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Highlights of a Forum: Modernizing Federal Disability Policy

GAO-07-934SP Published: Aug 03, 2007. Publicly Released: Aug 03, 2007.
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Economic, medical, technological, and social changes have increased opportunities for persons with disabilities to live with greater independence and more fully participate in the workforce. In addition, social and legal changes have promoted the goal of greater inclusion of persons with disabilities in the mainstream of society. However, GAO's reviews of the largest federal disability programs indicate that such programs have not evolved in line with these larger societal changes and, therefore, are poorly positioned to provide meaningful and timely support for persons with disabilities. Furthermore, program enrollment and costs for the largest federal disability programs have been growing and are poised to grow even more rapidly in the future. For these reasons, GAO added modernizing federal disability to its high-risk areas in January 2003. GAO convened this forum to address some of the key issues related to modernizing federal disability policy. The forum brought together a diverse array of experts, including employers; advocate groups, researchers, and academia; and federal officials. Comments expressed do not necessarily represent the views of any individual participant or the organizations they represent, including GAO. However, GAO does make some concluding observations.

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Aid for the disabledDisability benefitsEmployee incentivesEmployees with disabilitiesEmployment assistance programsEmployment of the disabledFederal employee disability programsFederal social security programsPeople with disabilitiesPolicy evaluationProgram evaluationVeterans employment programs