WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees commended President Obama’s recent Executive Order to increase federal employment of individuals with disabilities, “AFGE commends President Obama for taking this important step forward in reducing discrimination of people with disabilities and helping to eradicate the stigma associated with disabilities,” said AFGE National Vice President for Women’s and Fair Practices Augusta Thomas. “We also are pleased that this administration has recognized the importance of the nation’s largest employer becoming the model in which other public and private sector business can use for the employment of people with disabilities.
According to the Executive Order, approximately 54 million Americans are living with a disability yet they have an employment rate far lower than that of those with no disability, and are underrepresented in the federal workforce. Individuals with disabilities represent just over 5 percent of the nearly 2.5 million people in the federal workforce.
“The employment of people with disabilities has stagnated in the 20 years since the Americans with Disabilities was enacted,” said Thomas. “By designing new recruitment and hiring strategies, providing reasonable accommodations, increasing access to accessible technologies and ensuring the accessibility of physical and virtual workspaces, the admirable goal of increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in the federal workforce can finally be met.”