Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities Glossary
Individual with a Disability: A person who (1) has a physical impairment or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities; (2) has a record of such impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. This definition is provided by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. 29 U.S.C. § 706(8); 29 C.F.R. § 1614.203(a).
Major Life Activities: Major life activities include, but are not limited to, the general activities of “caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working” as well as the operation of a major bodily functions. Reference: 29 U.S.C. § 1630.2(j)(l)(iv); 42 U.S.C. § 12102(2)(A)-(B).
Reasonable Accommodation: Any change made in the work environment or the way things are usually done that insures Equal Employment Opportunity for applicants and employees with disabilities. For applicants, accommodations are made to provide full access to the application process. For employees, accommodations are made to enable the individual to successfully perform the essential functions of the position. In addition, accommodations are made for employees to insure that they have full access to the benefits and privileges of employment.
Standard Form (SF) 256 (PDF file) [556.76 KB] This form is required when using Schedule A to appoint people with disabilities non-competitively to Federal jobs to identify, for data collection purposes only, the individual's particular disability. For non- Schedule A appointments, providing the information is voluntary for applicants.
Targeted Disabilities: These include severe disabilities, such as blindness, deafness, partial and full paralysis, missing extremities, dwarfism, epilepsy, intellectual disabilities, and some forms of psychiatric disabilities. Individuals with targeted disabilities many times have the greatest difficulty finding employment. As a matter of policy, the federal government has a special emphasis on recruiting, hiring, and retaining individuals with targeted disabilities.