EEOC Q&A on Final Rule on Affirmative Action for People with Disabilities in Federal Employment

The EEOC has published their final rule on affirmative-action for disabled individuals in, or seeking, federal employment.

They have also posted a Q&A to explain the rul

According to the EEOC, “The final rule gathers together existing requirements from several Executive Orders as well as EEOC directives and other EEOC guidance documents, and adds new requirements that will further improve federal employment of individuals with disabilities and individuals with “targeted disabilities.”

Though all disabilities are covered, there is also an emphasis on “targeted disabilities”

As stated by the EEOC:

Targeted disabilities are a subset of the larger disability category. The federal government has recognized that qualified individuals with certain disabilities, particularly manifest disabilities, face significant barriers to employment, above and beyond the barriers faced by people with the broader range of disabilities. These barriers are often due to myths, fears, and stereotypes about such disabilities. The federal government calls these “targeted disabilities.” They are:

  • developmental disabilities, for example, cerebral palsy or autism spectrum disorder;
  • traumatic brain injuries;
  • deafness or serious difficulty hearing, benefiting from, for example, American Sign Language;
  • blindness or serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses;
  • missing extremities (arm, leg, hand and/or foot);
  • significant mobility impairments, benefitting from the utilization of a wheelchair, scooter, walker, leg brace(s) and/or other supports;
  • partial or complete paralysis (any cause);
  • epilepsy and other seizure disorders;
  • intellectual disabilities (formerly described as mental retardation);
  • significant psychiatric disorders, for example, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, or major depression;
  • dwarfism; and
  • significant disfigurement, for example, disfigurements caused by burns, wounds, accidents, or congenital disorders.


Whether in the private or federal sector, disabled individuals face discrimination in hiring, promotion, and the terms and conditions of employment. If you even suspect you have been a victim of disability discrimination, do not hesitate to contact our office. Timelines are particularly short in the federal sector (45 days) so call or email right away.