In July 2010, President Barack Obama marked the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act by signing Executive Order (EO) 13548, which mandates executive departments and agencies improve their efforts to employ workers with disabilities through increased recruitment, hiring, and retention of people with disabilities. The EO also sets a goal of employing an additional 100,000 people with disabilities over the next 5 years. Currently, individuals with disabilities represent just over 5 percent of the nearly 2.5 million people in the Federal workforce, and individuals with targeted disabilities represent less than 1 percent of this workforce.
All Federal agencies have an important role to play in ensuring that the goals set forth in the EO are achieved. To be successful, we must be vigilant in our efforts to ensure equal employment access for people with disabilities in the Federal government by fostering inclusive and supportive work environments and providing equal opportunity in our hiring, development, and promotion decisions. We are pleased to tell you about several resources that can assist your agency in fulfilling this important responsibility.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) recently launched eFedLink.org -- an online community of practice designed to help Federal disability employment professionals advance employment for persons with disabilities. Users of eFedLink.org will find online tools to help them connect and collaborate with other Federal human resource professionals, disability program managers, and selective placement program coordinators across the nation. This platform allows for real-time discussion of relevant issues and the sharing of policies and best practices related to the inclusion of people with disabilities in the Federal government workforce.
Interactivity is a key component of eFedLink.org. The site has the capacity for threaded discussions, document uploading and sharing, resource links, collaborative planning and media hosting (including captioned video). The site is free, accessible and password protected, and you can join today by visiting the www.eFedlink.org website and clicking "Register Here." eFedLink.org was developed by the National Technical Assistance Center for Employers on Employment of People with Disabilities and funded by ODEP under a cooperative agreement. For more information, call 1-855-AskEARN (275-3276) or visit www.askEARN.org.
Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)
Hiring an intern through the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) can provide a pipeline for bringing people with disabilities into the Federal workforce, both today and for years to come. Coordinated by ODEP and the U.S. Department of Defense, this internship program connects Federal and private sector employers to qualified and pre-screened postsecondary students and recent college graduates with disabilities. More than 20 Federal agencies regularly utilize the WRP as a recruiting source for both summer internships and permanent jobs, with more than 6,000 students obtaining employment through the program since 1995.
In 2011, the WRP database contained profiles of over 2,200 job candidates from more than 200 colleges and universities nationwide, representing all academic backgrounds. Campus recruiting for 2012 began recently with our Federal recruiters visiting more than 275 schools. Federal employers will be able to access the database of job candidates beginning in December at www.wrp.gov. You can also contact ODEP’s Sara Mahoney (firstname.lastname@example.org) for additional information. (See attachment A for more information about the WRP.)
Shared List of People with Disabilities
The Chief Human Capital Officers Council has partnered with Bender Consulting Services to provide a list of hundreds of candidates with disabilities who are eligible to be hired through the Schedule A hiring appointment. This service is provided for free to all federal agencies.
The Shared List of People with Disabilities is now hosted online on the MAX Federal Community with improved features including:
- Easy search capability
- Real-time updates as new candidates are added to the database
- Ability to view resumes online
All federal government employees are eligible to use the Community to share knowledge and information about hiring people with disabilities. Individuals who are already utilizing the Shared List of People with Disabilities will receive e-mails inviting them to access the MAX Federal Community. New users can gain access to the Shared List by completing the following steps:
Step 1: Join the OPM Shared List of People with Disabilities Contact Group
Join the Contact Group
If you already have a MAX account, you will automatically be added to the group.
If you do not yet have a MAX account, you must first fill out a short registration form. The form can be found at: https://max.omb.gov/maxportal/registrationForm.action. Once you’ve completed the registration form, you will automatically be added to the group.
Step 2: Visit the OPM Shared List online
Go to the Homepage at https://max.omb.gov/community/x/SpEZIQ for the OPM Shared List.
View helpful resources, search the shared list for candidates, and view resumes.
Step 3: Have Questions?
For more information on registering for or using the Community or the Shared List, contact MAXSupport at email@example.com or 202-395-6860.
For additional information regarding this shared list, please contact Jesse Frank at 202-606-0040 or Jesse.Frank@opm.gov.
As our nation’s largest employer, the Federal government must model effective employment policies and practices that advance America’s ideal of equal opportunity for all. eFedLink.org, the WRP and OPM’s Shared List are valuable tools available to assist agencies in meeting their EO goals. Thank you in advance for helping us to spread the word about these important resources and for your efforts to ensure that the Federal workforce is inclusive of everyone – including people with disabilities.
Attachment A-Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)
The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities (WRP) is a resource for employers nationwide to identify qualified temporary and permanent employees from a variety of fields. Applicants are highly motivated college students and recent graduates eager to prove their abilities in the workforce.
What Does the Program Offer Employers?
- Over 2,600 job candidates pre-screened through face-to-face interviews
- Information about each applicant’s qualifications
- Ability to search for candidates tailored to specific job requirements
- Access to candidates across the nation from over 270 colleges and universities
- Flexibility in hiring for summer internships or permanent positions
- Opportunity to evaluate summer interns for permanent staffing needs
- Freedom to conduct independent interviews after referrals are made
- Ability to identify self-reported Veterans and Schedule A eligible candidates
What Can WRP Employees Do for You?
- Undertake special projects postponed for lack of time or resources
- Assist permanent staff with key projects
- Share specialized knowledge and innovative technical skills
- Assume responsibilities of staff on vacation or leave of absence
- Prove that qualified people with disabilities make excellent employees
- Contribute in a wide variety of areas, including business, communications, engineering, science, computer science and administrative support
How Does the Program Work?
Trained recruiters from federal agencies conduct personal interviews with interested candidates on college and university campuses. Candidate information is compiled in a database that is available directly to all federal agencies. Interested managers can visit the WRP website at www.wrp.gov to find out how to get involved.
WRP is managed by The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense's Office of Diversity Management & Equal Opportunity (ODMEO), with support from other federal agencies.