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U.S. AbilityOne Commission

James M. Kesteloot, Chairperson
Tina Ballard, Executive Director

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Laws, Regulations
and Policy

Compliance Manual

This manual is published to provide Commission staff, NIB, SourceAmerica® (formerly NISH), nonprofit agencies and the interested public with a reference work on the practices and procedures used by Commission staff compliance personnel relative to conducting compliance reviews at nonprofit agencies participating in the AbilityOne Program. It contains instructions to Commission staff on the requirements for medical documentation, competitive employment assessments, direct labor ratio determinations and reviewing U.S. Department of Labor requirements, as well as other material in the nature of information, interpretation and examples of the processes involved and outlines the current procedures which the staff is required or authorized to follow in the normal review of a nonprofit agency.

The manual does not have the force of law or the force of the rules in Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Among the requirements for a nonprofit agency to participate in the AbilityOne Program, 75 percent of its total direct labor hours must be performed by people who are blind or significantly disabled. To fulfill this and other compliance requirements successfully, nonprofit agency personnel must fully understand the Commission’s definitions of blind and significant disabilities and the Commission’s requirements for documentation of thoseindividuals who are being counted towards the direct labor ratio.

In light of the differences in definitions and Program requirements, the chapter on medical documentation and competitive employability is divided into separate sections for people who are blind and for people who are have other significant disabilities. The law allows nonprofits associated with National Industries for the Blind (NIB) to count only the direct labor hours of people who are blind towards the 75 percent direct labor ratio, while nonprofits that are affiliated with SourceAmerica may count people who are blind as well as people with significant disabilities. SourceAmerica-affiliated nonprofits that employ people who are blind should also be familiar with the section on people who are blind, as it contains the Commission’s requirements that must be met for the nonprofit’s blind employees.

Subsequent changes in practice and other revisions will be incorporated in the form of substitute or additional pages for the manual.

Comments should be addressed to:
U.S. AbilityOne Commission
1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715
Arlington, VA 22202
Or they may be sent via email to: info@abilityone.gov

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Compliance Manual

The U.S. AbilityOne Commission is providing this information as a public service to provide guidance on some of the operating procedures of the AbilityOne Program, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance. While every effort has been made to make the information presented here as complete and accurate as possible, it may contain errors, omissions or information that was accurate as of its publication but subsequently has become outdated by new laws, policies, regulations, and/or other circumstances. Updated program requirements and related materials are maintained on this Web site to enhance public access to information and participation in the AbilityOne Program. Nothing in the manual shall be interpreted as creating a right of entitlement or right of legal action.

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