Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the U.S. Department of Labor.
November 19, 2013 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Joyce welcomes Patricia A. Shiu, director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the U.S. Department of Labor. She leads a staff of nearly 800 men and women around the country who are dedicated to protecting workers, promoting diversity and enforcing the law. Over the years, OFCCP’s authority has been expanded by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. She will be discussing the Obama Administration's landmark 503 regulation that will require federal contractors to set a 7 percent hiring target for people with disabilities.

» Listen
» Transcript
« Back to Schedule


Transcript

"DISABILITY MATTERS" 

NOVEMBER 19TH, 2013

1 PM CST

HOST:  JOYCE BENDER

GUEST:  PAT SHIU

*******

This is being provided in a rough-draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) or captioning are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.

*******

   >> Welcome to "Disability Matters" with your host, Joyce Bender. All comments, views, and opinions expressed on this show are solely those of the host, guest, and callers. Now the host of "Disability Matters." Here's Joyce Bender.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Wow! Welcome to the show. We have a very exciting show today, probably the most listened to show over the past decade, I would say. We've had so many callers already backed up, and that is because we have a great civil rights leader, advocate, and leader in America for a equality across the board, and may I say I want everyone to hear this. Because of this woman, Americans with disabilities are going to gain more jobs than they ever had. She is our champion.

   Welcome to the show, head of OFCCP, Pat Shiu.

   >> PAT SHIU:  Thank you, Joyce. I am so pleased to be here.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  I am more than pleased. I think we have someone on the line that wanted to talk to you right at the beginning.

   >> PAT SHIU:  Okay.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Tony, are you on the line?

   >> TONY COELHO:  I am on.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  How are you?

   >> TONY COELHO:  Hello, Joyce, and Pat.

   >> PAT SHIU:  How are you?

   >> TONY COELHO:  It's great to be on the show with you because as Joyce pointed out, you were handling a situation that will have, in my view, a great impact in what the ADA has had itself. And it's predicted by you and others that in the first year of implementation of 503 that says the government must -- contractors and subcontractors must hire people with disabilities. It is predicted that there will be over 450,000 people with disabilities hired in the first year. That is huge. And I appreciate all that you have done and are doing to make that possible. So I think the listeners are in for a treat today.

   >> PAT SHIU:  Thank you so much. It means a lot to me that you took the time to come on today, Tony.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Tony, while we have you on the line, I have a question on 503 to ask you, but every show at the beginning, I have breaking news on what's happening with CRPD. Do you want to give us an update?

   >> TONY COELHO:  This is what I call the disability treaty that's basically the United States ratifying the treaty that says that aspirationally, all nations on this earth shall treat their individuals with disabilities with respect and give them the opportunities that everybody else in their country has.

   And so we've been instrumental in getting it drafted and adopted and now, there are 133 countries that have ratified it. The U.S. has not. We brought it up in December and it was voted down of by the, I would say, Joyce, conservative Republican members and some others I felt were misled. And where we are now is we have a hearing on the twelfth. Our second hearing is going to be this Thursday. We are hopeful for another turn out by the disability community. And then, we're talking about going to mark up, in other words in a Senate committee, to make a decision in the week of the 9th of December.

   So it's exciting and we're going back at it. We feel we have another good shot at it this time and we hope to get it ratified.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  So, Tony, anyone listening to the show, what should they do to help you?

   >> TONY COELHO:  Please, please call your senators and tell them that you support the disability treaty, and it's the time for the United States to ratify it and move forward. Every call counts so please make calls. It's really, really important.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  You heard it. It is coming from Tony Coelho, author of the ADA, former Congressman, our hero. You'd better listen to him.

   Before you go, Tony, Pat, how real is this going to be? Let's say, for example, a federal contractor totally ignores this and doesn't take it seriously. I'm talking about 503. What happens?

   >> TONY COELHO:  I will quickly say something and let Pat take on and I'll move on. First off is that it is the law, and Pat will explain how the government is implementing that law. It's an executive order signed by the president. The federal contractors and subcontractors, starting in, I think, June, will have to start to comply with that executive order. Pat and her group, they will be required to give a plan as to what they're doing to hire people with disabilities, and they have to be able to show that they are actually out there trying to hire people and actually hiring people with disabilities. So I'll let Pat explain the details, but I just want all the federal contractors and subcontractors that might be listening like I do that have a disability just know that the best friend we have is Pat Shiu because she will enforce it and make sure that it happens. And we're going to end up with thousands of people lives being changed because of this executive order and Pat Shiu's leadership and enforcement.

