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  • 07/26/2016: Presidential Proclamation -- Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

    July 26, 2016 marks the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  In celebration of this memorable event, President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation: 

    “On July 26, 1990, our Nation marked a pivotal moment in history for Americans with disabilities. Fueled by a chorus of voices who refused to accept a second-class status and driven by a movement that recognized that our country is stronger and more vibrant when we draw on the talents of all our people, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) enshrined into law the notion that Americans living with disabilities deserve to participate in our society free from discrimination. Twenty-six years later, as we mark this anniversary, we recognize all this milestone law has made possible for the disability community…” 

    “Building on this progress is a priority for my Administration. The Federal Government has taken the lead in creating meaningful employment opportunities for people with disabilities. In my first term, I issued an Executive Order that called on Federal agencies and contractors to hire more people with disabilities -- and today, more Americans with disabilities are working in Federal service than at any time in the last three decades…” 

    “I encourage Americans across our Nation to celebrate the 26th anniversary of this civil rights law and the many contributions of individuals with disabilities…” 

    To read the entire proclamation visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/07/25/presidential-proclamation-anniversary-americans-disabilities-act-2016

  • 07/25/2016: BuyAccessible Wizard — A tool to facilitate compliance with the requirements of Section 508

    Planning a technology purchase for your agency? This "wizard" helps Federal Government officials identify Section 508-compliant products in the marketplace and offers guidance on developing and producing accessible electronic and information technology (EIT). Use it to determine whether Section 508 applies to a particular product or service; what specific Section 508 standards apply in particular cases; and how to document specific EIT accessibility requirements. 

    To access the BuyAccessible Wizard, visit: http://app.buyaccessible.gov/baw/Main.jsp.

  • 07/06/2016: The White House Honors the 17th Anniversary of the Olmstead Decision

    A recent White House blog post authored by Maria Town, Associate Director for the Office of Public Engagement, and Vanita Gupta, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, celebrates the Supreme Court's Olmstead decision. 17 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v. L.C. that, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the unjustified institutional isolation of people with disabilities was a form of unlawful discrimination. The Obama Administration has focused on enforcing the Olmstead decision, moving away from segregated settings such as sheltered workshops by supporting work in integrated community settings for people with disabilities. 

    Read the blog post: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/06/22/celebrating-17th-anniversary-olmstead-decision

  • 07/02/2016: OPM Welcomes New Director of Diversity and Inclusion

    The Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Acting Director Beth F. Cobert has announced the appointment of Dr. Zina B. Sutch as the agency’s new Director of the Office of Diversity of Inclusion (ODI). Dr. Sutch’s main responsibilities will be to examine federal policies, government-wide data trends, and employee survey findings that affect OPM’s management of HR policy, specifically those that deal with diversity and inclusion issues throughout the Federal Government. Dr. Sutch will also work with federal departments and agencies to help them better understand how to recruit and retain talented individuals from all communities, and she will develop comprehensive strategies to drive and integrate diversity and inclusion practices.

    “OPM’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion has accomplished a great deal, and I am looking forward to building on its many successes,” said Dr. Sutch. “I am also looking forward to making sure federal departments and agencies have the tools they need to create a federal workforce that recruits from every segment of society, every community.”

    Read more: https://www.opm.gov/news/releases/2016/06/opm-welcomes-new-director-of-diversity-and-inclusion/.

  • 06/29/2016: GAO to Study Hiring of Those with Disabilities

    The bipartisan leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have tasked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with reviewing federal agencies’ hiring practices regarding candidates with disabilities, as a follow-up to a 2012 review.

    The previous report found that while the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) had provided guidance to help agencies develop hiring plans and identified deficiencies in most agency plans, it could do more to hold agencies accountable for complying with Executive Order 13548, Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities. GAO also recommended stepping up training programs and assessing the accuracy of data agencies produced on their compliance.

    The new review is to examine compliance with Executive Order 13548, including whether agencies are adopting leading practices for hiring and retaining employees with disabilities; evaluate retention rates of those with disabilities; examine agencies’ “reasonable accommodation” policies and procedures; and assess OPM and the U.S. Department of Labor’s performance in supporting the order.

    Read more: http://www.fedweek.com/federal-managers-daily-report/gao-study-hiring-disabilities/ 

  • 06/29/2016: CIO Council Releases Technology Accessibility Playbook on Building Effective Section 508 Programs

     A new resource from the CIO Council's Accessible Technology Community of Practice provides practical tips and guidance on how to build an effective Section 508 program. The Technology Accessibility Playbook provides a framework for the integration of strategic, business and technology management for CIO and CAO offices, as well as Agency Section 508 Program Managers. 

    Download the Technology Accessibility Playbook: https://www.section508.gov/content/it-accessibility-playbook.

  • 06/03/2016: Let Your Voice Be Heard — Take the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) by Beth Cobert on Director’s Blog

    Each year, OPM’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) gives federal employees across government the opportunity to confidentially tell their supervisors and managers what works well and what needs improvement when it comes to their agency, their specific job and their work environment. Many federal employees have received an email at their agency email address inviting them to participate in this voluntary, confidential survey. Feedback from last year’s survey resulted in enhanced employee resource groups, re-launch of the OPM Mentoring Program and expanded diversity and inclusion dialogues.

    The deadline for completing the FEVS is fast approaching. Different agencies have different closing dates, but the deadline for the first wave of surveys is the week of June 6; the second and final wave closes the week of June 14. If you have questions about your FEVS survey, send an email to the address included in the email message you received inviting you to participate. The FEVS takes about 25 minutes to complete and can generally be filled out during work hours.

    Read more about the FEVS: https://www.opm.gov/blogs/Director/2016/5/31/Make-your-voice-heard-Complete-the-FEVS/.

  • 06/03/2016: Disability.gov’s May 2016 Disability Connection Newsletter — 10 Things Employers Need to Know

    Check out Disability Connection’s 10 Things Employers Need to Know for some great information for both public and private sector employers interested in recruiting, hiring and retaining individuals with disabilities as part of a diverse and inclusive workforce. You’ll find important information about October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month, tips and tools for building an inclusive workplace, encouraging employees with disabilities to self-identify and the many benefits of creating and expanding disability resource groups in your organization.

    Read the Disability.gov newsletter: https://www.disability.gov/disability-connection-newsletter-may-2016/.  

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