U.S. Government Promotes Employment for People with DisabilitiesPosted October 27th, 2010
U.S. President Barack Obama issued an executive order in July instructing federal agencies to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
The presidential order directs the heads of several key federal agencies to work together to create new hiring strategies within sixty days. Other federal agencies will then be required to develop plans, spearheaded by senior officials, for promoting the hiring of employees with disabilities in those agencies. The plans must include performance targets and numerical goals.
“As the nation’s largest employer,” wrote President Obama in the order, “the federal government must become a model for the employment of individuals with disabilities.”
In related news, two members of the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced legislation to modernize a long-time federal program aimed at providing private sector jobs for people with disabilities. The 40-year-old AbilityOne program currently generates about forty thousand jobs and training opportunities for Americans with disabilities. It is believed to be the single largest source of employment in the U.S. for people with disabilities. The program works by encouraging the government to use its buying power to purchase products and services from nonprofit agencies that employ workers with disabilities. Nationwide, more than six hundred community-based nonprofit agencies participate in the program.
The new house bill, sponsored by Representatives Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), will update AbilityOne’s procurement provisions to make them compatible with modern regulations.
For more information about AbilityOne, visit: http://abilityone.org