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LEAD Update

Since the Commission meeting on the employment of individuals with targeted disabilities held last summer, Acting Vice-Chair Griffin and her staff have been very busy working to forward the overarching goal of the LEAD Initiative:  to significantly increase the population of individuals with targeted disabilities employed by the federal government. Below is a brief overview of just a few of the many activities the Acting Vice-Chair and her staff have been engaged in.   

Events

February 2009

February 12, 2009 - Is your federal agency a model agency? Are you meeting your obligations under the Rehabilitation Act to hire, advance and retain individuals with disabilities? Do you want to do a better job in this area? The EEOC and CAP are here to help! The New Orleans Federal Executive board will be hosting a free training for federal employees. Federal hiring officials, HR professionals, Disability Program Managers, and Selective Placement Coordinators - if you will be in the New Orleans area on February 12, this session is for you. For additional information, see details for the event and to RSVP, contact Elisa.Gonzalez.ctr@tma.osd.mil.

February 11, 2009 - Is the Federal Government a good employment option for people with disabilities? What can we expect from the Obama Administration on this topic? How can I apply for a federal job? Come hear the answers to these questions and much more. The EEOC, together with the CAP program, will be hosting a discussion and training session in New Orleans, LA. EEOC Acting Vice Chair Griffin will discuss the current status of employment opportunities in the federal government. Jo Linda Johnson, also of the EEOC, will talk about a hiring authority available to federal agencies, specifically to bring on individuals with disabilities, and how one can make themselves eligible for it. Dinah Cohen, Director of the Department of Defense CAP Program will talk about her program, which provides assistive technology and computer-based accommodations to federal employees. CAP exists to support increased employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. If you are a person with a disability looking for employment, or are a person who has anything to do with helping individuals with disabilities find jobs (Vocational Rehabilitation Employment Professionals, State and Local Employment Service Providers, College/University Career Counselors, College/University Disability Student Services Staff, etc.), and you will be in the New Orleans area on February 11, this free training session is for you! For more information, see details for this event or contact David Gallegos at 504-522-2337 X-141, or by email at dgallegos@advocacyla.org.

December 2008

December 10-12, 2008 – Attend the 27th Annual Perspectives on Employment of Persons with Disabilities Conference to find the latest information on personnel policies and practices, developments in technology, legal updates, and resources that will help your agency achieve its goals. Through workshops, keynote speakers and a general session you will hear from key officials and experts knowledgeable in disability employment issues in the federal sector. Perspectives also offers a unique opportunity to learn from and network with your federal colleagues from across the nation in an informal and comfortable setting. Federal HR and EEO specialists, hiring managers, and others who manage employment matters concerning persons with disabilities should attend the Perspectives Conference!  The Perspectives Conference is the source for information and insight on disability employment issues in the federal government.   Commissioner Griffin and LEAD Initiative staff will be presenting at the conference.  For further information and to register for the conference, please see http://www.grad.usda.gov/Conferences/Perspectives/index.php.  

November 2008

November 14, 2008 – IDEAS 2008!  The Interagency Disability Educational Awareness Showcase (IDEAS) is GSA’s premier event focused on partnering industry and education with government to meet the requirements under Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.  The event will be held at the FDIC Seidman Training Center, 3501 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA, from 8:30 am – 5:00pm.  For more information, please see http://www.1105govinfoevents.com/ideas508/public/enter.aspx.

On November 13, 2008, the Maryland State Division of Rehabilitation Services will be hosting its annual training conference in Ocean City, MD.  Commissioner Griffin will address this group at 9:30 am at the Princess Royale Hotel.  For further information, please see http://www.dors.state.md.us/DORS/RehabResources/MRA/.

November 3, 2008 – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would like to invite you to its 4th Annual Career Fair for People with Disabilities on November 3rd from 10AM to 3PM.  For more information or to book an exhibit space, email wright@earnworks.com.

October 2008

On October 30, 2008, Commissioner Griffin will speak at the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month event.  The event will be held from 10:00 am – 11:30 am, at 1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, in the Rachel Carson Great Hall, in the Ariel Rios North building.  Please contact Dominga Douglas at 202.564.4462 for further event details.

