WASHINGTON, DC – In light of the 29th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on Wednesday, Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella sent letters to America’s governors encouraging them to collect data on the numbers of state employees with disabilities. Although not a requirement for states, tracking disability employment data allows states to better assess their hiring practices and compare their results with other states. Currently, only a few states routinely track this information.
Acting Secretary Pizzella also encouraged the governors to make use of the State Exch ange on Employment and Disability (SEED), a federal-state initiative funded by the Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). SEED provides direct policy assistance, resources, and subject-matter expertise to state governors’ offices and legislatures on various disability employment-related issues.
“Promoting valuable information from states can significantly help Americans with disabilities meet our shared goal for every American to secure employment in their chosen field,” said Acting Secretary Patrick Pizzella.
Many state governors and legislators have taken steps to introduce and enact initiatives designed to increase employment opportunities for citizens with disabilities. The Acting Secretary’s letter notes that the 30th anniversary of the ADA in July 2020 provides states an opportunity to both highlight the progress of those initiatives and to develop new state employment initiatives and policies.
Through the State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED), ODEP works directly with organizations that represent state policymakers to provide timely data, review policy options, promote positive state examples, and offer policy assistance to ensure that state-level policy critical to employment success—such as workforce development, transportation, and technology—is disability-inclusive.