Federal Government must become a model for the employment of individuals with disabilities.
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to establish the Federal Government as a model employer of individuals with disabilities, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. Approximately 54 million Americans are living with a disability. The Federal Government has an important interest in reducing discrimination against Americans living with a disability, in eliminating the stigma associated with disability, and in encouraging Americans with disabilities to seek employment in the Federal workforce. Yet Americans with disabilities have an employment rate far lower than that of Americans without disabilities, and they are underrepresented in the Federal workforce. Individuals with disabilities currently represent just over 5 percent of the nearly 2.5 million people in the Federal workforce, and individuals with targeted disabilities (as defined below) currently represent less than 1 percent of that workforce.
On July 26, 2000, in the final year of his administration, President Clinton signed Executive Order 13163, calling for an additional 100,000 individuals with disabilities to be employed by the Federal Government over 5 years. Yet few steps were taken to implement that Executive Order in subsequent years.
As the Nation's largest employer, the Federal Government must become a model for the employment of individuals with disabilities. Executive departments and agencies (agencies) must improve their efforts to employ workers with disabilities through increased recruitment, hiring, and retention of these individuals. My Administration is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in the Federal workforce through compliance with Executive Order 13163 and achievement of the goals set forth therein over 5 years, including specific goals for hiring individuals with targeted disabilities.
Sec. 2. Recruitment and Hiring of Individuals with Disabilities. (a) Within 60 days of the date of this order, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall design model recruitment and hiring strategies for agencies seeking to increase their employment of people with disabilities and develop mandatory training programs for both human resources personnel and hiring managers on the employment of individuals with disabilities.
(b) Within 120 days of the date the Office of Personnel Management sets forth strategies and programs required under subsection (a), each agency shall develop an agency specific plan for promoting employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The plan shall be developed in consultation with and, as appropriate, subject to approval by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and shall, consistent with law, include performance targets and numerical goals for employment of individuals with disabilities and sub goals for employment of individuals with targeted disabilities.
(c) Each agency shall designate a senior-level agency official to be accountable for enhancing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and individuals with targeted disabilities within the agency, consistent with law, and for meeting the goals of this order. This official, among other things, shall be accountable for developing and implementing the agency's plan under subsection (b), creating recruitment and training programs for employment of individuals with disabilities and targeted disabilities, and coordinating employment counseling to help match the career aspirations of individuals with disabilities to the needs of the agency.
(d) In implementing their plans, agencies, to the extent permitted by law, shall increase utilization of the Federal Government's Schedule A excepted service hiring authority for persons with disabilities and increase participation of individuals with disabilities in internships, fellowships, and training and mentoring programs.
(e) The Office of Personnel Management shall assist agencies with the implementation of their plans. The Director of the Office of Personnel Management, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall implement a system for reporting regularly to the President, the heads of agencies, and the public on agencies' progress in implementing their plans and the objectives of this order. The Office of Personnel Management, to the extent permitted by law, shall compile and post on its website Government wide statistics on the hiring of individuals with disabilities.
Sec. 3. Increasing Agencies' Retention and Return to Work of Individuals with Disabilities. (a) The Director of the Office of Personnel Management, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor and the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, shall identify and assist agencies in implementing strategies for retaining Federal workers with disabilities in Federal employment including, but not limited to, training, the use of centralized funds to provide reasonable accommodations, increasing access to appropriate accessible technologies, and ensuring the accessibility of physical and virtual workspaces.
(b) Agencies shall make special efforts, to the extent permitted by law, to ensure the retention of those who are injured on the job. Agencies shall work to improve, expand, and increase successful return to work outcomes for those of their employees who sustain work-related injuries and illnesses, as defined under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA), by increasing the availability of job accommodations and light or limited duty jobs, removing disincentives for FECA claimants to return to work, and taking other appropriate measures. The Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, shall pursue innovative re employment strategies and develop policies, procedures, and structures that foster improved return to work outcomes, including by pursuing overall reform of the FECA system. The Secretary of Labor shall also propose specific outcome measures and targets by which each agency's progress in carrying out return to work and FECA claims processing efforts can be assessed.
Sec. 4. Definitions. (a) "Disability" shall be defined as set forth in the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
(b) "Targeted disability" shall be defined as set forth on the form for self identification of disability, Standard Form 256 (SF 256), issued by the Office of Personnel Management, or any replacements, updates, or revisions thereto.
(c) Not less than 1 year after the date of this order and in consultation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, and the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management shall review the effectiveness of the definition of targeted disability set forth in SF 256 and replace, update, or revise it as appropriate.
Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations, and shall not be construed to require any Federal employee to disclose disability status involuntarily.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.