By: Sheryl Harmening
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is proposing changes to the agency’s Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability form. The current version of the form is set to expire on May 31, 2023. The proposed changes reflect an effort by OFCCP to increase the overall response rate on the form.
Federal contractors and sub-contractors are required to invite applicants to voluntarily self-identify for disabilities at the pre-offer and post-offer stage of the selection process. Employers are also required to invite employees to self-identify every five years. At least once between those five years, employers must remind employees they may update their disability status at any time.
As mentioned in our previous blog, on November 16, 2022, OFCCP posted a notice in the federal registrar inviting public comments on the newly revised disability form. The deadline to submit comments ended on January 17, 2023, with only one comment received.
The revised form has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget for review and approval. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) further invites public comments with a deadline to submit comments on or before April 21, 2023.
Some of the proposed changes to the form include:
- Minor changes to the language and narrative portion of the form.
- Alphabetizing the list of all disabilities.
- Revising language to be more consistent with the current preferred language to address specific disabilities. For instance, “Psychiatric condition, for example, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, or major depression” has been replaced by “Mental health conditions, for example, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD”
- Broadening definitions of some disabilities. For instance, the term “Autism” has been replaced by “Neurodivergence, for example, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, other learning disabilities.”
- Adding additional examples of disabilities not previously included such as:
- Alcohol or substance use disorder (not currently using drugs illegally)
- Disfigurement, where OFCCP cites examples such as disfigurement caused by burns, wounds, accidents, or congenital disorders.
- Pulmonary or respiratory conditions, where OFCCP cites examples such as tuberculosis, asthma, and emphysema.
- Traumatic brain injury.
The OFCCP does not intend to immediately enforce the use of the revised form. Federal contractors and subcontractors will have 90 calendar days after OMB approval to begin using the form. DCI anticipates contractors will have to start using the revised form around August of 2023. Federal contracts and subcontracts should continue using the existing form approved in 2020 until the revised form is approved.
DCI will continue to monitor and share any further developments.