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PRESS RELEASE
10-27-16

Chair Yang Provides Remarks at White House Event to Celebrate Hiring of 100,000 Federal Employees with Disabilities

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Jenny R.Yang will speak at a White House celebration to mark the fulfillment of President Barack Obama's goal -- established in a 2010 Executive Order -- to hire 100,000 people with disabilities into the federal government. The event, organized by the White House, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Department of Labor (DOL), and EEOC will focus on cross-agency efforts to reach this goal.  In addition, the program will highlight ongoing work to improve the federal workplace for people with disabilities and address how the federal government and private sector can share best practices in providing individuals with disabilities meaningful employment opportunities.  Other scheduled speakers include OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert and DOL Deputy Secretary Christopher Lu. The event, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., may be viewed live via https://www.whitehouse.gov/live.  

"Many qualified people with disabilities wish to contribute their talents and serve their country through federal service," said EEOC Chair Yang.  "It is vital that we create inclusive workplaces across the federal government and private sector where people with disabilities can thrive."

After years of declining participation by people with disabilities in the federal government, as detailed in a 2008 EEOC report, President Obama took action to reverse the trend by signing Executive Order 13548 on July 26, 2010, which instructed agencies to hire 100,000 people with disabilities into the federal government.  The Executive Order spurred creation of several interagency efforts, including the Curb Cuts to the Middle Class Initiative.  And now, over 14 percent of federal employees are individuals with disabilities - the highest percentage since this data was first recorded 35 years ago.

In her remarks, Chair Yang will announce the issuance of Tips for Applicants with Disabilities Applying for Federal Jobs, a Curb Cuts Initiative document for which EEOC has provided a leading role.  The document provides practical advice for people with disabilities about how to search for vacancy announcements, create a detailed federal resume, and compile an application package.  It also provides information and helpful links about the federal government's hiring process, special hiring authorities for people with disabilities and veterans with disabilities, the right to a reasonable accommodation in the application process, and the rights of applicants with disabilities, generally.

EEOC Acting Associate Legal Counsel Christopher Kuczynski will participate in a panel discussion, moderated by OPM's Acting Director Cobert, of how the federal government and private sector can work together to improve the hiring of people with disabilities. Other panelists include Marthalee Galeota from Starbucks, and Michael Murray, Chief Operating Officer from the American Association of People with Disabilities.

The event also will bring together leading advocates in the disability community and federal managers who enforce disability law requirements for discussions facilitated by OPM's Innovation Lab.  These discussions will focus on what barriers remain to the hiring and advancement of people with disabilities, and how those barriers may be overcome.  

EEOC works to advance opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information can be found at www.eeoc.gov.