David Mank (IN UCEDD) Elected to Lead the National Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities

January 26, 2015

David Mank, director of Indiana University's Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, has been appointed by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez to serve on a new Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities, a key provision of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. He was subsequently elected to Chair the Committee by its membership at their first meeting.

David Mank, also a professor in IU's School of Education, has an extensive background in the education and employment for persons with disabilities and has authored or coauthored numerous articles and book chapters. He is a member of the editorial boards of the Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Journal of Disability Policy Studies and Siglo Cero, and associate editor for the journal Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Signed by President Obama in July 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act helps job seekers, including those with disabilities, access services to succeed in employment and matches employers with skilled workers. The committee's purpose is to prepare findings, conclusions and recommendations for the Secretary of Labor on:

  • Ways to increase employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities or other individuals with significant disabilities in competitive integrated employment;
  • The use of certificate programs carried out under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for the employment of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities or other individuals with significant disabilities; and
  • Ways to improve oversight of the use of such certificates.

"It has been demonstrated, time and time again, that when people with disabilities have access to meaningful employment opportunities, they become some of the most productive workers and contribute in a substantial way to their workplaces and the economy. Employing people with disabilities is a win-win for workers, employers and the entire community," said Secretary Perez. "This is sound public policy, and the advisory committee will help us expand opportunities for more people with disabilities."

Selected from more than 280 nominations, the 17-member committee represents six groups, as described in the law. They include:

  • Self-advocates for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities;
  • Providers of employment services;
  • Representatives of national disability advocacy organizations;
  • Experts with a background in academia or research and expertise in employment and wage policy;
  • Representatives from the employer community;
  • Other individuals or representatives of organizations with expertise on increasing opportunities for competitive integrated employment for individuals with disabilities.

Additionally, seven federal officials will serve on the committee. They include:

  • Assistant secretary of the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor;
  • Assistant secretary of the Employment and Training Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor;
  • Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the U.S. Department of Labor;
  • Commissioner of the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, or the commissioner's designee;
  • Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or the director's designee;
  • Commissioner of Social Security, or the commissioner's designee; and
  • Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, or the commissioner's designee.

Since 1970, the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community has been a leader in the transfer of research and new knowledge in disability from the university setting to the field in Indiana and nationally.

The Indiana Institute receive support from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Indiana University Bloomington, which is dedicated to supporting ongoing faculty research and creative activity, developing new multidisciplinary initiatives, and maximizing the potential of faculty to accomplish path breaking work.