Federal Disability Employment Hits Record
Employment of people with disabilities by the U.S. government is at an all-time high, according to a new federal report.
At the close of fiscal year 2014, Uncle Sam employed more people with disabilities and these individuals represented a larger share of the workforce than at any other time since such record keeping began 34 years ago, the Office of Personnel Management said.
The news comes in an annual report to President Barack Obama issued this month that tracks disability hiring. Overall, the report found that federal offices hired 20,615 people with disabilities in 2014, bringing the total number of workers with disabilities to 247,608.
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Of them, 1,424 new hires had targeted disabilities, a category that includes intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, deafness, blindness, paralysis, missing extremities, dwarfism and psychiatric disabilities.
In 2010, Obama issued an executive order pledging to increase hiring of people with disabilities by the federal government — the nation’s largest employer — by 100,000 within five years.
Four years in, the government is “on track” to meet that goal with 72,000 full-time employees with disabilities having been added, according to Beth Cobert, acting director of the Office of Personnel Management.
“We are committed to ensuring that the federal government remains a model employer for people with disabilities. I look forward to achieving that goal and reporting back to you on our results,” Cobert wrote in her report to Obama.
Beyond hiring, Cobert said her office is working with federal agencies to ensure that workers with disabilities are provided training, mentoring and the reasonable accommodations they need.