Through the Diversity program, FEW develops strategies to identify and eliminate barriers and increase diversity within the Federal Government. FEW examines the demographics of the workforce according to age, race, sex, ethnic background, religious affiliation, disability, and sexual orientation. FEW also seeks to expand the notion of culture groups beyond the categories protected by law and regulation to include socioeconomic status, body-size diversity, and family composition. Diversity training is offered annually at FEW’s National Training Program and at all Regional Training Programs.
On August 18, 2011, the President signed into law the establishment of a coordinated government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce. To read the Executive Order, click here.
Do You Feel the Beat?
“Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. And that’s all I want to say.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Do you sometimes feel the thump, thump, thump of the beat and move to the music without realizing that you have been moved to move? If you are like me, we get caught up in a sound that inspires our soul and stirs us beyond standing still and doing nothing. Martin Luther King Jr became and still remains the drum major for change for America and the world. He stirred up both a conversation and an action for civil equality and justice. The rhythm continues to steadily beat with a call for us all to do our part in continuing the dream for civil rights.
If King had lived, January 15, 2014, would have been his eight-fifth birthday. We will celebrate his birth with a holiday on January 20th with some of us participating in a service project or even in a parade. All are wonderful activities that we most certainly should do to honor his legacy, but, I challenge each one of us on a daily basis, to be mindful to include someone new into our lives and conversations, so we do not unintentionally exclude anyone, then we too can become a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.
Hiring Authority for Disabled Expanded
Final rules published February 22 by OPM and effective March 24 expand the situations in which agencies may hire applicants with “targeted” disabilities under Schedule A authority.
That authority may be used to hire applicants with certain severe physical, intellectual or emotional disabilities or a history of having such disabilities or who are perceived as having such disabilities, as established by medical documentation provided by the individual or a disability certification. Eligible persons may be appointed without public notice and an agency may provide reasonable accommodations to help the individual perform the job.
The rules drop the requirement have a “certification of job readiness” which typically was a formal written document from a medical professional, vocational rehabilitation specialist or disability benefit agency that the person can be reasonably expected to perform in a particular work environment. Instead, a person now can be hired under that authority on a determination that the applicant is likely to succeed in performing the duties of the position, based on relevant employment, educational or other experience.
Those with so-called “targeted” disabilities make up about 1 percent of the total federal workforce, and about a tenth of those with disabilities.
Jeraldine Peterson is the Vice President for Diversity. To learn more about this focus area contact: diversityVP@few.org.