Accomplishments at a Glance - President Clinton and Vice President Gore Working on Behalf of Americans with Disabilities (7/26/00)
                        ACCOMPLISHMENTS AT A GLANCE
                               July 26, 2000

Creating the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with
Disabilities - Two years ago, President Clinton created the Presidential
Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities, chaired by Secretary
of Labor Alexis Herman, and charged the Task Force with developing a
coordinated and aggressive national policy to bring adults with
disabilities into gainful employment at a rate that is as close as possible
to that of the general adult population.  The heads of 18 cabinet and
sub-cabinet agencies sit on the Task Force, and President Clinton and Vice
President Gore have given its work the highest priority through accepting
all the recommendations in the first and second reports from the Task

Signing the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999
President Clinton supported and signed this landmark legislation, which
creates two new options for states to offer the Medicaid buy-in for workers
with disabilities and provides $150 million in grants to encourage states
to take this option; creates a new $250 million Medicaid buy-in
demonstration to help people whose disability is not yet so severe that
they cannot work; extends Medicare coverage for an additional
four-and-a-half years for people in the disability insurance system who
return to work; and enhances employment-related services for individuals
with disabilities through the new "Ticket to Work" Program.

Signing the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 - President Clinton
signed WIA, which provides the framework for a unique national workforce
preparation and employment system designed to meet both the needs of the
nation?s businesses and the needs of job seekers and those who want to
further their careers.  It also included reauthorization of the
Rehabilitation Act, adding stronger linkages between the vocational
rehabilitation system and the general workforce development system so that
people with disabilities have increased employment training and job
options. Changes to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act also strengthened
the obligations of  Federal agencies to provide accessible information
technology to their employees and customers, thus leveraging the Federal
government?s considerable purchasing power to encourage private industry to
develop universally designed technology that is accessible to almost

Ensuring a Quality Education for Children with Disabilities  - In 1997,
President Clinton enacted an improved and stronger Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act.  The new law focused attention not merely on
ensuring access to public schools for the nation?s six million students
with disabilities, but also on ensuring that these students are held to the
same high standards as their peers. Today, state grants to support IDEA
implementation have increased by 143 percent and record numbers of students
with disabilities are now learning alongside non-disabled students in
thousands of classrooms across the nation.

Making the Federal Government a Model Employer - President Clinton directed
Federal agencies to increase efforts to recruit and hire people with
disabilities. In response, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued
"Accessing Opportunity: The Plan for Employment of People with Disabilities
in the Federal Government" to serve as a framework for Federal departments
and agencies to use in creating strategies and initiatives to recruit,
hire, develop, and retain more persons with disabilities. President Clinton
also signed an Executive Order ensuring that individuals with psychiatric
disabilities are given the same Federal hiring opportunities as persons
with significant disabilities and mental retardation. Furthermore, the
President directed OPM to make mental health coverage more affordable and
accessible for all Federal employees by ensuring that by 2001 Federal
Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) plans provide coverage for
clinically proven treatments for mental illness and substance abuse in a
manner identical to coverage for other medical conditions.

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