"The most important thing we, MEDCOM, can do to attract the best employees with disabilities is to assure them that our organization will genuinely welcome them."
The United States Army Medical Command (MEDCOM), in keeping with the July 26, 2010 Executive Order \13548 - Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities, is committed to improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities and to reversing the persistently high percentages of people with disabilities who are not working but are ready, willing and able to work. Individuals with targeted disabilities make up only .7% of the MEDCOM workforce. MEDCOM is committed to work toward the Federal high of 2.16%.
MEDCOM is aggressively developing strategic plans to improve the recruitment, hiring and retention of people with targeted disabilities throughout the Command. The plans improve the coordination between the medical treatment facilities(MTFs) and programs created to meet the employment needs of individuals with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), other legislation, and the efforts of many disability organizations have started to improve accessibility in buildings, increase access to education, and unlocked employment opportunities to persons with disabilities. Additionally television programming and Hollywood has developed more realistic portrayals of persons with disabilities to the general public. However, more progress needs to be made. Many people nonetheless believe persons with disabilities are individuals to be pitied, feared, or ignored. These thoughts may arise from the populace's discomfort with individuals who are perceived to be different. Moreover it could simply be a lack of information. We must look beyond the disability and look at the individual's ability and capability. In other words, look at the things that make each of us unique and worthwhile.
According to John Kerr, Program Specialist, the California Health Incentives Improvement Project (CHIIP), many people have questions when it comes to the subject of employment and people with disabilities. Many employers may ask:
The most important thing we, MEDCOM, can do to attract the best employees with disabilities is to assure them that our organization will genuinely welcome them. Some job seekers are hesitant about the reception they might get when they re-enter the workforce after the onset of a new disability.
New job seekers can be nervous about the job hunting process. Some people with disabilities have a newfound freedom to become fully-employed now that improvements to government programs ensure they won't risk benefits and services they depend on. Many more are completing education and job training programs so that they can become fully employed.
According to Office of Disability Employment Policy(ODEP), pioneering strategies have transpired over the last few years that, if fully implemented, could eliminate most of the existing barriers to employment and self- sufficiency for individuals with intellectual and other significant, complex disabilities. For example, ODEP's research has documented that such individuals are successfully employed in typical work places with competitive salaries and benefits through customized employment, a strategy of individualizing employment tasks and supports for the person and the employer in a way that meets the needs of both. Customized employment has been advanced and supported through the Department of Labor and is providing new meaning to daily life for individuals who heretofore would be placed in segregated day programs.
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According to the National Technical Assistance and Research (NTAR) Leadership Center, research illustrates that people with disabilities can work and want to work, and workers with disabilities meet or exceed the job performance of co-workers without disabilities. To support this data, NTAR used a case study approach with 13 diverse examples from around the nation of partnerships - between employers and trusted workforce intermediaries - with a track record of helping employers recruit, hire, train, and retain employees with disabilities. The goal of this research was to identify successful elements of these strategies and offer lessons that can be learned by employers and employer organizations, workforce development and disability service organizations, and federal, state, and local policymakers. NTAR is an ODEP-funded cooperative agreement that works to build capacity and leadership at the federal, state, and local levels to enable change across workforce development and disability-specific systems that will increase employment and economic self-sufficiency for adults with disabilities.
It is important to remember that Commanders and supervisor must provide a job analysis for their identified employment opportunities. The Human Resources professionals can assist in providing job analysis services that are often helpful in determining an employee's options while evaluating the need for possible job modifications.
A job analysis is not a study of an individual worker or of production rates, but rather it is a study of a specific job as it exists. The job analysis consists of a comprehensive evaluation of the physical and cognitive demands associated with workplace duties. A job analysis should describe all important work behaviors, their relative importance, and their difficulty level. A job analysis should include an analysis of the important work behavior(s) required for successful performance and their relative importance and, if the behavior results in work product(s), an analysis of the work product(s). Any job analysis should focus on the work behavior(s) and the tasks associated with them. If work behavior(s) are not observable, the job analysis should identify and analyze those aspects of the behavior(s) that can be observed and the observed work products. The work behavior(s) selected for measurement should be critical work behavior(s) and/or important work behavior(s) constituting most of the job. This type of study can prevent future injuries and disabilities by providing background information for use in establishing guidelines which help employers to ensure that a worker's capabilities are appropriate for their job.
The basic job analysis has four elements:
1. Purpose of the job
2. Major tasks and essential functions
3. Job setting
4. Worker qualifications
Personal characteristics (worker traits required/relevant to do the job such as dexterity, fine manipulation, hearing smell, memory skills, supervisory skills, verbal ability, etc.)
The ADA requires that handicapped individuals be given "reasonable accommodation" in the workplace so that they will not be unreasonably excluded from employment. Job Analysis is a process to identify the tasks and duties performed on the job as well as equipment used. This information may be helpful in determining what "reasonable accommodations" could be made for an individual to perform the job. See www.job-analysis.net/G002.htm for more information.
Additionally, The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) provides assistive technology and support services to federal employees with disabilities and wounded Service Members. Visit CAP (cap.tricare.mil) or TheDoDCAP's Channel at www.youtube.com/TheDoDCAP to learn more about services and events, how to stay connected, or to request an accommodation.
To learn more or apply to for a position with MEDCOM, visit www.civilianmedicaljobs.com Click "Find Job", then type: 2013 in the keyword box to be taken to the description of this program and for instructions on applying.
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