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.


 
 

 
DoD
MOMC_graphic

DOD salutes children during military child month

The Defense Department believes military children serve their country alongside their service member parents, DOD’s director of the office of family policy/children and youth said. When military children serve, they do so by ...
 
 
DoD

CSAF: Every budget decision hurts

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The U.S. Air Force is the finest in the world, “and we need to keep it that way,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, said March 14. The Air Force’s fiscal 2015 budget request was built to ensure its combat power remains unequaled, Welsh told members of the House Armed...
 
 
DoD
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christine Jones

Defense budget proposal inactivates March squadron

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christine Jones U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez, 4th Combat Camera Squadron, shows digital photographs to an Afghan soldier in Shabila Kalan, Zabul province, Afghanistan. Monday’s rele...
 

 
DoD

Military Saves week approaches

This year’s Military Saves Week begins 24 February and concludes 1 March. It is a great opportunity for service members and their families to insure financial readiness through incentivized savings accounts and available services at financial institutions, as well as the resources provided through the Military Saves Campaign. Military Saves is a social marketing campaign...
 
 
DoD
Defense Department photo/

Spotlight Shines on Sports Programmers during Winter Olympics

Defense Department photo/ Steve McGill Sports Programming Specialist, Willie Price (left), and Chief, Sports Programming, Corey Slutsky, American Forces Network Broadcast Center, each scheduled more than 500 hours of Winter Oly...
 
 
DoD

VA launches online tools — calculate Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits; provide feedback

WASHINGTON, D. C. — The Veterans Affairs Department launched new online tools this week to make it easier for veterans, service members and family members to calculate their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and learn more about VA’s approved colleges, universities and other education and training programs across the country, as well as to provide feedback...
 




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