The ADA and AbilityOne Program

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American with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA is one of the most comprehensive pieces of legislation in the United States. It addresses discrimination and barriers for people with disabilities in varying aspects of life – from employment opportunities to purchasing goods and services to participating in State and local government programs and services. The ADA helped establish significant changes in the rights of people with disabilities across the country.

Before passing into law, the ADA faced opposition. Due to the opposition, on March 12, 1990, more than one thousand protestors arrived at the Capitol Building in Washington, DC to protest the delay in passing the ADA. Due to the protest and further advocacy by legislators, the ADA was finally signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush and this month, celebrates its 31-year anniversary.

The AbilityOne Program

The AbilityOne Program is another piece of federal support for persons with disabilities. The AbilityOne Program pre-dates the ADA. Originally titled the Javits-Wagner-O’Day (JWOD) Act, the Program was established in 1938 to grant job opportunities to persons who were blind to provide goods to the Federal government. Throughout different pieces of legislation and advocacy, the JWOD Act expanded to include people with significant disabilities and in the early 2000s was rebranded as the AbilityOne Program.

ServiceSource is a leading non-profit agency (NPA) with the AbilityOne Program. Through this program, ServiceSource is able to provide quality goods and services to the Federal Government while creating employment opportunities for the people we serve. The jobs that are created within the AbilityOne Program provide good wages and benefits As well as opportunities for career development and advancement. The AbilityOne Program and ServiceSource take great pride in hiring, retaining, and most importantly, supporting individuals with significant disabilities with measures beyond what the ADA requires for employers in the United States.

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