BAC ADVOCATES FOR DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICIES IN WASHINGTON
BAC is excited to attend the SourceAmerica® annual Grassroots Advocacy Conference taking place September 11-14, 2023, in Washington, D.C. BAC’s Vice President of Business Development & Government Relations, Susan McGrath, and employee Angela Cook will advocate on Capitol Hill for more employment opportunities through the federal government. BAC provides employment opportunities for more than 600 people with disabilities across Florida, Puerto Rico, Virginia, and North Carolina through SourceAmerica and the AbilityOne® Program.
This annual event brings employees with disabilities (“self-advocates”), their families, and employers from SourceAmerica’s nationwide network of nonprofit agencies to Capitol Hill, where they share their employment journeys with members of Congress and discuss how public policy shapes the employment choices and opportunities of people with disabilities across the nation. SourceAmerica is an AbilityOne® authorized enterprise that connects nonprofits including BAC to federal contracts that provide competitive jobs with advancement potential for people with disabilities.
“This conference is a unique opportunity for one of our team members with disabilities to speak directly with lawmakers about policies that can have a profound impact on creating more job opportunities for others with disabilities through the AbilityOne Program,” said Susan McGrath, Vice President of Business Development & Government Relations for BAC. “Angela sharing her personal story of achieving so much through her work at BAC is truly inspiring and will highlight to our elected officials that with the training and tools BAC and other AbilityOne employers provide, people with disabilities have the chance to achieve more than they ever imagined.”
“SourceAmerica’s network of AbilityOne authorized providers is a vital component in connecting people with disabilities to meaningful, well-paying jobs in essential federal contracts,” said Richard Belden, president and CEO of SourceAmerica. “We know how important it is for members of the disability community to become self-advocates and to share their experiences with Congress and other policymakers.”
Other conference highlights will include AbilityOne Congressional Champions Award presentations, a self-advocate Celebration of Stories, and a new SourceAmerica Disability Employment Educational Fair.
BAC & SourceAmerica will discuss the following initiatives with lawmakers on Capitol Hill:
Support for a 1% AbilityOne Procurement Goal
BAC and SourceAmerica support Congressional efforts to establish a 1% procurement contracting goal for the AbilityOne Program. Only 0.55% of federal contracting is awarded to AbilityOne authorized providers such as BAC. By establishing a 1% goal, Congress can level the playing field among federal agency priorities where existing goals for other procurement programs range between 3% and 23%. For the Department of Defense alone, SourceAmerica calculates that this goal could create an additional 16,400 employment opportunities for people with disabilities, including veterans and wounded warriors.
Support for Supplemental Security Income Reform
BAC and SourceAmerica support reintroducing the SSI Restoration Act and the SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act. These bills address issues where individuals with disabilities lose significant and necessary benefits as they gain work and higher wages, and they would also eliminate disincentives to work and allow individuals to save money while maintaining their benefits.
Support for the AbilityOne Program
BAC is an authorized provider in the AbilityOne Program, which is among the nation’s largest providers of jobs for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. The Program enhances America’s economy by delivering nearly $4 billion of products and services annually to federal agencies, including manufacturing combat uniforms and equipment for service members and performing mission-essential services that support military readiness.
To learn more about the Grassroots Advocacy Conference, please visit https://www.sourceamerica.org/get-involved/public-policy/grassroots-advocacy-events