AUCD Statement on the Final Report of the Advisory Committee on Increasing Employment for Individuals with Disabilities

September 20, 2016


Andrew J. Imparato, JD
Executive Director
aimparato@aucd.org

WASHINGTON, DC (September 15, 2016) - The Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities delivered their final report to U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez today. AUCD thanks the Advisory Committee for their hard work and supports the recommendations of the Committee.

Created by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, this committee was charged with developing recommendations to improve the employment participation rate of individuals with disabilities across the nation. Chaired by David M. Mank, recently retired Director of the Indiana University Institute on Disability and Community, the Indiana Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities, the recommendations are intended to increase opportunities for competitive integrated employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and other disabilities. Ensuring that employment is the first option for people with I/DD or other significant disabilities will increase their employment participation rate and lead to a significant reduction in segregated work and non-work programs and in the use of Section 14(c) certificates for paying subminimum wages. With a work force participation rate of less than a third that of the general population, people with disabilities must be included in efforts to develop the skills and experiences necessary to successfully enter the workforce.

"The Committee has done a great job laying out a set of recommendations that are achievable and will move our field forward," said Andrew Imparato, the AUCD executive director who worked for Chairman Harkin on the legislation that created the Committee.  "I am grateful to Dr. David Mank and his colleagues for their hard work and am confident that this agenda will be taken seriously by our bipartisan allies in Congress."

 The AUCD network provided significant input into this process.  Besides one of our members chairing the committee, many network members provided testimony to the committee, much of the data and evidence-based research that formed the final recommendations in the report came from network members.  In addition, many of the evidence-based practices in the report were gathered from the Partnerships in Employment, a national transition systems change project, lead by many AUCD network centers, with the goal to identify, develop, and promote policies and practices to improve transition, postsecondary education, and competitive employment outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The report was also delivered to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce.  We look forward to working with these committees and the Administration to use the recommendations increase competitive integrated employment and secure a pathway to a better economic future and increased economic self-sufficiency for youth and adults with disabilities.

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), located in Silver Spring, MD, promotes and supports a national network of interdisciplinary centers on disabilities. The members of AUCD represent every U.S. state and territory. AUCD and its members work to advance policy and practice through research, education, leadership, and services for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities. For more information, visit AUCD's website, www.aucd.org.

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