Feds with Disabilities (FWDS, like Elmer)

Are you a Federal or other employee with a disability? What are organizations out there doing to facilitate performance? Do you have any performance enhancing suggestions of your own? I am benchmarking against best practices and would appreciate any help.

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply


I am a Fed with a disability. I work at Social Security, which seems to do better than most at hiring those with disabilities. Meanwhile, no one in government seems to know anything about Schedule A implementation. After 8 years with this agency, I only last month found out I should have been switched from Schedule A to career 6 years ago. My boss didn’t know either. Meanwhile, because I’m Schedule A, most agencies will not consider me for a job unless there is an agreement between that agency and mine. So I haven’t been able to get another job.

David B. Grinberg

Carol, I suggest checking out the web sites of:

DOL, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP);

OPM, Office of Diversity and Inclusion;

DoD, Computer Assistance Program (CAP);


All of the above have responsibility for either enforcing sections of the ADA and Rehab Act (508), and/or conducting outreach, education and training.

There’s also the National Council on Disability (NCD), the American Associaton for People with Disabilities (AAPD), the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), and other advocacy groups out there.

I hope this helps, Carol. Good luck with it.

Carol Davison

Friends, thank you for your feedback. However, I was looking for some specific actions. How would you comment/edit the below? I particularly desire feedback from a leadership perspective.

1. Develop boards of individuals with disabilities through which you staff certain actions to mitigate their negative impact on individuals with disabilities and to save the organization’s time and money.

a. For example, printing on both sides of paper saves paper expenses. Before implementing such a policy, consider the negative impact on ergonomics particularly in light of the fact that the most frequent work injury is carpal tunnel. Conduct a cost benefit analysis of the human expense of doing so before implementing the policy. Consider the impact on the morale of this policy on those with vision and wrist disabilitiies. Consider giving them a blanket accommodation as a part of the policy. Alternatively you unnecessarily offend your staff with disabilities, undermine their performance, and create unnecessary work for your reasonable accommodation coordinator.

b. Consider listing the nearest public transportation site in USAJOB announcements. That way those who are unable or unwilling to commute to that area can choose not to apply for those positions. Additionally, this would prevent OHRM and those with vacancies from having to process these applications saving them time and money.

2. Implement a style manual for writing including fonts, font size, etc to facilitate seeing and reading. It seems to me that this would make everyone’s job easier and reduce eye strain, headaches, and increase productivity.

3. Instruct trainers on appropriate classroom management behavior. This would include their not insisting that employees that accommodated themselves before training started by sitting in a particular location in the classroom, by closing blinds, with an ASL interpreter, move around the classroom thereby unaccommodating themselves.

Carol Davison
  1. Daivd this looks good but I would say “as you may be aware” instead of you should be aware. I don’t should on my audience.