International Day of People with Disabilities_icon of hands_eye_wheelchair_person

Did you know there are over 1 billion people in the world living with a disability?

According to the WHO World Report on Disability this culminates to around 15% of the world’s population.

The theme for this years International Day of People with Disabilities is ‘Not All Disabilities are Visible’, which aims to spread awareness about disabilities that are not always apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others.

As recruiters for the Civil and Public Service, we are committed to ensuring our recruitment practices and processes are fair and accessible for all. We aim to positively support all candidates and encourage candidates to disclose if they have a disability so that the correct supports can be put in place throughout the recruitment and selection process. If you have a disability and would like to share information that you feel would assist you to do your best during the selection process, please let us know through the contact provided for the role or by contacting our Disability Champion, Amanda Kavanagh.

Sometimes people with disabilities prefer not to disclose their disability to a potential employer. However, disclosing your disability to the Public Appointments Service is a positive step in allowing us to help you through the selection process. Our aim is to provide reasonable accommodations to candidates with disabilities in order to “level the playing field” and give you the same fair chance as everyone else. There are many different types of accommodations that we can offer and we always address a candidate’s needs on a case-by-case basis. Accommodations such as extra time, breaks, 1-1 or small group sessions, zoom text, screen readers are among the many accommodations we offer to candidates with one or more disabilities.

Graduates with disabilities may be interested in applying for the Willing, Able, Mentoring (WAM) Programme. The Association for Higher Education Access and Disability (AHEAD) in conjunction with the Civil Service Equality Unit, provide six month paid placements in the public and private sector. This programme gives graduates the opportunity to gain work experience, learn new skills, receive training and support and ultimately develop their careers. Graduates with disabilities can register with WAM and apply for roles online. For more information, visit the Ahead website

The Oireachtas Work Learning (OWL) Programme is an applied learning, development and socialisation programme for adults with an intellectual disability. It is facilitated by the Houses of the Oireachtas Service in collaboration with KARE and WALK (the two sponsor organisations). The Programme aims to provide trainees with the skills, knowledge and ability to gain meaningful paid employment. Our Disability Champion, Amanda Kavanagh explains more about the OWL programme and her role in helping candidates with disabilities through the recruitment process.

Disability Champion - Amanda Kavanagh


"I am the Disability Champion for the Public Appointments Service and it is my responsibility to support candidates with a disability through the selection process. This can involve offering support and guidance through the application stage to also offering reasonable accommodations or adjustments for testing or interview. 
I am really excited to be directly involved in the Oireachtas Work Learning (OWL) programme, in partnership with the Houses of the Oireachtas. We currently have two OWL graduates working with us in the Public Appointments Service who I work closely with to ensure that they are fully supported in their role, particularly in the remote setting, since Covid-19. 
The Public Appointments Service is delighted to be leading the way as an OWL employer, learning from our experience and sharing our learnings with our public service colleagues. The Guide to Inclusive Employment, based on this experience, is a valuable resource which explores best practice in inclusive employment and advice on how to become an OWL employer."

Find out more about more about the OWL Programme by downloading the Oireachtas Work Learning (OWL) Programme.