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Gov. Youngkin announces alternative hiring process for people with disabilities

Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced today, May 17, that Virginia state government has implemented an alternative hiring process for people with disabilities, serving as a model for inclusive employment practices. The process embeds employment of people with differing abilities as part of standard hiring policy and the state work culture.

A collaboration of state and community partners, the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) and the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) have spearheaded the continuing effort to employ, integrate and accommodate more people with disabilities in the state workforce.

“My administration fully supports expanded economic and job opportunities for people living with disabilities. This is a significant step in the Commonwealth’s commitment to the overall goal of increasing employment opportunities for all Virginians,” said Governor Youngkin.

State hiring policy will be updated to incorporate the new alternative hiring process.

Applicants with documented disabilities, as certified by a DARS certified rehabilitation counselor, are eligible for consideration.

Interested applicants will apply at and upload a Certificate of Disability to their employment application.

Approved applicants may receive priority consideration during the recruitment process.
Agencies are strongly encouraged to provide a 6-month provisional period to these new hires to ensure accommodation needs are met and employees are set up for success.

“This process is only the beginning of our strategy to demonstrate our commitment to people with differing abilities to improve the state workforce. It is one facet of a more comprehensive strategy, which includes accommodations, communication, education and awareness, compliance and retention of individuals with differing abilities,” said Margaret “Lyn” McDermid, Secretary of Administration. 

The Commonwealth’s continuing commitment to equal employment opportunities for all is highlighted in Code of Virginia §2.2-203.2:3 and §2.2-1213.

“This policy opens doors for job applicants with disabilities to seek state employment, paving the way for new career paths. DARS’ collaboration with DHRM is essential to its success in assisting those who are underrepresented in the state workforce,” said DARS Commissioner Kathy Hayfield.

“To bolster this initiative, DARS received a $9.2 million federal grant called ‘Pathways to Careers using Partnerships, Apprenticeships and Equity,’ that will serve at least 750 Virginians with disabilities to acquire skills-based training and registered apprenticeships in high-wage, high-demand fields, including STEM and state government,” said John Littel, Secretary of Health and Human Resources.

The DHRM website has more information at, including Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants. A Certificate of Disability may be requested from DARS or by calling 800-552-5019. Sign language users may use the videophone at 804-325-1316.

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