[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[July 29, 1998]
[Page 1371]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

[[Page 1371]]

Memorandum on Outreach Actions To Increase Employment of Adults With 
July 29, 1998

Memorandum for the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human 
Services, the Chair of the Equal Opportunity Commission, the 
Administrator of the Small Business Administration

Subject: Outreach Actions to Increase Employment of Adults with 

    As we commemorate the eighth anniversary of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), we have much to celebrate. This landmark 
civil rights law is making it possible for millions of Americans to 
participate more fully in society--through employment, access to public 
facilities, and participation in community and leisure activities--and 
to do their part to make us a stronger and better country. At the same 
time, we are reminded that significant challenges remain. Far too many 
of the 30 million working-age adults with disabilities are still 
unemployed, especially those with significant disabilities.
    To address employment barriers for people with disabilities, I 
issued Executive Order 13078 on March 13, 1998, establishing the 
National Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities. The Task 
Force will issue in November the first in a series of reports on what 
the Federal Government can do to help bring the employment rate of 
adults with disabilities into line with that of the general population. 
The Task Force already has identified important ways to reduce barriers 
to work for people with disabilities, and I hereby direct you to act on 
these findings.
    First, although awareness of the ADA is increasing among persons 
with disabilities, employers, and the general public, too many people 
still are not aware of their rights and responsibilities under the ADA. 
There is a particular need to educate the small business community, 
which employs most of the private work force and includes the vast 
majority of employers.
    I therefore direct the Attorney General, the Chair of the Equal 
Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Administrator of the Small 
Business Administration to expand public education regarding the 
requirements of the ADA to employers, employees, and others whose rights 
may be affected, with special attention to small businesses and 
underserved communities, such as racial and language minorities that may 
not have ready access to information that is already available.
    Second, lack of adequate private health insurance options is a 
disincentive to leave Social Security programs for work. Few private 
health plans cover the personal assistance and other types of services 
that make work possible for many people with disabilities. Recognizing 
this problem, I proposed and the Congress passed a new Medicaid option 
last year that allows people with disabilities to buy into Medicaid 
without having to receive cash assistance. A number of States have 
expressed an interest in offering this new option and the Secretary of 
Health and Human Services has been working with them to do so. Much 
more, however, needs to be done to increase the public outreach and 
education activities about these important laws and options.
    I therefore direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to 
continue to take all necessary actions to inform Governors, State 
legislators, State Medicaid directors, consumer organizations, 
employers, providers, and other interested parties about section 4733 of 
the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Section 4733 allows States to provide 
Medicaid coverage for working individuals with disabilities who, because 
of their earnings, would not qualify for Medicaid under current law. 
Additional guidance, letters, technical assistance, and other efforts by 
the Department of Health and Human Services about the enormous benefits 
of this option can go a long way in encouraging States to adopt and use 
this Medicaid buy-in.
    This memorandum is for the internal management of the executive 
branch and does not create any right or benefit, substantive or 
procedural, enforceable by a party against the United States, its 
agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other 

                                                      William J. Clinton