   So, Pat, thank you for what you've done and all you're doing. We love you for it.

   Joyce, thank you for having me on the show.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Sure.

   Pat, what do you think about that?

   >> PAT SHIU:  Before I answer that specific question, first let me recognize secretary Hilda Solis, Secretary Tom Perez, Deputy Secretary Seth Harris, my staff here at OFCCP, and, really, everybody at the Department of Labor helped with these regulations. From our policy department at DOL to our solicitors to our outreach people to OPA, each group at the Department of Labor made this happen. It takes a village to raise a child and it certainly took a bill to get these regulations done, and there really is the collaborative effort and long-time effort, four years of effort, of getting this done. And it's because all of us at the Department of Labor are committed to equal opportunity and advancing the rights of people with disabilities, veterans, and others to get a fair shot at the workplace.

   Now having said that, let me answer more specifically. These regulations, and in particular Section 503, recognizes the foundation of principle that what gets measured gets done. And what it does is it identifies a seven percent aspirational goal for contractors that have 100 or more employees to try and hit that goal by hiring people with disabilities. Yet is not a quota, but what it does do is it sets up metrics and accountability for federal contractors so they can begin to identify and measure how they're doing in terms of all the component parts before someone gets hired. How are they doing in terms of their outreach and their recruitment? Once people get hired, how are they doing in terms of retention? What do their accommodation policies look like? There are ways to measure every step that is necessary to hiring people with disabilities.

And it's all those steps we're looking at with those contractors assisting them so that they use best practices at every stage because that's what's so absolutely important here.

   As Tony had mentioned, if the federal contractors were to hit the seven percent goal in the first year, approximately 600,000 people with disabilities would be hired. These aren't new jobs. I want to make that clear. But that's a lot of people with disabilities. And our regulations which protect the veteran has a little bit different -- it's called a benchmark. It is not a goal. It's an eight percent national goal. If contractors were to hit that goal, 205,000 veterans will be hired.

   And there's another way that contractors can use a benchmark, but that eight percent is the national goal. So what we're talking about is making a very serious dent and making some real, lasting employment opportunities for people with disabilities and veterans.

   And we know there are 300,000 veterans approximately coming back from tours of duty every year. And when we're talking about veterans right now. For contractors to hire 200,000 is huge, and we need to also recognize that many veterans are people with disabilities. They come back with injuries, etc.

   So this is important, and it is important for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is because what we are doing for people with disabilities and protected veterans is providing the same sort of accountability and metrics that we do with respect to race and gender. Again, what gets measured gets done. But what's also really important about this from a more philosophical perspective is the importance of work to one's sense of dignity, to a family. It's not just the basis for economic sustenance. It's what people do most of the day. They get up and go to work and that's how they spend most of their time. It's one part of the fabric of society, and that's why I think it's so important and so exciting. It's a total win/win situation not only for people with disabilities but for contractors who now will benefit from the great wealth and experience, expertise, loyalty, and conscientiousness that we find in the workplace for people who have disabilities and protected veterans.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  And once again, this is so exciting, Pat. I'm telling you, you will go down in history for this because we have struggled so long, as you well know. This was written 40 years ago, and I want everyone to know I know Pat, and she worked night and day, day and night, tirelessly, really, she needed a bullet-proof vest, and she never gave up. And so everyone listening with a disability know that this woman never gave up on us, and we will always admire you for that.

   As a matter of fact, are you receiving a reward this evening?

   >> PAT SHIU:  I am. I actually am receiving it, but I am receiving it on behalf of everyone.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  That is because you are so humble, but I just want to congratulate you. I know it's from AUCD, and I think it is awesome because you are a great civil rights leader. And you have been. You have been fighting for people for a long time, but this is enormous. It really is.

   So is something going on? What's going on with OMB?

