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Disability-Related Laws and Regulations

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

President Barack Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law on July 22, 2014. WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Congress passed the Act by a wide bipartisan majority; it is the first legislative reform in 15 years of the public workforce system.

Promising Practices In Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide
The Section 188 Disability Reference Guide provides updated information and technical assistance that can help American Job Centers and their partners in the workforce development system meet the nondiscrimination and universal access requirements for individuals with disabilities in Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act. This reference guide includes examples of promising practices that can help promote equal access for individuals with disabilities to the American Job Center (One Stop) system.

The Rehabilitation Act

Incorporated as Title IV of the Workforce Investment Act, The Rehabilitation Act authorizes the formula grant programs of vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, independent living, and client assistance. It also authorizes a variety of training and service discretionary grants administered by the U.S. Department of Education. The Act also includes a variety of provisions focused on rights, advocacy and protections for individuals with disabilities.

  • Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination and requires employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that exceed $10,000 to take affirmative action to hire, retain, and promote qualified individuals with disabilities. This law is enforced by the Department of Labor�s Employment Standards Administration's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in any federal program or activity.
  • Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the Federal government be accessible to people with disabilities.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Passed in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.

  • The U.S. Department of Justice ADA Home Page provides information and technical assistance on the ADA, including the text of the law and subsequent regulations, guides, technical manuals, links to federal agencies with ADA responsibilities, informational publications, a toll-free information hotline, news, and mediation services.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for employment and independent living.

Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act

The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act authorizes the Ticket to Work Program, which is available to help people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits to find and maintain employment.