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Hiring Initiatives

The Department of Commerce's Disability Program Office is committed to increasing the employment of disabled individuals throughout the Department. In addition, the Department continues to forge partnerships with other Federal Government agencies, colleges, universities, vocational rehabilitation agencies, and disability advocacy groups.


We are committed to attract, hire, and retain individuals with disabilities.


Our mission is to promote meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and encourage their integration into the DOC workforce nationwide through effective training, career development, and promotional opportunities.

About Us

On July 26, 2011, President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13548, Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities. 


People with disabilities may be considered for employment through the competitive hiring process or in some circumstances, under the Schedule A hiring authority for persons with disabilities. Individuals that may fall under this special hiring authority include persons with mental retardation, severe physical disabilities or psychiatric disabilities. In these cases, an agency may make a permanent, temporary, or time limited appointment. Disabled veterans may also be considered under special hiring programs for disabled veterans with disability ratings from the Department of Veterans Affairs of 30 percent or more.

Disability Hiring at Commerce


To qualify for employment under Schedule A, a person must have the following:

Proof of Disability: An individual wishing to be hired under the Schedule A (5 C.F.R.213.3102(u)) hiring authority must provide proof he or she is an individual with mental retardation, severe physical disability, or psychiatric disability. This proof must be provided to the hiring agency before an individual can be hired.

Certification of Job Readiness: An individual hired under this authority must be ready to perform the job for which they are being considered. This certification is a statement that the individual is likely to succeed in the performance of the duties of the position for which he or she is applying. As proof of disability and certification of job readiness appropriate documentation can be: records, statements, or other appropriate information issued from a licensed medical professional, a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist, or any Federal agency, State agency, or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits.

Temporary appointments may be considered for individuals who have proof of disability but lack certification of job readiness. Individuals may work under the temporary appointment until the agency determines that the individuals are able to perform the duties of the position, or the individuals gain certification. Time limited appointments may be considered when the duties of the position do not require it to be filled on a permanent basis. 

The U.S. Department of Commerce provides reasonable accommodations so that people with disabilities have the opportunity to perform the duties of their positions.

Disability Hiring Resources 

Appointment Authorities

The Federal Government has a special Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) appointing authority for persons with Mental Retardation, Severe Physical Disabilities, or Psychiatric Disabilities. 

Disabled veterans may also be considered under a special hiring authority for 30 percent or more disabled veterans.

Assistive Technology Resources


EARN – The Employer Assistance & Recruiting Network (EARN) is a free service that connects employers looking for quality employees with skilled job candidates. EARN provides recruiting services, as well as employer success stories. Moreover, if you need to make the business case for hiring people with disabilities, EARN can provide you with the information you need! Further information can be found on the EARN website.

WRP – The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal sector employers nationwide with highly motivated postsecondary students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs. Students represent all majors and range from college freshmen to graduate students and law students. A searchable database is available through the WRP website. WRP is ready to help you fill your summer or permanent hiring needs! Further information can be found on the WRP website.

For Veterans with Disabilities – There are numerous organizations and agencies that exist to assist veterans with disabilities find and maintain employment. 

The following is a sample of useful resources to keep handy:

Advocacy Groups – There are several different advocacy groups that also serve as excellent resources for recruiting and hiring individuals with disabilities. The following is a sampling of those resources:

Federal Resources – There are numerous federal programs designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities in finding employment. The following is a non-exhaustive list of programs/resources:


Learn more about Schedule A to quickly hire applicants with disabilities. These short training videos on a range of subjects will assist hiring managers, like you; achieve your mission and important recruitment, hiring and diversity goals.

For the Hiring Manager:

Excepted Service employment provides alternatives when traditional competitive hiring procedures are impractical. Excepted service hiring authorities can help agencies resolve problems that arise from unusual hiring situations that do not lend themselves to traditional competitive procedures. Certain authorities provide for appointment to the excepted service, rather than to the competitive civil service, to allow agencies to meet their critical needs, and those of groups of prospective employees and individuals with special needs. 

For more information, please see OPM's Helpful Hiring Resources & Authorities page.


In recognition of the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the signing of Executive Order 13548, CAP has created the first in a series of online training modules. This module will help you understand how simple and beneficial hiring employees with disabilities can be.

JAN Announces a New Series of Just-in-Time Training Modules

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) announces the first in a series of fully accessible training modules. The first just-in-time module features “JAN’s Interactive Process.” With the passage of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, employers have moved past the definition of disability and on to providing accommodations. The key to successful accommodations is having an effective interactive accommodation process. This 23-minute training module and accompanying transcript and handout provides a sample step-by-step process that employers can use in their own workplaces to help them successfully accommodate applicants or employees. 

This module can be used to train new accommodation specialists, disability managers, and others responsible for initiating and maneuvering through the accommodation landscape. Trainees can view the module at their computer or use the module as part of a larger training. 

The Module and supporting documents can be found in JAN’s Multimedia Training Library.

Watch for the next just-in-time "ADA Amendments Act" Module coming soon!