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The Department of Education has been urged by eight (8) Republican members of Congress to revisit how the federal government implements the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Set in place by the Obama Administration, WIOA emphasizes placing transition-age youth with disabilities in competitive, integrated employment over segregated settings. This has sharply reduced referrals to AbiltyOne, a government program for people who are blind or have significant support needs. 

In a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos. the Congressmen wrote,

"Many state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies have adopted a 'blanket denial' approach instead of conducting a case-by-case determination," the letter writes, "... the previous Administration developed imprecise criteria defining 'integrated settings' in the context of competitive integrated employment."

Disability advocates, however, are concerned that revising the rules may open the door to increased reliance on sheltered workshops where individuals are paid less than minimum wage and have little chance to develop marketable skills.

For more information read the article by the Disability Scoop.

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