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Hiring and Promoting People with Disabilities


Hiring and Promoting People with Disabilities Joe Frazier VA National Selective Placement Program Manager Outreach and Retention Division Office of Diversity and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Hiring and Promoting People with Disabilities

Hiring and PromotingPeople with Disabilities
  • Joe Frazier
  • VA National Selective Placement Program Manager
  • Outreach and Retention DivisionOffice of
    Diversity and Inclusion

Learning Objectives
  • Participants in this session will
  • Learn the legal requirements for hiring and
    promoting people with disabilities.
  • Understand the targeted disabilities.
  • Understand the Schedule A excepted appointment
  • Know how to recruit qualified candidates.

Rehabilitation Act
  • Congress charged each federal agency to promote
    the hiring and retention of individuals with
    disabilities by
  • Being a model employer through use of
    meaningful affirmative hiring, placement, and
    advancement opportunities and
  • Preventing discrimination against applicants
    and employees with disabilities, and providing
    reasonable accommodation.

VA Targeted Disabilities FY 2011
Targeted Disabilities VA Wide (Perm) VA Wide (Perm)
Blindness 494 0.17
Deafness 337 0.12
Missing Extremities 202 0.07
Partial Paralysis 481 0.16
Total Paralysis 154 0.05
Epilepsy 519 0.18
Severe Intellectual Disabilities 257 0.09
Psychiatric Disabilities 2,255 0.77
Dwarfism 111 0.04
Total 4,810 1.65
Targeted Disabilities EEOC Reports Participation
Rate Annually
  • In FY 2000, VA had 1.8 employees with targeted
  • At the end of FY 2011, the ratio was 1.65

VBA 2.33
NCA 1.31
VHA 1.61
VACO 1.49
VAs 2 Goal
  • Secretary Shinseki issued a memorandum on
    September 7, setting a hiring goal of 2.
  • Of all hires in FY 2011, 2 are to be individuals
    with targeted disabilities.
  • On November 15, 2010, the Secretary asked the
    Executive Leadership Board if they were aware of
    the goal and if they felt they could meet it.
    (They said yes.)
  • Meeting the goal will be considered in the EEO
    performance element evaluation for SES level

Hiring Individuals with Targeted Disabilities
Steps to Achieving Goals
  • Recruit specifically for this group.
  • If two candidates are equally qualified,
    encourage the hiring official to hire the one
    with a targeted disability.
  • Use the Schedule A non-competitive excepted
    appointment authority for Title 5 positions.
  • Note Schedule A hires MUST complete the SF 256,
    so hires with targeted disabilities will
    definitely be counted toward the hiring goals.

OPM Guidance
  • Agencies must increase their use of Schedule A.
  • Vacancy announcements must invite individuals
    with disabilities to apply.
  • All job announcements must state the physical
    requirements (and medical standards).
  • Job announcements must avoid creating barriers to
    applicants with disabilities. (Ex. Ability to
    communicate orally.)
  • Agencies must increase their hires and retention
    of individuals with targeted disabilities.

Schedule A Steps
  • Recruit suitable candidates with targeted
    disabilities. Obtain a resume and Schedule A
  • Match the applicant to a funded Title 5 vacancy
    (does not have to be announced).
  • Give the resume/application to the hiring
  • If the manager agrees to interview the candidate,
    set up an interview, with accommodation if
  • Coach any manager who has never interviewed or
    employed an individual with a disability.

Schedule A Steps, continued
  • The hiring official should not see the Schedule A
    letter if it specifies the disability.
  • When making an offer, inquire whether an
    accommodation will be needed.
  • Establish an on board date.
  • Arrange any requested accommodations.
  • Ensure that the accommodations will be installed
    and working by the new employees on board date.

Schedule A Appointments
  • We report the number of hires annually.
  • Three types of appointments are available
  • Temporary
  • Time-limited (NTE)
  • Permanent
  • Tip If a candidate does not have a
    certification of job readiness, s/he can be hired
    in a temporary position and converted to Schedule
    A after satisfactory performance.

Schedule A Letters
  • Before they are hired, candidates must submit a
    Schedule A letter. A sample letter is on VAs
    disability web page.
  • The letter provides proof of (long term or
    permanent) disability and certification of job
    readiness. This can be from a
  • Licensed medical professional
  • Licensed VR Specialist
  • Any Federal, state, DC, or US territory agency
    that provides disability benefits.

Coding Information
  • The Nature of Action Codes (NOAC) are 170, 171,
    190, 570, 571, and 590.
  • All Schedule A hires of individuals with
    disabilities fall under 213.3102(u).
  • The Legal Authority Code for individuals with
  • Physical disabilities is WUM
  • Intellectual disabilities is WTA
  • Psychiatric disabilities is WTB

  • After two years of satisfactory performance, a
    Schedule A employee should be converted to a
    career conditional position, and after another
    year, to career.
  • If there are any performance issues, the
    supervisor should inquire whether there is
    anything that can be done to help the employee
    perform better. (This opens the door for the
    employee to request an accommodation.)
  • Performance issues should be addressed the first
    year, not at the end of the second year.

