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Illinois Department of Central Management Services

Disabled Workers Programs


The Central Management Services Division of Examining and Counseling administers several programs and services for people with disabilities through the Disabled Workers Program. The Disabled Workers Program is conducted through the Springfield Assessment Center. The Alternative Employment Program (AEP) and the Successful Disability (SD) Opportunities Program are administered to assist persons with disabilities pursuing state employment. The Accommodated Testing Program is administered to provide persons with disabilities testing assistance.

These programs help meet the directive required by P.A. 96-0078, effective July 24, 2009; which requires CMS and other state agencies to develop and implement programs to increase the number of qualified employees with disabilities working for the state.

The Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities brochure explains the above programs and provides contact information for further inquiries. The brochure is in pdf accessible format and may be viewed using Acrobat Reader.

For more information regarding any of the programs offered by the CMS Disabled Workers Program, please contact:

CMS Disabled Workers Program Coordinator
Springfield Assessment Center
130 W. Mason Street
Springfield, IL 62702
217/524-7514 (Voice)
Illinois Relay Center 800/526-0844

CMS Disability Resource Center

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act, State agencies must ensure that the employment process is accessible to persons with disabilities. Specifically, these laws require that the State provide reasonable accommodations upon request by individuals participating in all steps of the employment process. This includes the initial testing phases of the candidate selection process for state positions as well as the subsequent employment interview process. Any and all accommodation requests by applicants throughout the State employment process should be appropriately reviewed and considered by human resources staff in state hiring agencies.

To assist state agency staff engaged in the hiring process as well as current state employees and state job applicants who may need to seek an accommodation, the CMS Disability Resource Center has been established. The Resource Center operates as a centralized source of information on reasonable accommodations and can provide professional consultation to both state agency staff and job seekers on issues concerning reasonable accommodations in the state employment process. You may contact the CMS Disability Resource Center by e-mail at:

Employment Webinar

View the State Employment Webinar for Persons with Disabilities. The video is in WMV format and may be viewed using Windows Media Player.

Employment Opportunities in Independent State Agencies

There are various independent state agencies for which CMS is not responsible for eligibility determination or candidate selection or hiring but which are a potential source of employment opportunities for disabled candidates seeking state government positions. Disabled candidates are encouraged to explore opportunities with these agencies to expand their employment search. One such independent agency is the Office of Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Illinois Governor (OEIG).

The OEIG is an independent state agency responsible for investigating fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement with jurisdiction over more than 40 state agencies, 300 boards and commissions, nine state universities, and four Chicago regional transit boards. The OEIG invites all persons with disabilities seeking employment opportunities with the OEIG to visit our website at or contact the OEIG Division of Human Resources at 312-814-1789.

Successful Disability (SD) Opportunities Program

  • The Successful Disability Opportunities Program provides persons with disabilities a greater access to employment opportunities with the State.
  • Applicants must be a customer of the Division of Rehabilitation Services and have a Certificate of Eligibility completed by their Department of Human Services/Division of Rehabilitation Services' vocational rehabilitation counselor for each title on file at the time of testing.
  • Immediately upon completion of the test and receiving a passing grade, in addition to their open competitive grade, their SD grade will be issued.
  • SD grades are valid for one year.
  • An agency may request the SD eligible list when there is a vacancy to be filled by other means.

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Alternative Employment Program (AEP)

  • The Alternative Employment Program was established by law to assist in finding alternative employment opportunities for certified employees who are on an approved leave of absence due to a work related or non-work related disability which precludes the performance of their current job duties.
  • The employee must be determined by a physician to be permanently and totally disabled from performing his/her current job duties but not duties of any other position.
  • Interested certified employees who meet the program criteria may inquire about the program through their agency and receive an alternative employment package.
  • Participation in the program is voluntary and will not affect disability benefits if participation is declined.
  • The agency must explore all reasonable accommodations available to the employee and reemployment opportunities within their agency before forwarding the package to CMS.
  • Upon approval of the application, alternative position titles are recommended for the employee to establish eligibility. Titles recommended may only represent lateral or downward appointments.
  • Applicants who meet the requirements for the selected position titles are issued an AE grade and their name is placed on the AE eligibility list for the titles and counties selected.
  • AE grades are valid for a two-year period and participation in the program is a maximum of two years.
  • An alternative employment candidate who declines to be interviewed or refuses an offer of employment will be disqualified from continued participation in the program.
  • A candidate who accepts a position through the program must resign from his/her leave of absence position in order to complete a six-month probationary period or an approved training period for trainee titles.
  • Acceptance of a position via alternative employment terminates the candidate participation in the program and all existing AE grades are no longer valid.

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Accommodated Testing Program

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act, State agencies must ensure that the employment process is accessible to persons with disabilities. Specifically, these laws require that the State provide reasonable accommodations upon request by individuals participating in all steps of the employment process. This includes the State of Illinois Rutan interview process.

  • The CMS Accommodated Testing Program provides persons with disabilities the opportunity to schedule accommodated testing at all five Assessment Centers around the State (Chicago, Springfield, Marion, Champaign and Rockford).
  • The service is available upon request and appropriate certification of an individualís disability. Certification can be a statement from a physician, psychiatrist, school official or a Department of Human Services/Division of Rehabilitation Services' rehabilitation counselor.
  • Accommodations include but are not limited to: Braille exams, a reader and/or marker for the exam, a certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, Zoom Text, High Contrast, closed-captioning and extended time limits for testing.
  • The Assessment Center sites are accessible and have computer test stations with larger monitor screens and tables that adjust to accommodate wheel chairs.

To request an accommodation or for assistance with determining an appropriate accommodation, contact the CMS Disabled Workers Program, at (217) 524-7514 (voice only) or the Illinois Relay Center at 800/526-0844. Spanish speaking operators are available through the Illinois Relay Center.

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Please Note: Hiring preference is given to Illinois residents.