   >> PAT SHIU:  Well, there is a voluntary self-identification forum that is going to be critical to the enforcement of Section 503. Part of the regulatory scheme involved that folks self-identify. It is voluntary. It is pre-offer and post-offer so it is a little different from what employers understand. And the reason for this is it is being done in the furtherance of affirmative action. You can ask people to self-identify before they're offered a job and after they have a job because you are furthering affirmative action in your workplace.

   And that's very important. And what's important for your audience to know is there is a form right now, the Office of Management and Budget, where people can go on-line and look at that form and see if that form works for you. If you are applying for a job, does that form, one, make sense to you? Does that make sense and is there anything you're concerned about so that we can make all the appropriate changes. We want people to self-identify, though we don't want them to do it if they feel they may be threatened or retaliated against. Part of what we are doing here with the Section 503 regulations is trying to create a cultural change in the workplace where people do not need to be afraid of self-identifying as having a disability prior to asking for a reasonable accommodation.

   Right now, what happens in the workplace, and generally speaking, is that people with disabilities tend to be invisible unless and until they need an accommodation at which point they will go to their employer and ask for one and sometimes not always ask for one because they fear what they might find out and possible retaliation. So that's what this form is about. It would be very helpful for us, and I think for OMB to hear from folks who would actually be filling it out. This is a form for anybody. You can see say you have a disability, you don't have a disability, but it is important that the form is user-friendly and understandable and one that won't put people off.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Well, okay, you heard it. Let's move on it because any type of education is helpful, anything that makes it simpler is helpful. And I just want to say, Pat, any time I speak at a company, I'll go to a company and speak and tell them about employing people with disabilities. And frequently they'll say to me, well, we've never done this before. And that's when I tell them, oh, yes you have. They're in your company now, just as you mentioned. They have epilepsy like me or they have a bipolar disorder, depression, MS, diabetes, whatever it is, it is just they don't feel comfortable telling you.

   So I just want to really underline what Pat said. It is so true that once you make it a welcoming environment, you will be surprised how many people will feel comfortable raising their hand and identify voluntarily as a person with a disability.

You know the number one thing you need to do? Hire someone because once people with disabilities see other people at the company, people feel better about their own disability.

   So with that, Pat, I know we're getting a lot of questions. I think there's some confusion with the EEOC and OFCCP. Could you take a moment and explain what OFCCP and what the mission is.

   >> PAT SHIU:  Certainly. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs was created in 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson for the execution of Executive Order 11246. That's a presidential order that prohibits discrimination against employees of federal contractors on the basis of race, sex, national origin, color, and religion. So what OFCCP does is it regulates the federal contractor community. That doesn't mean we decide who gets the contract. We don't. We also enforce two other laws, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and one is that protects veterans. We protect the civil rights of the 25 percent of the American work force that work for federal contractors.

   When you think federal contractors, think of every possible thing that the federal government purchases. It could be legal advice or pharmaceuticals or blue jeans or poultry or meat. It can be sodas, Band-Aids, ships, defense artillery. It's a lot of different things. Five hundred billion dollars of federal taxpayer money is spent every year on buying federal goods and services for construction, for example. So every federal contractor that's covered by us, and that generally is contractors that have at the least 50 employees, a $50,000 contract, $100,000 contract, agrees, one, not to discriminate which they can't do anymore under Title VII but also to enforce affirmative action. OFCCP is a last bastion. We are different from the EEOC, although our mission is somewhat the same because we want to protect the rights of workers. We generally are not a complaint-driven agency. That means that we do not need a person to come to us, file a complaint, for us to begin an investigation or an audit.