On October 22, 2008, Commissioner Griffin will speak at a US Navy National Disability Employment Awareness Month event at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.  For further event details, please contact elizabeth.strandberg@navy.mil.

On October 21, 2008, in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Commissioner Griffin will be speaking at the National Defense University DEAM event.  For further event details, please contact Carol Stiner at stinerc@ndu.edu.  For information on National Disability Employment Awareness Month, please see http://www.dol.gov/odep/programs/ndeam.htm.  The theme for the 2008 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is “America’s People… America’s Talent… America’s Strength!”

On October 17, 2008, Commissioner Griffin will be the keynote speaker at the DiverseABILITIES conference, hosted by WrightChoice, Inc.  WrightChoice promotes the talents of the new generation workforce targeting minority students as well as students with disABILITIES.  They also work to enhance business and industry's mission for diversity by ensuring that talented people with disABILITIES are a part of the equation.  For more information, please visit http://wrightchoice.org/.

On October 7, 2008, Commissioner Griffin will speak at the West Virginia Annual State EEO Coordinators/Counselors Conference.  The Commissioner will speak on ‘ADA and Employment.’  For more information on the State of West Virginia’s Governor's Office of Equal Employment Opportunity conference, please visit http://www.wvf.state.wv.us/eeo/.  For further conference details, see www.wvf.state.wv.us/eeo/Conference%20Agenda%202008.pdf.

Also on October 7, 2008, the Federal Triangle Partnership, consisting of the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, will hold its program commemorating 2008 National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This year's program will be held from 10:00 - 11:00 AM, in the Department of Commerce's Auditorium. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Jonathan Kaufman, founder of DisabilityWorks, Inc., a strategy/consulting firm that helps corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions to develop strategies and initiatives that add value to those institutions and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.  Read more at http://docs.google.com/View?docid=d2wbgt3_595ckz7f427.  Read a recent article published by Dr. Kaufman:  "The Search for Talent: Why Hiring and Retaining People with Disabilities Is Good for Business" http://www.consultspringboard.com/pdf/CDO_Insights_article_published.pdf.

On October 2, 2008, Commissioner Christine Griffin and the Honorable Neil Romano, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor, will both serve as keynote speakers at the Federal Disability Workforce Consortium (FDWC) quarterly meeting.  The meeting will be from 1:30 – 3:30, in the Department of Labor’s main auditorium.  To attend the meeting, RSVP to broddie.carla@dol.gov by September 29,2008.  For more information about the FDWC and their activities, please visit www.fdwc.info.

September 2008

On September 24, 2008, Commissioner Griffin will be addressing the US Navy Exchange Service Command in Virginia Beach during their diversity day. The Commissioner will discuss the LEAD Initiative, and how the Navy has/has not improved since she spoke at this in 2007. Further information about the event will be posted as available.

On September 10, 2008, Commissioner Griffin will be speaking before the Greater Boston Federal Executive Board, during that organization’s diversity Day. For more information, please visit http://www.boston.feb.gov/events.asp.

August 2008

August 25 – September 5, 2008 – Commissioner Griffin, on behalf of the State Department, will be traveling throughout Israel, to meet with Disability Rights groups and advocates in that country.

August 18 - 21, 2008 — Commissioner Griffin will speak at the 11th Anniversary Examining Conflicts in Employment Law (EXCEL) Conference. The conference, held in Chicago this year, is the premier training conference for Federal managers, supervisors and EEO practitioners. This annual conference is sponsored by the EEOC. In keeping with its history, this conference features top-level officials from the EEOC, OPM, and other federal agencies, as well as nationally known EEO professionals. For more information please visit: http://www.eeotraining.eeoc.gov/profile/web/index.cfm?PKwebID=0x79919e0

On August 5, 2008, Commissioner Griffin spoke at the 23rd Annual FDR conference with Dinah Cohen of CAP. This conference seeks to address federal issues on employment as well EEO, diversity, and employment law fields. The FDR conference is well known as the premiere conference addressing federal dispute resolution and related issues! For more information, please visit: http://www.fdrconferences.org/.

