Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.
On April 25, 2023, the Office of Management and Budget approved the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) updated form prospective and current employees must use to voluntarily self-identify as an individual with a disability. The form is applicable to federal contractors and subcontractors subject to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires contractors to invite applicants to self-identify as disabled at the pre-offer stage, and to invite new hires and incumbent employees to self-identify. Federal contractors use this self-identification information to support required affirmative action programs.
The updated form contains several revisions that seek to update the preferred language for disabilities and includes additional examples of disabilities. These changes include:
- Listing additional disabilities. The revised form includes, for example: alcohol or other substance use disorder (not currently using drugs illegally); mobility impairment benefiting from the use of a wheelchair, scooter, walker, leg brace(s) and/or other supports; neurodivergence, for example, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, other learning disabilities; partial or complete paralysis (any cause); pulmonary or respiratory conditions, such as tuberculosis, asthma, emphysema; short stature (dwarfism); and traumatic brain injury.
- More descriptive and inclusive examples of disabilities. The previous version of the form lists the following as disabilities: cancer, deaf or hard of hearing, epilepsy, and intellectual disability. The revised form is more inclusive by listing the following as disabilities: cancer (past or present); deaf or serious difficulty hearing; epilepsy or other seizure disorder; and intellectual or developmental disability.
- Simplifying and broadening the response options to:
- Yes, I have a disability, or have had one in the past
- No, I do not have a disability and have not had one in the past
- I do not want to answer
Of note, the revised form explains that “completing this form is voluntary.” The previous version of the form states, “identifying yourself as an individual with a disability is voluntary.”
Covered federal contractors and subcontractors have until July 25, 2023 to implement and use the new form, which expires on April 30, 2026. Contractors must continue to use the OFCCP’s prior form until they have implemented the revised form.