The number of federal employees with targeted disabilities declined between 2002 and 2011, the EEOC said. (Thinkstock)

The number of federal employees with targeted disabilities declined between 2002 and 2011, the EEOC said. (Thinkstock)

Despite a push to increase hiring of people with what are known as “targeted disabilities,” the participation of such individuals in the federal workforce has actually declined.

Back in 2002, 1.07 percent of federal employees had targeted disabilities. By 2011, that figure fell to 0.90 percent, according to a new report from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Targeted disabilities include intellectual disabilities, mental illness, deafness, blindness and other conditions considered by the government to be the “most severe impairments.”

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A federal goal calls for such workers to make up at least 2 percent of the government’s workforce. However, only nine agencies have achieved that threshold, the EEOC said.

What’s more, in cases where individuals with targeted disabilities are employed by the federal government, they earn less money on average than other workers, the report found.

“While the federal government continues to be a leader in workforce diversity, further progress is needed for it to become a model workplace for all employees,” said Carlton Hadden, director of the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations. “Agencies should pay particular attention to increasing diversity among the senior executive service and at the highest grade levels, as well as enhancing recruitment and retention of people with targeted disabilities.”