Employment Programs (State and Federal)
Employment--Oklahoma State Agencies--"The Optional Program for Hiring Applicants with Disabilities"
HB 1340/OPTIONAL HIRING PROGRAM FOR HIRING APPLICANTS WITH DISABILITIES
This is a competitive process and there is no guarantee of being hired. Persons with disabilities do not have preference.
How Will it Help You? Persons who qualify for this program are required to reside in Oklahoma. This law provides a vehicle for persons with disabilities to gain access to state employment. Mandatory testing for state employment is waived for those qualified applicants certified as eligible through the Department of Rehabilitation Services, (DRS). An individual is not required to be a client of (DRS) in order to participant in the program. Applicants hired through this program serve a six month probation period and are eligible for permanent status upon their completion..
You may qualify for this program if you:
have a severe physical or mental impairment which seriously limits one or more functional capacities including, but not limited to: mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills, in terms of an employment outcome;
have one or more physical or mental impairments resulting from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders, including stroke and epilepsy, paraplegia, quadriplegia and other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, traumatic brain injury, end-stage renal disease; or other impairments or combinations of impairments as documented by an evaluation by Vocational Rehabilitation Services or Visual Services or the individual's own doctor statement.
How is it Administered? The program is administered by Human Capital Management in the Jim Thorpe Building, 2101 North Lincoln Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK (405) 521.2171 or (405) 521.6314 (TDD). The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services certifies applicants who meet the criteria of "severely disabled".
What is the process? There are 6 steps to the process:
- Obtain a letter of certification from the State Department of Rehabilitation Services (your local Rehabilitation Counselor can help you). The telephone number for the Department of Rehabilitation Services is (405) 951-3400.
- Determine which state jobs you wish to apply for. Job listings are available at the Office of Human Capital Management (HCM) as well as on their website at WWW.ok.gov/opm. Your local Oklahoma Employment Security Commission maintains a list of all state vacancies.
- Submit your disability certification letter from the Department of Rehabilitation Services, (DRS) and to HCM. The letter maybe submitted electronically, either directly from your Rehabilitation Counselor or provided directly to HCM by the applicant. A application is required to be completed for each position and job family you wish to apply for. Information is submitted to Applicant Services Division at HCM. Always keep a copy of your certification letter provided to you from (DRS).
- Your application(s) will be reviewed by an Applicant Services Division Specialist staff member to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications. A letter will be mailed to you to advise about the status of your application(s).
- The HCM job certification letter is valid for one year. If you are still interested in seeking employment after the first year, you may reapply with them to keep your letter on file.
- Now you are ready to approach the Human Resources department of individual agencies to locate vacancies. You will need to have copies of the Department of Rehabilitation Services disability certification letter and the HCM job certification letter available.
NOTE: An applicant may also pursue the standard method of obtaining state employment through the Merit System - (1.) fill out an application; (2.) take the Merit System test for each job (If one is required) and (3) your name will go on a register and will be sent to agencies for consideration as openings occur. Whether your name will be received by an agency depends on how well you score on the examination, the number of potential vacancies and may depend on whether you reside in the geopraphic locality where the vacancies exist. By using both the "Optional Hiring Program for the Disabled" and the standard open competitive application method, applicants may "cover all bases" to ensure their consideration by the Merit System agencies.
State Work Incentive Program - Senate Bill 825, (SB-825)
State Work Incentive Program is similar to Optional Hiring program for Applicants with Disabilities. It provides an opportunity for individuals receiving assistance from (TANF), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families as well as disabled persons to acquire state employment. The state does not guarantee person with disabilities as well as (TANF) recipients will be hired. This is a competitive process. State Work Incentive Program allows for initial testing to be waived. In order for an individual to participate in State Work Incentive Program, an individual must be an service recipient of the Department of Rehabilitation Services. The applicant must acquire a letter from your Rehabilitation Counselor. Once you have received the letter from your Rehabilitation Counselor you are now ready to contact the state agencies directly. You are not required to submit paperwork or letter of confirmation of disability to HCM, Human Capital Management. If hired the individual can remain in the position up to two years if funds are available. Permanent employment is available if the agency has an opening in their regular number of full time employees. Your employment does not use your agencies full time equivalency. Once you have the education and experience as well as you job performance is satisfactory, you are now eligible for classified employment with the State of Oklahoma.
The policy of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission is to provide equal employment and economic opportunity at every level without regard to race, color, religion, age, disability, sex or national origin. This policy applies to all phases of employment and economic opportunity, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, placement, upgrading, promotion, termination, compensation and training. (OESC) works in conjunction with Workforce Oklahoma.
For your convenience, Workforce Oklahoma has offices statewide. For more information about locations, applicants can contact 1(888)840-WORK.
SPECIAL EXCEPTED APPOINTMENT (SEA) PROJECT,
Employment with The Federal Government
People with disabilities may obtain employment with the Federal Government through the (SEA)Project. Employment can occur through regular competitive procedures and/or through Special Excepted Appointments. The Special Excepted Appointment, (SEA)Project was developed to provide an alternate route for individuals with disabilities to acquire employment with the federal government.
In order to participate in the program, you must meet certain criteria.
- Possess basic knowledge, skills and abilities about the job and be able to perform the duties with or without reasonable accommodation.
- Have an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
- Acquire a certification letter from the Department of Rehabilitation Services in order to verify your condition as well as your ability to perform the job duties without risk to others. The certification must be supported by medical documentation regarding the severity of your disability.
Once you have completed the process contact Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Workforce Oklahoma office near you in order to complete an application. Your certification letter from your Rehabilitation Counselor as well as medical information concerning your disability must be furnished with your application. Once an applicant completes and submits their application they can be considered by all federal agencies participating in the (SEA)Project.