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LEADing to Employment Brief: Implementing the Equal Opportunity Provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Section 188)

LEAD Center | March 2019 | Report/Brief

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 reaffirms the role of a customer focused one-stop delivery system, with a focus on enhancing coordination among key employment, education, and training programs.

Section 188 of WIOA (29 CFR Part 38) prohibits discrimination against individuals who apply to, participate in, work for, or come into contact with programs/activities of the workforce development system, including partners that are part of the American Job Center (AJC) delivery system. Section 188 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or political affiliation or belief, among other bases. WIOA also requires that AJCs be fully accessible physically and programmatically, offering accommodations as needed and incorporating Universal Design wherever possible.

There is no one pathway to ensuring equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in the workforce development system. However, there are a diversity of best practices that have been collected nationwide that significantly expanded access for individuals with disabilities. The following strategies emphasize how to use Section 188 as a framework for improving access, equal opportunity and employment outcomes.