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U.S. Department of Labor Provides New Publication for Faith-Based and Community Organizations on Serving People with Disabilities

Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy, Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and Civil Rights Center collaborate on guidance

Contact: Jennifer Kaplan or Rick Manning, U.S. Department of Labor, 202-693-5052 or x4676

WASHINGTON, Apr. 6 /Christian Newswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability and Employment Policy today made available a brochure to help faith-based and community organizations understand federal requirements for including individuals with disabilities in their programs and activities. The department's Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and Civil Rights Center also contributed to this new publication.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires recipients of federal financial assistance, including faith-based and community organizations, to take certain positive actions to make their facilities and services accessible and available to people with disabilities.

"Opening doors to people with disabilities need not be difficult or burdensome," said W. Roy Grizzard, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. "This brochure responds to questions my agency has received from faith-based and community organizations. It attempts to debunk unfounded fears and provide useful resources for integrating people with disabilities into programs and activities."

"Today, more faith-based and community organizations are partnering with the federal government," said Jedd Medefind, director of the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. "As a result, they are serving more people with disabilities. This brochure addresses common questions relating to Section 504 requirements in plain, conversational language."

"As the Labor Department's agency responsible for implementing and enforcing Section 504, the Civil Rights Center has been pleased to collaborate with our sister agencies in developing this brochure," said Annabelle T. Lockhart, the center's director. "We look forward to continuing this partnership in answering any additional questions from faith-based and community organizations about the process of integrating people with disabilities into their programs and activities."

The brochure, Demystifying Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, is available free of charge at www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/faith.htm. For more information about the department's Office of Disability Employment Policy, visit www.dol.gov/odep; the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, visit www.dol.gov/cfbci; and the Civil Rights Center, visit www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/crc/aboutcrc.htm.