Federal agencies are required to promote equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities. To expedite this process, agencies can use a special non-competitive hiring authority called Schedule A. Schedule A hiring for individuals with disabilities:
- Does not require typical posting and publicizing of the position on USAJobs.gov.
- Allows human resources specialists and/or selective placement coordinators to send the resumes of qualified applicants directly to managers.
- Allows managers to immediately hire qualified candidates.
Candidates are eligible for Schedule A if they:
- Have a targeted disability OR a significant intellectual, physical, neurological or psychiatric disability.
- Have written proof of disability from a licensed medical professional, a state or private vocational rehabilitation specialist, or any government agency that issues or provides disability benefits (example proof letter).
- Meet the Office of Personnel Management’s qualification standards for all federal positions for which they are applying.
Once a prospective candidate is identified, a hiring manager, Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC) or a Disability Program Manager (DPM) contacts HR for help in getting the applicant on board. Next, human resources consults with the manager and/or the SPPC/DPM to decide the type of appointment to be offered. Once this is determined, a conditional offer contingent upon receipt of Schedule A qualifying documentation can be extended to the candidate.
Important note: The hiring manager should not be involved in the disability documentation process, as medical documentation must be kept strictly confidential.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) offers a series of guides, titled “The ABCs of Schedule A,” which offer more information about Schedule A for various audiences, including Hiring Managers, HR professionals, disability program managers and Selective Placement Program Coordinators, service providers and applicants with disabilities.
An additional tool federal hiring managers can use to find qualified candidates with disabilities is the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP). Co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Defense, the WRP connects federal employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities seeking summer internships or permanent jobs. All participants selected for the program go through an extensive screening process and represent a wide range of skill sets and academic majors. Since it was launched government-wide in 1995, more than 7,000 individuals have obtained positions through the WRP, many going on to become full-time federal employees. As such, it can play a critical role in helping federal agencies meet their disability employment goals. Federal hiring managers can hire participants from the WRP database using either Schedule A or another hiring authority called Schedule D (also known as the Pathways Program).
Candidates with disabilities who are disabled veterans may also be eligible under another hiring authority, Veterans’ Preference, which gives eligible veterans preference in appointment over many other applicants. For more information, visit the Office of Personnel Management Veterans Services webpage.