Breaking Barriers to Employment

Breaking Barriers to Employment

On this day in 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. The ADA prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities will have access to the same opportunities as everyone else and be able to participate in life just as any other American - employment opportunities, the ability to purchase goods and services, and the ability to participate in both State and local government programs and services. 

It is largely modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Thus, the ADA is an "equal opportunity" law for people with disabilities. 

The history of the Americans with Disabilities Act did not begin on July 26, 1990 nor did it begin in 1988 when the bill was first introduced. It began throughout the United States when people with disabilities faced barriers that excluded them from their communities. It began when those people began to demand better access to their world.

It began on April 5, 1977, when a group led by Judy Heumann organized a sit-in that would become the longest occupation of a federal building in United States history. Protestors occupied the regional office for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) in San Francisco, CA demanding that the newly appointed secretary set binding regulations for Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act (1973). Section 504 stated that no persons should be "excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination" under any program receiving Federal dollars. The language of the law was too broad and needed to have clarifying regulations. 

This movement made it possible for those with disabilities to have better access to services and their communities. While the United States has become more accessible to those with disabilities, there are many barriers to access that must be broken down. 

One of Phenix's core values is Leave the World a Better Place. One of the ways we do that is by breaking down the barriers that those with disabilities often face when looking for employment opportunities. 


EXCEED provides individual training and a combination of support services in community-based employment. This program enables clients to work independently, achieve, and maintain employment in an integrated setting in the business community. Individual Placements (IP's) receive initial support services from an EXCEED Vocational Trainer in areas such as orientation, employer policies, job duties, and safety procedures. Clients receive on-going support as needed in order to maintain or enhance employment. Group Placements receive continuous support from an EXCEED on-site supervisor. 

"One of the most significant barriers to a successful employment experience for adults with disabilities is inclusion and acceptance in the workplace. 

Phenix Technology, Inc. has wholly embraced our program participants into their caring and supportive work culture where they have grown beyond his barriers and are excelling. 

EXCEED is proud to partner with Phenix Technology in our combined effort to provide opportunities that enable adults with disabilities reach their maximum potential."

Sandra Aldridge


Westview is a not-for-profit service agency dedicated to enriching the lives of people through services designed to realize their potential.

We Believe In:

  • Creating A Better World…
  • One Person At A Time…
  • One Day At A Time…

Westview offers a full range of programs to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Westview strives to develop each client’s natural talents, potential and abilities to become a more productive member of society, thereby enriching our communities.

Westview is dedicated to creating a better world for each client. Programs are tailored to meet specific needs of individual clients who will have the opportunity to reach their highest potential through a variety of experiences.

Westview’s services are sensitive to the cultural needs of our various ethnic communities.

Westview strives to enable people with disabilities to meet the challenges of daily life, gain the tools to be contributing members of the workforce, and ultimately lead more fulfilling lives.

Westview’s staff is committed to quality in service to our clients and our business partners.

“I am amazed of Phenix Technology's ability to empower our clients, furthering their independence and confidence with the experience they provide them. We feel so privileged to have the opportunity to work with such a group of amazing people.”

California Department of Rehabilitation

The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) works in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders to provide services and advocacy resulting in employment, independent living, and equality for individuals with disabilities.

DOR administers the largest vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs in the country. Vocational rehabilitation services are designed to help job seekers with disabilities obtain competitive employment in integrated work settings. Independent living services may include peer support, skill development, systems advocacy, referrals, assistive technology services, transition services, housing assistance, and personal assistance services.

We believe in the talent and potential of individuals with disabilities. We invest in the future through creativity, ingenuity, and innovation. We ensure our decisions and actions are informed by interested individuals and groups. We pursue excellence through continuous improvement. We preserve the public’s trust through compassionate and responsible provision of services.

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