Investigators reported that Social Security has shown commitment from top leadership on meeting the goal. The agency has set concrete goals, they said, and "accountability for results related to the executive order is included in the performance plan of the senior-level official responsible for implementing it."
Social Security spokeswoman Kia Green said the agency recruits nationally for people with disabilities, offers career counseling and maintains "a robust reasonable-accommodation program with centralized funding."
The agency developed a five-year plan for hiring and supporting employees with disabilities three years ago, Green said.
The Arc of Maryland, a statewide advocacy organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, plans to work with Social Security this fall on a career development program. The Arc also participates in a federal contracting program in which people with disabilities maintain the grounds at the agency's headquarters.
"There are so many different opportunities that they have," said Doug McQuade, the Arc's assistant executive director. "They have so many jobs with so many diverse skill sets."
But he said the application process itself can be an obstacle. Often, the first step to starting a career, whether with the government or in the private sector, is submitting an application electronically.
"We're not just someone looking for a job," he said. "We have a story. For someone to take the time to listen to that story and to know you makes all the difference. … [With] kiosks and websites, somehow you lose the story."