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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation

Federal hiring of seriously disabled falls

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Tight federal budgets and efforts to reduce federal agency employment reduced the number of people with serious disabilities who found federal Executive Branch jobs in 2012.

Because overall federal hiring fell sharply and hiring of people with serious disabilities fell only a little, the percentage of 2012 new hires who had serious disabilities increased.

The percentage of all federal employees with serious disabilities also increased.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) gives details about Executive Branch hiring in a report on efforts to meet the federal government’s hiring goals for people with disabilities.

In 2010, President Obama issued an executive order calling for Executive Branch agencies to make serious efforts to hire people with disabilities. He noted that there were 54 million Americans with disabilities, but only 2.5 million federal workers known to have any disability, and far fewer known to have a “targeted disability.”

The official list of targeted disabilities includes deafness, blindness, loss of an extremity, partial paralysis, complete paralysis, epilepsy, mental illness, distortion of a limb or spine, and mental illness.

OPM reports that the Executive Branch hired 9,750 people with any known disability in 2012 and 1,101 people with a targeted disability.

The number of new workers with any known disability increased 0.4 percent between 2010 and 2012, but the number with a targeted disability fell about 6 percent.

Because overall Executive Branch hiring fell 33 percent over that period, workers with targeted disabilities accounted for 1.08 percent of new hires in 2012, up from 0.78 percent in 2010.

In 2012, the Executive Branch had 18,319 workers with targeted disabilities on the job, and those employees made up 0.99 percent of the Executive Branch workforce.

The number of “on board” federal workers with targeted disabilities was up 5 percent in 2010.

In 2010, just 0.95 percent of the on board federal workers had serious disabilities.

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