Integrating People With Disabilities in the Federal Workforce
Under Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies are prohibited from discriminating against their employees or applicants based on disability. Private employers and state/local governments have the same mandate under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended.
Who is protected?
If you have a disability and are qualified to do the job, you are protected from job discrimination on the basis of your disability. An individual with a disability is a person who:
- has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- has a record of such an impairment;
- or is regarded as having such an impairment.
A substantial impairment (either physical or mental) is one that substantially limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for oneself, learning or working.
A qualified employee or applicant with a disability is an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question.
Reasonable Accommodation Resources
The purpose of this guide is to provide information about laws and issues that affect the employment of people with disabilities in the Federal Government. The guide also contains information regarding the roles and responsibilities of various organizations, a glossary of terms, a discussion of hiring issues and authorities, facts about reasonable accommodation, and tips for working with people with disabilities and integrating them into the workforce. The guide is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice or interpretation of the laws (readers are encouraged to seek legal counsel for their specific questions). The guide, therefore, serves as an overview of the various issues as well as provides the reader with a list of resources, including legal citations, that affect the employment of people with disabilities in Federal service.
Other Resources and Links
See the links below for more information about Reasonable Accommodation:
- Reasonable Accommodations Fact Sheet
- National Reasonable Accommodation Procedures for AFGE Bargaining Unit Employees
- Reassignment as a Reasonable Accommodation
- PeoplePlus Code for Teleworking as a Reasonable Accommodation
- FLRA Decision of Limiting Disclosure of Medical Information (documents to be added)
- Links for Further Information