Hiring people with disabilities

20 diverse headshots of smiling employees organized into two stacked rows of 10 side-by-side faces. Beneath the rows, white font reads, “INCLUSION that fuels INNOVATION” and slightly smaller yellow font says “Celebrating Diversity at the USPTO.”
The USPTO celebrates the diversity of all team members, including individuals with disabilities.

Hiring people with disabilities

At the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), we know that individuals with disabilities play a vital role in America’s diverse and inclusive workforce. Furthermore, when we educate ourselves about employment challenges, issues, and successes of professionals with disabilities, we enable people of all abilities to define themselves on their own terms. At the USPTO, the talents of all our team members enrich our vibrant workplace, and we celebrate and value each one. 
More than 8% of our colleagues at the USPTO self-identify as a person with a disability, and 27% of adults in the United States have a disability. While the nature of those disabilities is diverse—including physical, mental, intellectual, and sensory—people with disabilities often share intersecting challenges and experiences in the workplace. Despite the challenges people with disabilities encounter, they greatly contribute and continue to play a vital role in the success of our agency and of our nation.

Career fairs

We'll once again attend AbilityJobs virtual career fairs in 2024. We attended the first fair on April 18, and we plan to attend the second fair on October 17. We hope to see you there! Find a full list of our recruitment events on the student outreach page.


ResponsAbility: USPTO Disability Advocates is one of many employee organizations at the USPTO dedicated to matters related to individuals with disabilities. ResponsAbility hosts sessions on topics such as transportation for individuals with disabilities, adoption of children with special needs, mental health issues, reasonable accommodations, and chats with inventors of accessibility products.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

We honor National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) each October. NDEAM is a time to pay tribute to the accomplishments of the men and women with disabilities whose work helps strengthen the nation. Moreover, NDEAM heightens awareness of biases toward those with disabilities and educates everyone about disability employment challenges, issues, and successes.

The USPTO honors NDEAM by sharing the perspectives of our employees with disabilities, promoting awareness of Schedule A hiring and other special hiring pathways, and attending the AbilityJobs October career fair. We also host events for employees that focus on disability employment issues and the role awareness plays in fostering a disability-friendly work culture.

Celebrating inclusive innovation

You can join us in celebrating disability employment awareness all year long by reading about the accomplishments of celebrated inventors like Chieko Asakawa, Bill Warner, and Rory Cooper, who pioneered adaptive solutions for accessibility hurdles they encountered in their everyday lives, with life-changing benefits for millions around the world.

You can also hear from colleagues with disabilities, among other diverse perspectives, on our Who We Are page.