Is there a policy to allow federal employers more flexibility when they hire job candidates with disabilities?
Yes. The federal government has a set of policies, the Schedule A Hiring Authority, to make it easier for federal agencies to hire people with disabilities.
Schedule A Hiring Authority, according to the Federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) website, refers to a regulation that improves the Federal Government's ability to hire people with disabilities by relaxing certain hiring restrictions or rules for a job candidate with a disability. The website states, "to be eligible for these noncompetitive Schedule A appointments, a person must have a severe physical, cognitive, or emotional disability; have a history of having such disability; or be perceived as having such disability. The person must obtain a certification letter from a State Vocational Rehabilitation Office or the Department of Veterans Affairs to be eligible."
Agencies should consider this hiring these people with disabilities under the Schedule A Hiring Authority for these reasons:
- Individuals with disabilities can be an excellent pool qualified applicants.
- No public notice is required. This may shorten the time to hire a well-qualified candidate.
- It can support an agency's Career Patterns initiative. Technological advances and growing emphasis on telework may dovetail with the needs of many applicants with disabilities.
- Agencies do not have to clear surplus employees lists prior to using the appointing authority.
Individuals with disabilities may be considered for Schedule A positions by reviewing vacancy announcements posted at USA Jobs and submitting resumes. They may also contact the Selective Placement Program Coordinator in the agency for which they wish to work. Applicants with disabilities should indicate "5 CFR 213.3102(u)" on their resumes when seeking excepted service positions.
For more information, visit OPM's Disability Employment website.