Welcome to the final post in this short series on assistive technology for users with mobility disabilities. Today, we focus on Android Switch Access. For the previous posts, please follow these links for “Computer and Mobile Phone Access for People with Mobility Disabilities” and “Assistive Technology for Users with Mobility Disabilities: iOS Switch Control.” Android’s Switch Access (Android 5 and higher) can be used with a variety of Bluetooth switches and Bluetooth keyboards. This accessibility feature allows people with significant motor disabilities to operate the device without using the touchscreen. The Android Switch Access’s purpose is to provide input and access to interactive… Read More
In this answer on Quora, Monster career expert Vicki Salemi explains when it’s necessary—and when it’s not—to disclose personal information.
A. There’s no need to mention your disability on your resume or cover letter. The only time when you may want to mention your disability, such as hearing loss, is if the job you’re pursuing is relevant to your hearing loss and the employer will need to make reasonable accommodations for you as a result.
In the instance of hearing loss, let’s say you’re pursuing a job where you’re on the phone all day long, translating conference calls dictated in French. Hearing is an essential part of the job. But during a job interview, it’s illegal for the hiring company to ask (and discriminate against you) if you have any disabilities. They may, however, ask if you’re able to perform functions of the position with or without accommodation.
What’s an accommodation, you ask? According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities, unless doing that would result in an undue hardship.
So, back to the resume and cover letter: You don’t need to mention your disability. Remember, your resume and cover letter are simply marketing tools that highlight your skills and experiences relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Approach 1: Apply through USAJOBS
You should start by applying for the position online through the USAJOBS web site or the specific federal agency’s web site. You should do this as soon as you find a position for which you are interested in applying. Sometimes agencies will only accept a limited number of applications. Also, every job posting will only accept applications for a specific amount of time. Thus, it is important that you apply as quickly as possible.
When you apply online, make sure you follow the application instructions in the job posting. There may also be a place for you to upload your Schedule A proof of disability documentation.
Approach 2: Apply directly with the agency using the Schedule A process
Most agencies have a Disability Program Manager (DPM) or Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC) whose role is to help the agency recruit, hire, and accommodate people with disabilities. Contact the DPM or SPPC at the agency where you wish to work and ask for guidance on the best way to apply for the identified vacancy using the Schedule A hiring process for persons with disabilities. He or she can work with you to make sure your resume/application is considered through Schedule A. Click here for a directory of Selective Placement Program Coordinators in each agency.
It is advisable to apply for a position through the regular vacancy announcement (on USAJOBS or the agency’s web site) AND THEN follow-up with the SPPC/DPM or appropriate office. Contacting the appropriate agency person responsible for overseeing Schedule A applications can take time. It is important to factor this in as part of your application deadline.
QUICK TIPS & HELPFUL HINTS
- Not all agencies have a Disability Program Manager (DPM) or Special Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC), so you may need to speak with the Human Resource (HR) Specialist identified on the vacancy announcement.
- There are several regulations that are generically referred to as “Schedule A.” These regulations cover more than just persons with disabilities. When contacting a federal HR professional concerning possible employment opportunities, explain that you are referring to Schedule A for persons with disabilities. The regulations concerning Schedule A can be seen at 5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u) and 5 C.F.R 315.709.
- When speaking with the DPM or the SPPC, let the person know about your experience and the types of positions you are seeking. He or she may tell you about other vacancies for which you may qualify.
- If you are told that the agency does not use Schedule A (some agencies do not), ask if there are other hiring flexibilities the agency offers. Remember, the Schedule A process is only one of a number of ways you can apply for a job with the federal government. Agencies may also have other hiring flexibilities for persons with disabilities, so inquire with the agency to maximize your opportunities.
Accommodation conversations in the work place
This is a police officer with epilepsy, he’s a little difficult to understand.
A young man with seizures, also hard to understand
woman working at a call center