HUD Report to the
Presidential Task Force on
Employment of Adults With Disabilities
The Honorable Alexis Herman, Chairman
Presidential Task Force on Employment
of Adults With Disabilities
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
Dear Madam Chairman:
I am pleased to submit the enclosed report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults With Disabilities.
On July 26, 2000, the nation celebrated the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Historically, people with disabilities were isolated or segregated by society. At the time Congress passed this landmark legislation, discrimination against men and women with disabilities was common - sometimes accepted - in housing, education, employment, transportation, public accommodations, recreation, health care - even access to common areas and public services.
All of us at the Department of Housing and Urban Development are proud of what we have done to help implement the ADA, and also to support the work of the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults With Disabilities. Because of HUD's commitment, major life activities which others take for granted have been opened to individuals with disabilities and new opportunities created through: (1) enforcement of the laws that protect their rights, including Title II of the ADA, the Fair Housing Act, Sections 501 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and others; (2) education and outreach that HUD staff conducted on issues that are important to people with disabilities; (3) the Section 8 voucher programs, which bring men and women with disabilities into the mainstream of America's communities; and
(4) expanded homeownership opportunities for low-income individuals, including a significant percentage of families and individuals with disabilities. Details of HUD's accomplishments are available on HUD's Internet website.
But much more needs to be done to ensure that individuals with disabilities have the same opportunities as every other citizen. For example, while these men and women make significant contributions every day as part of America's work force, potential employers sometimes still allow unwarranted fears to stand in the way of hiring the disabled and allowing them to use their talents. One of the Clinton-Gore Administration's most important priorities - expanding employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities - drives and informs much of HUD's work across the nation. Not only are we keeping our pledge to employ more people with disabilities, we encourage our community partners to do likewise and are working on new initiatives to make our efforts even more effective.
Today, America is enjoying one of the greatest economic periods in history. HUD's goal is to ensure that all people, including the 50 million of our fellow citizens with disabilities, have an equal opportunity to share in that bounty and live their own American Dream. People with disabilities deserve the opportunity for affordable, decent and safe housing, and the chance to live and work with the dignity and respect we all want for ourselves and our families.
Content Archived: April 9, 2010