July 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008, EEOC and the Department of Defense’s CAP Program [link to CAP home page: http://www.tricare.mil/cap/] co-hosted a half-day training event for federal employees entitled Two Percent by 2010: Attainable/Sustainable Disability Employment Goals. The event sought to explain to attendees what the current state of disability employment in the Executive Branch is, as well as what they could do to recruit, place, and retain employees with disabilities, including disabled veterans. The event was held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

June 2008

On June 26, 2008, the EEOC’s Denver office hosted a LEAD Initiative-inspired “Day of College for Federal Employees.” Thanks to the work of the Denver office, the Denver Federal Executive Board, and a host of other individuals and groups. Several classes were held, taught by experts from the EEOC, JAN, CAP, and others. The presentation given on LEAD can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/initiatives/lead/powerpoints.cfm.

On June 25, 2008, Commissioner Griffin’s staff presented at the Interagency Committee on Disability Research’s (ICDR) conference, hosted by the Interagency Subcommittee on Employment (ISE) of the ICDR. The conference concentrated on the following core themes: Business and Employment: A Global and Technology Driven Environment; Disability Workforce Experiences and Needs: Issues and Research; Health: A Competitive Disability Workforce; and Government Policies and Practices: Role and Effect. The LEAD presentation given can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/initiatives/lead/powerpoints.cfm. All other meeting materials, including the PowerPoint presentations are available at www.icdr.us/employment2008.

On June 11, 2008, Commissioner Griffin spoke at the State Department’s Disability Employment Forum. The theme of the forum was: “Answering the Call to Duty: You can make a Difference in Federal Disability Policy.” This forum was put together by a group of Presidential Management Fellows interested in the topic. For more information on this group, contact them at PMFDisabilityForum@gmail.com. For information on Presidential Management Fellows, see https://www.pmf.opm.gov. Commission staff also presented a workshop at the forum. The presentation can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/initiatives/lead/powerpoints.cfm.

On June 9, 2008, Commissioner Griffin spoke at the Navy’s Senior Executive Seminar. Her presentation covered the history of the LEAD initiative, and how the Navy can improve in the area of hiring and advancing individuals with targeted disabilities. The seminar was held at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Seidman Center in Arlington, VA. The presentation can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/initiatives/lead/powerpoints.cfm.

May 2008

On May 28, 2008, Commissioner Griffin presented at the FAA National People with Targeted Disabilities. The Commissioner provided a speech addressing the LEAD initiative. The conference was held at The Holiday Inn Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC. The Commissioner’s remarks can be found here.

On May 21, 2008, Commissioner Griffin spoke at the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Leadership Summit on the LEAD initiative. DOT ranks in the bottom third of all cabinet level agencies (see http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/report/pwtd.html#SecIIC), when looking at the participation rate for individuals with targeted disabilities, and DOT leadership is seeking to right this wrong. Commissioner Griffin’s presentation can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/initiatives/lead/powerpoints.cfm.

On May 1, 2008, Commissioner Griffin spoke at the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Government (DHHIG) Employment &Technology Forum. This important was hosted by the Department of Transportation. For more information on DHHIG, please see http://dhhig.org/.

April 2008

On April 17, 2008, Commissioner Griffin served as the keynote speaker at the 2nd Annual LRP HR & EEO Workplace Conference. The theme for the conference was “Stretch the Circle Wider: Providing Real opportunities for People with Disabilities,” and was held in NYC. Commissioner Griffin’s remarks can be found here.

March 2008

On March 21, Commissioner Griffin participated in the Cornell University/AAPD forum on Employment in the Federal Sector for People with Disabilities. Commissioner Griffin’s presentation discussed the LEAD initiative, and can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/initiatives/lead/powerpoints.cfm.

January 2008

EEOC issued a report on the plight of individuals with targeted disabilities in the federal government. The report, Improving the Participation Rate of People with Targeted Disabilities in the Federal Work Force highlights the problems that have been identified by the EEOC and other agencies, and goes on to provide useful solutions.

