In line for a PC
I read the article on PCs for federal workers and was thinking what a great
idea ["Government issue," FCW, April 10].
Then I remembered the time I was called to active duty during the Persian
Gulf War. At that time, a bill was being passed to help out with the much
lower pay being received while on active duty (another great idea), except
the U.S. Postal Service was overlooked. I hope this is not the case this
Electronic Technician Predictive Maintenance Group
USPS Kansas City Bulk Mail Center
Kansas City, Kan.
Access regs good investment
The cost to the government to become more inclusive in providing better
access to services for persons with disabilities, by adopting the proposed
Access Board recommendations for accessibility, is minuscule, not extravagant
["Access regs too pricey?" FCW, April 3].
I was shocked to read the quotes attributed to a General Services Administration
IT professional. Not only are they cruel in their insinuation that disabled
persons are not worth the added investment in time and materials, they are
contrary to Clinton administration policy and federal law.
I am physically disabled, but I am not blind or have any vision impairments.
The reasonable accommodations that are granted to persons with disabilities
allow them, or us, to better function in society. Technology accommodations
mean increased independence for persons with disabilities. It gives us a
better chance to participate in government and make a contribution to our
country, and to fellow citizens and residents.
Many able-bodied persons do not have a clue what it feels like to be disabled.
As the saying goes, "Walk a day in my shoes, and you will have a different
A game that I use to demonstrate what it feels like to be physically disabled
uses suggestion and restriction. To demonstrate hand and wrist disabilities,
I make the participant use the weaker arm. To simulate visual impairments,
a blindfold or eye patch brings the disability home immediately.
The GSA IT professional quoted would not have made those comments if [he]
was disabled. Persons with disabilities want to enjoy life just as much
as able-bodied persons. More maybe, because it is often harder for us to
accomplish things because we no longer have the luxuries that able-bodied
persons take for granted.
Once the Access Board finalizes the Accessibility Standard, no federal agency
should be allowed to hide behind the "significant difficulty or expense"
door. However, that escape clause should be allowed for information that
is on World Wide Web sites prior to Aug. 7. It would send a great signal
to persons with disabilities that federal agencies believe in universal
inclusiveness if the information presently on federal Web sites was made
I would like to go on the record. As soon as I discover that a federal agency
refuses to adopt the Access Board Accessibility Standards, I will fling
a formal complaint to that agency's inspector general and the Access Board
as fast as my arthritic body will allow. Don't discriminate against persons
with disabilities for two reasons:
* It is the right thing
* Because you never know, you could become one of us tomorrow.
Gary L. Dickson
Federal Highway Administration
More on e-filing support
I read with interest the article about Internal Revenue Service's e-filing
["Off the mark," FCW, March 20]. I just wanted to pass on my own good experience.
I've used TurboTax for 10 years, used 1040PCs the first year we could and
have filed electronically for as long as the service has been available.
This year, I and my wife were two of those 18,000 taxpayers selected for
the entirely paperless, electronic signature filing trial. It worked exactly
as advertised. I filed no paper, used no postage and no physical signature
was required. And no, I'm not a PR consultant for the IRS, just a regular
taxpayer who works in the Defense Department.
The timeline I experienced follows:
* Wednesday, March 29, 8:00 a.m. EST. Filed electronically via Intuit's
service with software seamlessly integrated within TurboTax. File "accepted"
by IRS, estimated refund date Friday, April 7.
* Friday, April 7, 6:00 a.m. EST. Directly deposited IRS refund funds available
in my personal checking account.
Total elapsed time seven working days.
I could not have asked for better service. These guys appear to be on the