Obama vows more gov't hiring of people with disabilities

10:06, July 27, 2010      

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President Barack Obama signed Monday an executive order to increase federal employment of individuals with disabilities.

He was asking the federal government, the country's biggest employer, to set an example in reducing discrimination against these people, according to a statement from the White House.

Marking the 20th anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the landmark law for people with disabilities, Obama signed the order to fulfill a pledge "to have the federal government be a model employer of people with disabilities."

The order establishes mechanisms such as mandatory training for hiring managers, and requires development of model guidelines and assistance for hiring people with disabilities, reporting to the President about progress, and publicizing results on a website as a way to promote transparency.

In a speech at a White House reception, Obama said right now "only five percent of the federal workforce is made up of Americans with disabilities -- far below the proportion of Americans with disabilities in the general population," and promised an increase.

"Equal access -- to the classroom, the workplace, and the transportation required to get there. Equal opportunity -- to live full and independent lives the way we choose. Not dependence -- but independence. That's what the ADA was all about," he said.

The ADA became law on July 26, 1990. It banned workplace discrimination against people with disabilities, and requiring improved access to public places and transportation.

Source: Xinhua


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