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Rules make it easier for U.S. government to hire disabled workers

Rules make it easier for U.S. government to hire disabled workers

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has issued final regulations that will make it easier for the government to hire the disabled, the agency said Thursday.

Under the final regulations, individuals with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities and psychiatric disabilities who have work, educational or other relevant experience will no longer first have to procure “certificates of readiness.” These are essentially formal written assessments by medical professionals, vocational rehabilitation specialists or disability benefit agencies stating the applicant could reasonably be expected to perform in a particular work environment, according to the agency.

The agency said the new regulations are consistent with President Barack Obama's policy of removing barriers and encouraging the employment of the disabled in the federal workforce, as expressed in Executive Order 13548, Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities.

“We deliver the best results to the American people when we include all parts of our society in our workforce and take full advantage of their skills and perspectives,” Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry said in a statement. “It's important to recruit, hire, develop and retain a competitive and diverse workforce, so that we tap the potential of all groups — including Americans with disabilities.”

The final regulations are available in the Federal Register.