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AbilityOne Issues Declaration Supporting Minimum Wage

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AbilityOne Issues Declaration Supporting Minimum Wage

March 25, 2016

On March 18, the U.S. AbilityOne Commission issued a declaration stating that it supports paying people with disabilities minimum wage. The statement reads, in part, 

"Our vision is for all people with disabilities to achieve their maximum employment potential. The Commission and the AbilityOne Program must be leaders in taking action and calling for action that supports and advances opportunities for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. More than 90 percent of Program employees currently earn at least the Federal minimum wage, or state minimum wage, if higher. The Commission will now advocate for this standard to be met consistently across the AbilityOne Program. 

"Our call to action is for all qualified nonprofit agencies participating in the AbilityOne Program to commit to, and begin (if not maintain), paying at least the Federal minimum wage, or state minimum wage if higher, to all employees who are blind or have significant disabilities working on AbilityOne contracts.

"Our ultimate goal is to foster the development and implementation of training and employment best practices that allow employees with disabilities to be compensated at the prevailing wage paid to all other employees working on AbilityOne contracts."

The statements concludes by saying that "To remain viable, the AbilityOne Program must be recognized as effectively offering quality employment and equitable wages, including competitive integrated employment opportunities."

The National Council on Disability (NCD) issued a statement on March 22 applauding AbilityOne's declaration, and reaffirming the policy recommendations it made in a 2012 report.