New Regulations Require Federal Contractors to Ask Employees if They Have a Disability

U.S. regulations going into effect next week require for the first time that federal contractors ask their employees if they have a disability. The new regulations are part of the government's effort to reduce the high unemployment rate of people with disabilities in the United States. The goal is to make sure that these companies are employing a minimum of 7% workers with disabilities. Federal contractors include Boeing Co., Dell Inc., AT&T Inc. and over 40,000 others.

Those that don't meet this mark or can't prove they are taking steps to achieve that goal, could face penalties and, in the most extreme cases, the loss of their contracts, according to a government official. The target applies to contractors with 50 or more employees or more than $50,000 in government work.

Autism Speaks is committed to helping young adults and adults with autism find and maintain employment in today's competitive job market. Our Employment Tool Kit contains stories, tips and resources developed from a collaboration of people, including adults with autism, dedicated to increasing the employment participation of adults on the spectrum. In addition, the Autism Employment Network LinkedIn group was created to serve as a central resource and forum for continued discussion where employers and people in the autism community can share models and best practices and discover useful resources.