Heaton works to enhance employment opportunities for Hoosiers with disabilities

Heaton works to enhance employment opportunities for Hoosiers with disabilities

Posted by: Brenda Holmes  | Tuesday, April 3, 2018

STATEHOUSE (April 3, 2018) — Gov. Eric Holcomb today at the Statehouse signed State Rep. Bob Heaton’s (R-Terre Haute) bill into law enhancing employment opportunities for Hoosier workers with disabilities.

Ability Indiana, also known as the State Use Program, is a nonprofit, central coordinating agency that helps facilitate state and local agencies with purchasing products and services from employment centers around the state that hire individuals with disabilities. Currently, there are 33 approved employment centers throughout the state. Heaton said through the program, quality goods and services are provided at reasonable prices, while the state pursues its established policy of promoting competitive wage employment for individuals with disabilities.

“With this new law, Indiana’s valuable State Use Program is modernized and strengthened to ensure approved employment programs for individuals with disabilities continue to instill self-worth and satisfaction,” Heaton said. “It will help keep the program competitive by requiring approved vendors to offer prices and services to both state and local agencies within 10 percent of the fair market price. It will also require the annual publication of a State Use Program catalog, which lists the products and services available through programs employing individuals with disabilities.”

Under House Enrolled Act 1257, qualifying nonprofits for the State Use Program will need to be incorporated in Indiana. It also modernizes sensitive terminology concerning individuals with disabilities and brings several program requirements in line with recently changed federal regulations, Heaton said.

This law goes into effect July 1.


State Rep. Bob Heaton (R-Terre Haute) represents House District 46,
which includes portions of Owen, Clay, Vigo and Monroe Counties.

A high-resolution photo of Heaton can be downloaded by clicking here.


PHOTO CAPTION: Gov. Eric Holcomb (seated, left) signs State Rep. Bob Heaton’s (R-Terre Haute) (seated right) bill into law on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. Heaton’s legislation improves the Ability Indiana program, which coordinates efforts of 33 agencies that employ disabled workers.