Federal Employment of Handicapped People

Gao ID: FPCD-78-40 July 6, 1978

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) is responsible for leadership in the federal program for hiring, placing, and advancing handicapped persons. A recently accepted reorganization plan will transfer functions related to this program to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Chair of the EEOC will become a co-chair of the Interagency Committee on Handicapped Employees.

Some progress has been made towards improving federal employment opportunities for the handicapped. Affirmative action plans are required at all executive agencies, and a 5-year experimental special emphasis program will soon be implemented to provide expected hiring authority and special selection procedures. Complaint procedures have been expanded to include appeals for complaints of discrimination based on handicaps. Agency advisory committees were established, training courses were developed, and tests were modified to accommodate handicapped applicants. The following problems remain unsolved: (1) definitions of handicapped individuals and reasonable accommodation are vague; (2) attitudes of individuals hamper progress; (3) coordinated research efforts to develop assistive devices are lacking; and (4) restrictive physical requirements for federal positions unnecessarily exclude some handicapped persons. Also, as reported in 1974, CSC still is taking only an advisory role, placement coordinators lack adequate training and time, and program success cannot be measured because of the lack of reliable data.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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