Record Number of Disabled Americans Work for U.S. Government

Sunday, October 18, 2015
(graphic: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

The number of disabled federal government employees has increased dramatically under President Obama to an all-time high.


According to a report (pdf) from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), as of 2014, 248,608 federal employees were classified as disabled, including veterans with 30% or more disability. That’s 13.6% of the federal workforce, an increase of 0.8% over 2013’s numbers. It’s also the largest number and highest percentage of disabled federal employees since 1980, when such figures were first tracked.


Obama signed an executive order in 2010 requiring the hiring of 100,000 disabled workers by the federal government within five years. That number has not been hit, but it’s in reach. Acting OPM Director Beth Cobert said agencies are “on track” to meet Obama’s requirement, according to Government Executive.


“In my view, we need people with disabilities in every agency and at every level of federal service if the government is going to provide the excellent service that the American people expect and deserve,” Cobert wrote in a blog. “We cannot fulfill our mission without such diversity.”


Nor are all the hires being made at the bottom of the federal wage scale. About a quarter of the hires at the GS-14 and above level are disabled people, according to Government Executive.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Disabled Employees in Federal Government Reach All-Time High (by Eric Katz, Government Executive)

Report on the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch (U.S. Office of Personnel Management) (pdf)

ATF Used Mentally Disabled and Felons to Run Storefront Stings (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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