Archive for September, 2010

Career Hiring Event for People with Disabilities

President ObamaIn October 2009, President Obama announced the “Two Percent by 2010” initiative to increase the employment of people with disabilities in the Federal Workforce. In support of this initiative, the HHS Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity (ODME) will host a “Career Hiring Event for People with Disabilities” on October 28, 2010, in the Great Hall of the Hubert H. Humphrey Building.

As the Office of Inspector General continues to seek highly qualified employees to fulfill its expanding mission and complement its growing work force, this event provides a great opportunity to promote active use of the Schedule A hiring authority to quickly fill positions with qualified people and increase our employment of persons with targeted disabilities. OIG will support this effort by committing hiring managers to interview applicants and make tentative “on the spot” offers to qualified candidates on the day of the event. Additional details will follow as plans for the event are finalized.

Ms. Qaisia Ali of the OMP Human Capital Division will serve as the OIG representative on the ODME event planning committee. Qaisia will work with each component to help forecast upcoming vacancies, to identify hiring supervisors/managers to conduct the actual interviews during the hiring event. She will also serve as OIG’s reasonable accommodations point of contact and coordinate with the Rockville HR Field Office on the hiring actions.

ODME will provide Schedule A training in mid-October for OIG hiring supervisors/managers. Schedule A hiring is a special streamlined hiring authority available to hire individuals with targeted disabilities. Qualified individuals with targeted disabilities can be hired non-competitively without recruitment, without posting and publicizing the position, without clearance of priority placement, and without going through the certificate process. Schedule A eliminates many of the competitive hiring steps, reducing the time it takes to fill a needed position.

To be eligible for noncompetitive appointment using the Schedule A hiring authority, candidates must obtain written proof of disability and a certification of job readiness from a licensed medical professional, a state or private vocational rehabilitation specialist, or any government agency that issues or provides disability benefits. Candidates must also meet the Office of Personnel Management’s position qualification standards for which they are applying.

Thank you in advance for your commitment to this important initiative. Please feel free to contact Beth Brown Ghee or Qaisia Ali in OMP if you have any questions in the meantime.

Paul R. Johnson
Assistant Inspector General
Chief Operating Officer
Office of Inspector General/OMP
(202) 205-9117

September 27, 2010 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Medicare Part D

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

Medicare beneficiaries in donut hole will see 50-percent discount on brand name drugs in 2011

Vice President Joe Biden, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced that the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers will provide 50 percent discounts on the cost of covered brand-name prescription drugs for beneficiaries in the Medicare Part D coverage gap, or donut hole, starting in 2011.

Vice President Biden and Secretary Sebelius made the announcement on a grassroots conference call with seniors from across the country. On the call, the Vice President and the Secretary discussed the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for seniors including the prescription drug discounts and provisions in the law that help fight fraud and make certain preventive care and annual wellness exams, free for most Medicare beneficiaries.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of people with Medicare who will fall into the Part D donut hole next year will pay less for their prescription drugs,” said Vice President Biden.  “The discount manufacturers will pay on brand-name drugs, helping millions of seniors who are struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month, and it’s just one of the ways the new health care law helps make Medicare stronger.”

The Affordable Care Act has helped reduce costs for Medicare beneficiaries, beginning with one-time rebate $250 rebate checks for beneficiaries who hit the donut hole in 2010.

“More than 1.2 million beneficiaries who have hit the donut hole so far this year have received their $250 rebate checks as part of the cost savings provisions in the Affordable Care Act, and millions more are on deck to get a check,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Now, with these new agreements, people who rely on Medicare will see even more savings off their drug costs next year, and savings will continue even after the coverage gap is closed in 2020.”

Seniors and people with disabilities enrolled in Medicare drug plans will also find next year that through the use of the new tools provided by the Affordable Care Act, premiums are stable and the number of prescription drug plans that voluntarily help fill the donut hole has increased. In August, CMS reported that the average 2011 Medicare prescription drug plan premium will remain similar to rates beneficiaries are currently paying this year – an increase of $1.

