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Employment in 2019: ANCOR's Predictions of Shifts and Trends

by: 
Esmé Grewal, Vice President of Government Relations

Foothold Technology was proud to partner with ANCOR on a recent webinar discussing the state of supported employment. Watch the webinar.

Throughout 2018 I shared with ANCOR members that I predicted some significant shifts in the arena of employment for people with disabilities. A number of things brought me to this conclusion. We heard from Republican and Democratic leaders on the Hill that they were looking to end the Fair Labor Standards Act’s 14(c) subminimum wage program for people with disabilities, while the National Council on Disability in October echoed that sentiment with a formal report. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration was focusing on Medicaid work requirement policies for people without disabilities while simultaneously praising Medicaid work programs for people with disabilities, and the Department of Labor was seeking general improvements in workforce results for Americans with disabilities (including some key speeches on the topic by the Secretary himself).

With all of this build-up, 2019 looks to be a possible change-making year for employment of people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act, which dramatically changed our infrastructure and culture, still has a lot to do in terms of its impact on employment for people with disabilities. But this could be the year we head firmly in the direction of transformation.

In addition to the clearly directed policy changes and discussions, there has been tremendous creativity to ensure that people with disabilities can work. Transportation is a key barrier to employment and ANCOR has been a leading voice in the I/DD field in support of self-driving vehicle legislation and regulation (we have even asked the car manufacturers in our coalition to assist with reimbursement of self-driving vehicles in the future). Also on the transportation front, we have been following the progress of disability-related car-sharing apps to assist folks get to where they need to be in accessible vehicles. We know that community funding is key to programs that enable individuals to have the opportunity to work, so ANCOR has led Money Follows the Person reauthorization discussions and is now engaging in exciting new legislative discussions around the Balancing Incentive Program. We have also had discussions with the Administration about the HCBS Settings Rule and how employment of people with disabilities can be used as a good gauge of the rule’s success.

ANCOR has always been cognizant of the challenges facing people with the most significant disabilities in their quest to access work. Therefore, in line with our work on improved employment outcomes, we work hard to preserve service funding with the goal of competitive integrated employment. It seems like 2019 has geared up to address the employment of people with disabilities in a variety of ways, and we are excited to join with Foothold Technology, an ANCOR Gold Partner, to be a part of these important conversations and the ultimate change that will occur.

Learn more about Foothold's partnership with ANCOR here.

Esmé Grewal is Vice President of Government Relations for ANCOR.

About Foothold Technology

Foothold Technology, an electronic record, EHR vendor and human services software provider, offers web-based software for human service providers that eases the burden of documentation, providing agencies with the freedom to focus on their Mission. More than 1,000 agencies nationwide count on Foothold’s AWARDS software to manage their services, including Mental Health, Alcohol & Substance Abuse, Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities, Homeless & Housing, Employment & Training, Seniors, Veterans, Youth & Family, and more. Having originated from three agencies in 2000, AWARDS is a complete electronic record and EHR software for human service providers that also supports administrative activities, including facilities maintenance, human resources, scheduling and alerts, audit reports, and automated billing. AWARDS offers full interoperability with any other federally certified system for participation in Health Information Exchanges (HIE) and RHIOs. It is also the only record-keeping system that is certified as both a Behavioral Health EHR software system and an HMIS software package (Homeless Management Information System). With roots and origins in human services, no software vendor is better prepared to support you than Foothold Technology. For more information, visit footholdtechnology.com.