The U.S. Department of State is committed and obligated to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would result in undue hardship to the agency. Reasonable accommodation involves workplace modifications allowing qualified employees and applicants with disabilities to participate in the application process or to perform the essential duties of the position for which they were hired. These accommodations are approved by the Disability and Reasonable Accommodations Division (DRAD), following an interactive process with the requesting individual, human resources, and the individual’s supervisor, as appropriate. Accommodations span a wide range of potential services, technologies, and workplace modifications. For example, an applicant taking the Foreign Service Officer Test might request sign language interpretation for the personal interview component of the exam or a visually impaired employee might request screen magnification software. In addition to determining and implementing reasonable accommodations, DRAD also ensures equal access to Federal programs, activities, and facilities to individuals with disabilities. To learn more or request services, contact the Disability and Reasonable Accommodations Division at ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov.
The Department’s Computer Accommodations Technology Center (CATC) was established as a hub to meet employee and applicant needs for assistive technologies and ergonomic solutions. The CATC has 6 workstations available for hands-on demonstrations and evaluations of assistive technologies. The workstations are equipped with a variety of hardware and software solutions, which improve accessibility for employees who are visually, hearing, speech, mobility or dexterity impaired. All Department employees are welcome to visit the Computer Accommodations Technology Center located in the basement of the Harry S Truman (HST) building. Appointments with an assistive technology expert can be made by emailing ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov.
To learn more about the Federal government’s progress in hiring persons with disabilities, take a look at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director’s blog.