Advancement Strategies for Specific Sectors and Industries
Understand special considerations certain employers have related to advancement of people with disabilities
Some sectors and industries have special considerations related to advancing employees with disabilities. This page contains information for federal contractors and subcontractors, federal and state government employers, and small businesses.
Federal Contractors and Subcontractors
Federal contractors are individuals or employers who enter into a contract with the United States government (any department or agency) to perform a specific job, supply labor and materials, or for the sale of products and services. A federal subcontractor is a company that does business with another company that holds direct contracts with the Federal Government. Under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, both federal contractors and subcontractors have requirements to include people with disabilities. They must also ask employees to voluntarily self-identify as having a disability. Under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), federal contractors and subcontractors also have affirmative action and non-discrimination obligations for veterans, including veterans with disabilities. Learn more about requirements for federal contractors and subcontractors.
A strong federal workforce is an inclusive federal workforce, welcoming of the skills and talents of people with disabilities. In pursuit of this goal, the Federal Government has taken several steps over the years to ensure that it retains people with disabilities in its workforce nationwide.
To learn more about federal employment, explore the following resources:
- Section 501 Information Center
- History of Federal Disability Employment Efforts
- Federal Exchange on Employment and Disability
- Hire (& Keep) the Best
- Federal Framework
In many communities across the country, the state government is the largest employer, paying competitive wages and providing benefits to people in a range of positions, from entry-level to highly specialized. Learn more about the State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED), and the efforts of state governments to retain people with disabilities.
Small business is a backbone of the American economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, companies with less than 500 employees comprise 99.9% of businesses, and employ 47.3% of the workforce in the private sector. Small businesses provide a highly sought-after employment opportunities for people with disabilities. According to research, over 70% of people with disabilities would prefer to work in a small organization. To help small business include people with disabilities in their workforce, EARN created the Small Business & Disability Employment: Steps to Success. It offers step-by-step information on how small employers can create disability-inclusive workplace cultures.