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Disability Action Center NW

Job Opportunities For Individuals With Disabilities

The Federal Government recognizes that individuals with disabilities have a right to full and fair consideration for any job for which they apply. It strives to offer an environment in which all can reach their highest potential and make a difference for our country.

A Federal career can provide:

Any individual the opportunity to excel;
challenges of a demanding job; and
Advancement potential or individual growth.
Having a disability is not a disadvantage when you apply for employment with the Federal Government or when you pursue career opportunities once you become an employee. Whether it is working on a cure for cancer, designing advanced avionics, or writing procurement contracts worth millions of dollars, the challenge is there for individuals with the right skills, motivation and attitude.

Federal agencies fill jobs two ways, competitively and non-competitively. Individuals with disabilities may apply for jobs filled either way. Individuals who are selected for jobs must meet the qualification requirements for the jobs and be able to perform the essential duties of the jobs with or without reasonable accommodation.

Jobs Filled Competitively

Jobs that are filled competitively are advertised through USAJOBS®. Each job advertisement contains instructions on how to apply. Over 40,000 jobs are available each day.

USAJOBS® allows applicants to complete an application online. Please follow the instructions listed under the How To Apply section in the job opportunity announcement.

Applicants can register to receive an email every day that matches the type of job they are interested in obtaining through the Saved Searches feature in their My USAJOBS account.

Jobs Filled Non-competitively

Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, Severe Physical Disabilities, or Psychiatric Disabilities and have documentation from a licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional certified by a state, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory to practice medicine); a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (i.e., state or private); or any Federal agency, state agency, or agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits may apply for non-competitive appointment through the Schedule A
(5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) hiring authority. Applicants with documentation may apply directly to agencies’ Selective Placement Coordinators or equivalent to be considered for jobs. Applicants should send a resume plus the pertinent documentation to the Selective Placement Coordinator or equivalent.

THE FEDERAL JOB SEARCH A Three-Step Process

Although the actual job search is your responsibility, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has developed the USAJOBS® program to assist you along the way. The Federal Employment Information System brings you up-to-date, comprehensive employment information.

Come Work for America. We have made the process simple! Your job search for Federal career opportunities is a “Three – Step Process.”

Step 1 – Create Your Account

Set up your “My USAJOBS®” account to:

Create & Post resumes
Attract employers
Have jobs emailed to you
Step 2 – Search for Jobs

You do not need to create a “My USAJOBS®” account to search for jobs. Just enter your desired job information and search the database of thousands of jobs. Use your resume to apply online instantly.

You can also search our jobs database by phone. Call 1/703-724-1850 or TDD 1/978-461-8404 to access the same information that is on the USAJOBS® website.

Step 3 – Manage Your Career

Get all the information and advice you need on obtaining a job in the Government.

It’s That Easy!

Daily updates provide a constant influx of opportunities. The USAJOBS® system is designed to ensure access for customers with diverse physical and technological capabilities. Apply for a Federal position and make a difference in the lives of the American Public.

Schedule A Training for People with Disabilities

To view the Schedule A Training for People with Disabilities, visit http://golearn.gov/HiringReform/index.htm.

SPECIAL APPOINTING AUTHORITIES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

The Federal Government has a special Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) appointing authority for persons with Mental Retardation, Severe Physical Disabilities, or Psychiatric Disabilities.

Disabled veterans may also be considered under special hiring programs for disabled veterans with disability ratings from the Department of Veterans Affairs of 30% or more.

Proof of Disability and Certification of Job Readiness

Eligibility for appointment under this Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) authority consists of two parts:

Proof of Disability: An individual wishing to be hired under this Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) authority must provide proof he or she is indeed an individual with mental retardation, severe physical disability, or psychiatric disability. This proof must be provided to the hiring agency before an individual can be hired.

This proof may be in the form of documentation obtained from licensed medical professionals, state or private vocational rehabilitation specialists, or any Government agency that issues or provides disability benefits.
Certification of Job Readiness: An individual hired under this authority must be ready to perform the job for which they are being considered. This certification is a statement that the individual is likely to succeed in the performance of the duties of the position for which he or she is applying. For instance, the certification of job readiness for an individual applying for a position as an Administrative Assistant or an Accountant may state that the “individual is likely to succeed performing work in an office environment.”

This certification of job readiness may be obtained from the same individuals that provided the proof of disability. The certification may be on the same documentation as the proof of disability or it may be a separate document.

In situations where an individual has the proof of disability documentation, but not the certification of job readiness, hiring agencies have the discretion to place an individual on a temporary appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) to determine an individual’s job readiness.
Finding a Position

In addition to competing for a position by applying through a vacancy announcement, the Federal Government’s Selective Placement programs include a special hiring authority for hiring individuals with Mental Retardation, Severe Physical Disabilities, or Psychiatric Disabilities.

