Statement from NOD President on OFCCP’s New Mega Construction Project Program

NOD President Carol Glazer commented today on the Mega Construction Project Program announced by the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Funded by the landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this announcement holds tremendous opportunity for people with disabilities seeking employment with federal contractors in the construction trades working on large federally funded projects.

“When the National Organization on Disability, along with other leading disability groups, met recently with leadership at the U.S. Department of Labor, the issue of disability employment by federal contractors was one of our top priorities. So we were gratified and thankful to see this news about Megaprojects. Federal contractors from all sectors – including construction – can and must do better in hiring people with disabilities.

“NOD looks forward to supporting OFCCP’s promotion of Megaprojects workforce opportunities to people with disabilities, so they can meaningfully contribute to projects in their communities. Partnerships with disability organizations will be essential, as project managers endeavor to source talent with disabilities and fill workplace gaps across the country.

“A diverse workforce that includes people with disabilities makes good business sense. I’ve seen companies do this successfully when they make it a priority, and NOD stands at the ready to assist those federal contractors that need the help.”

Learn More About Megaproject 

About the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs

The Dept. of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) provides extensive and no-cost compliance assistance to contractors and subcontractors to strengthen recruitment, hiring, and employment practices, removing hiring barriers and promoting consideration of a diverse pool of qualified workers for jobs in the trades, including women, people of color, veterans, and people with disabilities.

Statement from NOD President on Recent Events at Twitter

By Carol Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability

So as troubling and reprehensible as Elon Musk’s recent public questioning of an employee’s disability and use of a wheelchair was, there’s the more important and larger issue at Twitter: the total dismantling of their accessibility team.

Accessibility for users with disabilities has been compromised due to changes to the platform since Musk’s arrival. I agree with Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts who this week said the changes under Musk’s leadership signal a disregard for the needs of disabled people. This could happen elsewhere and NOD joins him in his call to have accessibility features restored.

NOD Honors Revolutionary Disability Rights Activist Judy Heumann Who Died March 4th

By Carol Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability

Our world is mourning the loss of Judy Heumann.

She was responsible for many legislative advances, along with propelling forward the fundamental rights that people with disabilities enjoy today. She was a fierce advocate, spending her early life challenging the system and calling for needed change in education, public and private sector accessibility and an end to discrimination of people with disabilities.

Then, later in her life, she worked within the system to make improvements by joining the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

I worked closely with Judy during the last five years as she became a guide to me and our organization in creating a disability roundtable made up of 17 national disability organizations. It was not an easy process, and Judy, knowing how impactful the roundtable could be, gave her time generously to see it come to fruition.

Her stature within the disability community here, and across the globe, was enormous. She could be forceful, but always caring. You felt special and as though you were the only person in the room when she spoke to you.

I witnessed this many times, but one occasion will stick with me forever. My son, Jacob, who was born with hydrocephalus, walked by my computer during a virtual meeting with Judy and I introduced him to her. Judy immediately began asking him questions. As I often do, I provided the answers until Judy, nicely but firmly, explained that she wanted to talk to Jacob, not me.

We at NOD worked with Judy in 2020 when our nation marked the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in partnership with the George and Barbara Bush Foundation. Judy was a strong presence, always behind the scenes, making sure the event celebrated the courage of people who reimagined what life could be like for those of us with disabilities. To recognize her role in our fight for equality, in that year, NOD honored Judy with a lifetime achievement award.

Judy Heumann sitting in a motorized wheelchair speaking into a microphone while sitting amongst a panel with Taryn M. Williams to her right.

And last September Judy spoke about “Honoring the Disability Rights Movement Over the Last 40 Years” at NOD’s 40th anniversary event in Washington D.C.

Speaking to our audience of largely corporate executives, she implored them to take up the work yet to be done to support meaningful employment for people with disabilities.

Judy will be remembered for her tenacity, courage and brilliance. I will also remember what she did to remind us all of the human connections we all should make. Everyone matters. That is an incredible legacy, indeed.

Re-Introduction of the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act (TCIEA)

The National Organization on Disability thanks Senator Bob Casey and his colleagues in Congress for reintroducing the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment ACT (TCIEA). NOD has for many years been calling for the end of the subminimum wage for disabled people currently allowed under rule 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. TCIEA would end that practice.

In November 2019, former NOD Chairman Governor Tom Ridge spoke to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on behalf of the National Organization on Disability on the importance of phasing-out 14(c).

Collectively, the NOD Roundtable, comprised of 15 leading disability organizations, and other disability advocates met with many members of Congress for their support of TCIEA. NOD hosted a Congressional Briefing, “Policy Issues Surrounding Employment for Individuals with Disabilities,” highlighting the work of several NOD Board Members, and tying their efforts to the importance of phasing out 14(c).

The NOD Roundtable sent letters to the Administration to request that the Disability Innovation Funds, led by the Department of Education, use their funds to support state Vocation Rehabilitation (VR) agencies to help community providers utilizing 14(c) certificates with the transition of their models to competitive integrated employment offerings for the individuals they serve. In April, RSA took up this call, and the Disability Innovation Funds are being used to help states transition away from 14(c).

Places that pay subminimum wage are called sheltered workshops, and they pay disabled people pennies on the dollar, usually in segregated workplaces where all the workers have disabilities and the people in charge are non-disabled. The bill would stop anyone new from being paid less than minimum wage immediately and also gives states and service providers funding to create better, integrated opportunities. Every person paid less than minimum wage right now would be transitioned to minimum wage by five years after TCIEA passes. 


NOD is proud to support this legislation.