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Disability Emphasis Program

Marianne Hardesty, Disability Emphasis Program Manager
Newark Field Office
2430 Old County Road
Newark, DE 19702
(302) 832-3100 ext. 106


ProgramThe objective of the Disability Emphasis Program is to ensure that qualified persons with disabilities receive equal treatment in all aspects of employment.   This program is to focus on issues such as employment, promotion, training, reasonable accommodations, and career enhancement affecting employees and applicants with disabilities.

Defining a disabilityIt is recognized that some disabilities that are not targeted are as severe as or more severe than those identified as targeted.  However, every effort to extend employment considerations and benefits to all persons regardless of the severity of their disability is being made.   Scroll to section 403.79 in the following link: GM 230 403.79

Reasonable AccommodationsIn some situations, a particular disabling condition may create a limitation that impairs an individual's ability to perform a particular job function.  If such a limitation is known, it must be determined whether there is anything that can be done to remove the impediment to successful job performance.  Scroll to section 403.80 in the following link: GM 230 403.80

Self Identification of Handicap: All employees, when hired, complete the form SF-256 and record any disabilities at that time.  This can be updated at anytime.  The following link will bring up the form: http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdfimage/sf256.pdf


October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

The theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2009 is “Expectation plus Opportunity equals Full Participation.”

2010 Proclamation from President Obama

2009 National NRCS Poster Contest Winner: Norman Patterson from Mississippi
2009 Poster (Link)


Links

AgrAbility: A program to inform, educate and assist farmers and farm workers with disabilities and their families so they can continue to lead successful careers in agriculture and contribute to their families. 

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):  The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination, under certain circumstances, based on disability.  It states requirements for ensuring equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation, and requiring the establishment of TDD/telephone relay services.   

Inter-agency Accessibility Review Team (ART):  Each state has assembled a USDA team that will conduct state level accessibility reviews for all their Service Centers and State offices.  These will coincide with lease renewals every five years.  Form AD-2056, Building/Site Accessibility Compliance Checklist will be used. 

LIFE Conference XII: The LIFE Conference is an annual information exchange developed by key Delaware consumer-focused organizations that serve persons with disabilities and their families.   

Section 508 Responsibility to Ensure Information Accessibility:  A section of the Rehabilitation Act that requires that Federal agencies make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. 

Target Center: The Center’s mission is to ensure that all USDA employees have safe and equal access to electronic and information technology by assessing, educating, and advocating for the integration of assistive technology and worksite accommodations.

Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities (WRP):  A program administered by Department of Defense and Office of Disability Employment Policy to recruit students with disabilities.  Database is available to all employers.