The DRC provides technical assistance to all DOT employees, offices and OAs. These services are separate from the products and services provided through the reasonable accommodation process. The DRC's technical assistance services can include answering disability related questions; working with third-parties such as IT to get assistive technology devices approved or supported by the Department/OA; 508 compliance; accessible meetings; program access, etc. Examples of technical assistance provided by the DRC include:
- The DRC does not provide office chairs, but we can assist the employee and his or her supervisor with identifying the most appropriate seating by either referring them to the DOT Facilities person responsible for chairs and furniture, or to an outside vendor who the supervisor and employee may choose to work with as they deem appropriate.
- Although DRC does not pay for facility modifications, the DRC can provide knowledge on accessibility requirements or on how to improve access for persons with disabilities.
- DRC can provide assistance to employees and supervisors with understanding and employing safe evacuation techniques for individuals with disabilities and can help customize a plan that works best for specific employees.
- Policies and procedures established by Office of Security, IT, Telecom and other offices that support the DOT infrastructure includes consideration of the needs of employees with disabilities. The DRC can partner with these offices and act as a content expert on issues related to disabilities. The DRC can research information through such resources as EEOC, the U.S. Access Board, the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), Department of Labor, Department of Justice, and others. DRC may also bring in experts from outside DOT who can bring highly specific information to the table.
- If an identified solution being considered for an accommodation requires the modification of an employee's schedule, job tasks, or job assignment, DRC has no authority to put such an accommodation in place. We can however, work with the employee and his or her supervisor to ensure that all options have been compared and considered, and refer both parties to other resources such as the Office of Civil Rights, Human Resources, or the Employee Assistance Program.
- DRC does not provide personal use items such as wheelchairs, scooters, eyeglasses, hearing aids, canes, crutches, etc. However, the DRC can research and identify resources that can provide support and guidance to employees who need these products or related services.
Technical assistance is not limited to what is described above. The DRC continually incorporates what is necessary to meet the ever changing technical and physical challenges of the DOT environment -- whether it is specific to one employee, a specific office or OA. The service can be a one time solution that is addressed in one day or may require a long-term relationship of an on-going nature. Anyone can contact the DRC to obtain information related to an issue dealing with a disability.