Schedule A Hiring Authority Overview

Schedule A, 5 CFR 213.3102(u), is a special hiring authority for people with disabilities. It is intended for the appointment of persons with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities. Schedule A is an exception to the traditional hiring process. Eligibility for the Schedule A Hiring Authority does not guarantee job placement at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Persons with disabilities are hired under excepted service appointments to positions that are otherwise in the competitive service. Individuals hired under Schedule A are subject to a trial period (i.e., probationary period) that can last up to two years, based on veteran status. During probation, employees hired under Schedule A are held to the same performance standards as all other employees. After two years of satisfactory service, such employees may be noncompetitively converted to the competitive service.


In order to be eligible for employment under Schedule A, documentation of the disability is required. Such documentation is used to verify that the individual being hired is indeed a person with an intellectual disability, severe physical disability, or psychiatric disability. The documentation does NOT need to detail an individual’s specific disability, medical history, or need for accommodation. This documentation must be provided to the hiring agency before an individual can be hired (i.e., submitted with an application before the closing date of an announcement).

Documentation of eligibility for employment under Schedule A can be obtained 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 an agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits.

Sample Schedule A letters are available from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Applying for Federal Employment

The Schedule A Hiring Authority allows eligible persons with disabilities to apply through either the competitive or non-competitive hiring process. For placement at the IMLS, individuals must be U.S. citizens.

An applicant applying through the competitive hiring process will apply directly to a job opportunity announcement on USAJOBS. It is the responsibility of the applicant to determine if they are both eligible and qualified for a position vacancy when applying to a job opportunity announcement, as well as ensuring all supporting documentation is submitted. A human resources specialist will verify eligibility and qualifications once a job opportunity announcement is closed.

An applicant applying through the noncompetitive hiring process may submit their application for consideration whether or not a job opportunity announcement exists at the time of application submission. Applicants interested in the non-competitive hiring process should send an email to to receive information on next steps in the process.

Persons with disabilities may also register for the Office of Personnel Management’s Shared List of People with Disabilities, via the Bender Disability Employment Registry, by submitting their resume.

Additional Resources

Individuals with Disabilities via USAJOBS

Schedule A Hiring Authority via OPM

The ABCs of Schedule A: Tips for Applicants with Disabilities on Getting Federal Jobs via EEOC

Contact the Disability Program Coordinator at the IMLS

For more information about the Schedule A Hiring Authority, individuals may contact the IMLS’s Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC) at

Individuals may contact the Disability Program Officer (DPO) at

IMLS Reasonable Accommodation Directive (PDF, 396KB)

If an individual is in need of an accommodation because of a disability in order to access information on this website or is having web accessibility problems, contact