There are several federal laws that protect the rights of qualified individuals with disabilities to participate in the workforce. Title I of The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifically protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination in employment. Federal contractors are also bound by Section 503 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act, which recently changed. The Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) also requires federal contractors to provide equal opportunity and affirmative action in hiring.
Ultimately, these laws work together to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities to play on a level playing field when it comes to finding and keeping a job. Both private and public employers must afford the same opportunities to individuals with disabilities that they offer to individuals without disabilities.
Parts of these laws apply to the parts of the Workforce System itself:
- Title II of the ADA protects the rights of qualified individuals with disabilities to participate in programs, services, and activities offered by state and local government entities.
- Title III of the ADA protects the rights of qualified individuals with disabilities to services and activities offered by places of public accommodation (private companies, such as private schools, day care centers, convention centers, restaurants, or hotels).
- Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act protects the rights of qualified individuals with disabilities to participate in programs and activities provided by federal contractors.
So, those of us that provide resources, coaching, training, education, and job placement assistance must also offer these programs, services, and activites to individuals with disabilities in a fair and equal way.
Video Overview of WIOA
(Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act)
Other videos and transcripts can be found at the U.S. Department of Education website, OCTAE: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.