At our core, Goodwill of Greater Washington believes that a disability should not be a barrier to employment. Individuals diagnosed with a disability should not be placed at a disadvantage provided they are qualified for the position.
This is the intent of The Federal Government’s Schedule A Hiring Authority. It is designed to smooth the pathway to employment with the government for individuals with disabilities. The purpose of the Schedule A hiring authority is for Federal agencies, in a non-competitive hiring process, to hire individuals with disabilities without requiring them to go through the hiring process. (source: OPM website)
Though built with good intentions the system does not come without its speed bumps. For example, the most recent available data from 2008 shows that less than 1% of Federal employees are classified as a person with a disability. Despite the fact that the total unemployment rate among this population hovers around 13%. What can be done to connect these individuals with available jobs?
Unfortunately, no system is full proof and challenges sometimes arise. That’s why we work diligently with our Ability One partners to constantly improve our placement success rates.
We do not believe that the lack of emphasis on the Schedule A Hiring Authority is intentional. We have had many successes using this program and the agencies involved have been satisfied with the results. We think there is an opportunity to increase diversity in the Federal workplace – and improve the lives of individuals with disabilities – that is underutilized.
What are you doing to help people with disabilities gain employment?
*In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month join Federal Communications Commission for a panel this Thursday, October 30th at 10AM for a free live webcast. More information here.