Click here to skip navigation
This website uses features which update page content based on user actions. If you are using assistive technology to view web content, please ensure your settings allow for the page content to update after initial load (this is sometimes called "forms mode"). Additionally, if you are using assistive technology and would like to be notified of items via alert boxes, please follow this link to enable alert boxes for your session profile.
An official website of the United States Government.
Skip Navigation

In This Section

Disability Employment FAQs

  • 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).
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • 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.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
    • The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) provides assistive technology accommodations and services to persons with disabilities at the Department of Defense and over 38 Federal agencies (upon the request of the head of the Federal agency) at no cost. CAP supports accessibility efforts, including the successful implementation of Section 508’s electronic and information technology accessibility requirements.
    • The U.S. Department of Agriculture established the Technology Accessible Resources Gives Employment Today (TARGET) Center to support the Department with assistive technology and ergonomic solutions. Needs assessments and demonstrations conducted by the Center provide federal employees with disabilities equal access to electronic and information technology essential in today's work force.
    • The Department of Education's Assistive Technology Program provides support services to Education managers and supervisors in determining how technology can be used to meet the reasonable accommodation needs of employees with disabilities. These services include needs assessments, specialty equipment and software demonstrations. The Assistive Technology Team also studies software development issues pertaining to Education accessibility requirements for product implementation in Department-wide systems.
    • The U.S. Department of Education (ED) Disability Policy/Section 504 Reasonable Accommodation staff within the Office of Management's Work/Life Programs Group (WLPG) promotes disability awareness and assists managers and staff with reasonable accommodation and program access needs. Having disability access resources available reflects ED's ongoing commitment to provide full access to all customers and employees with disabilities. These resources include services such as Braille and audiotape versions of ED publications, funding for reasonable accommodations, and guidance on a range of accessibility questions. Other offices within ED also provide resources and work closely with the Disability Policy/Section 504 Reasonable Accommodation staff to deliver disability-access services to all Department customers and employees who need them.  For more information, call the Section 504/Reasonable Accommodation office at 202-401-8545 Voice or 202-260-8874 TTY or call the Work/Life Programs Group main number at 202-401-2905 Voice/TTY via Federal Relay Service.
    • The Department of Commerce - Committee on Resources for Electronic Accessible Technology to End Users (CREATE) offers planning and coordination of activities that increase awareness of assistive technology for people with disabilities. For more information call (202) 482-3201 (Voice) or (202) 482-4675 (TTY).
    • The Department of Energy - Disability Accommodation Program, Assistive Technologies Support Team is the primary point of contact for employees with disabilities at headquarters. The Team provides coordination, responsibility, and oversight for all support interfaces with individual employees with disabilities or impairments.
    • The Department of Housing and Urban Development - Housing Accessibility Resource Program (HARP) maintains an information library containing extensive reference materials and resources. HARP also provides an opportunity for managers and employees to utilize the TARGET Center at the USDA to view and evaluate assistive technology. For more information call (202) 708-0288 x268 (Voice) or (202) 708-4401 (TTY).
    • The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) - The Microcomputer Training Program for Persons with Disabilities (MTPPD) provides cost-reimbursable assistive technology training for U.S. veterans. It also provides product assessment, demonstrations, consultations, and facility tours. Currently, MTPPD is helping VA implement the Nationwide Office Automation which will allow all users access to the information environment. For more information, call (202) 273-6542 (Voice) or fax to (202) 273-6555.
    • The Internal Revenue Service - Information Resources Accessibility Program (IRAP) Office provides accessible electronic information technology to customers with disabilities. Associates offer consultations, technical support, demonstrations, and facility tours. IRAP also tests IRS systems and products to ensure accessibility to and compatibility with assistive technology. To find out more, visit their website, or call (202) 283-0283 (Voice) or (202) 283-6566/67 (TTY).
    • The Social Security Administration (SSA), Office of Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity (OCREO), provides adaptive devices to accommodate SSA's employees with disabilities. SSA believes that having a centralized account to purchase adaptive devices encourages managers to hire more people with disabilities since they would not have to deplete local resources to purchase expensive adaptive equipment.
    A central component of SSA tracks the technologies that are compatible with SSA's systems. In 1997, SSA embarked on a four-year project to provide personal computers with mainframe emulation to all SSA employees which would be connected by local and wide area networks.
    • The Federal Communications Commission - Disability Rights Office (DRO) works hard to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to telecommunications. The DRO, housed in the FCC's Consumer Information Bureau, provides technical assistance to consumers, businesses, and government agencies on their rights and responsibilities to facilitate disability access in the foundations and frontiers of telecommunications.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  •   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.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  •   Yes. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, requires Federal agencies to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees or applicants with disabilities, unless doing so would cause an undue hardship to the agency. An undue hardship means that a specific accommodation would require significant difficulty or expense. A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that allows an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform the essential job functions, or enjoy equal access to benefits available to other individuals in the workplace.   Federal agencies are required by Executive Order 13164 (EO 12164) to develop written procedures for providing reasonable accommodation. You may gain greater understanding of your specific situation and alternatives available to you by reading the agency's reasonable accommodation procedures. Different agencies place responsibility for reasonable accommodation in different offices. Contact the agency's personnel office, reasonable accommodation coordinator, civil rights office, selective placement program coordinator, disability program manager or EEO office to request a copy of an agency's written procedures.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • 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.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • An individual with a disability:
    • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the person's major life activities;
    • has a record of such an impairment; or
    • is regarded as having such impairment.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • First, contact your human resources office and your organization's Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Manager (or equivalent). Your agency may already have established recruiting and referral relationships with organizations serving people with disabilities, such as: Federal agencies may work directly with these organizations to refer candidates for employment opportunities using the excepted appointing authorities for hiring people with disabilities. Your agency's Plan for Employment of People with Disabilities may also include good sources of qualified candidates with disabilities for your vacancies. In addition, individuals with disabilities may always apply for vacancy announcements that are open to the general public. The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) for college students with disabilities is a great source of potential candidates when considering college students with disabilities for employment. Employers can access the WRP candidate database by contacting their agency's WRP representative (usually in the human resources office).
