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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Persons with Disabilities Program (PWD)

The Persons with Disabilities Programs ensures that individuals with disabilities have equal opportunity in recruitment, hiring, training, advancement and retention at the Federal Highway Administration and in Federal employment.



The FHWA is committed to being a model employer of a diverse workforce that includes people with disabilities, especially those with targeted disabilities (blindness, deafness, partial and full paralysis, missing extremities, dwarfism, epilepsy, intellectual disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities).

All Federal agencies are required to set goals for the employment and advancement of people with targeted disabilities.

Qualified people with severe or targeted disabilities may be hired either non-competitively through the Schedule A Hiring Authority. Applicants with disabilities can also choose to participate in the competitive hiring process. For more information about the Schedule A Hiring Authority, visit the OPM website on employment of people with disabilities. The Schedule A Hiring Authority is a regulation issued by the Federal government's Office of Personnel Management (OPM), that gives managers the flexibility to hire qualified persons with disabilities without competition.


The PWD program was established to focus specific attention on the needs of Persons with Disabilities in all areas of federal employment. The Program has three overall objectives:

  • Eliminate discrimination practices and disparate treatment in the workplace;
  • Ensure Persons with Disabilities are represented throughout the workforce at all grade levels and occupations; and
  • Provide information on employment, training, and educational opportunities to all individuals seeking such opportunities.


  • PWD program works toward enhancing employment opportunities for employees with disabilities and individuals seeking Federal employment.
  • PWD program assists agency officials, managers and supervisors in their overall EEO responsibilities by implementing results oriented practices to ensure "equal access" to employment opportunities for persons with disabilities including employees and applicants.
  • PWD program provides employment information, assistance, and referral services to Federal employees and applicants; and seeks special guidance from other specialists to address technical questions, issues, and concerns.
  • PWD program reviews and disseminates workforce profile information on the representation of persons with disabilities by grade levels, occupations, leadership positions, and other, at all levels of government.
  • PWD program monitors and reports to the legal authorities all prohibited employment practices which might adversely affect the employment and career advancement opportunities of persons with disabilities.
  • PWD program organizes and sponsors special activities, such as forums, conferences and workshops, that are employment, training, and educational related in support of the agency.
  • PWD program does not seek preferential treatment for persons with disabilities, however it seeks to ensure "equal access" to all employment opportunities, e.g., hiring, promotion, training, education, awards, recognition, advancement and retention.


The PWD program is an integral part of the Federal government-wide Equal Employment Opportunity Program under the authority of Executive Order 11478 (1969), as amended. Also, the following executive orders and statutes apply to all Federal employees and provide statutory basis for the PWD:

There are five important federal laws that protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination in employment and the job application process:


Points of Contact

Elizabeth Kraszewski
Disability Program Manager

Kirsten Poston
Disability Program Manager
(202) 366-9120