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Washington, D.C. - Under the direction U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James, OPM recently issued proposed regulations for hiring people with disabilities. The proposed regulations will give agencies greater authority to quickly certify and appoint disabled individuals based solely on documentation submitted by the applicant.
"For the thousands of disabled Americans who are interested in serving their nation, President Bush has taken a strong step toward removing obstacles and streamlining their chances of gaining opportunity for Federal employment," stated James. "The President's ‘New Freedom Initiative' has provided agencies with greater access to assistive technology and these flexibilities hold the promise of increased flexibility."
"OPM's review of Schedule A appointing authorities identified hiring delays and barriers caused by a burdensome two-stage certification process generally used for appointing individuals with disabilities," James added. "These regulations will make a real difference by not only shortening the time to hire, but by making the Federal government more accessible to people with disabilities. I encourage potential employees and stakeholders to take full advantage of the public comment period on the proposed regulations."
OPM will place a special link on the USAJOBS website (www.usajobs.gov) to offer valuable information for job seekers with disabilities and quick references for Schedule A regulations. All citizens may apply for vacancies posted by Federal agencies on USAJOBS when they qualify and are available.
These proposed regulations will make it easier for agencies to consider and hire people with disabilities more quickly by streamlining the process for certifying that a disabled applicant meets eligibility requirements and is "likely to succeed" in the job (www.opm.gov/disability/hrpro_3-06.asp).
Currently, disabled applicants are certified by the Department of Veterans Affairs or a state vocational/rehabilitation agency. Under the new proposed rules, agencies will be able to make these certifications based on determinations made by other Federal agencies (for example, the Social Security Administration) and/or medical documentation submitted by the applicant. Agencies also may use a short temporary appointment to ascertain whether the disabled applicant is "likely to succeed" before hiring the individual under a longer term appointment under "Schedule A."
OPM specialist briefed stakeholders on the new regulations. Stakeholders who attended the briefing:
National Down Syndrome Congress
United States Department of Health and Human Services
Atlanta Human Resources Center
Client Services Division
The Arc and UCP Public Policy Collaboration
Office of Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Commerce
Department of Health and & Human Services
Office of the Secretary
Office of Human Resources
National Institute of Health
Equal Employment Opportunity
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Food and Drug Administration
Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Management
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
National Institutes of Health
Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity Management
American Foundation for the Blind
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Office of Equal Opportunity
Department of Justice
Drug Enforcement Administration
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Office of Equal Opportunity & Civil Rights
Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.