DoD

August 17, 2012

DOD increases hiring of people with disabilities

by Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Defense Department’s hiring of wounded warriors and others with disabilities is on an uptick, the Pentagon’s director of disability programs said, Aug. 7.

Stephen M. King, whose office is part of diversity management and equal opportunity, spoke with American Forces Press Service about a recent Office of Personnel Management report that said 14 percent of the Defense Department’s civilian employees have disabilities, putting DOD in second place among cabinet-level agencies for disability hiring.

“There is a greater [applicant] pool and more emphasis on hiring individuals with disabilities and wounded warriors through two executive orders in the last three years,” King said.

Veterans with disabilities bring values to DOD such as familiarity with military culture, proven leadership and the ability to enter the workforce and “perform on Day 1,” he said.

Additionally, hiring veterans and others with disabilities contributes to military readiness, King said. DOD will reap the benefits of those who have served by hiring them after their service, he added.

DOD and other agencies want to hire veterans with disabilities whether they were injured recently, have acquired a disability, or if the disability is service connected, King said.

“We want … those abilities in DOD regardless of how long ago you were a veteran,” he said.

“For any organization to be its best, you really have to take advantage of and value what everyone brings to the table, such as their background, knowledge, skills and abilities,” he said.

People with disabilities face unique challenges, King noted. “We need that type of problem-solving ability and skill in the workplace,” he said.

“It is awesome when you get to talk to people who wore a uniform and who tells you the difference that you’ve made as an organization by allowing them to continue to serve their country but in a different capacity,” King said.

The upward trend in DOD’s disability hiring stems from several initiatives and programs, King said.

“There is a renewed focus within DOD and the federal government on utilizing existing hiring flexibility, such as hiring individuals with disabilities noncompetitively,” he said.

Numerous hiring programs include the Hiring Heroes job fairs and the Veterans Hiring Initiative, which seeks out veterans and transitioning service members.

DOD also recruits young people with disabilities as they are about to graduate from more than 250 colleges and universities that participate in the Workforce Recruitment Program, which DOD co-sponsors with the Labor Department, King said.

The goal of the program is to create a database for federal agencies to meet their disability hiring targets, he said.

To further its goals, DOD also is working with human resources policies and advisers so those with disabilities have the opportunity to become integrated into development and leadership programs.

“We want to focus on all types of positions and grade levels … to be inclusive of individuals with all types of disabilities,” he said.
King’s office is working toward getting new employees to disclose their disability information so the department can accurately give them what they need to do their jobs, such as assisted technology.

Such technology runs the gamut, King said, from screen readers for the vision challenged, to TTY machines for the deaf, to Braille keyboards and devices that help those with memory loss. Some wounded warriors have some memory loss due to traumatic brain injuries, he added.

“New technologies are being invented every single day,” King said. “When you look at what we’re capable of providing in the workplace, with the right assistance, it’s actually quite phenomenal, and it’s only going to get better.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Untitled-1

AAFES marks 119 years of serving Airmen

Today, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) celebrates 119 years of proudly serving Airmen, Soldiers and their families. AAFES is the 43rd largest retail organization in the U.S., with annual revenue of more than ...
 
 

Gluten-free diet won’t make you thin

What runs through your mind when you see the words “gluten-free” plastered on your favorite bag of chips in the store? Do you wonder if something inside the bag has changed? “Gluten-free” products are filling the market now that the diet has become popular. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, oats and barley....
 
 
colonel-john-richard-boyd

‘An Innovator’s DNA’: Col. John Boyd

Surprisingly, few Airmen have heard of Col. John Boyd, with far fewer aware of his innovative contributions to the advancement of modern-day air power. As the Air Staff feverishly reviews the thousands of innovative ideas submi...
 

 

Military Health System introduces telehealth projects

Technology advances, particularly the use of telemedicine, continue to change how Americans receive their healthcare, where they receive their healthcare and the organizational models for managing their healthcare. The Military Health System long has been a pioneer in using telehealth to connect our global force with the most well-trained specialists in our system. Whether it’s...
 
 

March Air Reserve Base Child Care Program

March Air Reserve Base offers the Home Community Care (HCC) Program to the Air Force Reserve (AFR) and the Air National Guard (ANG) members during the primary Unit Training Assembly (UTA) drill weekends. March has four HCC program providers who are state licensed child care providers. Care may also be requested to use during a...
 
 
U.S. Navy photo/Greg Vojtko

NSWC Corona STEPs for future scientists, engineers

U.S. Navy photo/Greg Vojtko Capt. Eric Ver Hage, Commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Corona Division, and Gordon L. Bourns, Science and Technology Partnership (STEP) vice president, sign an Education Partnership Agre...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin