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RespectAbility Congratulates WIOA Advisory Committee on Submission of Final Report to Congress

Washington, Sept. 16 – Yesterday marked the close of a key part of the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). On Thursday, Sept. 15, the WIOA Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (ACICIEID) submitted their final report the Secretary of Labor and to Congress. This Advisory Committee was a two-year effort to examine the most critical employment issues facing people with disability. The Committee worked hard to explore policies and practices that will advance opportunities for people with a wide range of disabilities. The conversations that the Advisory Committee shared were often challenging, but the committee members preserved to complete their mission. You can read the Committee Final Report in full here: ACICIEID Final Report.

RespectAbility was honored to have the opportunity to present our insights via our public testimony on several occasions in 2015 and in 2016.

Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez with the Committee, January 22, 2015

Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez with the Committee, January 22, 2015

You can review our testimony on the Committee’s website at the links below:

Above all, we extend our abiding congratulations for the leadership and wisdom offered by each and every committee member. Thank you for your work and we look forward to seeing the Committee’s report inform the debate for years to come.

Meet the Author

Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is the VP, Communications and Entertainment & News Media, of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so all people with disabilities can fully participate in every aspect of community. As an individual with an acquired nonvisible disability – Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy – she works at the intersection of disability, employment, Hollywood and politics. She regularly conducts trainings on the why and how to be more inclusive and accessible for entertainment executives throughout the industry. Appelbaum partners with studios, production companies and writers’ rooms to create equitable and accessible opportunities to increase the number of people with lived disability experience throughout the overall story-telling process. These initiatives increase diverse and authentic representation of disabled people on screen, leading to systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities. She has consulted on more than 100 TV episodes and films with A&E, Bunim-Murray Productions, NBCUniversal, Netflix, ViacomCBS, and The Walt Disney Company, among others. She represents RespectAbility on the CAA Full Story Initiative Advisory Council, Disney+ Content Advisory Council, MTV Entertainment Group Culture Code and Sundance Institute’s Allied Organization Initiative. She is the author of The Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit and the creator of an innovative Lab Program for entertainment professionals with disabilities working in development, production and post-production. She is a recipient of the 2020 Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award for this Lab. To reach her, email

Respect Ability - Fighting Stigmas. Advancing Opportunities.

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