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House Committee on Small Business Holds Hearing Highlighting People with Disabilities

June 28, 2018

On May 9, the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing titled, “Ready, Willing, and Able to Work: How Small Businesses Empower People with Developmental Disabilities.” The hearing, chaired by Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH), sought to examine the role small businesses have played in employing individuals with disabilities and lessons learned. During the hearing testimony was provided by:

•    Ms. Angela Timashenka Geiger, President and CEO, Autism Speaks
•    Mr. Dave Friedman, Founder and CEO, AutonomyWorks
•    Mr. John Cronin, Co-Founder and Chief Happiness Officer, John’s Crazy Socks
•    Ms. Lori Ireland, Vice Chair, Autism Society of America

In addition to the testimony provided by the individuals mentioned, the Committee released a Hearing Memo that provides context with respect to the current employment realities for working-age adults with developmental disabilities. It also offered recommendations to small businesses as to where they can find resources to help with the employment of people with disabilities. Included in these resources was information on several programs provided through the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), highlighting the Leadership for Employment and Economic Advancement for Individuals with Disabilities Center (LEAD Center), the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN), the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth), and the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT).

The LEAD Center would like to thank Chairman Chabot and the other members of the Committee on Small Business for bringing attention to how small businesses can make a difference in the hiring of people with disabilities, and for including information about the LEAD Center in the Committee’s Hearing Memo.

Watch the hearing:

https://smallbusiness.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=400842.