EEOC: Federal Agencies Slowed In Employing Workers With
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 30, 2006
WASHINGTON, DC--Despite legislation targeted at improving employment rates of people with disabilities -- such as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and President George W. Bush's 2001 New Freedom Initiative -- the number of such workers in federal jobs continues to drop.
According to a statement released Wednesday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and a brief story in the Federal Times, there were about 25,000 people with disabilities in the federal workforce in 2005, compared with nearly 30,000 a decade ago. That represents a 20 percent decline over the past 10 years.
It also represents .96 percent of the 2.6 million-member federal labor force, which is well below the 1.24 percent rate in 1994.
During an EEOC public meeting held Wednesday, people with disabilities and officials from federal agencies, disability rights groups, and the private sector discussed barriers that workers with disabilities face when competing for government jobs.
EEOC Commissioner Christine M. Griffin is heading up the new Leadership for the Employment of Americans with Disabilities initiative, or LEAD.
"In order to improve the overall employment rate for people with targeted disabilities, we have to begin with the federal government," Griffin said. "Congress directed the federal government to set the example for all other employers. Our example needs improvement. I fully expect the LEAD initiative to significantly contribute to this improvement."
"Agencies hiring fewer people with severe disabilities" (Federal Times)
"Commission Takes Aggressive Steps To Stem Decline In Number Of Federal Workers With Targeted Disabilities" (EEOC)