Final Rule Frequently Asked Questions

Discussion 2: The Reasons for Self-Identifying as a Disabled

Reginald Avila posted Mar 1, 2020 10:05 AM

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The original rule by OFCCP under the employment department of the United States seeking to revise the laws under the 503 section of the 1973 act on rehabilitation came into effect in March 2014. The contributing factors to the review of the 1973 legislation included the underemployment of individuals with a disability, the fact that the law was outdated, and technological advancements meant that disabled people could handle more jobs (U.S.D.L, n.d.). The voluntary self- identification form was later submitted by OFCCP for approval by the management and budget office on October 3, 2019, to enable employees and job applicants to disclose their disability (Nusbaum, 2019). This post seeks to support this government-backed initiative, which aims at more inclusivity in the workplace.

With a target of 7% employment of disabled individuals, federal contractors and subcontractors are under pressure to ensure that they have a more inclusive workforce. This is definitely to the advantage of disabled people since employers will be on the lookout for hiring them to fulfill the legal requirements. It was one of the reasons for the creation of the form under section 503. An employer who has not attained the required threshold can formulate new approaches to hiring and retaining more disabled individuals, which would translate to enhanced inclusivity. Moreover, self- identification of disabled individuals would enable an organization to provide accommodative facilities for them aimed at enhancing their comfort and productivity. An employer cannot make adjustments for impaired individuals if they are not aware of them. This means that increased uptake of the form would benefit both the employer and the employee (Hamilton, 2016).

Furthermore, identifying as a disabled would be more advantageous to an individual, especially in the looming doom of hiring freezes in federal employees except for immigration, borders, and defense. Therefore, there will be increased competition in this sector, and as unorthodox as it sounds, being disabled might be an edge. Not disclosing that you are disabled can bring up trust issues, especially in sensitive and security clearance positions. Background checks and health histories are typically carried out, and an undisclosed disability can be discovered, which would deny one an opportunity due to trustworthiness (Passman & Kaplan, 2017).

Conclusively, self-identification as being disabled is necessary for planning and inclusivity for both federal employers and the government at large. Similarly, it also favors disabled individuals by lending them an opportunity to partake in the national cake regarding employment opportunities.  Although I work for the government and being a military recruiter, we must be selective in our hiring process for the mission we must accomplish but the civilian sector of the government has special programs that put particularly disabled veterans and civilians at the top of the hiring scale.




Hamilton, J. (2016, January 12). Why you should self-identify if you have a disability. Retrieved from

Nusbaum, M. (2019, October 10). OFCCP submits proposed changes to required disability self-ID form, self-identification form. Retrieved from

Passman& Kaplan. (2017, February 9). 4 reasons for job applicants to self-identify as disabled. Retrieved from com/blog/2017/02/4-reasons-for-job-applicants-to-self-identify-as-disabled.shtml” rel=”nofollow”>

U.S.D.L. (n.d.). Section 503 Final Rule Frequently Asked Questions – United States Department of Labor< – Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Retrieved from

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