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People With Disabilities Program

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Program Summary

The Department of Defense (DoD) recognizes that persons with disabilities have a right to full and fair consideration for any job for which they apply. It strives to offer an environment in which all can reach their highest potential and make a difference for our country. Having a disability will not be a disadvantage to you in being considered as an applicant for employment with the DoD or in pursing career opportunities, once you become an employee. Whether it is working on advanced communications systems, designing advanced avionics, or writing procurement contracts worth millions of dollars, the challenge is here for individuals with the right skills, motivation and attitude.

Most DoD employees obtain their jobs competitively by establishing eligibility on a U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) or agency-sponsored list of eligibles. This is done by either having your experience and education evaluated without a written test and/or by passing an appropriate written test. If passing a written test is required for consideration, special testing arrangements may be available, if requested. Agencies, including the DoD, fill vacancies by requesting a list of qualified applicants from OPM. For a very small number of positions, agencies may hire directly without using the OPM approved list of eligibles. The agency may then interview and select candidates referred to them. When you reach this stage of the process, special interview arrangements may be made, if accommodations are needed and requested.

DoD hiring officials are authorized to use special hiring authorities when considering certain people with disabilities (those who have a severe physical, cognitive or emotional disability, or a history of having such disabilities or are perceived as having such disabilities. The use of these authorities is not mandatory.

To request special consideration with the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) agencies, see the special announcement which appears at the bottom of the Job Announcement page.

How to Qualify and Apply for Selective Placement Programs

If you are interested in being considered under these special hiring authorities, you must contact either a state vocational or Department of Veterans Affairs rehabilitation counselor and request their assistance. They will review and prepare the necessary documents. You should ask them to provide you with a certification statement that describes your ability to perform the essential duties of the position which you are interested. Once you have obtained this certification statement, you should contact us or the Federal agency where you wish to work. Ask for the contact person that handles the Selective Placement Program. These agency representatives work closely with people with disabilities and the hiring officials. They help match applicant core skills – along with applicant/employee reasonable accommodation needs – to available jobs.

Any disabled veteran can contact the Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Counseling Offices for information on veterans benefits and related employment services. Certain veterans may also be considered under special hiring programs--disabled veterans with 30% or more disability ratings or the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Appointment opportunities.

Other Factors in Selective Placement

DoD supervisors frequently make "a reasonable workplace accommodation," if requested, in either the duties of the job, or where and how job tasks are performed. Examples of workplace "reasonable accommodation," include:

  • Providing interpreters, readers, or personal assistants.
  • Modifying job duties.
  • Restructuring work sites.
  • Providing flexible work schedules or work sites.

For More information, please see the CAP section below.

Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)

The Workforce Recruitment Program aims to provide summer work experience, and in some cases full-time employment, for college students with disabilities. The program develops partnerships with other federal agencies, each of whom makes a commitment to provide summer jobs and a staff recruiter. Each year, recruiters interview more than 1,500 students with disabilities at college and university campuses across the nation, and develop a data base listing the qualifications of each student. Interviews are arranged from November to January. College career counselors or disability student services providers who would like to schedule a recruitment trip to their campuses should contact wrp@dol.gov. Students interested in the program must work through their colleges. Due to limited staff resources, the Office of Disability Employment Policy cannot respond to direct student inquiries.

For consideration specifically for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and associated agencies, contact the WRP Coordinator or by U.S. mail at:

WRP Intern Coordinator
Washington Headquarters Services
4800 Mark Center Drive
Suite 3D08
Alexandria, VA 22350

Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP)

The Department of Defense (DoD) has a long-standing commitment to providing equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities. DoD's goal is to increase the representation of individuals with disabilities to 2 percent of its civilian workforce. To support this goal, DoD established the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP). The CAP Office serves the Federal Government and wounded Service members by:

  • Buying accommodations to make computer and telecommunications systems accessible to employees with disabilities, as required by Public Laws;
  • Providing assistive technologies and accommodation solutions to support wounded Service members throughout their recovery and rehabilitation;
  • Providing expertise in solving accessibility problems through the use of software, hardware, and other Assistive Technology.

CAP's services make the work environment more accessible to employees with visual, hearing, dexterity, cognitive, and communication impairments. Since its inception in October 1990, the CAP Office has provided over 120,000 accommodations. By aligning itself with DoD Components in promoting awareness, team building, and reengineering, CAP ensures quality and timely support to the Federal Government and wounded Service members by working to achieve its mission.

CAP's purpose is to ensure that all federal employees with disabilities and wounded Service members get the equipment that best suits their needs, at no charge to the organization. CAP also provides accommodations to ensure that DoD hospitals, clinics, personnel offices, training centers, and dependent schools are accessible.

CAP strives to provide Assistive Technology and accommodations to ensure people with disabilities have equal access to the information environment and opportunities in the DoD and throughout the Federal Government. The Defense Human Resources Activity, a field activity of the Under Secretary of Defense Personnel and Readiness, serves as the executive agent for CAP.

The CAP staff is here to assist federal employees, supervisors, and managers. With the right accommodations, people with disabilities have the power to excel. For additional information, visit the CAP web site or call the CAP Office at 703-614-8416 (Voice/TTY).

For information on special programs at the Human Resource Services Center (HRSC), please call our information line at 703-601-2289 or TTY - 703-601-2310.