Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Changes coming to policy for hiring disabled workers

For disabled jobseekers, 2014 is a big one due to the implementation of a final rule this coming March meant to promote hiring of the disabled by federal government contract and subcontract firms.

An amendment to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, this rule asks contractors to aim for disabled workers making up seven percent of their workforce.

If every contractor meets that goal, government estimates show nearly 600,000 disabled individuals would find jobs in the first year of the rule, says Patricia Shiu, director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, U.S. Dept. of Labor.

A significant jump in hiring should occur in 2014, says Tony Lee, publisher of

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  • “This [rule] has been discussed for over a year, and many companies have been making plans,” says Lee, adding that many firms are government contractors. “It’s pretty much the entire Fortune 500,” he says. “And the rule applies to subcontractors as well, and that could include local companies.”

    Moreover, many firms that aren’t currently contractors will also follow the rule, says Lee.

    CareerCast recently released a report on the “best jobs for disabled candidates.” Using the “best jobs” list that’s compiled for all workers by examining features of jobs like pay and stress, CareerCast crossed that ranking with jobs targeted by the disabled that require no or minimal physical skills, Lee explains.

    Some of those top positions include: accountant, market research analyst, vocational counselor and wholesale sales representative.

    Lee recommends that disabled workers search for positions in the same way other job seekers do. “Don’t approach the search with trepidation [because of your disability]” he advises.

    © CTW Features

    Marilyn Kennedy Melia CTW Features