NCD Letter to federal Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program regarding centralized accommodations funds

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November 30, 2018

Curtis D. Bell
Director, Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program
4800 Mark Center Drive, Suite 05E22
Alexandria, VA  22350

Dear Mr. Bell,

I write to you on behalf of the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency charged with providing advice and recommendations regarding disability policy to the President, Congress, and other federal agencies, to request a meeting to discuss the federal government’s ability to provide reasonable accommodations employees with disabilities.  

NCD acknowledges and is grateful for the service of the federal Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) in helping federal government employees with disabilities obtain reasonable accommodations. NCD is researching the use of centralized accommodation funds among respective federal agencies, including their use of CAP, as we determine how many federal agencies are using centralized accommodation funds or CAP as opposed to using respective office-specific budgets. Part and parcel of determining this information is discovering how many of its customers’ requests CAP can serve and whether or not there is a funding shortage in CAP’s ability to serve all legitimate requests it receives. Based on this information, NCD intends to make an appropriate recommendation to the President and/or Congress as a means of assuring the rights of federal government employees are fulfilled in harmony with CAP’s efforts and in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act.

Thus far, we have reached out to the Federal Trade Commission, General Services Administration, Veterans Affairs, Department of State, Peace Corps, Department of Defense, and US Customs & Border Protection, and learned that three use CAP’s services, two use both an internal centralized accommodation fund and CAP’s services, one uses only a centralized accommodation fund, and one charges the cost of reasonable accommodations to the respective individual office  within the agency (with some use of CAP’s services). We have also reached out to the Department of Agriculture, Broadcasting Board of Governors, Trade Administration, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Commission on Civil Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Energy Regulation Commission, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, and USAID, and have been unable to connect with someone to determine if each of those agencies make use of a centralized fund.

I think it would be helpful for us to meet to discuss in more detail and ensure we have current data on the use of CAP to further our research efforts.

Again, we respectfully request a meeting with you and your staff at your earliest convenience to engage in a dialogue on this topic and to discuss the information and perspectives of NCD on this matter. Thank you for your time and consideration. Please contact Amged M. Soliman, NCD Attorney Advisor, at asoliman@ncd.gov or 202-272-2116, to discuss this topic and contact Lisa Grubb, Executive Director, at lgrubb@ncd.gov or 202-272-2113 to arrange a time to meet.

We look forward to further discussion on this important issue.

Sincerely,

Neil Romano
Chairman