In a recent news release, United Spinal Association applauded the bipartisan passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) by the US House of Representatives; legislation intended to help prepare jobseekers for in-demand occupations in their communities through relevant skills training and job placement services.

With a vote of 415-6 on July 9th by the US House of Representatives and an earlier 95-3 vote in the US Senate, the release says, the bill now moves to the desk of President Barack Obama, who has reportedly promised to sign the bill into law.

The release also notes that currently, 70% of working age Americans with disabilities are outside of the workforce and more than 9 million working age Americans with disabilities are living on government benefits. The legislation aims to increase opportunities for individuals living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D) and for all individuals with disabilities.

James Weisman, executive vice president and general counsel, United Spinal, emphasizes that the organization “has worked for many years advocating for competitive integrated economic opportunities for people with disabilities and this important bill helps us get there.”

According to the release, the WIOA vote follows United Spinal’s annual policy event in Washington-DC at the end of June, Roll on Capitol Hill (ROCH). The event is designed to highlight key advocacy priorities for the organization’s membership and the broader disability community in order to ensure legislators include wheelchair users and all individuals with disabilities in policy debates on Capitol Hill.

As stated in the release, WIOA aims to set high expectations for jobseekers with disabilities, as well as provide youth with disabilities early-access to employment services and supports, improve employment outcomes by focusing on competitive, integrated employment opportunities, and promote long-term employment success via customized employment, supported employment, assistive technology, and other employment strategies.

Photo Credit: PR Newswire

Source: United Spinal Association, PR Newswire