December 2007

On December 11, 2007, Commissioner Christine Griffin and Dinah F. B. Cohen of CAP presented at the “Scheduling a Hiring Authority Workshop” hosted by the Department of Labor. The Commissioner and Ms. Cohen challenged agencies to improve their participation rate for individuals with targeted disabilities. The presentation can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/initiatives/lead/powerpoints.cfm.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - JAN 2007-2008 Accommodation and Compliance Webcast Series, featuring Commissioner Griffin and Linda Carter Batiste of JAN; 2:00 - 3:00 pm.

Why isn't your agency hiring individuals with targeted disabilities?? (Especially when it is so easy!). EEOC's LEAD initiative was launched to address the alarming decline in the number of individuals with severe disabilities employed in federal agencies. Through LEAD, it has become clear that, while many agency officials want to address this problem within their agency, they are not sure how to address it. Come learn the answer to that question during this informative session. Attendees will be provided with nuts and bolts information on the special hiring authorities and opportunities available for people with disabilities that officials can put to use immediately. Further, this session will provide information on how to quickly and effectively accommodate employees with disabilities at little or no cost! For more information and to register for this webcast, please go to http://www.jan.wvu.edu/webcast/#webcasts.

December 5-7, 2007 - Get an edge in recruiting, hiring and retaining qualified federal employees with disabilities. Attend the 26th Annual Perspectives on Employment of Persons with Disabilities Conference to find the latest information on personnel policies and practices, developments in technology, legal updates, and resources that will help your agency achieve its goals. Through workshops, keynote speakers and a general session you will hear from key officials and experts knowledgeable in disability employment issues in the federal sector. Perspectives also offers a unique opportunity to learn from and network with your federal colleagues from across the nation in an informal and comfortable setting. Federal HR and EEO specialists, hiring managers, and others who manage employment matters concerning persons with disabilities should attend the Perspectives Conference! For more information, go to https://register.grad.usda.gov/Conferences/Perspectives/.

November 2007

On November 13, 2007, Commissioner Griffin will speak to the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) and the Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency (ECIE) about LEAD. PCIE members include the 28 Inspectors General appointed by the President; ECIE members include the 29 Inspectors General appointed by their respective agency heads. More information can be found at www.ignet.gov.

On November 15, 2007, Commissioner Griffin, together with Dinah Cohen of DOD's CAP program , will address National Image, Inc.'s, Leadership Training Conference. The event is being held in Arlington, VA. For more information on this group or event, please go to http://www.nationalimageinc.org/.

October 2007

On October 25, 2007, Commissioner Griffin spoke at the Defense Contract Management Agency in Boston, MA.

On October 23, 2007, Commissioner Griffin spoke at the National Defense University in Washington, DC.

On October 9, 2007, Commissioner Griffin spoke at the Federal Sector Disability Practitioners Forum. For more information on this forum, please see http://www.fdrconferences.org/course_details.php?ID=16.

On October 3, 2007, speaking on behalf of Commissioner Griffin, Commissioner Stuart Ishimaru addressed the US Department of Agriculture during the USDA's Disability Employment Awareness Month Opening Ceremony. The remarks included current statistics for people with targeted disabilities, as well as a discussion of disability as a component of diversity.

August 2007

On August 7, 2007, Commissioner Griffin served as the keynote speaker at the annual Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Conference. The theme of JAN's 2007 conference, held in Arlington, VA, was "Empowering Employers to Build an Inclusive Workforce." Commissioner Griffin's remarks can be found here.

Commissioner Griffin co-presented again with Dinah Cohen of CAP at EEOC's 10th Annual EXCEL Conference!  The Commissioner and Ms. Cohen provided a dynamic speech on hiring and accommodating individuals with disabilities.  The session was held on Tuesday, August, 14, 2007, from 10:30am to 12:00pm.  For more information, please visit the EXCEL web site at http://www.eeotraining.eeoc.gov/profile/web/index.cfm?PKwebID=0x7993728.

July 2007 - Commissioner Griffin co-presented, with Dinah Cohen of CAP, at the 22nd Annual Federal Dispute Resolution Conference.  CAP, or the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program, provides assistive technology and services to people with disabilities, Federal managers, supervisors, IT professionals, and Wounded Services Members.  The Commissioner and Ms. Cohen provided a six-hour, comprehensive workshop on hiring and accommodating individuals with disabilities.  The session was tremendously well received!  Learn more about CAP at http://www.tricare.mil/cap/.

