Virginia APSE Policy Updates
Authored by Matthew Shapiro, Virginia
The Virginia APSE chapter lobbied a landmark piece of legislation through their legislative body during the 2021 session. After three years of work by the Virginia APSE chapter, Virginians with disabilities will now have an alternative application process that will allow for easier access to state government jobs. This new initiative will be similar to the Schedule A Hiring Authority administered by the federal government.
This legislation will give Virginia state government permission to hire qualified people with disabilities for jobs within the state government without requiring them to compete against non-disabled jobseekers for those positions. State agencies will hire employees through this program on a trial basis and, at the end of the probationary period, if they have earned positive reviews for their job performance, they may be eligible for conversion to a permanent, competitive position.
Virginia is implementing this new program in the hopes that it will increase the number of people with disabilities employed within our state agencies. The percentage of people with disabilities in state-level jobs is currently very low, despite well intentioned efforts by lawmakers, state departments, and advocacy groups.
The Virginia APSE chapter would like to thank the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), The Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM), and House of Delegates Member, Elizabeth Guzman, for their tremendous support and steadfast advocacy of this initiative.
This is a monumental achievement for Virginians with disabilities. We are excited to see how this program can get more individuals with disabilities helping to make a positive change for Virginia and its policies.