   Every year, OFCCP audits about 4,000 federal contractors who are neutrally selected, and we look for indicators of discrimination. Contractors provide us with basic data about who works there, what position, how much people are paid, whose promoted, etc. There is an affirmative action plan that is also provided to us. And I'm happy to say that most of the time, we don't find discrimination. We may find record-keeping violations or outreach violations, but we do find discrimination, and when we do, we are really pursuing it in order to rectify it and make sure that workers get relief which is back pay, interest, and jobs if they are entitled to them. And we've also tried, in the last four years under the Obama administration, to really pursue a strategy where we don't see the same issue in the same contractors coming back over and over and over again. We try whatever the practice may be, or we have found their to be some discrimination, we want to work with the contractor to engage in some really meaningful, long-term, systemic relief. I think that enures the benefit of both the contractor as well as OFCCP. We have very limited resources, and we want to use them wisely, but we also want to work with the contractor community to facilitate its success, and we're doing so, really, in a huge way with respect to Section 503. I am happy to chat with you more about that component of it.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Wow! So to me, then, if you see a company is really not moving forward at all, even with, as you said, record keeping and demonstrating a systemic process for recruitment of any minority group, or the veterans, people with disabilities, what we've just talked about, this is when they would be in violation.

   >> PAT SHIU:  I want to make it very clear the kinds of audits that we will be doing, the effective date of both statues is March 24th, 2014. The regulations were finalized and published September 24th 2013. What's important to know is that we will be analyzing audits on a case-by-case basis. This is a more nuanced and sophisticated application because we have to look at where contractors are in the scheme of their recruitment and outreach effort, their retention effort, their policies and procedures. And what we want to do is work with contractors to make sure they are up to speed and certainty they comply with already existing law.

   I don't want to give you a pat answer, so to speak, to a question that requires something that's a more nuanced analysis. But I can tell you that the only way this is going to work and be successful is if we can work toward the contractor community toward our common goal. And that's why in these first six months, we are making huge strides to reach out to the contractor community, engage in listening sessions where we hear the questions contractors have with respect to how to rationalize this, perceived inconsistencies for conflict, and work to develop FAQs, questions and answers, that will serve the contractor community across the country. We want to be clear and consistent, and we want to make sure that we provide thoughtful and accurate answers in the context of an analysis that is not a check-the-box type of analysis. I don't know if that makes sense.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  I understand perfectly. By the way, I know some federal contractors that will meet with you so I will follow up with you, and I do encourage other contractors because as Pat said, it is working to get there where we can really move forward with this wonderful Section 503.

   So, Pat, when you were, I can never imagine what it is like to be selected as an appointee to the president of the United States, but when you did accept this appointment, what did you see as your major responsibility to President Obama?

   >> PAT SHIU:  Well, that's kind of an interesting question. At the time that I accepted the appointment, I made a promise to myself that I wanted to ensure that I was committed to the president's vision whatever it may be and do whatever he and the secretary needed me to do in terms of his vision and leadership for the country.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  And I will say, President Obama, you have done so much for people with disabilities, how much we appreciate this. And, Valerie Jarrett, you have been such a great spokesperson for us. We so much appreciate that, and you mentioned Secretary Solis and Seth Harris. I just want to say we all in the disability community wanted and fought to see Secretary Tom Perez. He is wonderful, and he will fight for people with disabilities. He already has when he was at the Justice Department so, you know, I just want you to know we appreciate everyone. We appreciate the president and, of course, Pat, we appreciate you and what you have done.

   So, Pat, people are calling in right now where they can go to get more information about this regulation. Where do they go? Do they go to your Web site? Where do they go?

   >> PAT SHIU:  Before I answer that question, let me just make something really clear. President Obama made a pledge during his campaign to really do something meaningful for people with disabilities, among other people. And he kept that promise. He kept that promise and so did his administration, and we all have worked really hard to ensure that we could achieve his vision. I can't tell you what an honor it is for me to work in this administration. Quite frankly, I feel like I was very fortunate because I was in the right place at the right time. I had spent pretty much my entire career advocating on behalf of workers and their families, and civil rights is really one of my passions.

   But this has been an extraordinary opportunity for me to work with other folks who are so committed to American workers and their families and try in some small way to push the ball forward because when we push the ball forward for some of us, we push the ball forward for all us. So let me just say that, and I would also really like to thank Valerie Jarrett, as well as Cecilia Munoz and others. There are so many people at the White House who are behind us and support us in these efforts, and they worked very long-term.

   With respect to your specific question, you can go to dol.gov/ofccp/503rule for the 503 rule and VECO (ph) rule. If you want to look at the self-ID form, you can go to the reg/info/.gov.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  And I've seen that, and it is very good information so I would encourage everyone to follow up. And federal contractors, Pat, who are saying what can I do to assist in seeing this enforcement of the regulations and plan, How do I do it? What do I do? You mentioned earlier that you would like to meet with different federal contractors.

