Workplace

Disability information will be sought in KC area

Updated: 2013-04-03T04:33:23Z

By DIANE STAFFORD

The Kansas City Star

A random sample of Kansas City area businesses will be asked later this month to participate in a test survey designed to get information about the physical and mental demands of specific jobs.

Kansas City is one of six cities around the country selected to test the Occupational Requirements Survey, a new survey focusing on disability issues.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, financed by the Social Security Administration, will ask participants to provide detailed descriptions of the physical and educational requirements of certain occupations.

Questions will ask for information such as “How often does this job require the worker to operate foot/leg controls?” and “Does this require one foot/leg or both?”

“The information will be very helpful to persons with disabilities to help them fine-tune their searches for jobs that are appropriate for them,” said Jacqueline Michael Midkiff, regional economist in the labor bureau’s Kansas City office.

The survey also will give Social Security disability administrative law judges updated information to help decide workers’ disability claims, she said.

Currently, Social Security offices use occupational information found in Labor Department publications that haven’t been updated for about a decade.

When the test is completed, the two agencies will evaluate the results to determine whether the questions and answers provide improved information. If approved, the survey is expected to roll out nationally.

Midkiff said businesses, which participate voluntarily, will be asked for details about four to eight sample jobs in their organizations. The survey interviews will take 30 to 60 minutes.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to stafford@kcstar.com.

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