Most federal workers say their agencies are committed to hiring people with disabilities, yet many managers report being woefully unprepared to do so, a new survey finds.
The survey released Monday by the Federal Managers Association and the Telework Exchange indicates that the federal government has a long way to go to make good on efforts to close the employment gap. Just last fall, President Barack Obama called on federal agencies to take the lead in hiring people with disabilities. But the survey of federal managers and recruiters suggests fundamental problems are impeding the effort.
In 40 percent of cases, managers at federal agencies say that have not been trained to manage or retain employees with disabilities, according to the survey. Moreover, many of those surveyed also said they were unfamiliar with government regulations designed to promote hiring of those with disabilities.
The findings come just weeks before a federal job fair for people with disabilities that is intended to spur a new wave of hiring. Kareem Dale, special assistant to the president for disability policy is expected to comment on the survey findings at a conference next week.
A report last year from the National Council on Disability found that federal employment of people with disabilities declined 14.42 percent between 1998 and 2007 despite an executive order in 2000 to promote the hiring of 100,000 people with disabilities.