FY 2022 Affirmation Action Plan:
EEOC regulations (29 C.F.R. § 1614.203(e) and MD-715 require agencies to describe how their affirmative action plan will improve the recruitment, hiring, advancement, and retention of applicants and employees with disabilities. Please see below:
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and Bureau of Trust Fund Administration (BTFA) provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals (employees and applicants for employment) with disabilities, unless doing so would cause an undue hardship. DOI provides Departmental guidance on reasonable accommodations in Personnel Bulletin (PB) 21-03 Processing Requests for Reasonable Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities.
Although many individuals with disabilities can apply for and perform jobs without any reasonable accommodation, workplace barriers may keep others from performing jobs which they could do with some form of accommodation. These barriers may be physical obstacles such as inaccessible facilities, or they may be procedures or rules such as when work is performed, when breaks are taken, or how job tasks are performed. Reasonable Accommodation is any change in the work environment or the way in which work is performed that enables a qualified individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties, or enjoy benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by similarly situated employees without disabilities.
The goals or PB 21-03 are to ensure:
- Prompt and effective accommodation solutions are provided to foster maximum productivity and performance, equal access to employment and the workplace environment, and create an atmosphere where employees can fulfill the mission of DOI.
- Qualified employees and applicants for employment participate in a transparent and communicative manner throughout the reasonable accommodation process.
- Requests for reasonable accommodation (including interim and alternative accommodations) are processed within established timeframes.
Examples of Reasonable Accommodations
- Making existing facilities readily accessible to and usable by a person with a disability
- Job restructuring (does not include changing the essential duties of the position), including part-time or modified work schedules
- Acquisition or modification of equipment or devices
- Appropriate adjustment or modification of examinations (does not include changing examination questions)
- Provision of readers and interpreters
- Telework (and other work schedule flexibilities)
- Accommodations for meetings, conferences, training and seminars (e.g., interpreters, specific seating arrangements, tables that accommodate wheelchairs)
- Reassignment (as a last resort)
- Eliminating essential job functions (i.e., fundamental duties of the position)
- Lowering standards (qualitative or quantitative) that are applied uniformly to employees with and without disabilities (though a reasonable accommodation may be provided to enable an employee with a disability to meet the standard)
- Creating a new job or position
- Allowing or ignoring inappropriate conduct
- Providing personal use items such as prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, prescription eyeglasses, personal hearing aids, or similar devices, which are needed to accomplish daily activities both on and off the job
Personal Assistance Services (PAS)
Personal Assistance Services (PAS) allow individuals to enjoy the opportunity and independence of employment. PAS are non-medical services that help individuals who, because of targeted disabilities, require assistance to perform basic activities of daily living. Examples may include:
- Assistance with removing and putting on clothing
- Assistance with eating
- Assistance with using the restroom
These services differ from services that help the individual perform job-related tasks or specific job functions. Individuals who wish to request PAS, should follow the procedures outlined in Personnel Bulletin 21-03, Processing Requests for Reasonable Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities.
The Department provides PAS to employees who, because of targeted disabilities, require such assistance during work hours or in order to participate in work-related travel - unless doing so would pose an undue hardship. DOI Personnel Bulletin 17-18 Personnel Assistance Services.
- EEOC Personal Assistance Services Q&A
- EEOC Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act Q&A
- Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship under the Americans with Disabilities Act (EEOC)
The Department of Interior now has a Blanket Purchase Agreement to provide support services to Bureaus and Offices to ensure that information and communication technology developed, procured, maintained, or used conforms to the revised 508 standards. The BPA permits DOI Bureaus and Offices to procure the following services:
Document Remediation, Captioning, Audio Description, Sign Language Interpretation, Section 508 Testing and Training and other project management support services. Visit the DOI Section 508 SharePoint Web Site for more information.
Additional Resource: U.S. Department of the Interior Interpreting Services
Who to Contact:
Applicants should submit their request for accommodation to the agency contact listed under the How To Apply section of the vacancy announcement.
Employees may submit their request for accommodation to any of the following agency officials: their supervisor, a management official in their chain of command, their Servicing Human Resources Office (SHRO), their Disability Program Manager (DPM), or any other management official.
The Human Resources Reasonable Accommodation POCs in each SHRO can assist individuals with providing information on the reasonable accommodation program. They are responsible for maintaining all reasonable accommodation records and documenting all requests for accommodation using DOI's internal tracking system. Your reasonable accommodation POCs also assist Deciding Officials in determining essential functions of the job, coordinating initial searches (for reassignment efforts), identifying effective accommodations, and ensuring timeframes are met.
Bureau/Office HR Reasonable Accommodation POCs may visit the Office of Human Capital's (OHC) Reasonable Accommodation Team to access internal agency resources.
Disability Program Managers:
DOI Disability Program Managers (DPM) are typically part of the Bureau/Office Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office and are responsible for developing, implementing, and operating the Bureaus/Offices disability programs to eliminate employments barriers, seek full inclusion of individuals with disabilities, and provide guidance on reasonable accommodation matters related to employees and applicants for employment.