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Disability Program

The Disability Employment Program (DEP) is responsible for ensuring that all employment matters affecting people with disabilities are provided throughout the CNIC.  The program works to promote the hiring and advancement of people with disabilities and to advise both management and Individuals with Disabilities (IwDs).  The program is in place to monitor and address overarching concerns that are determined to be affecting IwDs in the workplace throughout their careers, from recruitment to retirement.

A Disability is defined as (1)A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; (2) A record of such an impairment; or (3)Being regarded as having such an impairment


The DEP is regulated by The Rehabilitation Act which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federal Agencies, in programs receiving Federal financial assistance, in Federal employment, and in the employment practices of Federal contractors.  The standards for determining employment discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act are the same as those used in Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  In 1992 Congress made the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the ADA essentially the same by amending the Rehabilitation Act to apply the ADA standards to federal employment.

The following are CNIC Employment Initiatives:

Schedule A (hyperlink)

Schedule A can be a fast track method for Federal Agencies to bring onboard talented individuals with disabilities.  Schedule A is an excellent way to tap into a diverse and vibrant talent pool without going through the traditional hiring process.  If an applicant meets the Schedule A eligibility requirements and the minimum qualifications for the position he or she is interested in, the applicant may be hired for the position without competing with the general public.  Schedule A can be used to hire people in all professions from clerical staff to attorneys.

Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) (hyperlink)

The WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private-sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to demonstrate their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.

Candidates apply to the WRP each fall through participating campuses managed by a School/University Coordinator.  They are interviewed and pre-screened by federal employees who serve as volunteer recruiters.  Candidates represent all majors, and range from college freshmen to graduate - and law-school students.  Information from these candidate interviews is compiled in a searchable database that is available to employers.

WRP is recognized by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) as a model strategy in its guidance to federal agencies regarding the recruitment and hiring of people with disabilities. Since the program's expansion in 1995, thousands of students and recent graduates have received temporary and permanent employment opportunities through the WRP.


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