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Special Emphasis Programs

The Civil Rights Directorate supports several Special Emphasis Programs which focus special attention on specific groups as required by law, regulation or Executive Order, in addition to the employment related concerns of groups where a need for special emphasis or employment concerns have been demonstrated.

DHS Directive Equal Employment Opportunity Special Emphasis Program (31 Aug 2015)



Federal Women's Program (FWP)

This program was established to implement a recommendation of the President's Committee on the Status of Women and was later integrated into the Federal EEO Program after the issuance of E.O 11478 (August 1969).  The activities of the FWP focus on employment needs and problems of women as they relate to Federal personnel policies and practices.


Hispanic Emphasis Program (HEP)

This program was established initially by a Presidential Directive in 1970 as a Sixteen-Point Program for Spanish-speaking Americans.  It was designed to assure consideration of the needs and problems of persons of Hispanic origin in all aspects of Federal personnel management.  Hispanics are persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.


Disability Emphasis Program (DEP)

Formerly known as the Selective Placement Program (SPP) for the Handicapped, this program contains organized action plans and procedures which promote the hiring, placement, and advancement of employees with disabilities.  The  SPP has its modern origins in P.L. 89-554, codified as 5 USC 7153, and Presidential policy statements and regulations issued pursuant thereto.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued instruction (501) on affirmative action plans for persons with disabilities. For information on a range of topics to help supervisors achieve recruitment and hiring goals, visit the OPM site located here:


Veterans Emphasis Program

This program is directed at assuring that all veterans, particularly Vietnam Era and disabled veterans, have the full measure of employment in the Federal service.  The legal basis for the program includes the Veterans Preference Act of 1944 (5 USC 2108); non-competitive appointing authority for 30 percent or more disabled veterans (5 USC 3114), the Veterans Readjustment Appointment (EO 11521); and the Vietnam Era Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (38 USC 2104).  


Non-legislated or Non-mandated Programs

Coast Guard commands and units can address the employment-related concerns of Asian American/Pacific Islanders, American Indian/Alaskan Natives, and African Americans.