   >> PAT SHIU:  What we have been doing, Joyce, my team here in the national office and also around the country, but most in the national office, have been taking the lead on these listening sessions. We've also held I don't know how many webinars just in the first week after the rule was announced. And there were thousands of people and someone is pointing to me telling me we've done five webinars, one inside for an external, and there were thousands of people who signed up for each one, and we're going to continue to do those but in a more sophisticated way because as we go out and listen to the questions in the community, we want to be able to dig deep and help people get this right. So we're using this six months time period to really get out there and make it happen and make this successful for all of us.

   And the other thing I just want to point out is we tried to be very flexible when it came to contractors complying with the aspiration goal. We decided that it wasn't really our job to mandate just whom contractors ought to have linkage agreements. Let them decide who they should have agreements with in terms of recruitment and outreach in their particular industry and company. Instead of requiring five years worth of data, we ask for three years worth of data. We've allowed contractors to use the Internet applicant rule and it will make them much easier because there are systems already in place. We have tried to design the rule in such a way where you get some lead time in addition to the six months. You don't have to actually begin complying with the rule until after its effective date, and that will tend, in part, when different action expires. When it expires after March 24th, you have to comply with it. If it is before, you basically have a whole year to come up to speed. But in between time, because I'm always a plan-ahead kind of gal, you want to try and do what you can, learn what you need to learn, figure out what the questions are, and engage us. That's what we're here to do is to help you figure out what your questions are.

   For folks with disabilities, we're here to help you understand the parameters of the rule, its protections, why it is important and why it matters and why it's going to help you.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  So this will be implemented in March, is that correct?

   >> PAT SHIU:  That's the implementation date, March 24th, 2014.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  I'm with you that obviously, you just can't start in one month, even when you need to start now. This is an issue where you really need to start planning and get the infrastructure in place.

   >> PAT SHIU:  And I have to tell you, the federal contractor community, God love them. They have been working really hard to really figure out what they have to do. I mean, they understand that you just don't redesign a whole tax system in a day. They understand that collecting this sort of information takes time. Messaging has to go from top to bottom. It's got to be effective. It is time for them to do this effectively, and it's only reasonable that we should afford them some reasonable period of time trying to come up to speed on this. This is not a got-you type of game at all. In order for this to work, we have to work together to make sure we're all working towards a common goal which is to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities and veterans.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  And, you know, veterans with disabilities, come on. People that went to Iraq and Afghanistan, fought for you without knowing you, come back and cannot get a job or people that came out over the past two years, whenever it is, shameful. Why would we not hire them? This is unbelievable to me so I'm very big behind the veterans, and I'm so glad that came up.

   Pat, you're talking about the disability community, what can we do? What can we do to help you? What can we do to help me make sure this will happen? What can we do?

   >> PAT SHIU:  Well, you can educate ourselves about what you're trying to do and write letters of support. You might want to thank the president because he is the person that made this happen. It was his vision. It took a long time to get here, and there are a lot of people who were involved so those are a couple of things we could do.

   I think it's important if people with disabilities feel comfortable that they self-identified because that's going to be key to any of this. Certainly, no one should self-identify if they feel they are not comfortable doing so. But the linchpin to all of this is that people self-identify. It's different from race and gender where very often, contractors can look at somebody and tell what sex they are, what race they may be, although not always so easy these days and times. But people with disabilities, it's different. We want to create a workplace where diversity is embraced in every possible way. And we want to afford people the opportunity to bring their whole selves to work and be given the opportunity to succeed. I can tell you some of the most of what the people I have worked with in my career have been people with disabilities hands down.

   I understand that internships are one of the best practices. We are working closely with Cornell to try and marry the policy piece with the research piece from academia because good policy is at the foundation of good operations. And good research is the foundation of good policy. And we are very pleased that Cornell has been working with a number of different works who have done studies to identify the four or five best practices that contractors can use in order to enhance their recruitment methods, to enhance their applicant pool. Some things don't have to cost a lot of money. Certainly, internship programs don't, and something we do here regularly at the Department of Labor, we do at OFCCP, I'm also proud to say that at OFCCP, we've got about 17 percent of people with disabilities and 25 percent of people who work for me are veterans. That number has gone up, and we did it because we wanted it to go up. It's intentional.

