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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Action Alert: Submit Comments on the EEOC’s Section 501 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by Monday!

As part of the federal government’s continued efforts to become a model employer of people with disabilities, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (PDF) outlining specific actions for federal agencies to take to comply with their obligations under Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act. The disability community has incredibly high rates of unemployment, and this is one of several recent efforts to increase the participation of people with disabilities in the federal workforce. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) builds on recent efforts and combines requirements from a variety of sources (Executive Orders, sub-regulatory documents, and management directives) into one rule.

The EEOC is accepting comments on the NPRM through Monday, April 25. In addition to the NPRM, they have also published a summary and a questions and answers document. NCIL will be submitting comments, and we strongly encourage NCIL members to do the same!

Specifically, the NPRM proposes requiring federal agencies to adopt the goal of achieving a 12% representation rate for people with disabilities, and a 2% rate for people with targeted / severe disabilities (see the questions and answers document for more information on targeted disabilities). With people with disabilities making up approximately 20% of the country’s population, we strongly believe that in order to be a model employer, the government’s employment goals should more accurately represent the proportion of Americans with disabilities. In order for the goals to be achievable but also actually increase federal employment levels of people with disabilities, we will be submitting comments to recommend that the goals for representation be set at no less than 15% for people with disabilities, and 4% for people with targeted / severe disabilities.

Comments are due on Monday, April 25. You can submit your comments online (identified by RIN 3046-AA94), by faxing (up to six pages) to (202) 663-4114, or by mail to Bernadette Wilson, Executive Officer, Executive Secretariat, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE, Washington, DC 20507.

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