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States Get Funds To Spur Disability Employment

Apr 10, 2012 -- 2:59 pm
Federal officials are beginning to send cash to states this week in an effort to promote integrated, community-based employment for people with even the most severe disabilities.
In the first round of a new “employment first” initiative, the U.S. Department of Labor said Monday that it has awarded $100,000 each to Tennessee, Iowa and Oregon. The funding is designed to help state agencies work together so that they can usher youth and adults with disabilities into competitive, community-based work environments as opposed to sheltered workshops, which often pay less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
“It’s time to move past the stereotypes and misconceptions that people with disabilities can’t work,” said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, in announcing the new initiative. “Research clearly shows that people with significant disabilities can work in the community and earn minimum wage.”

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