The nation’s largest employer is making progress in hiring people with disabilities but still has a way to go toward fulfilling a plan calling for 100,000 new hires in five years.
Nearly 19,000 people with disabilities were hired by federal agencies during the 2011 fiscal year, according to a new report. That brings the total number of employees with disabilities to over 200,000, the most in 20 years.
The statistics come some two years after President Barack Obama issued an executive order calling on the federal government to add 100,000 new workers with disabilities by 2015.
“We still have a long way to go to meet the president’s 100,000 benchmark but we’re well underway,” said John Berry, director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which issued the report. “I’m confident that we’ll not only meet that goal, but that we will also add talented individuals to our team along the way.”
In an effort to reach the president’s goal, officials at Berry’s agency say they’ve trained more than 3,000 federal workers to recruit people with disabilities.
Nonetheless, a report issued in May by Congress’ investigative arm found serious deficiencies in federal hiring practices.
Specifically, the Government Accountability Office report indicated that many agencies have inadequate plans to increase disability employment and said that more training is needed so that government workers know how to accommodate those with disabilities.