People with Disabilities Program

The People with Disabilities Program (PWD) ensures that people with disabilities have equal Federal employment opportunities. The FAA actively recruits, hires, promotes, retains, develops, and advances people with disabilities.


Targeted Disabilities

The Secretary of Transportation has set a hiring goal of three (3) percent per fiscal year for individuals with targeted (severe) disabilities.

Targeted disabilities are those disabilities that the federal government, as a matter of policy, has identified for special emphasis in recruitment and hiring. The targeted disabilities are:

  • Hearing (total deafness in both ears)
  • Vision (Blind)
  • Missing Extremities
  • Partial Paralysis
  • Complete Paralysis, Epilepsy
  • Severe intellectual disability
  • Psychiatric disability
  • Dwarfism

Individuals with targeted disabilities have the greatest difficulty obtaining employment. This is the only protected group for which Federal agencies may have a hiring goal.

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On-the-Spot Hiring Information

The "On-the-Spot" special appointment authority is a non-competitive hiring method for filling vacancies for people with disabilities. Full benefits are awarded to the non-competitive appointee.

Managers can choose to fill an open position through the On-the-Spot hiring process. The Office of Civil Rights National People with Disabilities Program Manager and Human Resource Management Selective Placement Coordinators share non-competitive position descriptions with a broad network of disability employment collaborators to recruit qualified applicants with disabilities.

Required Documentation for On-the-Spot Hiring

An applicant wishing to be hired through the non-competitive process should be prepared to provide his or her résumé, references, and academic transcripts. They are also required to provide documentation pertaining to the existence of a disability.

This documentation is similar to the Proof of Disability/Certification of Job Readiness required for Schedule A Employment policies used by other Federal Government agencies. Certification of Job Readiness states that the applicant is likely to succeed in the performance of the duties of the position for which he or she is applying.

The disability certification and job readiness certification must be on the author's professional letterhead stationary, and can come from:

  • A licensed physician or other medical practitioner
  • A licensed vocational rehabilitation (VR) specialist (public or private)
  • Any federal agency, state agency, or agency of the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits, such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The official disability and job readiness certification letter must state the following:

  • The applicant is disabled as defined in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. In addition, the condition is professionally recognized and is relatively permanent and not fully corrected by medical treatment, replacement, or surgical means.
  • This disability and limitation qualify this applicant to be hired non-competitively under the FAA On-the-Spot hiring authority for persons with disabilities (also known as Schedule A within the competitive services).
  • The applicant has the ability to perform the essential functions of the job with reasonable accommodations, if appropriate.
  • The applicant is physically qualified to do the work without hazard to self or to others.

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Reasonable Accommodation Information

It is our policy to ensure that individuals with disabilities have full access to equal employment opportunities at FAA, and to comply fully with the reasonable accommodation requirements of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and its amendments. Our reasonable accommodation policy is available in FAA Order 1400.12 and DOT Order 1011.1.

All requests for accommodation throughout the application and/or interview process should be directed to the Human Resources Specialist listed on the vacancy announcement for the job you are applying for.

An applicant may request a reasonable accommodation orally or in writing. However, oral requests can be followed by a written confirmation of a request. An applicant with a disability may also request reasonable accommodation through a family member, health professional, or other designated representative.

The FAA may ask the applicant to provide reasonable information/documentation about the functional impairment and the request for reasonable accommodation. The law requires that medical information/documentation related to the reasonable accommodation process remain confidential. Therefore, medical documentation is filed separate and apart from an applicant's personnel file. Failure to submit properly requested information/documentation may result in denial of the request for reasonable accommodation.

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Contact Information

Michael Looney
FAA People with Disabilities Program Manager

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