US Commemorates 30th Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act
Explore options for hiring workers with disabilities
As the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) this week commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), cleaning and maintenance businesses are reminded that people with disabilities are a largely untapped labor pool that could help companies fill labor shortages.
According to the Brookings Institution, only 40% of adults with disabilities in their prime working years (ages 25-54) have a job, compared to 79% of all prime-age adults. The DOL works to solve this discrepancy by developing and influencing policies and practices that increase both the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The agency provides technical assistance to both individuals with disabilities and their employers through the ADA’s employment provisions.
Many employers are not aware of the capacity of people with disabilities and are unfamiliar with benefits they can receive for hiring these workers. The federal government offers Vocational Rehabilitation tax credits to employers in all U.S. states, with additional tax credits available in nine states—Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Dakota, and Tennessee.
The DOL’s yearlong commemoration of the ADA’s anniversary has included a variety of activities centered on the 2020 theme of “Increasing Access and Opportunity.” It is planning an event marking the 30th anniversary in October, which is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is committed to protecting the health of people with disabilities and ensure that all workers are represented in the CDC’s guidance and have access to crucial public health information.