Information for Persons With Disabilities

Information for Persons With Disabilities

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 Hiring Authority for Individuals with Disabilities

Schedule A is a hiring authority that streamlines and speeds up the hiring process for applicants with disabilities who match the skills and abilities required for the position. While Schedule A does not guarantee employment, it is to your advantage to ensure the hiring agency is aware that you are Schedule A eligible.

Eligibility for Schedule A 

To receive a Schedule A appointment, you must: 

  • Be minimally qualified for the job you are applying to (have the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the required duties) 
  • Have documentation of disability 

Documentation 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 disability, medical history or need for an accommodation. Unsure if you qualify as an individual with a disability? Find out more here. 

Applying with Schedule A 

As an individual with a disability, you may apply to positions online through USAJOBS.govor through postings on an agency’s website. For assistance in applying, you should reach out to the agency’s selective placement or disability employment coordinator. To ensure your application is considered under Schedule A, you must include your Schedule A proof of disability letter along with your resume and any other documents required in the job announcement. 

Disclosure by Individuals with Disabilities

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.

Accomodations

Agencies are required by law to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities, unless doing so will result in undue hardship to the agency, to allow an applicant with a disability to have an equal opportunity to compete for a job. Accommodations include making adjustments to the interview process, essential functions of the job, access to the workplace, and benefits and privileges of employment. 

To receive accommodations at work or in the application process, information about your disability must be disclosed and shared with the relevant individuals, such as the agency’s  selective placement  coordinator. Procedures to request accommodation may be includes on an agency’s job posting, website or onboarding materials. You can request an accommodation verbally or in writing; no specific language is needed.  

Workforce Recruitment Program for Students

The Workforce Recruitment Program 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, this program provides  numerous advantages  to jobseekers with disabilities. Contact your school’s disability services or career services coordinator early in the spring semester to ensure successful completion of the online application for phone interviews in October and early November. Contact the WRP coordinator at  wrp@dol.gov  for more information about the program. The WRP works directly with college coordinators and cannot respond to inquiries from individual students.

Related Resources

The Office of Personnel Management

Information on Schedule A Hiring Authority, 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 

Information on Schedule A, competitive and non-competitive jobs 

Disability.gov

Comprehensive information about disability programs, services, laws and benefits 

Job Accommodation Network  

Free consulting services for individuals with disabilities and expert guidance on workplace accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act  

The OPM Shared List 

OPM, in conjunction with Bender Consulting Services, has developed a database of individuals with disabilities who are eligible to apply to federal positions under Schedule A. Interested applicants should submit their application online directly to Bender Consulting Services.  

National Collaborative on Workforce Disability/ Youth 

Resources related to disability disclosure, the skills needed to get and keep a good job, and mentoring for youth with disabilities