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • A qualified individual with a disability has the skills, experience, education, and other requirements of the job the individual holds or desires, and can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Employers have found that people with disabilities and people without disabilities are about the same in terms of attendance and job performance. Perhaps the longest recurring study of employment issues concerning people with disabilities was done by DuPont, a private corporation. For over 35 years, this DuPont study has shown that employees with disabilities are equivalent to other DuPont employees in job performance, attendance and safety.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Yes, if the individual is from a different agency. However, if the person is going from one location/activity/component to another location/activity/component in the same agency, the agency would not have to clear the RPL. For purposes of the RPL, all DOD agencies are considered the same agency. DOD agencies (e.g., Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Investigative Service) and the Departments of Army, Navy, and Air Force are all considered DoD.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • OPM is changing the procedures in support of the President's "New Freedom Initiative" introduced in 2001, which encourages Federal agencies to consider employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The regulation improves the Federal Government's ability to hire persons with these disabilities. It is designed to remove possible barriers and increase employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Yes.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • 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.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • When the disability and/or the need for accommodation is not obvious, the employer may ask the individual for reasonable documentation about his/her disability and functional limitations. An employer should respond expeditiously to a request for reasonable accommodation.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Once any necessary accommodations are made to help the employee with a disability function on the job, no other special consideration need be made. As with a non-disabled employee, an employee with a disability must be evaluated according to the items in his/her annual performance plan or agreement. As with any other employee, direct and honest feedback aimed at improving performance is always appropriate. For more information on employee performance management see OPM's Performance Management Technical Center.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • 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.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • The date the regulation goes into effect is 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • All denials of reasonable accommodation requests must be made in writing, and the decision must specify the reason for the denial. The denial should be written in plain language, clearly stating the specific reasons for the denial. After denying a request, the individual must be informed that s/he has the right to file an EEO complaint, has the right to pursue any applicable union grievance and informal alternative dispute resolution.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • 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.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • If you believe your performance has been unfairly evaluated because of your disability, you should talk with your supervisor about his/her appraisal of your performance to resolve the matter. You may also obtain advice on how to seek redress from the employee relations office, a union official, or Office of Equal Employment Opportunity.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Agencies may employ personal assistants for employees with disabilities, including those with visual and hearing impairments, under authority provided by 5 U.S.C. 3102. In addition, Section 3102(d) of the law authorizes the payment of pay and allowances for an individual who accompanies an employee with a disability on official travel. Specifically, the statute provides that the head of an agency may authorize the payment to an individual to accompany or assist (or both) the employee with a disability for all or a portion of the travel period involved. The statute further provides that the accompanying individual shall be considered an employee, but only for purposes of the Federal Employees' Compensation Act and the Federal Tort Claims Act. Accordingly, 5 U.S.C. Section 3110, which provides that a public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance or advocate for a relative (as defined in the section), does not prohibit pay to an accompanying spouse.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • People with disabilities who work in offices have been using service animals successfully for many years. Service animals may accompany a person with a disability to the office, cafeteria, meetings, and on travel. Since service animals are alert to the needs of their owner, it is important not to interfere or distract them while they are working. Most service animals sleep when not providing service and need to have a safe rest area of adequate size located near their owner. The person with a disability should be allowed to provide water and food rewards for their animal. Offices that are already wheelchair accessible usually have wider hallways and doorways that are accessible enough to provide the individual full access while walking with their animal. Individuals with disabilities who use service animals must be allowed time to attend to their basic needs. It is not the responsibility of office colleagues to provide care for the service animal. For more information, see People with Disabilities in the Federal Government: An Employment Guide located on this website.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  •   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).
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • A needs assessment may be obtained from several sources. A few are:
    • your own agency, in conjunction with its reasonable accommodation policy created in compliance with Executive Order 13164,
    • the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) in the Department of Defense,
    • State vocational rehabilitation agencies,
    • the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs,
    • the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor or
    • the Centers for Independent Living (CILs).
    Other sources of needs assessment depend on the organization that refers or places an applicant with a disability. For example, if the applicant is referred to you by the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP), it is likely that someone from that program will arrange the needs assessment with the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) in the Department of Defense. If you are hiring a client of the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs, those offices may perform needs assessments. Centers for Independent Living (CILs) offer information about needs assessment and accommodation services. CILs also often maintain rosters of persons available to serve as personal care attendants, interpreters for individuals who are hearing impaired, or readers for people with visual impairments. State vocational rehabilitation agencies funded under the Rehabilitation Act, private vocational rehabilitation companies, and nonprofit organizations also provide needs assessments. Federal employers also may obtain additional guidance on providing reasonable accommodation from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Free copies of the EEOC's published guidance on reasonable accommodation and other issues pertaining to non-discrimination against people with disabilities may be reviewed at EEOC’s website and obtained by calling (800) 669-3362 (voice), and (800) 800-3302 (TTY). Other resources for technology-related technical assistance and accommodation assessment are:
      • the Center for Information Technology Accommodation at the Office of Government-Wide Policy at the General Services Administration,
      • U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board ("Access Board");
      • the Assistive Technology Program at the U.S. Department of Education,
      • the TARGET Center at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and
      • the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) at the Department of Defense.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.


Total Count: 95, Number of Pages: 4, Page: 2
Control Panel