We empower Deaf and Hard of Hearing Federal Employees

We resolve & overcome communication barriers, accessibility issues and promote a fully inclusive work environment through networking and fostering professional growth.

FAQ

Is membership limited to employees in the Washington DC Area?

  • No. It is open to all employees working anywhere in the United States, U.S. Territories, or Overseas

What are the benefits if I become a Committee member or Representative?
  • You have opportunities to achieve professional growth and experience, network with diverse groups and connections working in the Federal government. All DIG workers are asked to contribute about 10 hours a month, two hours to attend meetings and other eight hours on DIG projects or planning, as appropriate. DIG plans to work with OPM to permit DIG representatives from various agencies to attend committee meetings during government time as a part of their job description.

Can Deaf/HH State and Municipal (Local) employees be involved?
  • Yes! Any Deaf and HH employees can join the DIG. Volunteers are encouraged to help us establish networks and serve in administrative positions to achieve the mission of the DIG.

What about Deaf/HH Post Office employees?

  • Deaf/HH U.S. Postal Employees may join the DIG because they are Government employees, although employed in a Quasi-Agency (federal and private). The DIG solely acts as a professional development organization, an employee support group, and representing all employees who are Deaf or HH in the Government sector. It does not work with labor unions representing postal workers, directly or indirectly, in any types of grievances or civil cases.

Is this a union organization?

  • No, it is not a union organization. An union organization typically bargains for wages and specific working conditions with the government. The DIG acts as an employee support group and a resource support for the United States Government in the hiring, accommodating, training and retention of Deaf and HH Federal employees.

Is DIG under the direction of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD)?

  • No. DIG is an independent and a non-profit organization. However, DIG only collaborates with any organizations serving the Deaf and HH people and other entities, for the purpose to achieve DIG objectives in the Government sector. For instance, Blacks In Government (BIG) is not under the direction of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Rather, BIG collaborates with NAACP in some ways, such as, to eliminate racism in the Federal Sector.

Does DIG endorse sign language as the only method of communication?

  • No! The DIG supports a wide spectrum of communication preferences used by all Deaf and HH Government employees in the workplace. Whether they use sign language, oral, or speech methods, or otherwise, they are encouraged to adapt with their communication needs. It does not also endorse whether American Sign Language (ASL), Signed Exact English (SEE), or Contact Language (ASL & SEE) is the appropriate method for signing. However, DIG encourages its members to reasonably accommodate the other user’s communication requirements together. For instance, if one is a sign language manualist and cannot use its voice to communicate with a person using speech, they are encouraged to use pens and note pads or an interpreter, etc.

Can a Hearing person join the DIG?

  • Yes! Hearing people who are our friends and supporters such as interpreters, co-workers, supervisors, advisors, and other leaders or representatives, etc. in the Government, are welcome to join the DIG. They should have some type of association with the Deaf and HH Federal Community or at least have an interest to support the mission and objectives of the DIG.

What is DIG’s viewpoint on different groups of Deaf and HH Government workers?

  • The DIG fosters respect and support all Deaf and HH Federal employees, regardless of their communication preferences and degrees of hearing disability. DIG supports a climate of diversity and inclusion without regard to communication preferences, race, color, creed, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, marital status, political affiliation, disability, economic status, and education. Importantly, any minorities who are Deaf and HH are encouraged to participate with the DIG leadership and activities.

What’s the catch for the $10 membership in the DIG?

  • There is no obligation or any strings attached for the $10 membership in the DIG. However, people who join are asked to contribute in any way they can support the mission and objectives of the DIG. Members are free to close their membership at any time they wish.

How can I find the time to attend DIG meetings?

  • It is possible to make informal arrangements with your supervisor to allow you to attend DIG meetings during government time. It might be appropriate to mention the purpose of attending DIG meetings is to help you find support and learn become a better federal worker. For instance, there are many representatives attending NTC committee meetings with their management approval. Accordingly, members who are invited to work with the leadership section may request a letter of justification for their supervisors or management.

How will DIG get funds to run its operations?

  • There is an on-going effort to raise funds through different possible channels ­ federal grants, endowments, personal contributions, t-shirts and cap sales and other revenue sources. Contributions are made tax-deductible. In spite of challenges, the outlook for potential growth and development are very good.


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