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Disability Inclusion Efforts

Disability Inclusion Efforts

Even with 25 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people with disabilities continue to face barriers to employment equality. In 2012, the overall employment rate of adults with disabilities was 33.5%, as compared to 76.3% for others.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law on July 22, 2014 to help knock down those barriers. One important goal of this law is to decrease employment disparity by connecting job seekers with disabilities and federal contractors and subcontractors.  Under the new rules, employers should invite job applicants and existing employees to self-identify as a person with a disability, if they choose. All self-identification information must be kept separate from other personnel records and cannot be available or used for any employment decisions. Employers should also create partnerships with disability organizations to assist in finding and recruiting qualified job applicants with disabilities. Collectively, these efforts will increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities as well as diversify the workforce of federal government contractors and subcontractors while simultaneously meeting their business needs by filling positions with qualified, skilled professionals.