3.1. Introduction and Objectives
The term disability has different meanings in different contexts. Historically, disability in the Department of Defense has been viewed as the end of an active duty career (though this is changing). The Department of Veterans Affairs correlates disability as a way to determine benefits and compensation. In civilian education and employment, disability is considered a legal term that is used to determine eligibility for academic and workplace accommodations, special hiring initiatives, and protection against discrimination.
Disabled veterans often consider only those laws and regulations that are "veteran-specific" to be applicable to their individual circumstances. While the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), Veterans' Preference Act, and Vietnam Era Veteran's Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) are critically important to know about and understand, they are not the only laws that apply to and impact veterans seeking employment and education.
This section will highlight the different and unique aspects and definitions of disability and will put into context the need for veterans who have disabilities to understand the advantages and potential disadvantages of identifying as a "person with a disability," as well as a disabled veteran, in education and employment.
Section 4 Objectives:
- Discover why a disabled veteran may choose to also distinguish him/herself as a person with a disability.
- Learn the laws and protections afforded to you as a disabled veteran and as a person with a disability.
- Understand how federal hiring preferences apply to disabled veterans and to people with disabilities.