July 22, 2011
Here are the details:
Conference Name: ILG 2011 National Conference: Embracing the Rhythms of Hamony and Equality
Dates: July 25-29, 2011
Location: New Orleans
Title: Getting Direction & Taking Action- The GPS to Employing People and Veterans with Disabilities
It is abundantly clear that OFCCP is focused on the employment of people with disabilities and Veterans. This session will provide government contractors a complete road map with an emphasis on recruiting, hiring and retaining people and veterans with disabilities. We will discuss best practices and implementation. We will describe the difference between accessibility and accommodations in the recruiting process.
We will provide the participants a step by step guide, based on a proven model, that can be implemented in their current environment. We will have an open discussion surrounding common myths and fears about hiring and employing people with disabilities.
The participants will be provided with recommendations on how to address accessibility vs. accommodation and how to establish outreach resources and relationships. The goal for this presentation is to provide practical tools to implement ideas and suggestions derived from the presentation. We will assist participants in becoming OFCCP compliant. The desired outcome is to open doors and decrease barriers to employment for people and veterans with disabilities. The session will highlight the most common assistive technologies and offer practical information that can be implemented immediately.
We will share the critical steps to creating and sustaining a disability friendly employment experience.
1. Information on regarding the on-line application system
2. Accommodations for candidates with disabilities, practical methodology and quick implementation plan for successful outreach
3. Solution ideas to meet the disability directives and stay compliant.
March 16, 2011
These final rules will take effect March 15, 2011. Compliance with the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design is permitted as of September 15, 2010, but not required until March 15, 2012. The Department has prepared fact sheets identifying the major changes in the rules.
The time has come for companies and their third party vendors to recognize website accessibility.
I have cut and pasted the portion of the ruling as it relates to website accessibility and online recruiting. For the final full verison go to www.ada.gov
"Web site accessibility. Many commenters expressed disappointment that the NPRM did not require title II entities to make their Web sites, through which they offer programs and services, accessible to individuals with [[Page 56236]] disabilities, including those who are blind or have low vision. Commenters argued that the cost of making Web sites accessible, through Web site design, is minimal, yet critical to enabling individuals with disabilities to benefit from the entity's programs and services. Internet Web sites, when accessible, provide individuals with disabilities great independence, and have become an essential tool for many Americans. Commenters recommended that the Department require covered entities, at a minimum, to meet the section 508 Standard for Electronic and Information Technology for Internet accessibility. Under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Federal agencies are required to make their Web sites accessible. 29 U.S.C. 794(d); 36 CFR 1194. The Department agrees that the ability to access, on an equal basis, the programs and activities offered by public entities through Internet-based Web sites is of great importance to individuals with disabilities, particularly those who are blind or who have low vision. When the ADA was enacted in 1990, the Internet was unknown to most Americans. Today, the Internet plays a critical role in daily life for personal, civic, commercial, and business purposes. In a period of shrinking resources, public entities increasingly rely on the web as an efficient and comprehensive way to deliver services and to inform and communicate with their citizens and the general public. In light of the growing importance Web sites play in providing access to public services and to disseminating the information citizens need to participate fully in civic life, accessing the Web sites of public entities can play a significant role in fulfilling the goals of the ADA.
Although the language of the ADA does not explicitly mention the Internet, the Department has taken the position that title II covers Internet Web site access. Public entities that choose to provide services through web-based applications (e.g., renewing library books or driver's licenses) or that communicate with their constituents or provide information through the Internet must ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to such services or information, unless doing so would result in an undue financial and administrative burden or a fundamental alteration in the nature of the programs, services, or activities being offered. The Department has issued guidance on the ADA as applied to the Web sites of public entities in a 2003 publication entitled, Accessibility of State and Local Government Web sites to People with Disabilities, (June 2003) available at http://www.ada.gov/websites2.htm. As the Department stated in that publication, an agency with an inaccessible Web site may also meet its legal obligations by providing an alternative accessible way for citizens to use the programs or services, such as a staffed telephone information line. However, such an alternative must provide an equal degree of access in terms of hours of operation and the range of options and programs available. For example, if job announcements and application forms are posted on an inaccessible Web site that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to individuals without disabilities, then the alternative accessible method must also be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
October 05, 2010
For more information visit this link: http://www.disability.gov/employment/research_%26_statistics
September 07, 2010
There is continued movement of employment of people with disabiltities. It is very exciting. If you would like to read more go to: http://www.dol.gov/odep/index.htm
September 02, 2010
GettingHired.com, Nation's Largest Disability Employment Portal ...By GettingHired LLCExclusive partnership with HirePotential, Inc. provides specialized training courses for national employers on The Accommodation Process, Disability Etiquette.eReleases Press Release Headlines - http://www.ereleases.com/pr/
August 31, 2010
It is amazing to me the our largest minority group is people with disabilities and yet the least talked about at diversity conferences. People with disabilities are you, me, our family, friends and coworkers. Anyone can acquire an injury/disability at any time. I am surprised we are not doing a better job at understanding people with disabilities and actively recruiting this group of talent.
With the unemployment rate as high as it is for people with disabilities I can see why OFCCP is taking a closer look at the recruitment and outreach for people with disabilities.
