Special emphasis programs promote equal opportunity in the hiring, advancement, training, and treatment of each targeted group. These programs advocate necessary change to overcome barriers that restrict equal employment opportunity for women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities.
The Rehabilitation Act (Act), as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows the courts to use the same standards for litigation established under the ADA. Therefore, we need to be familiar with case decisions under both acts.
Hiring, Placement, and Advancement of Individuals With Disabilities
Commands with 101 or more employees are required to develop and maintain continuing comprehensive affirmative action programs that enable and supplement actions taken to comply with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission directives concerning time-limited program plans, plan updates, and reports of accomplishment. Specific instructions concerning planning and reporting are contained in Management Directives(MD). MD prescribes instructions, procedures, and guidance for comprehensive programs that are to be maintained by Army and which provide a framework for implementation of law and executive branch policy concerning the hiring, placement and advancement of individuals with disabilities.
Making Reasonable Accommodations
OPM recently issued a directive requiring all federal job announcements in the competitive service to contain a message stating that 'reasonable accommodation will be made for applicants with disabilities.' OPM stated that reasonable accommodation could include such action as modifying job duties, obtaining accessible technology or other workplace equipment, providing interpreters, or restructuring work sites. The goal is to ensure that qualified individuals with disabilities know they are welcome in government. Requiring job announcements to contain this information and making reasonable accommodations are minor adjustments" for the federal government to make to "ensure that...individuals can apply for jobs with the federal government and enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment.