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Our Director Director's Blog

Disability Employment

My passion for building a Federal workforce that looks like the America we serve is not just about numbers. It is about the American people benefiting from the talent, the wisdom, the experience, and the insights of people from every community in this great country. We need that diversity at every level and at every decision table.

In August 2011, the President issued an executive order that called for a government-wide coordinated effort to promote diversity and inclusion within the Federal workforce. The President’s Management Agenda builds on that commitment.

At the Office of Personnel Management, we work every day to help agencies build a workforce that reflects the bright mosaic of the American people. We know we must work equally hard to be sure that once hired, employees feel included and engaged at all levels of government. Although we know there’s still much work to do, the data shows us that we are making progress on the President’s vision.

For example, four years ago, the President set a goal of hiring 100,000 people with disabilities. I am proud to say that we are more than half way toward reaching that milestone. In fact, OPM’s latest report on the employment of people with disabilities shows that the Federal Government has hired people with disabilities at a higher rate than at any time in the past 33 years.

Our data also shows a steady increase in making our Senior Executive Service more diverse. For example, in 2009, women represented just 31 percent of the SES. Today, they make up 34 percent of these senior leadership positions. We’re also making progress in improving representation along all racial and ethnic lines.

OPM is expanding the data we collect through the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey to capture information from employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. As more LGBT employees self-identify through this powerful tool, agencies will be better equipped to support this important part of our Federal family.

OPM is providing agencies with the tools, strategies, and guidance to help them continue this progress. This week, OPM unveiled the REDI Roadmap, which stands for Recruitment, Engagement, Diversity, and Inclusion, and is designed to make sure that across government, we are using the latest data-driven expertise, digital tools, and collaborative thinking to continue to build, develop, and engage a talented and diverse workforce, now and for years to come.

REDI reflects OPM’s commitment to the President’s vision of ensuring that all segments of society are represented and feel included at every level of America's workforce. You can learn more about the new REDI Roadmap at www.opm.gov/REDI.

This post was originally featured on the White House Blog.

Snippet of data from the REDI Report available at www.opm.gov/REDI


 

This Saturday, July 26, marks the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a day for us to celebrate the tremendous contributions of people with disabilities to our country. From classrooms in Sacramento to buses in Denver to sidewalks here in the District of Columbia, this landmark legislation makes sure that Americans with disabilities are guaranteed full access and the same opportunities promised to all Americans.

On July 26, 2010, President Obama issued Executive Order 13548, Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities, to mark the historic 20th anniversary of the signing of the ADA. His order says that the Federal government, as the nation's largest employer, must become a model for the employment of individuals with disabilities.

We have made great progress toward fulfilling the President’s vision. There are more people with disabilities in Federal service than at any time in the past 33 years. The talents, the experiences and the expertise of employees with disabilities are an indispensable part of the Federal workforce. At all levels and in every profession, the contributions of people with disabilities enrich the Federal government. Our nation is absolutely stronger because of their dedication and service.

Yet our work is not done. We must do more to recruit people with targeted disabilities. We must continue our efforts to hire and retain employees with disabilities at all levels of government -- from resume through retirement -- so that we have the strongest workforce possible.

To support Federal employees in this effort, OPM, in consultation with partner agencies, has launched an online course entitled, “A Roadmap to Success: Hiring, Retaining and Including People with Disabilities.” The course, which will be available to agencies at no cost on HR University, provides basic information and resources to help employees and managers hire, retain and advance Federal workers with disabilities. In accordance with the Executive Order, this training will be required for human resources personnel and hiring managers.

Today, let all of us recommit to building an inclusive, vibrant and powerful workforce that reflects the bright mosaic of the American people we serve.


Today, OPM released the “2012 Employment of People with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch Report.” This report has some very exciting news. At no point in the past 32 years have people with disabilities been hired at a higher percentage than in FY 2012. People with targeted disabilities are also being brought into the Federal workforce at a higher percentage now than at any time in the past 17 years.  This success has led to more people with disabilities in Federal service, both in real terms and by percentage than at any time in the past 32 years.

We have made outstanding progress toward meeting the President’s goal of hiring 100,000 people with disabilities in 5 years (Executive Order 13548- Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities). I applaud my fellow Federal employees for their hard work and dedication. As I have said before, when we set the bar high, when we strive to push our own boundaries of thinking, we move the needle. And that is what we have done. By including more people with disabilities in the Federal workforce, we are stronger and better able to serve America.

Still,  our work is not done. I want to encourage Federal employees and the disability community to continue the work of recruiting, retaining and including employees with disabilities at all levels of government. We must do more to recruit people with targeted disabilities and to make sure that we are retaining this talent. We must continue to build stronger pipelines into Federal service and ensure that we are cultivating and attracting the talent that we need so that -- from resume through retirement-- we have the strongest workforce possible.  


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