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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 26, 2000

July 26, 2000


SUBJECT:       Employing People with Significant Disabilities to Fill
               Federal Agency Jobs that can be Performed at Alternate
               Work Sites, Including the Home

Cutting-edge telecommunications technology has recently made it possible for customer service "call/contact" centers to transmit voice and data to employees who are located at work sites other than the call/contact centers, employers' headquarters, or other centralized locations. Individuals employed as customer service representatives can work from their homes or any other accessible off-site location just as if they were working in the call/contact centers themselves. Technology also enables other types of work activities, such as the processing of insurance claims and financial transactions, to be carried out from such alternate work stations.

The unemployment rate of individuals with significant disabilities is among the highest of disadvantaged groups in the Nation. These individuals are an important untapped resource of talent and skills, and a key element in our Nation's ability to sustain our historic economic growth. The increasing use of off-site work stations to carry out significant and competitive work activities provides a critical new source of employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities.

It is in the interest of the Federal Government to utilize the skills of qualified people with significant disabilities by recruiting them for appropriate off-site, home-based employment opportunities with Federal agencies, including employment as home-based customer service representatives linked to Federal customer service call/contact centers.

To harness the power of new technologies to promote Federal sector employment of qualified people with significant disabilities, as defined in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 701 et seq.), as amended, and to improve Federal customer service representation, I direct executive departments and agencies as follows:

     (a) Each head of an executive department or agency operating
     customer service call/contact centers shall identify positions that
     can be relocated to home-based or other off-site facilities, and
     that can be filled by qualified individuals, including those with
     significant disabilities.

     (b) Each head of an executive department or agency shall identify
     the appropriateness of using home-based and other off-site
     positions to carry out other specific work activities, such as the
     processing of insurance claims and financial transactions, that
     could be accomplished by qualified individuals, including those
     with significant disabilities.

     (c) If the head of a department or agency determines it is feasible
     and appropriate to use home-based and other off-site locations
     pursuant to its actions under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this
     memorandum, such head shall develop a Plan of Action that
     encourages the recruitment and employment of qualified individuals
     with significant disabilities.

     (d) The Plan of Action developed pursuant to paragraph (c) of this
     memorandum shall be submitted to the National Task Force on
     Employment of Adults with Disabilities (Task Force) (established by
     Executive Order 13078 of March 13, 1998) within 120 days from the
     date of this memorandum.

     (e) The Task Force shall review and approve agency Plans of Action
     and shall be responsible for developing guidance for the
     implementation of the plans and the provisions of this memorandum.

     (f) In implementing this memorandum, agencies must honor their
     obligations to notify their collective bargaining representatives
     and bargain over such procedures to the extent required by law.

     (g) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with merit
     system principles under law.

     (h) This memorandum does not create any right or benefit,
     substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against
     the United States, its officers, its employees, or any other


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