For more information on the DOL Statistic go to: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/disabl.nr0.htm
August 18, 2010
The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that Axiom Staffing Group of Virginia Inc. will pay $35,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit.
As part of the resolution, ASGV agreed to increase training of its hiring personnel specific to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
With the amendment to the ADA effective Jan 2009, and new directives issued recently, we will see more of these lawsuits if companies do not have a proactive process. Disability discrimination charges reached a record level of 21,451 during 2009 - an increase of 10 percent from the prior year. Be proactive now, rather than reactive - when it's too late! HirePotential can help, by providing compliance, accessibility, and staffing solutions.
August 01, 2010
July 26, 2010
Join Secretary Hilda L. Solis and Assistant Secretary Kathleen Martinez at the Department of Labor's Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the the Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The event is scheduled for July 30, 2010 from 2:00 PM until 3:00 PM in the Great Hall of the Department's Frances Perkins Building in Washington, D.C. Click above for more information and a link to the live webcast.
Public Input for OFCCP
US Labor Department seeks public input to strengthen disability regulations. The deadline for receiving comments is September 21, 2010. For more information, click the link above, and see Frequently asked questions on the rulemaking process.
Yahoo Celebrates Americans with Disablities Act
Click above link for more information, and a link to Yahoo's Accessibility Blog.
Remarks by the President
Watch the Video
June 24, 2009
Do you know about the new directive on accessibility?
Based on recent research that I have conducted regarding the new directive, it seems that ATS companies and many HR professionals believe that the new directive is all about the reporting issue NOT an Accessibility issue. I am here to tell you that it has nothing to do with reporting.
The directive that I am referring came out on July 10, 2008, and it reads:
- SUBJECT: Federal Contractor's Online Application Selection Systems.
- PURPOSE: To provide guidance in evaluating federal contractors' obligations under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Section 503), the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Act of 1974, as amended, 38 U.S.C. 4212 (VEVRAA), and Title I of Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (ADA), with respect to online application systems.
- BACKGROUND: In response to changing technologies, many contractors have moved towards using an online application system as their primary, if not exclusive, method for accepting applications for employment. While some of these systems may be accessible to individuals with disabilities, others may be completely inaccessible or only partially accessible due to technological limitations. Irrespective of the level of accessibility of the online application system, federal contractors and subcontractors must ensure that qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans have an equal opportunity for employment. Section 503 and its implementing regulations at 41 CFR Part 60-741, and VEVRAA and its implementing regulations at Parts 60-250 and 60-300, require that contractors provide equal opportunity to qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans. In addition, under 60-741.5, 60-250.5, and 60-300.5, the contractor agrees to take affirmative action to employ and advance these individuals, including, but not limited to, "recruitment, advertising, and job application procedures." These job application procedures include online application systems.
- POLICY: Effective immediately, all compliance evaluations shall include a review of the contractor's online application systems to ensure that the contractor is providing equal opportunity to qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans. The review should include whether the contractor is providing reasonable accommodation, when requested, unless such accommodation would cause an undue hardship. In this directive, the term "online system" shall include, but not be limited to, all electronic or web-based systems that the contractor uses in all of its personnel activities.
I would like to focus your attention on the areas above that are italicized and highlighted in blue. Note that the directive is stating ACCOMMODATIONS or ACCESSIBILITY - which means that people with disabilities or limitations should be able to access your site at all times and apply online like all other candidates without disabilities or limitations. The main focus is the employment of people with disabilites and disabled veterans. It does not ask if you or your company report the numbers of people with disabilities that visit your site. Note that even if people with disabilities tried to visit your site, you would have NO WAY of TRACKING their visit, since they could NOT access it if your site is NOT accessible!
You might be asking: "Is there a band-aid approach until we can figure out what to do?"
My answer is YES! Following are a few things that you can do in the short-term:
1. The first: is to include a clause on your home page about accessibility and accommodation that instruct people what to do. Make sure this tab is coded to the accessibility standard guidelines. If this tab is not coded with accessibility in mind, you have NOT corrected the accessibility issue and you still don’t have any solution, “Band- Aid” or not.
2. Second: get an assessment of your site to see if you meet the accessibility standards.
So, those of you who are out there looking at your Applicant Tracking System and asking them what to do. You most likely will find that the ATS companies do not know what to do as it relates to accessibility and will continue to refer to reporting.
Furthermore, I have found, based on my research, that most of the consultants (if not all) that you are working with to support you in areas, such as AAP (Affirmative Action Planning / Reporting), Compliance, Recruiting, DO NOT seem to have the expertise and knowledge on how to assist you with finding solutions around disability issues. I would highly recommend that you get an expert to assist you on disability, as it relates to recruiting, hiring and retaining people with disabilities.
Again, many of the ATS companies will refer to this new directive as a reporting issue and I cannot stress enough that it is NOT a reporting issue but an accessibility issue. It is about people with disabilities having the same opportunity, as all other applicants, to apply to jobs both online and manually.
I hope this blog has made you more aware of the right questions to ask and what and where to go for assistance.
As always, I am happy to provide additional information or help in answering your questions related to this topic.