Eye Opener: Study urges more help to hire disabled workers
Happy Monday! Almost half of the federal government's human resources officials say they have not received adequate training on how to manage and retain employees with severe disabilities, according to the results of a survey by the Telework Exchange and the Federal Managers Association set for release Monday. Many of those officials are also unfamiliar with mandates designed to promote the hiring of disabled applicants and hiring rules that allow for the noncompetitive hiring of disabled people.
Though 71 percent of the respondents said their agencies are committed to hiring disabled workers, 40 percent said they have not received adequate training to effectively manage disabled employees, according to the survey.
The Telework Exchange, continuing its push for advancing teleworking, and FMA partnered on the study in advance of a conference set for next week that will press the Obama administration on the teleworking option for federal workers. The White House said Kareem Dale, President Obama's special assistant on disability policy, will address the survey's findings at next week's conference.
The survey also noted that 45 percent of federal hiring managers surveyed said they have not received adequate training on retaining disabled employees.
Though it's always noteworthy to review surveys of federal officials considering the difficulty of gauging their reaction on issues, this voluntary online survey heard from just 513 federal hiring officers. And it was taken between Jan. 25 and Feb. 5, roughly a month before the Office of Personnel Management held a training session for more than 600 federal hiring managers about hiring and retaining disabled workers.
During the session OPM unveiled a new online training tool for hiring officials that instructs them on how to use Schedule A, a noncompetitive hiring waiver that permits agencies to hire severely disabled individuals, an OPM spokesman said. The agency is developing a similar training tool for disabled applicants wishing to be hired under the waiver.
OPM and the Labor Department's Office of Disability Policy also will hold a hiring fair on April 26 at the Washington Convention Center. More than 70 agencies with job openings have been invited to search a database with more than 4,000 resumes of disabled applicants. Agencies are encouraged to schedule interviews with disabled applicants at the April event, OPM said.
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