February 25, 2013
The National Business & Disability Council (NBDC) at The Viscardi Center, whose membership includes many federal contractors, has made recommendations to policymakers and regulators related to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) proposed Section 503 rules requiring federal contractors to employ as many as 7% of their workforce be people with disabilities. The recommendations addressed workplace accommodations, the role technology can play and the disclosure of one’s disability.
“While noble in its intent, the proposed policy change has caused great concern among our corporate members who seek to maintain full governmental compliance,” explained Laura M. Francis, Executive Director at the National Business & Disability Council at The Viscardi Center. “Our recommendations are intended to help policymakers and regulators find more effective ways to stimulate a substantial increase in the employment of people with disabilities at all corporate levels.”
“Many NBDC members are leaders in the diversity movement and have developed best practices for attracting and maintaining inclusive workforces,” added John D. Kemp, President and CEO of The Viscardi Center. “It is only fitting that these companies draw from their firsthand experiences and share their insight with the entities modifying and governing these employment rules. In addition, we expect the government to follow the same rules regarding hiring practices that it may be imposing upon federal contractors.”
An executive summary and overview of the NBDC’s recommendations may be found online at nbdc.com.
NBDC’s services are offered through tiered membership levels or on a consultant basis and assist businesses in developing strategies to implement, grow, measure and create solid disability programs. These include talent acquisition, advancement and retention strategies; customized training seminars and workshops; facility and IT accessibility surveys; and an information hotline for disability-related employment issues. Its initiatives to assist employers with expanding their recruiting of people with disabilities include the NBDC National Resume Database® that provides access to resume listings 24/7 and the Emerging Leaders summer internship program for college students with disabilities.
Founded by Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., who served as disability advisor to eight U.S. presidents and became one of the world’s leading advocates, The Viscardi Center provides Pre-K through High School education, school-to-work transition services, vocational training, career counseling and placement, assistive technology and workforce diversification assistance to children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities and businesses. A global leader, it employs more than 300 professionals, including experts in education, human resources and technology. Learn more at viscardicenter.org