A Force for Meaningful Public Policy Outcomes
At SourceAmerica®, our goal is to create a more inclusive, productive, and innovative economic future for Americans of all abilities. We work closely with policymakers and others in Washington, D.C. to create jobs and break down barriers for people with disabilities. In addition to working to impact legislation, SourceAmerica helps shape regulations by commenting on proposed federal rules that will affect the U.S. AbilityOne® Program, federal contracting, and employment for people with disabilities.
SourceAmerica also collaborates with other disability policy organizations. Together, we maximize our impact, amplify our calls to action on Capitol Hill, and are a greater force for change on behalf of those we serve.
Our nation’s workforce is more successful, more productive, and more innovative when people of all abilities participate. When the right person is matched to the right job, everyone wins. No one can deliver this message more effectively than employees with disabilities. These employees and their families can speak to the real-life impact of programs that benefit people with disabilities, like the AbilityOne Program, and can personalize the issue for policymakers. SourceAmerica’s grassroots advocacy program makes sure these personal stories are heard by key policymakers and raises awareness about how different perspectives and skill sets transform businesses for the better.
The highlight of our grassroots program for nonprofit agencies that have AbilityOne contracts is the Grassroots Advocacy Conference. This annual event includes employees with disabilities, their families, and employers from our network of nonprofit agencies – with a focus on those nonprofits located in key congressional districts. Invitees are given the tools and training they need to personalize and deliver their message about how policy made in Washington shapes the employment choices and opportunities of people with disabilities across our nation.
AbilityOne Congressional Champions
AbilityOne Congressional Champions play a key role in advancing SourceAmerica’s legislative agenda and supporting people with disabilities employed through the AbilityOne Program. SourceAmerica and National Industries for the Blind (NIB) established the AbilityOne Congressional Champions Program in 2002 to honor members of Congress who have demonstrated a commitment to their constituents with disabilities or blindness and to the AbilityOne Program. More than 160 members of the current Congress are AbilityOne Champions and have joined the national effort to grow employment opportunities for people who are blind or have significant disabilities.
Members become AbilityOne Congressional Champions by completing a four-step process:
- Meet with representatives from an AbilityOne agency in the member's district or Washington, D.C. office;
- Tour an AbilityOne agency's manufacturing or service contract site(s);
- Support the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act by using AbilityOne products or services in the member's district or Washington, D.C. office; and
- Voice support for the AbilityOne Program through a public communication, such as a press conference statement, Congressional Record statement, social media post, or a similar communication.
Our current list of AbilityOne Congressional Champions can be found here: Congressional Champions List.
Contact Us and Learn More
To learn more about how to get involved in advocacy with SourceAmerica, contact the Government Affairs Department at Advocacy@SourceAmerica.org.