Individuals with Disabilities


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The Federal Government has a special Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) appointing authority for persons with an Intellectual Disability, 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 percent or more.


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

1. 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 an intellectual disability, 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.
2. 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.


Most Federal agencies have a Selective Placement Program Coordinator, Special Emphasis Manager (SEM) for employment of adults with disabilities, or equivalent, to assist 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 positions 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 positions in the agency and how these positions 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.

Use the Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC) directory to find a Coordinator.

To view the Schedule A Training for People with Disabilities, visit


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 position, and/or where and how position 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 position 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.

Additional information on federal guidelines as they pertain to Individuals with Disabilities is provided:

  • OPM guidance to Federal agencies on Disability Discrimination to include case law and policies.
  • Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) guidance to agencies on worksite accommodations solutions, recruitment services, etc.
  • Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP), a Department of Defense program , which 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.
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Enforcement Guidance on Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship under the Americans with Disabilities Act, October 17, 2002.
  • EEOC Policy Guidance On Executive Order 13164 which establishes procedures to facilitate the provision of reasonable accommodation, October 20, 2000.
  • Questions and Answers - Policy Guidance On Executive Order 13164 which establishes procedures to facilitate the provision of reasonable accommodation, October 20, 2000.
  • EEOC Enforcement Guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Psychiatric Disabilities, March 25, 1997.
  • ADA Enforcement Guidance on pre-employment disability-related questions and medical examinations, October 10, 1995.
This page was last modified on 18 January 2013, at 14:22.