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OFCCP & UN Mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has recently honored the contributions that people with disabilities continue to make every day in the workplace to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in December 2018.
The annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated on December 3. It was first proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution 47/3.
“It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life,” says the UN on its website, un.org/en/events/disabilitiesday.
The 2018 theme was Empowering Persons with Disabilities and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality. It focused on empowering persons with disabilities for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In fact, the 2030 Agenda pledges to “leave no one behind.”
According to the UN on its website, “persons with disabilities, as both beneficiaries and agents of change, can fast-track the process toward inclusive and sustainable development, and promote resilient society for all, including in the context of disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action, and urban development.”
Governments, persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, academic institutions and the private sector need to work as a “team” to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adds the UN.
“On this International Day let us reaffirm our commitment to work together for a better world that’s inclusive, equitable and sustainable for everyone, where the rights of people with disabilities are fully realized,” says António Guterres, UN secretary-general.
For its part in marking this international event and promoting inclusion, OFCCP is “proud be part of the effort that makes America’s workforce more inclusive. To promote disability inclusion, we assist federal contractors in achieving a nationwide goal for at least 7% of their workforce to be persons with disabilities. Also, when we find employment discrimination, we eliminate it.”
In 2019 OFCCP says it’s “excited” to continue two new initiatives that will help the agency promote disability inclusion more:
• Focused Reviews. In 2019 the agency plans to begin focused reviews of federal contractors to evaluate how well they’re implementing their obligations under the disability law that it enforces: Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. Among other things, these focused reviews will examine the effectiveness of a contractor’s efforts to meet its 7% employment goal.
• Excellence in Disability Inclusion. OFCCP also wishes to recognize contractors who excel in their disability inclusion efforts. For this initiative, the agency accepted public comments on a proposed contractor recognition program. Visit www.regulations.gov/docket to learn more.
OFCCP also encourages voluntarily self-identification, posting a video entitled Disability Inclusion Starts with You on the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) website at dol.gov/ofccp/SelfIdVideo.html.
“Voluntarily self-identifying is a good thing - it’s how things change,” says OFCCP and DOL. “This video explains why companies doing business with the federal government ask job applicants and employees to voluntarily self-identify if they have a disability, and the important role that self-identifying plays in ensuring equal employment opportunity for people with disabilities.”
OFCCP, as part of its on-going efforts to support greater self-identification by individuals with disabilities, created this video to explain why voluntary self-identification is a good thing.
“Contractors may wish to download and post this video on their intranet or company websites to share with their employees and job applicants who may be reluctant to self-identify, or who may not understand why they are being asked to self-identify,” notes OFCCP and DOL.
“Disability organizations and community groups may also wish to share the video with their members to encourage them to voluntarily self-identify when invited to do so by an employer that is a federal contractor.”
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