Information for Rehabilitation and Job Placement Professionals

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For many years the Division of Personnel has enjoyed a successful partnership with the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) in providing state government employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Rehabilitation counselors, trainers, and job placement specialists have given the Division of Personnel valuable assistance in test accommodation design, special test administration, test content evaluation and modification, professional information referral, recruitment, work site analysis, and Selective Placement certification.

The Selective Placement Program, which has been in place for more than a decade, is a special area of interagency cooperation and shared responsibility. This program greatly enhances the equal employment efforts of all state agencies by enabling qualified persons with severe disabilities the opportunity to receive individualized, position specific skills evaluations in place of the regular competitive examination process. Applicants who successfully complete these evaluations and meet all established job criteria can be considered equally eligible for appointment to a specific vacant position with those certified under regular competitive procedures. Selective Placement, when deemed necessary and appropriate, may be utilized for the determination of eligibility for any merit system covered position, regardless of title, level, agency, or procedure used in regular competitive selection.

The Selective Placement Program is not intended to replace competitive selection. Many applicants with disabilities can successfully compete by simply requesting an accommodation in the regular testing process. The Division of Personnel and state agencies recognize that job class based testing accommodation procedures are not always the best and only method by which an applicant can demonstrate job-related skills. Sometimes assessment flexibility and professional judgement are required to ensure genuinely equal employment opportunity to otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities. Applicant participation in the regular competitive selection process does not preclude subsequent qualification through the Selective Placement program.

To a large extent, state agency managers and human resources staff depend on the local Division of Rehabilitation Services counselors and employment specialists to guide them in identifying qualified persons with disabilities, learning about possible job accommodations, and navigating the often confusing maze of selection and placement options.

Selective Placement Process
The DRS Employment Specialist Role

In addition to the broad areas of recruitment and test accommodations, the DRS counselor or employment specialist should be prepared to advise state agency managers or personnel specialists on the steps necessary to complete the Selective Placement process. While the Division of Personnel has a primary role in providing procedural information to all state agencies, organization and staff changes make it impossible to guarantee that agency personnel will be fully aware of this important program.

In many cases a state agency will learn about a qualified person with a disability through direct applicant inquiry, or through consultation with a DRS employment specialist or counselor. Before the Selective Placement option can be considered, however, the agency must determine the following: 1) an allocated vacancy exists and has been approved for posting. 2) the position is to be filled by competitive appointment from available eligibles. (Note: Selective Placement evaluation procedures may also be authorized for internal appointments, such as promotion and transfer. This will be determined on a case by case basis.)

When a state agency agrees to consider Selective Placement eligibles, the DRS employment specialist will perform an analysis of the essential functions and work environment of the position. In addition, the specialist will review the skills, training and experience of available persons who meet the DRS severe disability criteria, and are deemed appropriate candidates for selective placement.

If after proper consultation with the appointing authority and hiring manager, one or more eligibles are identified, the application and certification process may be initiated. As in all hiring situations, the agency appointing authority will make all final eligibility and appointment decisions.

It is important to remember that candidates certified as eligible under Selective Placement program criteria must meet all stated minimum requirements for the class title of the position for which certification is made.

The Division of Personnel does not generally require any disability verification information. The DRS Counselor should use established program guidelines and his or her own professional judgement to determine the appropriateness of Selective Placement.

Factors which may be considered include:

  • nature and manifestation of the person's disability
  • the likelihood that the person may face significant attitudinal or procedural barriers in any part of the regular hiring process. This may include, application, testing, and/or interview.
  • job accommodations, modifications, essential functions, and complexity
  • specific applicant training, experience, and skills evaluation alternatives
  • hiring agency diversity goals, training opportunities, and motivation
  • adequacy or inadequacy of competitive testing accommodations options

Steps in the Selective Placement Process.     Top of Page

The Selective Placement Program requires that certain documentation forms be completed for DRS and Division of Personnel review and approval. The Application form used in this Program are available for regular online processing or as a paper download.
[Application Form download].

Elligibility Certification of Individuals with Severe Disabilities Form
The DRS counselor/employment specialist must certify that the applicant: 1) has a severe disability and, 2) is fully capable of performing the essential functions of the position. This is accomplished by completing a special certification form. (Download in: WordPerfect, MSWord, or PDF)

Application for Examination Form
Lastly, the Selective Placement eligible must complete a regular Application for the title of the position. Application may be made online or by paper. This may be submitted by the applicant or through the DRS specialist with the other documents. If the applicant has within a period of one year submitted an paper or online Application for the same exact class title, and the DRS Specialist or applicant informs the Division of Personnel of this fact, the DOP may use a copy of that Application for Selective Placement processing.

Job Analysis Report and Other Case Documents
In most cases the DRS Counselor/Employment Specialist will perform a standard DRS Job Analysis of the position. This will be used to determine the essential functions of the position. It will also be used to determine the mental and physical skill requirements for applicant matching purposes. It may also be used as a guideline in suggesting job accommodations. If required under DRS guidelines, this report may be forwarded to the DRS central office for approval. It does not have to be forwarded to the Division of Personnel with the other documents. Likewise, DRS internal case documents related to the applicant's disability evaluation or testing need not be forwarded to the Division of Personnel.

Submitting the Documents for Approval

These forms, together with any required internal DRS documents, must be submitted to the Program Supervisor, Employment Services at the DRS central office in Institute. The Supervisor will review the documents for procedural compliance to ensure that equitable evaluation standards and eligibility criteria are being met. The Program Supervisor will then sign the Certification form and forward the documents (Certification and Application) to the Manager, Test Construction and Research Unit (Division of Personnel, Building 6, Rm 449). Preferably, the documents should be sent by interdepartmental mail. However, if there are time constraints, the forms may be faxed.

Job Posting and Staffing Request Procedure     Top of Page

At the same time that the DRS certification documents are being transmitted, the appointing agency should submit a Requisition for a Certificate of Eligibles or Staffing Request. All standard rules for vacancy posting and requesting eligible names from DOP registers must be followed. There are no special forms for this purpose. To avoid delays, agencies should initiate the requisition process as soon as the DRS evaluation is complete and the eligibility forms have been submitted. We recommend that an agency representative call the Division of Personnel at (304) 558-3950 ext. 57206, to inform Unit staff that a Selective Placement request has been submitted.

The Division of Personnel's usual practice in Selective Placement certification is to refer only the name or names of qualified eligibles certified by DRS. The appointing agency may request that names from the regular competitive eligibles list also be referred for consideration. Appointment to the position may be made from individuals on either the Selective Placement certificate or regular competitive certificate of eligibles. Keep in mind, the intent of the Selective Placement program is to ensure equal employment opportunity for qualified persons with severe disabilities - not to diminish the employment opportunities of other competitive eligibles. As with all appointments, the hiring agency always has the option of postponing or cancelling the process.

Applicants appointed through Selective Placement procedures serve the normal probationary period (usually 6 months). During that period the incumbent will receive regular performance reviews and performance feedback. The DRS representative should continue to consult with the agency on any job duty changes, work environment issues, and performance standards.

At the successful completion of the probationary period, the incumbent will receive permanent status with all the rights of other state employees covered under merit system rules.

Important: The processing steps and forms described here are in addition to any prescribed DRS procedures for client evaluation, training, referral, and records management.

Questions about these procedures may be directed to the Program Supervisor, Employment Services, DRS, or to the Assistant Director, Staffing Services, Division of Personnel (304.558.3950 x57260).

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