Federal Employment of Handicapped People
FPCD-78-40: Published: Jul 6, 1978. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 1978.
- Full Report:
The Civil Service Commission (CSC) is responsible for leadership in the federal program for hiring, placing, and advancing handicapped persons. A recently accepted reorganization plan will transfer functions related to this program to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Chair of the EEOC will become a co-chair of the Interagency Committee on Handicapped Employees.
Some progress has been made towards improving federal employment opportunities for the handicapped. Affirmative action plans are required at all executive agencies, and a 5-year experimental special emphasis program will soon be implemented to provide expected hiring authority and special selection procedures. Complaint procedures have been expanded to include appeals for complaints of discrimination based on handicaps. Agency advisory committees were established, training courses were developed, and tests were modified to accommodate handicapped applicants. The following problems remain unsolved: (1) definitions of handicapped individuals and reasonable accommodation are vague; (2) attitudes of individuals hamper progress; (3) coordinated research efforts to develop assistive devices are lacking; and (4) restrictive physical requirements for federal positions unnecessarily exclude some handicapped persons. Also, as reported in 1974, CSC still is taking only an advisory role, placement coordinators lack adequate training and time, and program success cannot be measured because of the lack of reliable data.
Recommendation for Executive Action
Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.
Recommendation: In implementing their new responsibilities, the Chief, EEOC, should: (1) take a more directive role toward the program than that assumed by CSC; (2) conduct indepth, compliance reviews aimed at assessing agency accomplishments; (3) work closely with CSC and agency personnel offices to ensure that policies and procedures carry out program goals; (4) ensure that selective placement coordinators are given sufficient training, time, and resources; (5) develop the capability and staff resources to provide more technical assistance; (6) address attitudinal barriers through an employee relations campaign; (7) work with the General Services Administration to see that architectural barriers are removed promptly; and (8) see that the program for handicapped persons is not overshadowed by programs for women and minorities. Congress should enact legislation to give handicapped persons the rights enjoyed by others.