As a result of Executive Order 13548, the federal government is actively increasing efforts to recruit and hire individuals with disabilities for all levels and occupations. As an individual with a disability, you have access to specific programs and hiring authorities that can assist you in securing federal employment.
Schedule A is a hiring authority that enables agencies to speed up the process of hiring individuals with disabilities. Schedule A helps qualified individuals with disabilities to secure jobs that are matched to their skills and abilities. By utilizing this authority to fill a position, an agency can opt out of using the traditional—and sometimes lengthy—competitive hiring process. It is to your advantage to ensure the hiring agency is aware that you are eligible; however, Schedule A appointment does not guarantee employment.
In order to receive a Schedule A appointment, you must:
Proof of disability can be satisfied with a simple letter stating that you have a disability from your doctor, a licensed medical professional, a licensed rehabilitation professional, or any entity that issues or provides disability benefits. The letter does not need to detail your medical history, or your need for an accommodation.
As an individual with a disability, you may apply online through USAJOBS.gov or an agency’s website. Once you find a job opportunity that you are eligible for and interested in, you should get your resume and references in order and obtain proof of your disability before you apply. In addition, you should reach out to the appropriate person within the agency for assistance in applying, typically the agency’s Selective Placement or Disability Employment coordinator. Finally, to ensure your application is considered under Schedule A, include your Schedule A proof of disability letter along with your resume and any other documents required in the job announcement.
Disclosure, or sharing information about your disability with others, by law, is a personal decision that individuals must make for themselves. An interviewer is prohibited from asking you questions about your disability that are not relevant to job responsibilities. An interviewer should ask questions about your qualifications and how you can perform the essential functions of the job. During a job interview, you should present yourself in a positive manner, emphasizing your abilities and assets. You are not required to talk about your disability during an interview.
Agencies are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. Types of accommodations include assistance during an interview, modifications of position responsibilities or work environment, opportunities to telework and other adjustments to ensure you enjoy all benefits of employment.
To receive accommodations at work or in the application process, information about your disability must be disclosed and shared with the relevant authorities, such as the agency’s Selective Placement coordinator. Procedures to request accommodation may be posted on an agency's website or included in employee handbooks.
The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) connects federal employers nationwide to eligible students and recent graduates with disabilities. Managed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), this program provides numerous advantages to jobseekers with disabilities. Contact your school's disability services or career services coordinator to arrange an interview with a participating federal employer or ask him or her to contact the WRP Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the program. The WRP works directly with college coordinators and cannot respond to inquiries from individual students.
The Office of Personnel Management Schedule A Hiring Authority, job readiness, appointment authorities and additional resources
Office of Disability Employment Policy Toolkits, information on application and hiring practices, as well as profiles of current federal employees with disabilities
Individuals with Disabilities resource Schedule A, competitive and non-competitive jobs
Disability.gov Comprehensive information about disability programs, services, laws and benefits
Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Free consulting services for individuals with disabilities and expert guidance on workplace accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
National Collaborative on Workforce Disability/ Youth (NCWD/Y)
Resources related to disability disclosure, the skills needed to get and keep a good job, and mentoring for youth with disabilities