Special Emphasis Programs

Special Emphasis Programs (SEPs) are implemented and observed primarily to ensure that all are provided an equal opportunity in all aspects of employment. These programs improve the workplace environment by promoting and fostering diversity in the workplace through awareness and educating employees and others to appreciate, value, understand, and celebrate social and cultural similarities and differences. 

SEPs enhance the Equal Employment Opportunity Program as it relates to federal personnel policies, practices, and equal employment opportunity. The primary objectives of SEPs are: 

  • Analyzing agency workforce data and identifying barriers in the areas of recruitment, hiring, promotions, career development, reasonable accommodation and retention affecting the full representation of targeted groups (i.e. minorities, women and individuals with disabilities).
  • Compiling, developing, and disseminating information and documents for managers, supervisors, and employees to provide knowledge and sensitivity in all facts or issues of accessibility and reasonable accommodation of individuals with disabilities.
  • Developing and conducting programs such as training courses, workshops, job fairs, conferences, and commemorative observances to provide awareness, sensitivity and understanding of the special issues affecting employment of the protected groups.

Department of the Interior Special Emphasis Observance Policy

Special Emphasis Programs at the Department of the Interior



  • Department of the Interior bison seal set against green mountainous background.

    Statement on Violence and Discrimination against Asian American and Pacific Islander Americans and Communities


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