On August 13, President Biden announced the appointment of four individuals to the U.S. AbilityOne Commission, which administers the AbilityOne Program, one of the nation’s largest sources of employment for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. Among the appointees was Peninsula College class of 1973 alumnus, Christina Brandt.
Brandt is the CEO of an innovative nonprofit; an AbilityOne producer with over four decades of quality service to the government customer. She transformed AtWork! from a sheltered workshop paying subminimum wages to a nationally recognized best-practice provider of customized and integrated community employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As a subject matter expert, Christina has delivered training and technical assistance in multiple states, including significant work in Oregon implementing the settlement of Lane vs. Brown.
Throughout her 46 year career she has advanced equity and inclusion for people with disabilities and was instrumental in securing Washington State’s Employment First legislation.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to work with my fellow appointees and other members of the AbilityOne Commission to further equity and justice for people with disabilities, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD),” Brandt said. “Often denied the basic employment rights most citizens take for granted, people with I/DD are employed at much lower rates when compared with the general public and even to people with other disabilities.”
Brandt said she is eager to share her experiences supporting people with I/DD to obtain competitive integrated employment, and demonstrate to other nonprofits that they can do the same.
“Together, with the Biden Administration’s commitment to CIE and equity for people with disabilities, I believe we will effect positive change that creates more job opportunities within the government contracting sector and beyond,” she said.
Brandt's sister, Cindy Lauderback, is employed by Peninsula College as the Manager of High School Programs.
For more information visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/08/13/....