The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Statement of Dinah Cohen
Director of CAP
Good morning. My name is Dinah Cohen and I am here to talk about the Department of Defense (DoD) Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP). I serve as the director of CAP and am honored to testify about it before this Commission.
The Department of Defense (DoD) Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) liberates people with disabilities in the workplace by making assistive technology and services readily and easily available at no cost to the requesting organization. CAP is the federal government's centrally-funded accommodations program. Its motto is, "Real Solutions for Real Needs." It buys, pays for, and delivers the hardware, software, and services people with disabilities need to function in the workplace. CAP levels the playing field for individuals with disabilities by eliminating the cost and management of the accommodation process.
- CAP makes the electronic environment accessible to and usable by individuals with hearing, visual, dexterity, cognitive, and communication impairments.
- Since its inception in 1990, CAP has filled over 50,000 requests for accommodations. In addition to serving the Military Departments and Defense Agencies, CAP partners with 64 other federal agencies to provide assistive technology outside DoD.
- In FY 2005, CAP filled 5,542 requests: 3,218 for DoD personnel and offices and 2,324 for federal partner agencies.
- The CAP Technology Evaluation Center (CAPTEC) has provided demonstration and assessment services to more than 15,000 customers.
- In FY 2005, the CAPTEC served 2,305 customers. This included 1,169 services for DoD employees and supervisors and 954 services for partner agencies.
- Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld gave President George W. Bush a tour of the CAPTEC in June 2001, after which the President praised CAP during a disability policy address in the Pentagon auditorium.
- CAP’s Wounded Service Member Initiative provides assistive technology during medical treatment and transition to community living, as well as for reemployment purposes.
- In 2005, this initiative was expanded beyond Walter Reed Army Medical Center to include Brooke and Tripler Army Medical Centers, Ft. Leonard Wood, and the National Naval Medical Center.
- CAP conducted 78 needs assessments and provided 347 accommodations for wounded service members during FY 2005.
- CAP supports the government-wide Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities, which offers summer jobs to encourage federal careers and address the need to increase employment of people with disabilities.
- CAP provided 112 accommodations for interns in 27 agencies in FY 2005.
- CAP’s Healthy Work Practices Program takes a proactive approach to disability management in order to help employers deal with problems such as the increasing number of workers’ compensation claims resulting from manual dexterity problems. This action addresses the needs of retention of people with disabilities and those that become disabled due to the aging process.
- A new version of CAP's Healthy Work Practices Guide was made available online in 2005.
- In FY 2005, CAP filled 316 requests for injured workers to help them return to work quickly in accordance with the President’s Management Agenda.
- CAP’s Telework Initiative supports the President's Management Agenda by providing equipment for people with disabilities who work at home or elsewhere off-site.
- During FY 2005, CAP provided 175 accommodations for teleworkers with disabilities.
- CAP's award-winning website at www.tricare.osd.mil/cap supports the President’s E.Government initiative with a comprehensive collection of resources for managers, supervisors, and people with disabilities.
- Visitors can perform on-line assessments of job duties to find accommodation solutions.
- DoD employees and employees of partner agencies can complete interactive online request forms to obtain goods and services through CAP.
- More than 5 million people visited CAP's web site in FY 2005.
Throughout the employment lifecycle, CAP addresses each employee’s specific needs and helps supervisors and other decision-makers understand the empowering nature of accommodations. CAP has helped thousands of federal employees realize their personal potential and achieve new levels of productivity. People with disabilities, including those injured on the job, now have a resource that helps them become and remain productive members of the workforce.
In closing, I’d like to thank the Commission for inviting me to speak. We are very proud of the work our program does. Moreover, we hope we have elevated awareness of our program here today, so that more agencies will seek out our assistance. This benefits everyone – federal applicants, employees and employers – allowing CAP to lead the way in assisting the federal government to truly become a model employer. Thank you.
This page was last modified on June 28, 2006.
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