Federal Government Hiring: Individuals with Disabilities

By Imants Jaunarajs

Instead of going back all 100 years, let’s start in 1973, when the Rehabilitation Act banned discrimination on the basis on disability by recipients of federal funds. Arlene Mayerson wrote about the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund): “for the first time people with disabilities were viewed as a class – a minority group”. As the definition of what non-discrimination meant in the context of disabilities was established, the disability community continued their legal involvement and on July 26, 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) makes it unlawful to discriminate in employment against a qualified individual with a disability. The ADA also outlaws discrimination against individuals with disabilities in State and local government services, public accommodations, transportation and telecommunications.”


Today, in 2013, there are resources that have hopefully continued to expand accessibility to work. Below you will find an overview of four relevant resources, for individuals with disabilities, seeking to explore and find career opportunities.



Workforce Recruitment Program (Office of Personnel Management)



Schedule A: (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)



Best Places to Work in the federal government for individuals with a disability (Partnership for Public Service)

  1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  2. Department of Navy

  3. Social Security Administration

  4. Department of Air Force

  5. Department of Justice

  6. Office of the Secretary of Defense

  7. Department of the Army

  8. Environmental Protection Agency

  9. Department of the Treasury

  10. Department of Transportation


Job Accommodation Network (Department of Labor)



Has access to a “career” or “vocation” increased? I’m sure we all have our opinion and hopefully we’ll be able to discuss this question at the NCDA Career Development Conference in Boston. Resources for individuals with disabilities have changed, and will continue to change, hopefully for the better.


Imants Jaunarajs, M.A., serves as the Assistant Dean for the Career & Leadership Development Center at Ohio University. He is the Associate Editor of the Government Department for Career Convergence. Imants has a Bachelor of Arts from Earlham College and Master of Arts from Western Michigan University. In his free time, Imants enjoys coaching soccer and relaxing with family and friends. jaunaraj@ohio.edu

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Julie Wade   on Monday 04/08/2013 at 09:50 AM

I would like to add that the Office of Vocational Rehabilition works with individuals with disabilities find suitable employment and achieve independence. We work closely with the OFCCP and the EOC as well as many other agencies to help meet the needs of both our consumers and businesses.

Rosie Rivas   on Wednesday 05/22/2013 at 08:58 PM

I noticed that DHS nor Immigration and Customs Enforcement made the list of best places to work. I tried applying with ICE as a Schedule A and one would have thought I was trying to invent the wheel. They had no idea what a Schedule A applicant was and had never hired one and did not want one. I wish that they would make this Agency have a quota on qualified Schedule A hires so that applicants are not treated like they have something that the Agency might catch!

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