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Disabilities Employment Program (DEP)

Jeremy Piper
Disability Employment Program Manager

USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service
1319 W. Washington Street, Pittsfield, Illinois 62363
Ph: 217.285.5448 ext. 3 Fx: 217.285.6121
Email: Jeremy

Calendar of Events

Month Activity
October Disability Awareness Month
December National DEPM Training Conference, Bethesda, MD
Perspectives Training Conference, Bethesda, MD

Links

ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines

ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings & Facilities 
  (Rev. 7/23/04)

Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS)
Frequently Asked Inquiries:

ADA Regulations

ADA Regulation for Title II, as printed in the Federal Register (7/26/91). The Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II, subtitle A, of the ADA which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all services, programs, and activities provided to the public by State and local governments, except public transportation services.

ADA Regulation for Title III, as printed in the Code of Federal Regulations (7/1/94). The Department of Justice's regulation implementing title III of the ADA, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in "places of public accommodation" (businesses and non-profit agencies that serve the public) and "commercial facilities" (other businesses). The regulation includes Appendix A to Part 36 - Standards for Accessible Design establishing minimum standards for ensuring accessibility when designing and constructing a new facility or altering an existing facility.

Section 508

Section 508 - In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an individual's ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508 (29 U.S.C. - 794d), agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others. It is recommended that you review the laws and regulations listed below to further your understanding about Section 508 and how you can support implementation.

Section 508 (508 statute html, 508 statute pdf)

Office Accessibility

The following tutorial requires Adobe Acrobat Reader software.
New Checklist Approved by NRCS/FSA/RD (December 2009)
Office Accessibility Survey Checklist (PDF, 1.2 MB) (Fillable Form)

Reasonable Accommodation

Reasonable Accommodation Procedures (General)
Reasonable Accommodation (Assistive Technology)

The following tutorial requires Microsoft PowerPoint software.
Reasonable Accommodation & Assistive Technology Tutorial (PPS, 348 kb)

Physical Disabilities

American Paralysis Association - national non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for spinal cord injury paralysis.
National Spinal Cord Injury Association - interactive community providing information, referral and support for people living with spinal cord injury, their families and professionals.
Circle of Friends - help Chris and his friends find a cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and other central nervous system disorders.

Learning Disabilities

Independence Center - a non-profit organization dedicated to independent living for young adults with a variety of learning disabilities.
Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) - national volunteer organization which provides help to parents, professionals, and individuals with learning disabilities.
International Dyslexia Association

Visual Impaired and Blind

American Council of the Blind
American Foundation for the Blind
Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired - a non-profit organization that strives to serve the visually impaired and to promote the prevention of blindness.
National Association for Visually Handicapped - works with people worldwide dealing with the difficulties of vision impairment.
National Federation of the Blind

Hearing Impaired

National Association of the Deaf
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Miscellaneous

American Disability Association
American Association of People with Disabilities - non-profit cross-disability organization whose goals are: unity, leadership & impact.
National Alliance OF The DisAbled, Inc. - NAOTD is an online disability advocacy and informational organization.
National Association of American Business Clubs (AMBUCS)
United States National Council on Disability - independent federal agency making recommendations to the President and Congress on disability policy.
World Association of Physically Disabled
Americans with Disability Act (ADA)
Arc of Illinois - advocates for people with disabilities.

 

Reasonable Accommodation

Assistive Technology

As a result of the agreement signed on August 30, 2002 between the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Defense (DoD), all Assistive Technology accommodations will be provided to all USDA Agencies at no cost through the TARGET Center by the DoD Computer / Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP)

USDA TARGET Center's Guide to Requesting Assistive Technology Accommodations

The following instructions are provided to assist USDA employees seeking reasonable accommodations in the form of assistive technology only. Detailed information on these and other accommodation procedures can be found in the Departmental Manual 4300.002, the Departmental Reasonable Accommodation Procedures.

1) The USDA employee should meet with his/her supervisor and identify his/her need(s). The employee should also provide a completed CONFIRMATION OF REQUEST FOR REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION form to his/her supervisor.

2a) If the employee has an obvious disability or a previously documented medical condition that qualifies him/her as an individual with a disability and the request is related to the known disability, the supervisor may immediately approve the request by completing and signing the REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION INFORMATION REPORTING form and sending a copy to the agency Disability Employment Program Manager (DEPM), the employee, and to the USDA TARGET Center (Fax: 202-720-2681); or

2b) If the employee does not have an obvious disability or previously documented medical condition that qualifies him/her as an individual with a disability, the supervisor may request that the employee provide sufficient and reasonable documentation of his/her medical condition to the Mission Area Designee, who will determine, in consultation with the USDA Medical Officer, as necessary, whether the employee is an individual with a disability.

3) Mission Area Designee may only request sufficient additional medical documentation to substantiate that the employee has a disability and that the disability is relevant to the reasonable accommodation requested. No other unrelated medical documentation may be requested, and all documentation provided will be kept in strict compliance with confidentiality regulations. All medical documentation and information about functional limitations must be kept in files separate from the individual's personnel file.

4) After reviewing applicable documents, the Mission Area Designee shall convey the decision of whether the employee is an individual with a disability to the employee, the employee's supervisor, the USDA TARGET Center (Fax: 202-720-2681), and to the agency Disability Employment Program Manager (DEPM).

5) When the USDA TARGET Center receives the signed request form from the employee, a needs assessment will be performed (if necessary) and accommodation recommendations will be entered into the TARGET Center's Reasonable Accommodation Tracking Database. A trial or loan of the recommended technology may be arranged when possible. When both the employee and the USDA TARGET Center are in agreement with the recommended assistive technology, the USDA TARGET Center will forward the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) Accommodation Request Form for purchase of the assistive technology. The USDA TARGET Center will be available for follow-up support or technical consultations if the employee or supervisor has any questions or concerns. For more information, contact the USDA TARGET Center on (202)720-2600 (v/tty), or via email at target-center@usda.gov.

Assistive Technology Resources Available

Ergonomics