Please direct the Department of Education/Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to reconsider their misinterpretation of the term "competitive integrated employment" in WIOA   and strike the

  • unnecessary regulations
  • (formulated under the previous administration) as they
  • restrict the ability of
  • individuals with significant disabilities to
  • participate in AbilityOne programs in which they can
  • obtain and keep employment that can pay well enough to help them
  • exit the Social Security benefits system if they so choose and
  • become financially self-sufficient.

Because of RSA's current misinterpretation of the term "competitive integrated employment" and misguided decision that AbilityOne contracts do not meet this standard

  • state vocational rehabilitation programs can no longer count significant AbilityOne jobs as closures
    even though the same job outside of the AbilityOne program would be an acceptable closure.
  • If State VR agencies do not to refer persons with significant disabilities to AbilityOne jobs they may never find out about them.
  • Rehabilitation programs operating AbilityOne contracts rely on VR funding to cover initial placement and training and this funding will disappear.
  • Support will be reduced and some programs may be forced to close, further limiting employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

In 2015 the average hourly wage for a person with a disability in the AbilityOne program was $12.80.

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