Enhancing Employment Opportunities for People Who Are Blind or Have Significant Disabilities
The Quality Work Environment (QWE) initiative empowers people who are blind or have other significant disabilities to achieve their maximum employment potential. This is achieved through the implementation of new practices and enhancement of existing practices to improve the quality of the work environment.
The Quality Work Environment Initiative was first introduced in a January 2009 memorandum from the U.S. AbilityOne Commission. In this memo, all agencies with an AbilityOne contract were reminded that AbilityOne is a disability employment program. AbilityOne uses federal contracts as the means to provide employment. QWE was introduced to renew the focus on AbilityOne as a disability employment program and the benefits can be seen at the individual, organizational, and national levels.
At the individual level, employees who are blind or have a significant disability can have increased wages as a result of increased productivity, use of assistive technology, or changing the culture of the agency. Employees will have opportunities to do the work of their choice and employers will encourage them to maximize their employment potential.
At the organizational level, QWE helps an agency become a leader in providing employees who are blind or have significant disabilities with opportunities to optimize their earnings and take advantage of opportunities for advancement, outplacement, or other community-based employment the individual selects through informed choice. QWE supports your agency’s goals around competitive employee wages and benefits, employee skill development, employee advancement, and employment supports.
At the national level, the AbilityOne QWE initiative will provide your agency with a framework to develop and showcase best, promising, and emerging employment practices as a progressive employer, dismantling others’ outdated labels and perceptions of agencies and the AbilityOne Program.