“The Council of State Governments…in partnership with the National Conference of State Legislatures…convened the National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities….The National Task Force [NTF] oversaw the work of four subcommittees, each focusing on a unique policy area impacting the employment of people with disabilities [PWDs]:
- Career Readiness & Employability;
- Hiring, Retention & Reentry;
- Entrepreneurship, Tax Incentives & Procurement; and
- Transportation, Technology & Other Employment Supports.
“[T]he [NTF] studied the best practices and innovative strategies states have implemented to improve employment opportunities and outcomes for [PWDs]” (p.5).
“[The authors] explore…a diverse range of components that can influence the development of the workforce of [PWDs]. This report serves as a guide on each of the policy areas the task force explored, designed to assist states in improving the ways the public sector serves [PWDs] and provides state examples of innovative programs and policies” (p.4).
“The term ‘disability’ is defined…in various ways, depending on the context and purposes of the legislation or survey. For purposes of federal disability nondiscrimination laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the term ‘disability’ means, with respect to an individual:
- a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities,
- has a record of such an impairment, or
- is regarded as having such an impairment” (p.10).
“As the [NTF] members convened…a number of guiding principles and overarching considerations emerged that would serve as a foundation for the crafting of this policy framework” (p.13):
- “Disability is a natural part of the human experience that in no way diminishes one’s right to fully participate in all aspects of community life” (p.14).
- “Disability can develop at any point during an individual’s lifetime and have varying impacts” (p.14).
- “Successful disability policy embraces the ‘nothing about us without us’ principle” (p.14).
- “[PWDs] are underutilized in our workforce and frequently experience social and economic disadvantage” (p.14).
- “[PWDs] have valuable and unique contributions to make” (p.14).