Federal Aviation Administration: A Promising Practice in Employment of People with Disabilities

Date Updated

The Renton, Washington office of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a division of the United States Department of Transportation, is working to increase the employment of people with disabilities in their organization. The FAA Renton Office has restructured one employee's job duties to create the position of Program Manager for People with Disabilities.

The FAA selected an employee, who happens to have a disability, to fill the new program manager role. Since the position was brand new, the program manager had to devise and implement strategies she thought would increase the successful employment of people with disabilities at the FAA. Specifically, the program manager:

  • identified current FAA employees with disabilities to form a special interest group and act as mentors,
  • formed a partnership with a local college-transition program for high school students with disabilities,
  • facilitated the hiring of three student interns with disabilities through local schools (one of which accepted a full-time, paid position with the FAA),
  • participated in a local job fair specifically for people with disabilities,
  • invited local students to visit the FAA to participate in Disability Mentoring Day, and
  • distributed information in the office about the benefits of hiring and promoting workers with disabilities.

As a result of these efforts, the FAA Renton Office has enjoyed great success in the hiring and promotion of people with disabilities. In 2005, they won the Governor's Award from the Washington State Governor's Committee On Disability Issues and Employment in recognition of their achievements.

For additional information about how employers can address disability issues, consult the Knowledge Base article What checklists can employers use to assess their ability to accommodate employees and customers with disabilities?