FORT BELVOIR, Virginia –
Defense Logistics Agency employees are being asked to verify and update their disability status in MyBiz or by completing SF-256, “Self-Identification of Disability,” by Sept. 30 so the agency can accurately reflect its diverse workforce in fiscal 2019 reporting.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations dictate that federal agencies take steps toward hiring a workforce made up of 12% of employees with a disability and 2% with targeted disabilities. DLA data shows the agency is exceeding that goal with 14.50% of the workforce having disabilities and 2.42% having targeted disabilities. However, employees with targeted disabilities at the senior level – GS-13, GS-14, GS-15 and Senior Executive Service – are lacking. Nancy Rivera, disability program manager for the DLA Equal Employment Opportunity Office, suspects the numbers are actually higher.
“Those of us who joined the workforce 30, 20 or 10 years ago may not have kept up with changes on what counts as a disability or given much thought to updating our status in MyBiz as we’ve gotten older and developed health issues,” Rivera said, adding that some employees may be uncomfortable disclosing their personal information.
In 2016, the Office of Personnel Management changed the terms it uses to describe disabilities and targeted disabilities. Among the changes is the inclusion of serious difficulty hearing and the use of hearing aids as a targeted disability, a category that also includes conditions like traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression and mobility impairment. The “other disabilities” category ranges from diabetes and gastrointestinal disorders to cancer.
One of four people have a disability, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Rivera said employees may have preconceived notions that keep them from reporting their disability. Some may fear they’ll be viewed as having limited ability, though many people with disabilities require no accommodation to do their job.
“Updating one’s MyBiz profile helps reflect the contributions individuals at all levels make toward our mission success and toward recruiting and retaining a diverse, inclusive workforce that mirrors society,” Rivera said.
Self-identification is voluntary and confidential, and will help measure how well DLA is meeting Objective 7.3 in the DLA People and Culture Plan: Promote a diverse and inclusive environment that empowers employees at all levels to perform to their maximum potential. The data is especially important as the agency works to accurately reflect the number of employees with disabilities at senior levels, Rivera added.
A copy of SF-256 is available at https://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/sf256.pdf. To verify and update your disability status, visit MyBiz through the Defense Civilian Personnel Data System at https://compo.dcpds.cpms.osd.mil/. For a step-by-step guide to updating MyBiz, watch this video: