Federal hiring of people with disabilities on the rise

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A hand and pen pictured as employment application is complete

Federal employment on the rise

More than 18 percent of the people hired by the federal government in Fiscal Year 2013 were people with disabilities, according to new data released by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management on December 12.

The percentage is the highest rate since 1981.

In 2010, President Obama signed Executive Order 13548, doubling down on a similar executive order from President Clinton that required the federal government to hire 100,000 new people with disabilities by 2015.

With 16,024 new hires, the federal government, the nation’s largest employer, now employs 234,395 workers with disabilities, which represents 12.8 percent of its workforce. In the four years since the Executive Order, the federal government has added 57,491 new employees with disabilities, which, while a significant improvement, would still put the federal government on pace to fall short of its goal.

“Our commitment to hiring, developing, and retaining more people with disabilities is not just about the numbers,” OPM Director Katherine Archuleta wrote in the blog post. “It’s about making sure that we have a rich diversity of thought, of expertise, of experience, and of perspective throughout the government.

“As OPM Director, I am committed to making sure that the Federal government is a model employer. And that means our workforce must reflect the rich mosaic of the American people we serve.”