4% not aware of it)
  –   Servicing HR personnel 28%
  –   Safety and ergonomic staff 28%
  –   EEO office 23%
  –   Occupational Health and Medical Staff 22%
  –   Disability management staff 14%
  –   State Voc/Rehab agencies 9%
  –   Job Accommodations Network 3% (47% not aware of it)

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                  A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
PERSPECTIVES OF MANAGERS

Supervisor opinions on reducing barriers to employment
• Visible top management commitment 85%
• Skills training for employees with disabilities 83%
• Mentoring 78%
• Staff training 76%
• On-site consultation/technical assistance 76%
  Changing co-worker/supervisor attitudes 69%
• Special budget allocation 67%
• Include it in supervisor performance appraisals 60%
• Short-term outside assistance with job supervision 57%

                                                                           23

                  A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
PERSPECTIVES OF HR/EEO & MANAGERS

Comparing EEO/HR and Supervisors:
• HR/EEO more likely to make interview
  accommodations
• HR/EEO more likely to see “costs of accommodations
  and supervisor knowledge as the greatest barriers
• HR/EEO more than twice as likely than supervisors to
  say coworker attitudes are barrier
• HR/EEO more likely to be aware of agency’s return to
  work policies

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               A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
PERSPECTIVES OF HR/EEO & MANAGERS

• Conclusions from the data analysis
  – Increase the information dissemination across the government
    about affirmative action
  – Recommend technical assistance and training in
    accommodations for applicants with visual or auditory
    disabilities
  – Understand why there appears to be hesitancy in requesting
    accommodations
  – Promote the use of the Federal hiring authorities
  – Provide more information on accommodations for specific
    populations (blind, deaf, psychiatric disabilities, job coaches)
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                  A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
PERSPECTIVES OF HR/EEO & MANAGERS

Conclusions from the data analysis, Continued
• Address attitudinal issues through diversity and inclusion
  strategies
• Engage unions in hiring and retention efforts
• Provide further training and technical assistance
• Equip and promote resources used to resolve civil rights issues
• Utilize alternative dispute resolution and disability management
  programs
• Focus on training and education of people with disabilities (i.e.
  WIA)
• Imperative to obtain visible commitment from top management
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                   A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
The Business
    Case
THE BUSINESS CASE

• Hiring and promoting people with disabilities – a sound
  management strategy used by many successful
  agencies nationwide – a positive impact on the
  “bottom line”

• Increases employee retention, lower costs of turnover

• Meet or exceed performance standards

• Hire employees with the skills you need
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               A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
THE BUSINESS CASE

Gives your agency a competitive edge
• Meet Federal employment goals
   – Creative recruiting meets the human capital component of the
     President’s Management Agenda
   – Fulfill the New Freedom Initiative
• Attract qualified candidates in shrinking workforce
   – OPM estimates that by 2010 approximately 71% of the federal
     workforce will be eligible for retirement-- and 41% will
   – Agencies need to cast wider net for talent to reach people who
     otherwise would not consider Federal jobs
• Reduce costs of employee benefits
   – Returning an employee to work saves money in lost time, increased
     insurance costs, replacement, and retraining
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                    A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
THE BUSINESS CASE

• Acquire creative problem-solving skills since people
  with disabilities tend to bring unique perspectives to
  business problems
• Fill positions quickly using hiring authorities
  – People with disabilities can apply for competitive and non-
    competitive jobs and through special hiring authorities for
    students and veterans
• Level the playing field with technology and telework
• Accommodations are frequently easy to make and
  cost-effective
  – Typical cost is $600
                                                                          30

                 A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
Tools and Resources for
   Federal Managers
HIRING AUTHORITIES

• Hiring authorities simplify the process
  –   Schedule A appointments
  –   Students and Recent Graduates
  –   Special Hiring Authority for Veterans
  –   More information:
• www.opm.gov/disability/hrpro_3-02.asp




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                   A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

• CAP - Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program
• Provides assistive technology accommodations and
  services to people with disabilities, federal managers,
  supervisors, and IT professionals in the Department of
  Defense and over 38 Federal agencies.
• No cost to the agency requesting accommodations.
• 703) 681-8813 (Voice)
  (703) 681-0881 (TTY)
• www.tricare.mil/cap/

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               A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

• JAN – Job Accommodation Network
   Provides information about job accommodations, the ADA, and
    the employability of people with disabilities
   Provides information about starting a small business
   Freely serves employers, employees, or job candidates
   1-800-526-7234 (V/TTY)
   www.jan.wvu.edu




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                A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
 TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

• EARN – Employer Assistance & Recruiting Network

  Connects employers to employment service providers
   who have direct access to candidates with disabilities
  Provides FREE technical assistance to employers
  1-866-327-6669 (V/TTY)
  www.earnworks.com




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               A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
STAFFING RESOURCES

• WRP – Workforce Recruitment Program
   Provides a source of pre-screened, talented college and
    university students with disabilities to employers

   Profiles include academic and demographic data, contact
    information, and recruiter comments

   FREE to employers, nationwide


  www.wrpjobs.org

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                A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
DISABILITY RESOURCES


• DisabilityInfo.gov

  • A cross-government portal

  • All the disability-related information available
    throughout the federal government in one place




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                A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
NATIONAL DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT
AWARENESS MONTH


• Theme:
   “Workers with Disabilities:
    Ready for Tomorrow’s Jobs
    Today”


• 1945 – 1st week in October

• 1988 – All of October

• Events/Activities Throughout
  the Nation

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                  A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
DISABILITY MENTORING DAY

• Insight into workplace career options.

• Employers gain an increased awareness

• Began in 1999

• Expanded to all 50 states

• Internationally participation growing
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                A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce
     WWW.DOL.GOV/ODEP
(202) 693-7880         TTY (202) 693-7881                       40

       A Catalyst for Change, Transforming the American Workforce

				
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