Dec. 15, 2014
Written by Shaun
The federal government added people
with disabilities to its payroll at a higher rate last year than at any other
time in the last three decades.
More than 16,000 people with
disabilities were hired by the U.S. government during fiscal year 2013,
according to a new report from the Office of Personnel Management. That brought the
total number of federal workers with disabilities to 234,395.
“This success has led to more people
with disabilities (on board) in federal service, both in real terms and by
percentage than at any time in the past 33 years,” wrote Katherine Archuleta,
director of the Office of Personnel Management in her report to President
By September 2013, people with
disabilities accounted for 12.8 percent of federal employees, an increase of
nearly 1 percent over the prior year, the report said.
At the same time, the number of
workers with targeted disabilities — including intellectual disabilities,
epilepsy, deafness, blindness, paralysis, missing extremities, dwarfism and
psychiatric disabilities — also ticked up slightly to 18,665, federal officials
The increased hiring comes after
Obama issued an executive order in 2010 calling on the federal government, as
the nation’s largest employer, to hire 100,000 people with disabilities
within five years.
Archuleta said the nation is on its
way toward achieving that threshold, with 57,491 permanent employees with
disabilities added during the first three years since the executive order took
However, advocates say that the
federal government ought to do more.
“While the last few years have seen
some modest increases in the numbers of people with disabilities employed by
the federal government, The Arc remains deeply concerned that many people with
the most significant disabilities, including jobseekers with intellectual and
developmental disabilities, are being left behind,” said Peter V. Berns, CEO of