Schedule A is Flexible
  • No job announcement is necessary. Allows VA to
    hire qualified individuals quickly, within one to
    two weeks, depending on the facilitys
    on-boarding process.
  • Schedule A candidates can apply after the
    announcement closes, up to the time a job offer
    is made.
  • Can be used for Title 5 positions at any GS/GM/WG
    grade level.

Schedule A is Flexible, continued
  • There is no limit to the number of times an
    individual can use Schedule A.
  • There is no requirement for an updated Schedule A
  • There is no requirement for VA to verify the
    statements in the letter.
  • Veterans with disabilities can be hired via
    Schedule A.

Using Schedule A for Promotion
  • Federal agencies are required to provide
    promotion opportunities for employees with
  • Employees who are in a dead end position and
    performing well may be interested in a promotion
    via Schedule A.
  • One VA facility is promoting employees from the
    top of 5-7-9 ladders to an 11-12-13 ladder using
    Schedule A.
  • Employees promoted in this manner will repeat the
    two year probation period.

Promoting Schedule A Employees
  • This is a very useful tool for retaining
    employees with disabilities who are an asset to
    the facility.
  • Employees with disabilities who are not under
    Schedule A can use Schedule A to obtain another
    position or a promotion non-competitively.
  • Not all employees with disabilities are aware of
    the Schedule A options. Each facility should
    identify employees with disabilities who have the
    education or skills making them eligible for a

Title 38 Positions
  • Since all Title 38 positions are non-competitive,
    Schedule A does not apply.
  • HR staff can recruit qualified candidates with
    targeted disabilities for Title 38 positions and
    submit their resumes to the hiring official.
  • Depending on the union rules, there may be no
    need to advertise the position.
  • Hiring officials should always be informed when a
    qualified individual with a targeted disability
    applies to a Title 38 position, even one that was

VA has PWTDs in Title 38 Positions
  • 94 Medical Officers
  • 286 Nurses
  • 98 Practical Nurses
  • 118 Nursing Assistants
  • Several other job series have a smaller number of
    employees with targeted disabilities.

Promotion Potential and Retention
  • VA has a high separation rate for employees with
    targeted disabilities.
  • The Rehabilitation Act requires agencies to do
    affirmative hiring, placement, and provide
    advancement opportunities.
  • VA employees with targeted disabilities have a
    glass ceiling at the GS 12-13 level in some
    facilities, the glass ceiling is much lower.
  • VA needs to place these individuals in career
    ladder positions and develop advancement
    opportunities for this group.

Where can I find qualified candidates?
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies
  • Career One-Stop Centers
  • Veteran Service Organizations
  • Workforce Recruitment Program
  • Employer Assistance Resource Network
  • Veterans with disabilities who are VA clients
  • The college or university office that provides
    services to students with disabilities.

Hiring Official Dos and Donts
  1. Dont ask an applicant if they have a disability
    or ask about the nature or severity of their
  2. Do focus on the applicants qualifications and
  3. Do use a list of questions and ask every
    candidate the same questions.
  4. Do ask every applicant to describe or demonstrate
    how, with reasonable accommodation if necessary,
    they will perform the duties of the job.
  5. Dont eliminate a qualified applicant based on
    assumptions about their disability.

Best Practices
  • If an applicant submits a Private Sector resume
    but has good experience which would fit your
    vacancy, provide instructions for a federal
    resume or links to the OF 0612 or the USAJOBS
    resume builder.
  • If a candidate seems ideal, invite them to submit
    a resume in person and introduce the individual
    to appropriate hiring officials.
  • Educate local non-profit community agencies that
    provide employment services to people with
    disabilities, so they understand the Federal

Additional Guidance
  • Schedule A applications must be accepted at the
    facility level do not send candidates to
  • Seek individuals with targeted disabilities for
    all pay levels when they are limited to the
    lower pay grades it creates a negative
  • Ensure that the hiring official understands the
    focus should be on the persons abilities and
  • Give Occupational Health a list of only the
    physical requirements that were listed on the job

Retention Issues
  • Your recruitment efforts are wasted if VA does
    not retain the employee.
  • If Occupational Health flags a disability,
    remember to seek appropriate accommodations
    before deciding the applicant cant be hired.
  • Be alert for supervisors who dismiss a Schedule A
    employee before considering accommodation.
  • Find ways to ensure that the employee feels
    welcome and is integrated into the work force.

What are you doing? Share!
  • The Cleveland, OH MC created a booklet for local
    non-profits serving people with disabilities.
    The booklet explains the Federal employment
    process and Schedule A. They had significant
    improvement in hires this year.
  • The Birmingham, AL MC has HR staff who make an
    effort to introduce promising applicants with
    disabilities to hiring officials (which leads to
    actual interviews and hires).
  • VBA hires clients who are Veterans.

  • VAs Disability Program web site
  • http//www.diversity.va.gov/programs/pwd.aspx
  • VHA Roberto.Rojo_at_va.gov
  • VBA - Gwendolyn.Gantt_at_va.gov and
  • NCA Perdita.Johnson-Abercrombie_at_va.gov
  • VA Disability Program Manager Christy.Compton_at_va.g
  • Natl. Selective Placement Coord.
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