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55-a Program

Most New York City jobs requires that candidates take and pass a competitive civil service exam before they can be hired. Section 55-a of the New York State Civil Service Law allows a qualified person with a certified mental or physical disability to be hired into competitive civil service positions without having to take an exam. This equity and inclusion program is administered by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services through the 55-a Program. New Yorkers in this program are working for the City in titles as diverse as Clerical Associate, Auto Mechanic, Investigator and Telecommunication Manager.

To be eligible for the 55-a Program, Candidates must:
  • be certified as having a mental or physical disability
  • be qualified to perform satisfactorily the duties of the position sought, with or without a reasonable accommodation
  • meet the education and/or experience for the position sought

A qualified person with a disability who is hired under the 55-a Program is not required to take a competitive examination. Eligible persons will be evaluated on the basis of their qualifications and interviews.

Eligibility for the 55-a Program is determined by the New York State Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Service – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) or the New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB), depending on the type of disability.

Candidates interested in being considered for competitive positions under the 55-a program should visit  and apply for open positions in the competitive class (please indicate on your resume or cover letter that you would like to be considered for the position under the 55-a Program). Candidates are also encouraged to contact the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities for employment assistance.

For more details, please review our 55-a FAQs. If you have any questions, contact us at (212) 386-1701 or via email.