The Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities was established under Section 609 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to advise the US Secretary of Labor in:
- Ways to increase competitive integrated employment (CIE) opportunities for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) or other individuals with significant disabilities;
- The use of certificate program carried out under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for the employment of individuals with I/DD or other individuals with significant disabilities; and
- Ways to improve oversight of the use of such certificates.
The work of the Committee began with its first meeting in January 2015, followed by full committee meetings in March, May, and July 2015. The work of the Committee includes formation of five subcommittees.
These committees are:
- Transition to Careers;
- Complexity and Needs in Delivering Competitive Integrated Employment;
- Marketplace Dynamics;
- Building State and Local Capacity; Section 14(c) Subminimum WageCertificate Program; and
- AbilityOne® Program.
The Committee brought together leaders from numerous federal agencies with a diverse group of critical stakeholders including individuals with I/DD and other significant disabilities, providers of employment services, representatives of national disability advocacy organizations, academic experts with expertise on employment and wage policy issues for individuals with I/DD or other significant disabilities, representatives of the employer community and others with expertise on increasing CIE opportunities for individuals with I/DD or other significant disabilities.
The primary focus of the Committee and preliminary recommendations is:
- to increase opportunities for CIE;
- to ensure CIE is the first option for people with significant disabilities in order to increase the employment participation rate; and
- to significantly reduce the use of FLSA Section 14(c) and the dependence on subminimum wages and segregated service placements.