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People with Disabilities

A disability should never stop you from serving your country. At FEMA, we value our employees not only for their diversity but the unique experiences, expertise, skills and abilities they bring to our organization and the customers that we serve. Put your abilities to work for us.

Hiring people with disabilities into federal jobs is fast and easy. People with disabilities can be appointed to federal jobs non-competitively through a process called Schedule A. People with disabilities may also apply for jobs through the traditional or competitive process.

Search for Positions at FEMA

Schedule A Hiring Authority

Schedule A is a special (excepted service) hiring authority for persons with disabilities. While being eligible for a Schedule A appointment will help you in the non-competitive process, it will not guarantee you a job 

You may be subject to a probationary period that can last up to two years, depending on the type of appointment. During probation, employees hired under the Schedule A are held to the same performance standards as all other employees.

Proving Eligibility

You are eligible for Schedule A if you are a person with a severe physical disability, a psychiatric disability, or an intellectual disability. To prove your eligibility to be appointed to a federal job under Schedule A, you must:

  • Be qualified for the job for which you are applying — that is, have the necessary competencies and relevant experience to perform the job.
  • Provide "proof of a disability" documentation. "Proof of a disability" is a letter stating that you have an intellectual disability, severe physical disability, or psychiatric disability. You can get this letter from your doctor, a licensed medical professional, a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist, or any federal, state, or local agency that issues or provides disability benefits. Many doctors and most of the entities listed above know how to format a Schedule A letter.

Interview Process

FEMA makes reasonable accommodations for applicants to provide full access to the application process on a case-by-case basis. During the interview process, the hiring official should ask you questions about your job qualifications and how you would perform the essential functions of the job. You are encouraged to present your qualifications in a positive manner which emphasizes abilities and assets. Sometimes an applicant will choose to anticipate and address job related questions about ways his or her disability may affect performance of critical duties, roles, and responsibilities of the job.

Keep in mind that hiring officials are prohibited from asking questions about your disability unless the questions are related to functioning on the job and consistent with the business needs of the position. To review the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's guidance about questions, agencies can ask about an applicant's disability. Please see the "Enforcement Guidance: Pre-employment Disability-Related Questions and Medical Examinations."

Questions?

People with disabilities may apply through the competitive hiring process, or in some circumstances, under the non-competitive special hiring authority for people with disabilities (Schedule A). For consideration under the non-competitive hiring authority (Schedule A), send a resume, description of your career interests, your geographic preferences, and proof of disability to fema-schedule-a@fema.dhs.gov.

Please make sure you protect your identity by redacting any personally identifiable information (PII) like your social security number or any identifying information.

If you are in need of reasonable accommodations when applying for a position, or going through the interview process at FEMA, please contact FEMA-Reasonable-accommodation@FEMA.dhs.gov.

Last updated Aug 6, 2020

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