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Section 501 Info Center

Explore all aspects of Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, which provides regulations for federal employment of people with disabilities and inclusion of disabled workers in the Federal Government workforce.

Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in Federal Government employment. It also establishes regulations related to the inclusion of people with disabilities in federal employment.

As the nation’s largest employer, the Federal Government has committed itself to modeling effective employment policies and practices that advance America’s ideal of opportunity for all.  This is the spirit underpinning Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits federal agencies from discriminating against qualified people with disabilities in employment and requires them to take proactive steps to recruit and retain them. 

In 2017, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued updates strengthening Section 501. The information on this page can help federal agencies understand the changes to Section 501 and achieve their diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) goals, including through development of federal agency affirmative action plans.

EARN Guides

EARN developed the following guides to provide information to federal agencies on three strategies that can help them achieve their DEIA goals: self-identification, partnerships and centralized accommodation funds. 

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