Workers with Disabilities Interested in Local Government Employment

Section 55-a of Civil Service Law provides for the employment of persons with disabilities by municipalities. Each municipal civil service agency in the state may, by rule, determine a prescribed number of positions, not to exceed seven hundred positions, with duties which can be performed by physically or mentally disabled persons who are found qualified to perform satisfactorily such duties.

Each municipal civil service agency has policies and procedures regarding appointments pursuant to Section 55-a of Civil Service Law. Depending on the municipal civil service agency polices and procedures, it is typically up to the discretion of an appointing authority to decide to fill an entry-level competitive class position from an open-competitive civil service examination eligible list or to appoint a qualified disabled individual on a non-competitive basis.

In order to be employed under Section 55-a in a municipality, disabled individuals should apply directly to the appointing authority of interest for any entry-level position for which they meets the required minimum qualifications. If the appointing authority is interested in appointing the disabled individual, a nomination for appointment to a position pursuant to 55-a must be made by the appointing authority to the municipal civil service commission or Personnel Officer. The Personnel Officer or municipal civil service commission will request the duties and responsibilities of the position to be reviewed by either the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped or the State Education Department to determine if the disabled person is able to perform the duties of the position. If the person is able to perform the job duties, the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped or the State Education Department will certify to the municipal civil service agency that the person is eligible for appointment. However, while certification by these organizations is required to be employed under Section 55-a, such certification is not a guarantee of a job.If you are interested in an appointment pursuant to Section 55-a or need more information, you should contact the municipal civil service agency having jurisdiction over the position you are interested in for employment.