by Debbie Gildea
Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs
2/22/2012 – JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Disability hiring initiatives are ongoing as federal agencies work to meet the president’s challenge to hire 100,000 people with disabilities over the next five years.
The Air Force has a long history of supporting such initiatives, but official records may not illustrate that, Air Force Personnel Center officials said. Many employees eligible to self-identify with a disability may not know that they can update their disability status at the online MyBiz site.
The categories of disabilities were expanded as the result of a change in the law. In addition, the president has issued an executive order requiring all federal agencies to recruit, hire and retain individuals with all types of disabilities, not just the severe disabilities covered by the previous rules and form.
All Air Force employees should review and, if appropriate, update their disability code, said Barbara J. Barger, the deputy director of Force Development and senior lead on the five-year Air Force plan to increase the employment of individuals with disabilities, which implements the order.
“To ensure equitable hiring practices, all federal agencies are working to update disability records and to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities,” said Michael Brosnan, the AFPC Workforce Planning and Enterprise Recruiting chief.
“The first step for the Air Force is to make sure our records are up-to-date and all civilians with disabilities are able to self-identify,” Brosnan explained. “Once all current Air Force civilian employees have reviewed their files and updated their disability status, then we’ll be in a better position to know which direction to focus our efforts to open up opportunities.”
To help the Air Force achieve its goal, civilian Airmen are asked to review and update their disability codes in the Defense Civilian Personnel Data System, Brosnan said.
Self-identification is purely voluntary (except for Schedule A appointments), Brosnan explained. But, he said, there are no negative implications for people who self-identify. This information is being collected to help promote opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
“It’s basic data that helps us ensure we’re doing the right things to attract, hire and retain a diverse workforce,” Brosnan said. “It’s a fairly quick process — takes maybe five minutes — but if you don’t follow the steps, you’ll get stuck.”
To update disability status, follow these steps:
– Log in to the secure Defense Civilian Personnel Data System Portal (https://compo.dcpds.cpms.osd.mil)
– Select ‘Air Force region’
– Select ‘MyBiz’
– Select ‘update my information’
– Read and accept the Privacy Act statement
– Select the disability tab
– Select the magnifying glass symbol to the right of the disability code box (Note: The system will open a new window to enable you to search for and select the appropriate disability codes)
– Select the ‘go’ button, click on the disability bubble beside the appropriate description, and click the select button on the bottom right side of the window (Note: The disability list window will close, returning to the disability update page)
– Select the update button