Comments of Lisa Guilmette
Guilmette: For me, the biggest changes have been in the area of technology. When I started at the Philadelphia District office, I had very little equipment type of assistance. I had a manual typewriter actually, and since then we ve gone to computers and I have acquired quite a bit of adaptive technology in the form of a computer with speech access, some specific programs that I use with a scanner and also a printer that allows me to braille out documents into braille.
Interviewer: Discuss your most memorable job related experience.
Guilmette: One of the major functions of my office and work area is to conduct on site program reviews of federal agency affirmative employment programs and one that comes to my mind is at Department of Interior. In September of 1997, our office conducted a review at Department of Interior, specifically concerning provision of reasonable accommodation for employees and applicants with disabilities. At the time of the review, there was no one appointed to handle the program. There was no program at Department of Interior, as a matter of fact. There were no policies or procedures for providing reasonable accommodations, and in fact, employees complained that they didn t get any. Since the review, and the report of the on site, we have learned that and I have contact with the agency they have appointed a person to handle the program at the agency level. They have developed policies and procedures for providing reasonable accommodations at the agency level and for all the bureaus - and the best part is that they have really increased the numbers of employees with disabilities that they have hired over the past few years.
Interviewer: Can you tell me, Lisa - Why was this experience important for you?
Guilmette: It was important because I see an agency really improving their programs and strengthening them and of course doing what they re really supposed to do with regard to these programs, and that s employ in this case, people with disabilities.