SourceAmerica Applauds Congress’ Recognition of AbilityOne

By SourceAmerica 05/27/2015

VIENNA, Va. – May 27, 2015 - Congress has called upon the Department of Defense to explore greater utilization of the AbilityOne Program to meet its acquisition needs as part of report language accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act.

The legislation, passed in the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee, authorizes $612 billion in funding for the Department of Defense and includes language specific to the AbilityOne Program. AbilityOne, the largest source of employment for individuals with significant disabilities in the United States, provides services and products to the Department of Defense through a network of more than 500 nonprofit contractors.

Steve Soroka, President and CEO for SourceAmerica, a leading nonprofit organization representing more than 1,000 community-based nonprofit agencies and more than 115,000 jobs for individuals with disabilities, applauds the authorization: "This bipartisan and bicameral commitment is critical to improving the lives of the 80 percent of people with disabilities who are currently outside of the workforce, while positively impacting business and our communities."

The House report for the bill directs the Secretary of Defense to examine opportunities to increase contracting with AbilityOne providers. The Senate report encourages the Department of Defense to cultivate and increase business opportunities through AbilityOne. "The Department of Defense has always been one of our strongest partners," said Soroka. "This legislation will foster even greater collaboration and lead to greater results for both the DoD and people with disabilities across the nation." AbilityOne has supported the employment of tens of thousands of people across the United States, including veterans and wounded warriors, who have significant disabilities.

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John Kelly