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August 2017 | Vol. 9, Issue 7
CONTENTS
National Disability Institute Responds to Charlottesville
NDI Takes Issue with Call for Re-Examination of WIOA Final Rule
NDI Joins Workgroup Focused on Tax Policy
ABLE Programs Continue to Grow
July Employment Profile


 

National Disability Institute Responds to Charlottesville

National Disability Institute (NDI) remains saddened and deeply concerned over the disturbing events that occurred in Charlottesville, VA this past month. This reprehensible display of hatred, violence and bigotry is a direct affront to the fundamental principles of liberty, equality and respect for diversity that make our country one of the greatest beacons of opportunity for all people, including those with disabilities.

NDI proudly stands alongside many of our partners in the disability advocacy community and the civil rights community in condemning both the actions of the perpetrators and the perpetrators themselves. For decades, if not centuries, people with disabilities have had to endure widespread isolation, segregation and many other forms of discrimination at the hands of ignorance and unfounded intolerance. As an organization vested in representing the interests of this historically marginalized group of individuals, NDI feels compelled to unequivocally reject any and all entities that practice hate, violence and/or discrimination.

NDI will continue to work with our organizational counterparts in both the disability community and the civil rights sphere to bring about change that respects and encourages diversity in all its many forms.

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NDI Takes Issue with Call for Re-Examination of WIOA Final Rule

Forty-five Republican members of the House of Representatives recently sent a letter to the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, expressing their concern over a final rule regarding the definition of “Competitive Integrated Employment” found in Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The letter makes the claim that the definition provided through regulatory and sub-regulatory guidance, established by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), is having a prohibitive effect on various vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency’s ability to refer individuals with disabilities into AbilityOne programs. The letter concludes by requesting that the Secretary rescind such guidance to alleviate the suggested negative effects on both VR agencies and AbilityOne programs.

National Disability Institute (NDI) has long championed advancing opportunities for competitive integrated employment for individuals with disabilities, as opposed to segregated sub-minimum wage situations and environments. Additionally, NDI worked in concert with other national disability-related advocacy organizations in order to ensure that an appropriate definition of “competitive integrated employment” was included as a part of WIOA. NDI believes that the current definition included in WIOA, and subsequent rules and regulations, reflect the best interests of individuals with disabilities.

NDI is currently working with its disability-related counterparts to assist Secretary DeVos in understanding the importance of competitive integrated employment for individuals with disabilities.

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NDI Joins Workgroup Focused on Tax Policy

As Congress plans to turn its focus to tax reform, National Disability Institute (NDI) has recently agreed to participate on the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Tax Policy Workgroup. This workgroup, comprised of several representatives from various national disability-related advocacy organizations, will develop principles by which to examine expected tax proposals, ensuring that members of Congress fully understand their effects on the disability community. Additionally, the CCD Tax Policy Workgroup will be developing several tax proposals that are aimed at increasing economic advancement and self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities and their families.

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ABLE Programs Continue to Grow

Several more states, including Colorado, Indiana, Montana, New York and the District of Columbia, have launched ABLE programs in the last couple of months, bringing the total number of ABLE programs to 28. It is important to note that the majority of these ABLE programs are enrolling eligible individuals nationwide, regardless of their state of residency. Additionally, we are expecting several more states to launch their ABLE programs in the coming months, and are hopeful to see over 30 available ABLE programs by the end of the year.

To learn more about these programs, including how to compare them, we encourage you to visit the ABLE National Resource Center website.

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July Employment Profile

Disability employment statistics for July 2017 show that the unemployment rate among people with disabilities was 9.6 percent. This shows a 1.5 percent decrease from July 2016. The latest employment statistics also find that only 20.8 percent of people with disabilities are actively in the labor force, as compared to 69.2 percent of people with no disability. Data on people with disabilities covers those between the ages of 16 to 64 who do not live in institutions.

U.S. Disability Employment Profile
Statistic
With Disability
Without Disability
 
July
2016
July
2017
July
2016
July
2017
Percent of Population in the Labor Force
20.4
20.8
69.2
69.2
Employment-Population Ratio
18.1
18.8
65.8
66.2
Unemployment Rate
11.1
9.6
4.9
4.4
As reported by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table A-6

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