Southeast Region
Conserving the Nature of America
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Division of Human Resources

Employing Persons with Disabilities

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the premier government agency dedicated to the conservation, protection, and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats. It is the only agency in the federal government whose primary responsibility is management of these important natural resources for the American public. The Service also helps ensure a healthy environment for people through its work benefiting wildlife, and by providing opportunities for Americans to enjoy the outdoors and our shared natural heritage.

The Service’s Southeast Region (Region 4) is home to a rich diversity of natural resources spread across 10 states stretching from the Appalachian Mountains south to the Caribbean islands and west to the Ozarks, including the southern half of the Mississippi River Basin. The Regional Office is located in
Atlanta, Georgia and provides support to a staff of over 1,400 located in the Regional Office and our field stations, which consist of:

  • 128 national wildlife refuges, encompassing 4 million acres
  • 14 ecological services offices
  • 14 national fish hatcheries
  • 7 fisheries conservation offices
  • 1 regional fisheries center
  • 1 fish health center
  • 1 fish technology center
  • 11 migratory bird offices including 6 joint ventures with partners
  • 30 law enforcement offices
The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Southeast Region is committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce, including hiring persons with disabilities.  FWS positions are filled in two ways, competitively and noncompetitively.  Persons with disabilities may apply for jobs filled either way.  Applicants considered for positions must meet the qualification requirements for the jobs and be able to perform the essential duties of the jobs with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Competitive Process

    FWS jobs filled competitively are advertised through vacancy announcements at USAJOBS.   Persons with disabilities may apply through the regular competitive process.  However, any special hiring authority for persons with disabilities would Woman in wheelchair typing on laptopnot be utilized.

  • Non-Competitive Process

    Jobs that are filled noncompetitively do not have to be advertised.  Instead, a hiring official can select a qualified person with a disability under the Schedule A hiring authority.  The Schedule A hiring authority is for persons with mental retardation, severe physical disabilities or psychiatric disabilities.  In these cases, an agency may make a permanent, temporary, or time-limited appointment.  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.

Proof of Disability and Job Readiness

Eligibility for the Schedule A authority requires the following documentation:

  1. Proof of Disability - An individual wishing to be hired under the Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) hiring authority must provide proof he or she is an individual with mental retardation, severe physical disability, or psychiatric disability.  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.  This proof must be provided to the hiring agency before an individual can be hired.

  2. Certification of job readiness is a determination that applicants with disabilities are likely to succeed in the performance of the duties of the position he or she is seeking. The same entities who may provide proof of disability may also certify an individual's job readiness.  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, the hiring official has 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.

How to Apply Under the Schedule A Authority

  • Applicants can apply for a specific Fish and Wildlife Service vacancy announcement through the on-line system at  During the application process, be sure to indicate that you ARE eligible for “noncompetitive appointment,” appointment under “Schedule A,” “excepted service appointment,” or appointment under “5CFR213.3120(u)” whenever asked. 
  • If you are not applying for a specific position, you may submit an application package to this office.  Your application will be kept on file and referred to Program hiring officials based on the interest(s) and qualifications described in your application package.  If you are in consideration for a position, a hiring official will make direct contact with you to discuss the position.

Please include the following:

  • Cover letter designating the type (or types) of positions being sought and the specific Southeastern geographic area(s) of the country where you are interested in working.
  • Resume that clearly addresses your qualifications to do the job for which you are applying.  Please print “Schedule A” on your resume.
  • Proof of Disability Documentation
  • Certification of Job Readiness
  • School Transcripts used to help determine basic qualifications for position and grade.

Mail the completed package to:

Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region, Attn:  DCR Office, 1875 Century Blvd. Atlanta, GA 30345

Reasonable Accommodation

Hiring officials can make reasonable workplace accommodations 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 job, and/or where and how job tasks are performed. The accommodation should make it easier for the employee to successfully perform the duties of the position.  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.

Questions: Email us at

Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region

Last updated: August 6, 2010