EEOC: Less than 1 percent of federal workers have disabilities

A report released this week by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found that people with targeted disabilities still comprise less than one percent (0.88 percent) of the total federal work force. Targeted disabilities include deafness, blindness, missing extremities, partial or complete paralysis, convulsive disorders, mental retardation, mental illness, and distortion of the limb and/or spine.

According to the report, the percentage of federal employees with targeted disabilities held steady in fiscal 2009 for the first time since 1995, halting a 13-year decline.

“As the largest employer in the nation, the federal government should lead the way in creating a diverse and just workplace,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “Government employers need to continue to recruit and promote employees who represent the tapestry of America. They must also improve the efficiency of the complaint process so that justice delayed is not justice denied. We look forward to assisting the federal government to become an exemplary employer.”

An executive order signed by the president this week ordered federal agencies to hire 100,000 more employees with disabilities over the next five years, and mandated that hiring managers and human resource staff members be trained on how to employ people with disabilities.