Approach 1: Apply through USAJOBS
You should start by applying for the position online through the USAJOBS web site or the specific federal agency’s web site. You should do this as soon as you find a position for which you are interested in applying. Sometimes agencies will only accept a limited number of applications. Also, every job posting will only accept applications for a specific amount of time. Thus, it is important that you apply as quickly as possible.
When you apply online, make sure you follow the application instructions in the job posting. There may also be a place for you to upload your Schedule A proof of disability documentation.
Approach 2: Apply directly with the agency using the Schedule A process
Most agencies have a Disability Program Manager (DPM) or Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC) whose role is to help the agency recruit, hire, and accommodate people with disabilities. Contact the DPM or SPPC at the agency where you wish to work and ask for guidance on the best way to apply for the identified vacancy using the Schedule A hiring process for persons with disabilities. He or she can work with you to make sure your resume/application is considered through Schedule A. Click here for a directory of Selective Placement Program Coordinators in each agency.
It is advisable to apply for a position through the regular vacancy announcement (on USAJOBS or the agency’s web site) AND THEN follow-up with the SPPC/DPM or appropriate office. Contacting the appropriate agency person responsible for overseeing Schedule A applications can take time. It is important to factor this in as part of your application deadline.
QUICK TIPS & HELPFUL HINTS
- Not all agencies have a Disability Program Manager (DPM) or Special Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC), so you may need to speak with the Human Resource (HR) Specialist identified on the vacancy announcement.
- There are several regulations that are generically referred to as “Schedule A.” These regulations cover more than just persons with disabilities. When contacting a federal HR professional concerning possible employment opportunities, explain that you are referring to Schedule A for persons with disabilities. The regulations concerning Schedule A can be seen at 5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u) and 5 C.F.R 315.709.
- When speaking with the DPM or the SPPC, let the person know about your experience and the types of positions you are seeking. He or she may tell you about other vacancies for which you may qualify.
- If you are told that the agency does not use Schedule A (some agencies do not), ask if there are other hiring flexibilities the agency offers. Remember, the Schedule A process is only one of a number of ways you can apply for a job with the federal government. Agencies may also have other hiring flexibilities for persons with disabilities, so inquire with the agency to maximize your opportunities.