242. Letter From the Under Secretary of State for Management (Read) to the Director of the Office of Government Employment, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Mathew)1

Dear Mr. Mathew:

Enclosed is the Department of State’s Supplemental Affirmative Action Plan for the hiring, placement and advancement of handicapped individuals and disabled veterans for Fiscal Year 1980.

As requested, the Department of State will put special emphasis on the recruitment and placement of persons with specified severe disabilities under this Plan.


Ben H. Read2
[Page 961]


Paper Prepared in the Department of State3


I. Work Force Analysis, Goals and Timetable

The Department of State has analyzed the available data on its work force, with special attention to the severe disability categories selected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for emphasis during this transition year.

The total number of Department of State American employees as of December 31, 1979 was 13,527 (Civil Service and Foreign Service combined).

Based on voluntary employee self-identification questionnaires, the overall number of handicapped employees as of December 31, 1979 was 439. This represented 3.25% of the total American work force.

Of these, there were 41 employees in the targeted severely handicapped categories, which represented 0.30% of the total American work force.

The 41 severely handicapped employees are divided as follows, according to grade, type of occupation, and disability category:

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Number Grade Type of Occupation Disability Category
1 GS–10 Civil Service-Professional 16
1 GS–12 Civil Service-Professional 23
1 FSO–2 Foreign Service-Officer 23
2 FSS–8 Foreign Service-Staff 23
1 FSS–6 Foreign Service-Staff 23
1 GS–13 Civil Service-Professional 25
1 GS–7 Civil Service-Professional 25
1 GG–11 Civil Service-Specialist 28
1 GS–5 Civil Service-Clerical 32
1 FSO–2 Foreign Service-Officer 32
1 GG–4 Civil Service-Specialist 35
1 FSS–6 Foreign Service-Staff 64
1 FSRU–5 Foreign Service-Reserve Officer 65
2 FSS–4 Foreign Service-Staff 65
1 GS–15 Civil Service-Professional 67
1 GS–5 Civil Service-Clerical 67
1 FSS–3 Foreign Service-Staff 67
1 GS–12 Civil Service-Professional 75
1 GS–6 Civil Service-Clerical 75
1 GS–3 Civil Service-Clerical 76
1 FSR–7 Foreign Service-Reserve Officer 76
1 GS–7 Civil Service-Professional 82
1 GS–4 Civil Service-Clerical 82
1 FSRU–3 Foreign Service-Reserve Officer 82
1 FSO–4 Foreign Service-Officer 82
1 GS–13 Civil Service-Professional 91
1 FSO–2 Foreign Service-Officer 91
5 FSO–4 Foreign Service-Officer 91
2 FSR–4 Foreign Service-Reserve Officer 91
2 FSO–5 Foreign Service-Officer 91
1 FSR–6 Foreign Service-Reserve Officer 91
1 GS–15 Civil Service-Professional 92
1 GG–12 Civil Service-Specialist 92

In accordance with the EEOC’s emphasis this fiscal year on the severely handicapped, the Department of State has established a goal of increasing the number of employees in the targeted categories by 10% during the remaining months of FY–1980. All recruitment activities will be closely monitored to ensure maximum efforts to achieve this transition year goal.

II. Plan for Special Recruitment Program

The Department of State faces an unusual problem in the recruitment of severely handicapped employees. As of December 31, 1979 some 68% of the Department’s American positions were classified as Foreign Service, while only 32% were Civil Service.

The necessarily stringent Foreign Service medical standards make it difficult for the handicapped to qualify for overseas positions. However, in order to alleviate this problem, the Department of State has now established a special, senior-level Employment Review Committee to consider all medically-disqualified Foreign Service applicants for possible overseas service, despite their handicapping condition. This Committee meets at least monthly to review such cases.

During FY–1980, the Employment Review Committee already has approved the employment of several handicapped individuals, including one Foreign Service Officer in one of the targeted severely handicapped categories.

The Department of State’s Foreign Service medical standards do not apply to its Civil Service positions. The Office of Recruitment continues actively to seek handicapped applicants, including the severely handicapped, for Civil Service positions for which they are qualified.

[Page 963]

The following special recruitment activities will be carried out during the remainder of FY–1980:

(a) Increased public awareness that handicapped applicants are no longer automatically disqualified for consideration for Foreign Service positions.

(b) Provision of special facilities and/or arrangements to enable handicapped candidates to take the competitive written and oral examinations for Foreign Service officer appointments.

(c) Continued regular meetings of the Employment Review Committee to consider all medically disqualified Foreign Service candidates for possible appointment and overseas assignments.

(d) Continued contacts with Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors throughout the United States to seek qualified handicapped applicants for vacancies in Civil Service positions.

Accomplishments under this special recruitment program will be analyzed and reported as specified in future EEOC instructions.

III. Removal of Barriers; Goals and Timetable

The Department of State has requested that the General Services Administration ensure that appropriate facilities at the Main Department of State building (“New State”) are modified to make them accessible to handicapped employees and visitors, based upon surveys of the appropriate facilities.

To date, all necessary curb cuts have been completed, and lowered and amplified telephones have been installed at Main State.

GSA is contracting for the modification of elevators, the installation of electronic door openers, and the modification of drinking fountains and additional rest rooms at Main State. The elevator work is expected to be completed by May 31, 1980. The other modifications are expected to be completed by December 31, 1980.

In addition, GSA is negotiating with the landlords of various leased Annex buildings to have the landlords make similar modifications to those buildings in conjunction with lease renewals.

Thus far, modifications have been made to two buildings, State Annex #1 (Columbia Plaza) and State Annex #3 (Foreign Service Institute).

The Department of State will make every effort to obtain similar modifications to other leased Annex buildings as soon as possible.


Statistical Data

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1. Total number of all employees as of December 31. (Include full-time permanent and all others.) 13,527
2. Total number of all handicapped employees as of December 31. This number includes only those disabled veterans with reportable handicaps. 439


1. Number of agency component activities and field establishments having appointing authority.0
2. Percentage of time spent by agency-wide Coordinator for Selective Placement in managing the program.100%
Secretarial assistance (3 days a week).100%
Selective Placement Coordinators.10%
3. Number of coordinators designated in all component agency activities.0

(NOTE: The Department of State has no component agencies within the meaning of this item.)


Statistical Data as of December 31.
Veteran Status No. in Work Force No. Handicapped
10-point compensable 76 18
10-point noncompensable 99 13
5-point 5160 163
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Under Secretary for Management (M), 1980, Box 3, Chron March 15–22, 1980. No classification marking.
  2. Read signed “Ben Read” above this typed signature.
  3. No classification marking. Read signed the paper’s title page.