Capitol Correspondence - 08.04.17

Secretary Acosta Talks About Employment for People with Disabilities

Share this page
In remarks given at a National Federation of the Blind (NFB) event on July 15, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta strongly expressed the value to the labor market that people with disabilities bring. He said that “workplace accessibility provides a business advantage”, making businesses stronger and more competitive. He praised Americans with disabilities for the “valuable perspective” and “incredible work ethic” they bring to their jobs. He talked about President Trump’s commitment to helping Americans pursue their chosen careers by making workplaces more accessible and workforce education more inclusive to those with disabilities. Acosta mentioned several resources and initiatives, including TalentWorks, the Job Accommodation Network, and the proposed Stay and Work and Return to Work initiatives. He also discussed the importance of technology that has “revolutionized the workplace” by making it possible for people with visual impairments to connect in new ways and making the workplace increasingly accessible. Finally, Acosta spoke on the importance of expanding apprenticeships for people with disabilities and the workforce in general. “Apprenticeships open up opportunities for workers of all abilities,” Acosta said. He said that apprenticeships are an example of an education and employment model that has proven successful and that should be expanded to more industries. 
Secretary Acosta also put out a blog on the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) praising the law and discussing the President’s commitment to employment for people with disabilities. In the blog, he says, “A job is about more than just income. Work is a source of pride; it gives men and women the ability to provide for their families and make our local communities better places. The Department of Labor and the Office of Disability Employment Policy are committed to ensuring that more Americans with disabilities experience the independence, pride, and community that come with having a job.”