   With the president's executive order, it really spurred the entire federal government to reexamine how many people with disabilities it is hiring. There's already a veterans preference written in the law when it comes to the federal government, but keep federal government on a whole has made great strides in the last four years. I just can't say enough about the president, President Obama's initiative, and his vision and commitment. That's where this all comes from.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  I agree with you, and your idea is just fabulous that if you're listening to the show, you know, it would be really great for you to send a thank-you letter to the White House. It really would because no one else did this. Keep this in mind. This was written 40 years ago, and I do really thank President Obama for his commitment to us and to the disability community.

   So, Pat, what do you think is going to be the biggest obstacle? What you think is going to be the biggest obstacle seeing 503 implemented?

   >> PAT SHIU:  Nothing. I think it's going to be smooth sailing. There are going to be bumps in the road, but when you look at advancing the rights of workers, you have to look at the big picture. And the fact we were able to get these regulations done and, quite frankly, we've gotten some kudos if I might read a little bit from the business community about the process itself. We here at OFCCP, my team, we fought long and hard on many of the comments that we got, and we didn't implement everything we proposed, not that we ever intended to. It was an old statute that hadn't been updated in 40 years. There were a lot of ideas that were put out there because that's the nature of the regulatory process. It is the give and take. I'd like to think we heard the contract community and the stake holders from the disability community across the spectrum about the issues and challenges that were important to them. We tried to weigh those things and reconcile them with the one essential principle that underlies both of these regulations, and that is aspirational goals with metrics and accountability.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Yeah, and I agree. I think you have been absolutely, your whole team, brilliant how you have worked with the business community, and I know that many of those feel the same way. I believe this. People with disabilities, and they don't want pity. If you're thinking that this is a charity, we don't want pity. We want paychecks. Tony Coelho says we're the only group that wants to pay taxes. We want to work, and it is an advantage to you to tap from this untapped labor pool. I mean, here's all these people out there who want to work with a great education, and you have to realize one thing. That benefits your bottom line. So this is a good thing. And this isn't just a good thing morally, it is a good thing for you and your business.

   So, Pat, I don't know. I'm thinking right now, this has to be one of them, but obviously you have accomplished so much in your life already. Anyone that reads your background will know that, but what would you say is your greatest accomplishment?

   >> PAT SHIU:  That's an easy one. And that's my husband and my daughter.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  How did I know you would say something like that?

   >> PAT SHIU:  Because you know me, Joyce.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  That must be why. I am sure they feel the same way. It's amazing the spirit you have so I have to ask you this question. Who was your role model? Someone had to impact you that you have this great passion for equality for all people and all groups. Who was that?

   >> PAT SHIU:  I would say first and foremost, that was my mother. My mother, Joan, Irish Catholic, young woman who didn't go to college, grew up in Chicago, worked really hard as a single mother to take care of my sister and me. But the one thing she was, she was a consummate professional starting as a secretary working at the University of Chicago, and without a college degree, 35 years later after several promotions, was the dean of students for the physical sciences. She taught me the spirit of hard work, the need for work. It sustained her, but she also had such a great outlook on life. Her viewpoint was live and let live so I can tell you we had some pretty interesting cocktail parties at my house where there were lots of different kinds of people who were invited. There's a lot of interesting and rich conversations because I grew up in Chicago in the 1960's. It was extremely diverse in all respects. She was a lot of fun, and she continues to be my inspiration.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  And for young people listening to you today, young people living with disabilities, because we have a big listening audience, that feel as if maybe they've been bullied, put down, and don't believe in themselves the way you do, what advice would you have for them?