You may apply for employment directly to agencies, which may use this authority to streamline the appointment of individuals with disabilities. If you are interested in being considered under this special authority, and have proof of disability from a licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional certified by a state, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory to practice medicine); a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (i.e., state or private); or any Federal agency, state agency, or agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits, you should contact the Federal agency where you wish to work. Ask for the Selective Placement or Disability Employment coordinator or their equivalent.

Certain veterans may also be considered under special hiring programs for disabled veterans with disability ratings of 30% or more. Your Department of Veterans Affairs vocational rehabilitation counselor should be able to provide you with additional information about this process.

Agency Selective Placement Program Coordinator (
SPPC)

Managers develop, manage and evaluate the agency’s Affirmative Employment Program for Individuals with Disabilities. They are primarily located at agency headquarters and can provide information on coordinators at local installations. Use the Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC) directory to find a Coordinator.

Each agency is responsible for monitoring the activities of its designated Selective Placement Coordinators and also for notifying OPM when a new coordinator is selected. When a new Selective Placement Coordinator is selected, agencies must notify OPM by sending an email to DisabilityEmployment@OPM.gov

Most Federal agencies have a Selective Placement Program Coordinator, Special Emphasis Manager (SEM) for employment of adults with disabilities, or equivalent, who helps agency management recruit, hire and accommodate individuals with disabilities at that agency. These Coordinators or Managers have many roles and responsibilities, including:

Advising managers about candidates available for placement in jobs under special hiring authorities, and providing managers with information on reasonable accommodation and needs assessments for applicants and employees.
Helping managers determine the essential duties of the position, identify architectural barriers and possible modifications that allow individuals with disabilities to perform essential duties.
Helping persons with disabilities get information about current job opportunities, types of jobs in the agency and how these jobs are filled, and reasonable accommodation.
Working with public and private organizations involved in the placement of applicants with disabilities to provide information about their agency program and job opportunities and to facilitate the placement of applicants with disabilities in their agency.
Monitoring and evaluating selective placement program efforts and activities for individuals with disabilities to determine their effectiveness, and making changes as needed to improve program effectiveness.
Managers develop, manage and evaluate the agency’s Affirmative Employment Program for Individuals with Disabilities. They are primarily located at agency headquarters and can provide information on coordinators at local installations. Use the Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC) directory to find a Coordinator.

Each agency is responsible for monitoring the activities of its designated Selective Placement Coordinators and also for notifying OPM when a new coordinator is selected. When a new Selective Placement Coordinator is selected, agencies must notify OPM by sending an email to DisabilityEmployment@OPM.gov

Reasonable Accommodation

Sometimes it is necessary for Federal hiring officials to make a reasonable workplace accommodation for a person with a disability, if requested and appropriate (unless so doing will result in undue hardship to the agencies). Reasonable accommodation can apply to the duties of the job, and/or where and how job tasks are performed. The accommodation should make it easier for the employee to successfully perform the duties of the position. Examples of reasonable accommodations include providing interpreters, readers, or other personal assistance; modifying job duties; restructuring work sites; providing flexible work schedules or work sites; and providing accessible technology or other workplace adaptive equipment.

An individual can request reasonable accommodation either orally or in writing. Individuals who need reasonable accommodation are responsible for making their needs known to their supervisors. The supervisor and the individual should clarify the individual’s needs, and identify the appropriate reasonable accommodation required to meet those needs.

Further details are available on the following websites:

Read OPM guidance to Federal agencies on Disability Discrimination as well as case law and policies.
Read the Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) guidance to agencies on worksite accommodations solutions, recruitment services, etc.
Read how the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP), a program of the Department of Defense, provides assistive technology and services to individuals with disabilities, Federal managers, supervisors, IT professionals, and Wounded Services Members. CAP provides necessary accommodations FREE OF CHARGE to federal agencies.
Read U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Enforcement Guidance on Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship under the Americans with Disabilities Act, October 17, 2002.
Read EEOC Policy Guidance On Executive Order 13164 which establishes procedures to facilitate the provision of reasonable accommodation, October 20, 2000.
Read Questions and Answers – Policy Guidance On Executive Order 13164 which establishes procedures to facilitate the provision of reasonable accommodation, October 20, 2000.
Read EEOC Enforcement Guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Psychiatric Disabilities, March 25, 1997.
Read ADA Enforcement Guidance on pre employment disability-related questions and medical examinations, October 10, 1995.