Is the government an equal opportunity employer – including the disabled?

Disabilities, we talk about disabilities and we think of wheelchairs or even Oscar Pistorius, the South African sprinter "Blade Runner" -- "the fastest man on no legs." But as the Baby Boomers age, more and more people have to deal with disabilities. What is the government doing to be a good employer for everybody -- including people with disabilities? Kathleen Martinez is the Labor Department’s Assistant Secretary for the Office of Disability Employment Policy. She told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program ways technology can enhance the life for disabled feds. At Works Events: ODEP hosts a series of free webcasts, webinars and podcasts to explore the connection between accessible technology and the employment of people with disabilities.  From panel discussions to educational presentations, these AT Works events feature prominent thought leaders and insightful dialogues on accessible technology issues. Coming up next week: 
  • August 16, 2012 Webcast, 2 p.m. EST: “Accessibility and Emerging Technology – Keys to Improving the Employment of People with Disabilities”
    • Panelists will include Jim Tobias, President of Inclusive Technologies and Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google.
508 Compliance: "30 years ago people were tearing out curbs in sidewalks to make ramps as part of the American Disability Act. Now with technology we have to assume that somebody with a disability will require access to information and services that you can only find online. Curb cuts need to be there now for the tech world too. Things that used to be "special," need to become standard operating procedures. 508 Compliance needs to be the baseline," said Martinez. Aging Population:Everyday 10,000 people turn 65. The Baby Boomers are losing their hearing and eyesight making these technologies more needed than ever. And unlike previous generation the Boomers expect change to happen and happen quickly. Biggest Challenge: "Fear -- offices with people working on mission-oriented tasks with a person with a disability are far less fearful of implementing these changes," said Martinez. Also don't miss NIH's Teresa Shea share her story of working with blindness at the Next Generation of Government Training Summit. 
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