Alabama Governor Robert Bentley announced recently  that a statewide Summit on Disability Employment has been scheduled for October. Governor Bentley has partnered with both the Alabama Labor Commissioner and Mental Health Commissioner. The Summit was announced following the Governor’s tour of United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham.

Thompson Policy Institute’s DisAbility Summit happened earlier this May and suggested that young adults with disabilities need help transitioning into and staying in the workforce, so it is inspiring to see state governments spearheading the issue.

The motivation for the Summit is that all Alabamians deserve to find a job and is a personal issue for Governor Bentley, considering his son Luke had to overcome developmental challenges after serious complications during birth. With support offered by the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS), Luke was able to find and maintain a job, where he still works today.

Although a concrete date is yet to be set in October, concrete steps are being taken by agencies like the ADRS, who has partnered with 1,700 Alabama businesses with “an interest in disability and hiring.” It appears that informed research is helping shift the policy in favor of young adults with disabilities and offering them support during this complicated transition into adulthood.