Today, the Senate passed by an overwhelming vote of 95-3, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, legislation that makes significant changes to job training programs for youth with disabilities.
Earlier this month, CEC advocates stormed Capitol Hill urging Congress to pass this legislation because it makes critical updates to the employment of individuals with disabilities, such as:
- Limiting the use of subminimum wage for individuals with disabilities by ensuring that before an individual receives subminimum wage they first (1) receive pre-employment transition services; (2) applied for vocational rehabilitation services, and if eligible, made a serious attempt at competitive integrated employment; (3) receive counseling, information and referral about alternatives to subminimum wage employment.
- Individuals with disabilities currently employed at subminimum wage must be provided on going career counseling, information and referrals, and notification of local training opportunities to move into competitive integrated employment, as appropriate.
- Emphasizes State vocational rehabilitation agencies make “pre-employment transition services” available to all students with disabilities and to coordinate those services with IDEA’s transition services.
- State vocational rehabilitation programs will set aside 15% of their Federal funding to help young people with disabilities transition from secondary school to post secondary education programs and employment.
WIOA will be considered by the House of Representatives, likely sometime this summer.