NDSS supports the CAPABILITY Act (H.R. 3070). Federal law requires high schools and disability systems to work together, however, the collaboration has been unsuccessful due to lack of funding. Additionally, 21% of young Americans with intellectual disabilities are employed, leading to even fewer adults with disabilities in the workforce. Work transition programs that prepare students with disabilities to obtain competitive and integrated employment must unite with school curriculums and resources in order to ensure the success of these students post-graduation. This legislation, introduced by Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, proposes to address the issue using this three-pronged approach.
First, this act would create six competitive grants that states can earn to assist young Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our schools and communities. Second, through state data and evaluation at the end of each four-year lifespan of the grants, information gathered will shape models for other states and help to promote future policy developments. Third, the grant awards will prioritize those states that guarantee more job opportunities to its residents with disabilities. State effectiveness and efficiency will be studied using evidence-based models that measure partnership with local employers, the presence of peer mentoring services, and quantifiable plans for program delivery to ensure smooth transitions from school to work.
The ability to work in an inclusive, integrated environment should be obtainable for individuals with Down syndrome.
We request all advocates contact their Representatives to cosponsor H.R. 3070.