Also in July of this year, Commissioner Griffin visited the EARN office.  The Employer Assistance & Recruiting Network is a free service that connects employers looking for quality employees with skilled job candidates. Discover what employers across the nation have learned: hiring people with disabilities is a great business strategy!  Learn more about EARN and how you can use it to further the goals of the LEAD Initiative!  Visit their web site at http://www.earnworks.com/.

June 2007 - Commissioner Griffin addressed the National Disability Rights Network's (NDRN) Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO.  She spoke about employment in the Federal government, and what state and local advocates could do to assist their clients in this area, including how to effectively use the Schedule A Hiring Authority.

May 2007 - Commissioner Griffin addressed the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Government (DHHIG), a vital advocacy group of federal employees, at the DHHIG National Training Conference. Her address included information about the LEAD Initiative.

April 2007 - Commissioner Griffin addressed the Disability Employment Institute in West Virginia.  Among audience members was the governor of West Virginia, Joe Manchin!  Governor Manchin introduced Commissioner Griffin.  The Commissioner impressed upon the many West Virginia business leaders the need to include individuals with disabilities among their workforce.   

March 2007 - Commissioner Griffin presented the keynote address at the US Navy-s first ever joint civilian EEO and military EO conference.  The theme of the conference was -Equality of Opportunity . . . Roadmap to Diversity.-  Commissioner Griffin reminded the crowd of hundreds that diversity includes disability.  During her address, the Commissioner acknowledged the efforts of the Navy to improve the participation rate of individuals with severe disabilities in its workforce.  Specifically, Assistant Secretary William Navas issued a memo detailing the Navy-s plan to hire 400 individuals with severe disabilities during 2007.  Navy is well on the way to success in this area! 

February 2007 - Commissioner Griffin spoke at the Salvation Army/National Business Services Alliance (NBSA) Job-Readiness-Training Employer Needs Summit in Houston.  This summit was the first of its kind in the Houston area, specifically put together to address the employment needs of displaced Hurricane Katrina survivors.  In addition to encouraging the business leaders in the crowd to embrace these "New Houstonians" when looking for new workforce talent, she also weaved in her call to also remember individuals with disabilities when searching for new workers. 

December 2006 - In December of last year, OPM Director Linda Springer and Commissioner Griffin served as co-keynote presenters at the 16thAnnual Perspectives on Employment of Persons with Disabilities Conference .  Director Springer and Commissioner Griffin both spoke about the need for senior leaders at all federal agencies to embrace individuals with disabilities as a valuable workforce resource.  Both also spoke about the need for agencies to set goals for the employment of individuals with disabilities.  Notably, Director Springer endorsed Commissioner Griffin's call for all federal agencies to "get to 2% by 2010," which will mark the 20th anniversary of the ADA.  Director Springer and OPM have further proven to be a great champion of the LEAD Initiative as OPM announced plans to feature a severely disabled federal employee in its next national recruitment advertisement. 
Commissioner Griffin's remarks.  To view the entire series of ads, go to http://www.opm.gov/Video_Library/RecruitmentShowcase/index.asp.

November 2006 - Several LEAD focus group discussions were hosted.  Constituents were invited to come and discuss/share best practices, thoughts on what agencies have successful Schedule A programs, and general suggestions on addressing the problem of declining employment numbers for people with severe disabilities.  Also in November 2006, Commissioner Griffin met with the Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) Council during their quarterly meeting at OPM, to engage the federal HR community in the LEAD Initiative efforts.   

October 2006 - Commissioner Griffin spoke at numerous Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) events about the LEAD Initiative.  She addressed audiences at HHS, DOI, VA, IRS and NASA, just to name a few.   

September 2006 - Through the LEAD Initiative and in conjunction with OPM, EEOC hosted a training seminar on the Schedule A hiring authority.  For those of you who don't know, the Schedule A hiring authority (http://www.opm.gov/fedregis/2006/71-072606-42246-a.htm) is a terrific HR tool that agencies can use to hire people with disabilities (hiring managers take note!).  More than 140 people attended this first training seminar.