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Frequently Asked Questions Employment

  • If you are required to travel as an essential function of your job, you are entitled to reasonable accommodation to travel if you need such accommodation. You should start by discussing your need for reasonable accommodations frankly with your supervisor. Accommodations may be made in a wide variety of ways. If you are unable to travel standard coach because of space requirements or mobility limitations, General Services Administration travel regulations provide authority to allow airline travel by first-class. For an employee who uses the services of an interpreter, reader or personal assistant, it may be a matter of ensuring that the personal assistant, reader or interpreter will accompany the individual on a trip or be available once the individual reaches the destination. If travel is not an essential function of the job but only an occasional requirement, you might ask your supervisor if some of the work in your office might be redistributed, allowing you to take on other assignments rather than travel. If you need additional information on how you might be accommodated during travel, you might want to talk to your human resources specialist.

    For more helpful information for travelers with disabilities, see the Disability.gov website.

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  • No, conversion to a career or career-conditional appointment is not mandatory. The hiring agency maintains the discretion to determine whether an employee is ready for placement in the permanent career workforce. The agency is not required to convert an individual on the 5 CFR 213.3102(u) appointing authority; however, the intent of Executive Orders 12125 and 13124 concerning employment of people with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities and psychiatric disabilities is to permit these individuals to obtain "civil service competitive status." Civil service competitive status is obtained through conversion to the competitive service, rather than remaining in the excepted service.
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  • USAJOBS is the official job site of the United States Federal Government. This Website, www.usajobs.gov, is the centralized site for most Federal agencies to post vacancy announcements. At any given time, there are approximately 20,000 positions posted on the site. Additionally, many agencies also advertise in newspapers of general circulation, participate in job fairs, and recruit on school campuses.
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  • The term "reasonable accommodation" is a term of art that Congress defined only through examples of changes or modifications to be made, or items to be provided, to a qualified individual with a disability. A reasonable accommodation is adapting the job site or job functions for a qualified person with a disability to enable an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. This does not mean that the employer must lower the standards of work for the position or change the job requirements. There are three categories of reasonable accommodations:

    • Modifications or adjustments to a job application process to permit an individual with a disability to be considered for a job (such as providing application forms in alternative formats like large print or Braille);
    • Modifications or adjustments necessary to enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job (such as providing sign language interpreters); and
    • Modifications or adjustments that enable employees with disabilities to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment (such as removing physical barriers in an office cafeteria).
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  •  

    The process of finding a Federal job is not as complex as you may have heard. If you want to be considered for employment with the Federal Government or if you wish to pursue career opportunities once you become an employee, please find job openings via these websites. An electronic listing of all of the latest Federal job opportunities may be obtained from the Office of Personnel Management’s USAJOBS website. It is convenient, user friendly, accessible through the computer or telephone and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

     

    Many Federal agencies also display electronic employment information and job listings on their websites. You can access this information by visiting the specific Federal agency websites at FIRSTGOV.

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  • Decisions on making accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis. Executive Order 16134, however, requires each Federal agency to establish effective written procedures to facilitate the provision of reasonable accommodation for applicants and employees. Contact specific agencies for information on their decision-making process.
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  • You are not required to talk about your disability during an interview. An interviewer should ask you questions about your job qualifications and about how you can perform the essential functions of the job. An interviewer is prohibited from asking you questions about your disability that are not relevant to your functioning on the job. For more information, click here. During a job interview, you should present your qualifications in a positive manner, emphasizing your abilities and assets. However, if you have a disability, it might be to your advantage to anticipate some of the questions that an interviewer may be reluctant to ask.

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  • Yes, people with disabilities must meet all basic qualification requirements for the job in order to be hired, as is true for non-disabled candidates who are hired. Qualified individuals with disabilities must be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation.

    For more information, please refer to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

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  • Contact your human resources office for advice and assistance on hiring people with disabilities. Your personnel specialist will be able to advise supervisors and managers on the different avenues available to recruit and hire qualified candidates, including individuals with disabilities. If your organization has designated a Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Manager or a Selective Placement Coordinator, these individuals can serve to connect you and your HR specialist with interested candidates. Take advantage of all the resources in your agency.
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  • It is good business to hire from a potentially underutilized source of outstanding workers. People with disabilities represent one such resource. The practice of looking to qualified people with disabilities as a hiring resource applies equally to private industry and to public sector employment. The following excerpt from Craig Gray’s article in the September 2000 issue of Executive Online illustrates this point.

    "Many businesses are learning that workers with disabilities are not only meeting expectations in the workforce, but also exceed them. Employees with disabilities are helping companies learn how to most effectively relate to customers with disabilities and their families and friends. As an added bonus, hiring employees with disabilities has provided many employers with the knowledge and experience to help lower their overall cost of time lost to temporary disabilities experienced by the rest of their staffs."

    President Bush recognized the value of full participation of people with disabilities in America’s workforce. In his New Freedom Initiative, announced in February, 2001, he stated his commitment to " tearing down the remaining barriers to equality that face Americans with disabilities" and declaring his intention to "… increase the ability of Americans with disabilities to integrate into the workforce."

    For more information on the advantages of hiring persons with disabilities, see Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations website.

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