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What is a Schedule A?

Nifa Author
Lori Tyler Gula, External Communications Manager
If you're an individual with a disability, you can apply and compete for any job for which you are eligible and meet the qualifications, but you also may be eligible for a special hiring authority. The federal government hires each person using a hiring authority (the term comes from the federal regulation that describes it). Federal agencies can use the Schedule A Hiring Authority to hire an individual with a disability.

Schedule A refers to a special hiring authority that gives federal agencies an optional, and potentially quicker, way to hire individuals with disabilities. Applying under Schedule A offers an exception to the traditional competitive hiring process. You can apply for jobs using Schedule A if you are a person with an intellectual disability, a severe physical disability or a psychiatric disability.

Eligibility

To be eligible for Schedule A, you must provide a proof of a disability letter stating that you have an intellectual disability, severe physical disability, or psychiatric disability. You can get this letter from your doctor, a licensed medical professional, a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist or any federal, state or local agency that issues or provides disability benefits.

Applying using Schedule A can be a great way to get a federal job, but it is only one of many options that may be available, and you still must compete with other eligible applicants. Federal agencies hire people using many options, so applying under Schedule A does not guarantee you a job.

How Do I Know a Job is Open to Individuals with a Disability?

In the job announcement look for the This job is open to section. When a job is open to Individuals with a disability, you’ll see this icon: 

The accessibility icon signifies when a job is open to individuals with a disability.
The accessibility icon signifies when a job is open to individuals with a disability.

There may be other groups listed that can also apply. You can also select the Individuals with disabilities filter in search. Your results will display all jobs open to individuals with disabilities.

Selective Placement Program Coordinator

Selective placement program coordinators (SPPC) help agencies recruit, hire and accommodate people with disabilities. The SPPC can guide you through the application process and answer questions. Most federal agencies, but not all, have an SPPC or equivalent role, such as a special emphasis program manager.

If you are a person with a disability and interested in a job opportunity, contact the agency SPPC using the selective placement program coordinator directory. Learn more about the Selective Placement Coordinator.

Accommodating Individuals with a Disability

Federal 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. The accommodations make it easier for an employee with a disability to successfully perform the duties of the position. For example, an agency may offer:

  • Interpreters, readers or other personal assistance
  • Modified position duties
  • Flexible work schedules or work sites
  • Accessible technology or other workplace adaptive equipment
  • You can request reasonable accommodations any time during the hiring process or at any time while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

To request a reasonable accommodation:

  • Look at the job posting for instructions on requesting a reasonable accommodation.
  • Work directly with the person arranging the interviews.
  • Contact the agency SPPC.
  • Request a reasonable accommodation verbally or in writing. No special language is necessary.

For more information about a Schedule A, visit https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/unique-hiring-paths/individuals-with-disabilities/.

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