WHEREAS, the 2000 U.S. Census indicates that there are more than 54 million Americans living with a disability, representing a full 20 percent of the U.S. population; and WHEREAS, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Fair Employment and Housing Act of 1980 require employers to assure that persons with disabilities are given equal employment opportunities and are treated fairly as employees; and WHEREAS, despite the progress as the result of these laws, the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities is higher than that of any other group; and WHEREAS, it is the policy of this state to encourage and enable individuals with a disability to fully participate in the social and economic life of California and to engage in remunerative employment; and WHEREAS, California is home to approximately 6 million people with disabilities and a viable employment pool of more than two and a half million qualified and skilled persons who have a disability; and WHEREAS, State Government has an opportunity and a responsibility to lead by example, ensuring individuals with disabilities have an open door to the many opportunities in public service; and WHEREAS, this Administration is strongly committed to ensuring fairness and non-discrimination in state employment practices and recognizes that equal employment opportunity for all segments of society is not fully realized without vigilance and conscious effort. NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, do hereby issue this order to become effective immediately: 1. All state agencies, departments, boards and commissions shall utilize best efforts with respect to recruitment, hiring, advancement, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment and issue clear, written directives to their managers and supervisors prohibiting discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. 2. Each state agency shall comply with existing law and annually review its hiring practices to identify any barriers to employment of individuals with disabilities, and, in consultation with their disability advisory committee, take appropriate action to eliminate any non job-related barriers to the integration of individuals with disabilities into the workforce. 3. All state agencies, departments, boards, and commissions shall utilize the Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP) lists in filling vacancies. LEAP lists provide a ready pool of qualified candidates, who happen to have a disability, for a variety of jobs. 4. The State Personnel Board shall provide statewide leadership, in partnership with the Department of Rehabilitation, to coordinate and provide technical guidance to fulfill the intent of this executive order.