Early Deployment of Reasonable Accommodations for State Government Workers

Andrew Winnegar

The presentation will be on the progress made by a reasonable accommodation early intervention team that will be created with the expertise of the New Mexico Technology Assistance Program, The Southwest Disability Law Center, Information Technology Specialists, and rehabilitation and ergonomic engineers through collaboration of numerous state agencies in New Mexico.

The New Mexico Legislature recently passed HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL (HJM72) REQUESTING THAT THE EXECUTIVE TASK FORCE ON DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT DEVELOP POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES TO INCREASE THE EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN STATE GOVERNMENT. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson created the executive task force on disability employment, an interagency work group, to develop policies and procedures to facilitate the increased employment of persons with disabilities throughout state government. The new Legislation is intended to provide adequate accessibility; increase support services; develop employment services and working partnerships among state agencies and the private sector to ensure the effective use of resources.

The State Agencies included; the governor's commission on disability, the vocational rehabilitation division of the public education department, the labor department, the governor's office of workforce training and development, the commission for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons, the special education bureau of the public education department, the aging and long-term services department, the state personnel office, the commission for community volunteerism, the commission for the blind and the developmental disabilities planning council to develop proposals for increasing the employment of persons with disabilities within state government.

Andrew Winnegaris Director New Mexico Technology Assistance Program/Director Deputy Director, Vocational Rehabilitation Division, Department of Public Education. Mr. Winnegar has worked with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation since 1987 and as Deputy Director for Program Development and Support since 1992. He has oversight and management of the Agency’s research, needs assessments, contract management, community programs and legislative initiatives. He worked with the New Mexico State Legislature and State Agency Directors concerned with disability and rehabilitation issues on the passage of Governor Richardson’s HJM72 to increase employment of persons with disabilities in State Government. He also drafted the educational reform legislation in 2003 HB 708 that provided electronic access to K-12 and higher education distance learning for persons with disabilities and has been involved in employment, independent living and technology assistance for persons with disabilities throughout his career. Andy has successfully implemented a number of initiatives from early childhood and special education programs to expansion of New Mexico apprenticeships. He has experience in minority outreach for American Indians, Hispanics and Migrant workers with disabilities.

Presentation abstract from the 'Workplace Accommodations: State of the Science' conference
September 15-16, 2005, Altanta, GA