The White House held an event today to celebrate a milestone: the federal government has now hired 100,000 federal employees with disabilities.
The goal was one set by President Obama via a 2010 Executive Order which noted that the goal had originally been set by President Clinton in 2000, but that over subsequent years not enough steps were taken to achieve it.
“As the Nation’s largest employer, the Federal Government must become a model for the employment of individuals with disabilities,” wrote President Obama in the Executive Order. “Executive departments and agencies (agencies) must improve their efforts to employ workers with disabilities through increased recruitment, hiring, and retention of these individuals.”
Today, over 14 percent of federal employees are individuals with disabilities, the highest percentage since this metric was first recorded 35 years ago.
The event was organized by the White House, Office of Personnel Management, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Department of Labor. In attendance as guest speakers were EEOC chair Jenny R. Yang, acting OPM director Beth Cobert, and DOL Deputy Secretary Christopher Lu.
In addition to celebrating the milestone, the program highlighted ongoing efforts to improve the federal workforce for people with disabilities as well as look at how the federal government and private sector can share best practices in providing meaningful employment opportunities to people with disabilities.
“Many qualified people with disabilities wish to contribute their talents and serve their country through federal service,” said EEOC Chair Yang. “It is vital that we create inclusive workplaces across the federal government and private sector where people with disabilities can thrive.”
See the video above to view a rebroadcast of the event.