“Most Medicare prescription drug plan premiums will remain stable next year and beneficiaries will find there are clearer plan options and many plans that can help them save even more – like those plans that are offering benefits that help fill the donut hole,” said CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, M.D. “They will find that the Affordable Care Act improves the value of drug coverage they get next year.”

Beneficiaries will soon receive their 2011 Medicare & You handbook and find updated information at http://www.medicare.gov and 1-800-Medicare in mid-October. Users of the Medicare Plan Finder, available at http://www.medicare.gov, will be able to compare plans’ quality summary rating from the previous year, identify which drugs are included on a plan’s formulary, and compare the cost ranges for plans available in their communities.

More information is available at http://www.healthcare.gov, a new web portal made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A fact sheet on the Medicare Part D discount can be found at http://www.HealthCare.gov/news/factsheets.

September 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm Leave a comment

Spiderman and the ADA

SpidermanIn a Spiderman comic, Stan Lee wrote, “With great power there must also come — great responsibility.” When I think about it, that applies to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) very much. While it is debatable whether the ADA gives people with disabilities “great power,” it really is not debatable that the ADA gives us “great responsibility.”

And that responsibility is not just for ourselves, but for future generations as well. When George H.W. Bush said at the signing of the ADA on July 26th 1990, “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down,” the wall started tumbling but without people maintaining constant vigilance that tumbling will stop.

People with disabilities have made some amazing strides in the past 20 years thanks, in no small part, to the ADA. But we can’t afford to forget that the ADA is a law of empowerment and not a law of entitlement! People with disabilities can use the ADA, but they need to know how. So it is our responsibility to younger generations of people with disabilities to make sure they are familiar with the ADA and how to best utilize it.

In this 20th year of the ADA, we can look back on some significant improvements for the civil rights of people with disabilities, but we must not forget that “With great power there must also come — great responsibility” and we must stay vigilant or we risk taking a step backward. So even though Spiderman doesn’t deal with the ADA too much, that awareness he had in Amazing Fantasy #15 really applies.

By Tony Trott, ECNV Peer Mentor & Editor

September 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm 1 comment

Federal Jobs Workshop

Young professional wheelchair user shaking handsThe Obama Administration is hiring for over 600,000 positions over the next three years.  Would you like to be selected for one of these positions? Learn from a former GS-15 HR Manager from the Office of Personnel Management about the Federal application process and understand how to create Federal application materials that will set you apart from the competition.
 
COST: FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

**IMPORTANT Disclaimer: This Seminar and a 15 minute resume assessment are provided FREE of charge.  Any additional services are provided for a fee.  Please see website (www.FederalJobResults.com) for service prices.

DATE / TIME / LOCATION:
Thursday,  September 16th , 2010
10am to 1 p.m.

Please register by calling (703) 787-4974 or @ Lake Anne SkillSource Center
11484 Washington Plaza West, Suite 110, Reston, VA 20190

September 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm Leave a comment

Wounded Veteran Initiative

Army officer with a service dogCanine Companions for Independence
Salutes Independence
In Collaboration with the Women in Military Service For America Memorial Foundation and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs

Join us on Wednesday, September 29th from 2-5pm at the Women in Military Service For America Memorial, Gateway, Arlington National Cemetery for a special afternoon to learn how assistance dogs enhance the lives of veterans with physical disabilities. See a live demonstration with a CCI Instructor and an assistance dog in training.

Canine Companions for Independence Wounded Veterans Initiative provides highly-trained assistance dogs, at no cost to veterans with physical disabilities from the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts and to military hospitals and medical centers.

Special Guest Speakers:

Dr. Clifford L. Stanley
Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness

Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught
USAF (Ret.) President, Women’s Memorial Foundation

Corey Hudson
CEO, Canine Companions for Independence
Secretary, Assistance Dogs International President, Assistance Dogs International, North America

Carlene A. Garner
International President, General Federation of Women’s Clubs

Sgt. Sebastian Cila, USA (Ret.) & Service Dog Gillian

PFC Buddy Hayes, USA (Ret.) & Service Dog Ellie

Please R.S.V.P. by 9/21/10 at www.cci.org/independence
Refreshments will be served. No charge to attend. Program begins at 3 p.m.
For more information call (631) 561-0206.

September 9, 2010 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment


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