By Al Pietrolungo, Chair
At the 2014 PCB Conference and Convention held in Johnstown, PCB adopted a resolution to address concerns raised by the conduct of the PA Civil Service Commission (the Commission). One clause in this resolution requires the chairman of the Education and Employment Committee to update you on the efforts made to implement the resolution; hence, this report.
By letter dated December 1, 2014, President Swartz and I sent a copy of the resolution to the Commission. In this letter, we explained our reasons for adopting the resolution. One of our concerns is the lengthy delays in the scheduling of tests for applicants who are blind. A second concern is a policy which requires disabled test takers to submit to a pre-test determination of eligibility before the scheduling of a test. Such a pre-test determination of eligibility does not apply to non-disabled test takers. Finally, we are concerned about a policy which does not allow blind test takers to use screen reading software during a typing test. By letter dated December 16, 2014, the Commission responded to our resolution.
After discussions with our committee, we replied to this most recent correspondence in a letter dated February 19, 2015. This most recent letter advises the Civil Service Commission that we want them to establish a disability policy advisory committee. If such a committee is established, PCB would be willing to select a member to serve on this committee who would be charged with the task of advising the commission on disability related policies and practices. Our second proposal would require the Commission to make sure that at least one computer in the Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh testing locations is equipped with screen reader and magnification software. Also, we asked for additional information which will help us decide whether this pre-test eligibility determination is causing significant delays in the scheduling of tests for blind test takers.
In closing, our committee will continue to work on this issue, and we will update you regarding our progress.