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For generations, people with disabilities have made vital contributions to advance U.S. foreign policy and ensure it delivers for the American people.

They’ve used their exceptional talents, creativity, and ingenuity to help improve public health… promote development… expand economic opportunities… defend human rights… and protect our planet.

Across these efforts, they’ve built bridges of friendship and understanding between Americans and people around the globe.

They’ve also brought a unique and indispensable perspective to our foreign policy, drawn from their own lived experiences.

Today, the State Department is stronger… our country is safer… and Americans are more prosperous and more secure because of the efforts of people with disabilities.

To tackle the biggest challenges our world faces today – whether that’s shaping emerging technologies or combatting climate change – we need our nation’s best and brightest. We need diversity, which makes our teams smarter, more effective, and more innovative. And we can’t represent the United States if our employees don’t reflect the American people.

For all these reasons and so many more, we want – and we need – people with disabilities on our team.

We’re committed to making the State Department a place where everyone has equitable opportunities to contribute, grow, and lead. That’s why we’ve expanded support for employees to try assistive technologies – from adapted keyboards to magnification software – and find what allows them to serve to their full potential. We’ve updated our medical requirements for joining the Foreign Service, so people with disabilities have more opportunities to serve abroad. And we’ve switched our standard font to one that’s more compatible for people using screen reader programs, and more accessible for employees with learning disabilities. Those are just a few examples, and we’re committed to doing more.

We’re also fully integrating accessibility into our foreign policy, and working with partners in government, civil society, and the private sector to advance the rights and inclusion of more than a billion people with disabilities around the world.

Our Special Advisor on International Disability Rights – Sara Minkara – is helping lead our efforts. As she puts it, “the inclusion of all is a value for all.” That’s true for the world, and it’s true for the State Department.

As we build that value, I hope that you’ll join us, and come use your talents to forge a future that’s more peaceful and more prosperous for all.

We’d be lucky to have you on our team.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future