New Federal Committee Will Boost Employment For Autistics

The U.S. Department of Labor announced that they are assembling a new advisory committee that will guide government officials on how to improve employment prospects for people with disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD). They are currently soliciting nominations for individuals to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities.

This follows the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which was passed in July. The committee will examine ways to develop competitive, integrated employment opportunities for people with significant intellectual or developmental disabilities, and make recommendations to the Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez.

The panel will also be consulted on improving an existing program that allows some employers to pay disabled workers less than the minimum wage through oversight and better implementation.

The new law also limits eligibility to work for less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, which will significantly impact people transitioning from school to employment.

Nominations for members of the advisory committee are being accepted until October 14, 2014 and are open to members of the general public as well as elected government officials. For more information, you can visit the Federal Register website.

ICare4Autism is excited about this new advisory committee and hope that it will help us to facilitate our own Global Autism Workforce Initiative. ICare4Autism is currently developing programs that will make vocational training and employment referral services more accessible to people with autism and similar disabilities.

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