[NFBMO] From the Blind Gov Muster Mailing List: Tips for Getting a Job with the Federal Government

Daniel Garcia dangarcia3 at hotmail.com
Mon May 30 23:01:31 UTC 2022

From: Blind-Gov-Muster <blind-gov-muster-bounces at nfbnet.org> On Behalf Of Annette Carr via Blind-Gov-Muster
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2022 2:17 PM
To: 'The Blind Public Employees Muster' <blind-gov-muster at nfbnet.org>
Cc: amcarr1 at verizon.net
Subject: [Blind-Gov-Muster] Tips for Getting a Job with the Federal Government

Hello All,

Below you will find information and links to helpful information for getting a job with the Federal government , and requesting a reasonable accommodation.

Annette Carr
amcarr1 at verizon.net<mailto:amcarr1 at verizon.net>

General Schedule Qualification Standards

Before starting to look for a job in the Federal government, you need to have an idea of the job series and grade you qualify for.  While there are a lot of factors that go into pinpointing the job you want to find, the above URL will help get you started.  This information is generic and each Federal agency will have additional requirements, and may categorize the position you desire under a different job series.  For example, I am the Disability Program Manager (DPM) for my agency.  My position is housed in Civil Rights within Affirmative Employment.  At other agencies, the position is part of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office, and at other agencies it is within Human Resources or Human Capital.  The DPM position may or may not be a supervisory position, and could be a GS-12 or as high as a GS-14 and rarely a GS-15.  If the agency uses Bands instead of the General Schedule (GS) system, DPM’s are usually at the H, I or J levels.  At many agencies the DPM duties are combined with other EEO or HR duties.

When applying for a Federal Job:

Most Federal agencies have a Selective Placement Program Coordinator/Manager.  This person is responsible for recruiting, hiring, advancing and retaining people with disabilities (PWD) at their agency.  Sometimes this is a dedicated position and other times it is collateral duties.  The above link will help you find the Selective Placement Coordinator/Manager for most agencies.

Federal Government Non-competitive Hiring Authority

A non-competitive hiring authority in the Federal government is also known as Schedule A hiring authority and on-the-spot hiring.  No matter the name, it is a special hiring authority allowing Federal agencies to hire people with targeted disability through an expedited process.   A manager looking to fill an available position, can elect to consider looking at the pool of applicants with disabilities who have the skills needed for the position.  If you are a person with a disability, you have the needed skills and you applied for the position under the special hiring authority, you are part of a very small pool of applicants, increasing your chances for being offered the job.  Reach out to the agency’s Selective Placement Coordinator/Manager or the Hiring Manager listed in the job announcement to clarify how to use their non-competitive hiring authority.

Tips for using the non-competitive hiring authority:

  *   Apply both competitively and non-competitively.  The manager is not obligated to consider non-competitive candidates.
  *   At most agencies you provide your packet to the Selective Placement Program Coordinator/Manager, or the listed HR specialist letting them know you are interested in applying non-competitively for a specific position.  Some agencies will hold on to your packet and try and match you up with a vacancy when they find one that you have the skills for.
  *   At most agencies, your packet consists of your resume, a cover letter, and your Schedule A letter.  Learn more about the Schedule A letter at URL:

Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation
As a person with a disability, you can request a Reasonable Accommodation (RA) for a disability at any time during the application process and during employment.  During the application process you should direct your request to the hiring specialist listed in the job announcement or to the person who contacted you for setting up the interview.  Each agency is required to post their Reasonable Accommodation procedures on their website, not necessarily on the homepage.  The RA process during the application and selection process is expedited and may require minimal documentation.

The RA process once you are an official employee of that agency is much more formal, and can differ slightly from agency to agency.  It is important that if you are going to request a RA that you become familiar with the agency’s policy and procedures for RA.  Generally speaking, the process should look like:

  *   Employee or an appropriate third party makes known they need something.  No special words need to be used and it can be requested in any format.  It is important to know who can receive the RA request.
  *   The agency needs to confirm you are a person with a disability and that there is a nexus between your disability and your RA request.

·                     Interactive discussion to:

           *   identify the barrier you are experiencing, or anticipate you will experience, i.e., need a screen reader or screen magnification to access the computer.

     *   Identify all possible solutions, i.e., JAWS, Narrator, something else.
     *   Review of all identified solutions to determine which one will be effective in removing the barrier.
     *   Selection of the solution is the employer choice, but the employer is encouraged to give strong consideration to the solution that the employee feels will best meet their needs.

  *   Solution is provided.
  *   Follow-up to ensure solution is effective.

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