« How Much Does Special Education Cost in Michigan? No One Really Knows | Main | Vermont Questions Price Hike for Common-Core Aligned Alternate Test »

Clinton Pledges More Economic Support for People With Disabilities

In a speech focused on supporting job prospects for people with disabilities, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton promised to make colleges and universities more accessible and to eliminate laws that allow employers to pay certain workers below minimum wage.

"We can't be satisfied, not when 60 percent of people with disabilities are not in theelectionslug_2016_126x126.jpgworkforce," Clinton said Wednesday in Orlando, Fla. "We've got to build an inclusive economy that welcomes people with disabilities, values their work, [and] treats them with respect."

Clinton said that she would fight for people with disabilities to work alongside people without disabilities, for the same salary and benefits. Many youth and adults with intellectual disabilities are employed in segregated settings. (In 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice came to a landmark settlement with the Providence, R.I., school district over its use of "sheltered workshops" for youth with disabilities. Those students are now more fully integrated into school.) 

The subminimum wage, which allows employers to pay some workers' salaries as low as a few cents an hour, is a vestige from an "ugly, ignorant past," Clinton said. 

Clinton also reminded the audience of her "Autism Works" proposal, which was released in January as part of a birth-through-adulthood approach to supporting people with autism. Autism Works would include post-graduation transition planning for every student with autism and a public-private partnership with potential employers. (Such transition planning is actually already required for all students with disabilities as part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.)

Though autism does not represent the largest disability category under the IDEA (that is "specific learning disabilities," such as dyslexia), autism is the fastest-growing

Don't miss another On Special Education post. Sign up here to get news alerts in your email inbox.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments