Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (P.L. 113-128) reauthorizes and updates existing federal workforce development programs including the Rehabilitation Act, which provides for vocational rehabilitation (VR) services for people with disabilities. It significantly limits placements at sheltered workshops and other work environments where people with disabilities earn less than minimum wage.

Under the law, individuals with disabilities age 24 and younger will no longer be allowed to work for less than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour unless they first receive pre-employment transition services at school and try vocational rehabilitation services.

It also focuses VR outcomes on competitive, integrated employment as well as promotes greater emphasis on transition services for youth with disabilities through: emphasis on coordination between VR and other agencies; extending the initial time period for VR supported employment services (from 18 to 24 months); and modification of eligibility determination to promote access to VR by people with the most significant disabilities.  For more information and resources click here.

Or read the document published by the Arc on WIOA: What it means for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD).