This is a new era in the quest for talent. The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) should reflect the rich diversity of America and provide opportunities to persons of all backgrounds, origins, and abilities. It is in this light that we stress the importance of using the resources, talents, and skills of one of the country's untapped resources, people with disabilities.

Many managers and supervisors are reluctant to hire people with disabilities because of a lack of understanding and awareness of their capabilities and achievements along with a few negative attitudes. Managers/supervisors sometimes have the misconception that individuals with disabilities require more sick leave and experience more accidents than people who are not impaired. This misconception is simply not true.

Some of the benefits to the employer when employing individuals with disabilities are that morale and commitment of employees increase when visible commitments are made to hire people with disabilities; hiring people with disabilities project a positive image that promotes the organization; employers experience reduced employee turnover; and organizations retain committed employees that have skills and experience.

Employers should not assume that persons with disabilities are unemployable; do not want to work; lack the necessary education and training for employment; that certain jobs are more suited to persons with disabilities; and that the work environment will be unsafe if an employee has a disability.

USASMDC/ARSTRAT is required to take steps to prevent discrimination and remove barriers to equal employment opportunity in the federal workplace. It is USASMDC/ARSTRAT's policy and practice to ensure increased understanding of individuals with disabilities by all employees.

Part 2 of this series will focus on applicable laws and provide definitions to ensure understanding of the individual with disabilities program. Stay tuned.

For more information related to disability issues, you should contact Ms. Johnetta Graves, Individuals with Disabilities Program Manager, EEO Office, 256-955-4008 or DSN 645-4008.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16