The first legislative effort to prevent discrimination against employees with disabilities in the workplace was enacted in 1973. The Rehab Act, as it came to be called, protected the rights of individuals with disabilities by enacting programs that assist them in the workplace.
Accommodations for persons with physical and cognitive disabilities are achieved through programs for federal employees and contractors, programs conducted by federal agencies, and programs receiving federal financial assistance.
The Rehab Act was amended in 1978 to include persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
On January 3, 2017, section 501 of The Rehab Act was implemented. This requires the federal government to take affirmative action for people with disabilities. This includes providing personal assistance services (PAS).
Employees who require assistance with personal activities of daily living (ADL’s), such as eating and using the restroom, are entitled to receive personal assistance services. Section 501 of The Rehab Act requires federal employers to provide PAS services to these individuals.
Determining When PAS is Required
All federal agencies are required to provide PAS services to an individual if:
- he or she is an agency employee
- he or she, with PAS and any necessary accommodations such as ergonomic work area adjustments, will be able to meet the requirements of the job description without imposing a safety
- hazard to others
- he or she requires PAS because of a targeted disability
- such requirements and necessary modifications will not be a hardship for the federal agency to provide
The Rehab Act identifies a group of serious health conditions that are determined to be targeted disabilities. Individuals with targeted disabilities who are qualified often face a difficult time securing employment, simply because of no access to PAS in the workplace.
While the new regulation does not guarantee that every federal employee with a targeted disability is entitled to PAS, those who require assistance with basic ADLs in order to perform their job duties must be provided PAS by their employer.
In October 2016, the federal government issued a revised list of targeted disabilities found on form SF256 that include:
- Missing Extremities
- Partial or Complete Paralysis
- Intellectual or Developmental Disability
- Partial or Complete Blindness
- Deaf or Significant Hearing Loss
- Mobility Impairments requiring the use of an assistive device
- Seizure Disorders
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Severe Disfigurement
- Seizure Disorders
- Significant Psychiatric Disorder
Federal employees who are not trained to perform PAS duties should not be required to assist another employee in this capacity.
Employees with disabilities are entitled to receive PAS while on telework home duty, work duty, and when on travel duty. The new regulation also requires that PAS is provided to existing employees as well as new hires. This means that federal agencies are now responsible for providing PAS to current employees even if they have provided their own PAS in the past.
Precision is a federally certified 8(a), HUBZone, WOSB, DBE firm, and supports The United States Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) to “Drive Change and Create Opportunity.” Precision has been awarded the IDIQ contract to serve federal employees with disabilities by providing PAS (Personal Assistance Services) and offer high-quality and reliable administrative staffing services for government agencies. Precision is the sole vendor for the HHS IDIQ which includes Operating Divisions – national(finalizing international) coverage for ACF, CDC, CMS, IHS, NIH.
Precision offers four options:
- HHS IDIQ# HHSP233201800041I
- Simplified Acquisition up to $750K
- Micro Purchase up to $10,000
- Direct 8(a) Award:
- Streamlined acquisitions process
- Supports mission readiness…Alleviates 60-90 days acquisition time
- Obtainment of 8(a) and/or HUBZone small business goals
- Expedited negotiations
Contact Vanessa Best @ firstname.lastname@example.org or call (516) 771-7554 to get started with PAS today!
Learn more about PAS from Precision at https://www.precisionhcc.com/personal-assistance-services/