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Individuals with Disabilities Employment Program

Disability Definition

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Not everyone with a medical condition is protected by the law. In order to be protected, a person must be qualified for the job and have a disability as defined by the law.”


Regulation Description
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Prohibits discrimination based on disability and encourages employment within the federal sector
Final Rule on Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Engage in affirmative action for people with disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Prohibits discrimination and encourages employment for individuals who have disabilities within both the private and public sector
American with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 Expanded the definition of what was covered as a disability to allow more people to be covered under the law
Civil Rights Act of 1964 Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability
29 Code of Federal Regulation 1614 Federal implementation of the Civil Rights Act
Executive Order 13548 Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities
Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) of 1968 Requires that buildings and facilities be accessible (i.e. Entrances, Doors & Gates) to individuals with disabilities if they were constructed or altered by or on behalf of the Federal Government or with certain Federal funds, or leased to the Government after 1968

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Annual Reporting Requirements

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued MD 715 in 2003.  The Management Directive includes a Part J which specifically addresses employment and promotion of individuals with targeted disabilities.  Below is the specific language from EEOC's Part J of the MD 715.

Agencies with 1,000 or more permanent employees are to use the space provided below to describe the strategies and activities that will be undertaken during the coming fiscal year to maintain a special recruitment program for individuals with targeted disabilities and to establish specific goals for the employment and advancement of such individuals. For these purposes, targeted disabilities may be considered as a group. Agency goals should be set and accomplished in such a manner as will effect measurable progress from the preceding fiscal year. Agencies are encouraged to set a goal for the hiring of individuals with targeted disabilities that is at least as high as the anticipated losses from this group during the next reporting period, with the objective of avoiding a decrease in the total participation rate of employees with disabilities.

Goals, objectives and strategies described below should focus on internal as well as external sources of candidates and include discussions of activities undertaken to identify individuals with targeted disabilities who can be (1) hired; (2) placed in such a way as to improve possibilities for career development; and (3) advanced to a position at a higher level or with greater potential than the position currently occupied.

In addition to working on improved recruitment, hiring, and retention, VA continues to explore various ways to provide career development training and advancement opportunities for employees with targeted disabilities.  Ideas and suggestions would be appreciated.

For more information, contact VA's National Individuals with Disabilities Employment Program Manager or, for additional resources, visit the Disability Employment Awareness Month or Disability Mentoring Day pages.

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Program Overview and Plans

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I Report Because I CARE About People with Disabilities Campaign

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Hiring Goal

According to updated EEOC regulations (29 C.F.R. ยง 1614.203(d)(7)), agencies are required to use specific goals for increasing the participation of individuals with reportable and targeted disabilities in the federal government. The four (4) new goals are:

  • Individuals with Disabilities represent twelve (12) percent of the total VA workforce at the grade cluster of GS-1 to GS-10. VA is exceeding this goal.
  • Individuals with Disabilities represent twelve (12) percent of the total VA workforce at the grade cluster of GS-11 to SES. VA is exceeding this goal.
  • Individuals with Targeted Disabilities represent two (2) percent of the total VA workforce at the grade cluster of GS-1 to GS-10. VA is exceeding this goal.
  • Individuals with Targeted Disabilities represent two (2) percent of the total VA workforce at the grade cluster of GS-11 to SES. VA is currently below the identified two percent benchmark for group and grade cluster.

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Useful Information

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Training PowerPoint Presentations

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Internship Program for Individuals with Disabilities

  • VA partners with the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) to provide work experience opportunities for college students and recent graduates with disabilities. VA's Office of Enterprise Support Services administers this program for VA. For more information, please visit VA's WRP web page.

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Related Links

Note: This page links to external information on the Internet. VA is not responsible for the content or privacy policies of these Web sites, and linking to these sites does not constitute endorsement by VA of the sites' sponsors or the information, products, or services they provide.

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