   >> PAT SHIU:  You can do it. All of us have to face some adversity in life. The thing about life is it is a journey so it's not just about what you feel today. It's about the process and getting there, and I believe that people with disabilities can do anything, and I really do believe the spirit of our society that people, they need help once in a while. They need someone to mentor them to give them some support, and very often, you can be the person that gives that support. So I think don't devalue yourself. Everyone has a lot to offer.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  They do, and that's why I, just today, was teaching a class to high school students with disabilities, and I told them a key thing is don't let anyone lower the bar. Don't let anyone take away your dreams. No matter what, don't let them do that because you can move on. You can get a job in the public sector, and you can end up being a person that changes lives the way Pat Shiu is doing for all of us here. It's that you have to believe in yourself, and I would also say, Pat, that people with disabilities are very grateful because anytime you've been oppressed, you've been left out, no one wants you, you have such gratitude that many, many people have found employment for have never left that company because they are so appreciative of the opportunity. I'm sure you've seen that also.

   >> PAT SHIU:  Yes. I am very grateful to have an extremely talented and diverse staff at OFCCP, and that's why we're able to do all this great work. Quite frankly, it's because of my staff.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  You have a great staff. I have a question I have to explain to everyone. You can download this show. I've been getting e-mails while we're talking. You can download this show from VoiceAmerica.com, and we will be talking to the National Organization on Disability, the American Association of People with Disabilities, and the United States Business Leadership Network to try to get this someplace on their Web site because that way, you can go and you can listen to Pat talk about Section 503 and many of the questions that you may have. This show is archived. It will be archived on www.benderconsult.com and on our site. So all you have to do is go to www.benderconsult.com or voiceamerica.com. I know we're putting this show on our Web site because you have Pat herself answering questions and telling us about 503. Pat is a woman living with epilepsy and with other disabilities. Once again, I could never thank you enough.

   >> PAT SHIU:  Well, Joyce, it's my pleasure and thank you for your leadership and everything that you do on a daily basis to advance the mission.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Well, thank you. Now listen, Pat, if you had to leave a message for our listeners today, what would that message be?

   >> PAT SHIU:  Don't give up. Don't give up. And there's a very famous San Francisco politician who once said, you've got to give them hope.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Yeah. You've got to give them hope.

   >> PAT SHIU:  Do you know who that was?

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Who?

   >> PAT SHIU:  It was a famous San Francisco politician.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Well, don't you think that's also true for young people?

   >> PAT SHIU:  Absolutely. It was Harvey Milk.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  I had a feeling that's who it was going to be because I saw the documentary with him, and I had that feeling that is who it was going to be. So that you're knowing if you're listening, a great liberator for the LGBT community who sadly lost his life, but, boy, the impact he had is long-lasting and is still with us today just as Justin Dart.

   Yoshiko, I know you're listening to the show and your husband did so much for the disability community just as other great people have done for every group.

   And you know what I say? Someday, we'll be looking back on this and we'll be saying, can you believe there was a day we were talking about why you should hire people with disabilities?

   >> PAT SHIU:  Hopefully we'll be chuckling about that.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  That would be like me saying, you should consider hiring women.

   >> PAT SHIU:  Right. Can I just share one thing that my staff shared with me about the Washington Nationals?

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Yes.

   >> PAT SHIU:  Do you know that in the early 1900s, a lot of these signals, the hand signals in baseball, were designed because there were deaf baseball players.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Yes. That's true. Isn't that amazing?

   >> PAT SHIU:  I think it is amazing and creative and not a big deal. I think we can take a lesson that if someone loves baseball, they could figure this out in the early 1900s, I think we can probably figure this out.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  By the way, I'm one of those people. I love baseball. I love the Pittsburgh Pirates, and I knew that story, and it is true. It's like so many things in life, the huddle. The huddle is the same thing. I think it was from Gallaudet but it was from deaf athletes that had to figure out how to tell an athlete how to play, and now look what we have today. We have the huddle. And it is like that with everything.

   Once again, thank you for being with us. Congratulations on your award.

   >> PAT SHIU:  It was my pleasure.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  And we end every show with a quote from a famous civil rights leader or someone who has impacted us, and for some of those that are afraid and don't know what's going to happen with 503, what will it be, you know the greatest fear is fear itself, said Franklin Delano Roosevelt and guess what? He used a wheelchair.

   This is Joyce Bender, America's voice, where disability matters at voiceamerica.com. Talk to you next week.

   (Broadcast concluded 1:56 PM CST)

*******

This is being provided in a rough-draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) or captioning are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.

*******