Melwood Statement on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022
December 15, 2021
Washington, DC – In reaction to the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22 NDAA), Melwood President & CEO, Larysa Kautz, issued the following statement:
“On behalf of Melwood, a leading employer and advocate for people with disabilities, we congratulate Congress for passing the FY22 NDAA, specifically as it addresses the use of intergovernmental service agreements (IGSAs) to circumvent services currently on the AbilityOne procurement list. Congressional commitment to reviewing IGSAs as they relate to the AbilityOne Program and creating a permanent fix in the future will have a powerful impact on the lives of thousands of people with disabilities employed by the program.
The FY22 NDAA passage was also remarkable for its groundbreaking efforts in seeking substantial reforms on military sexual assault and we applaud the Members of Congress who have championed this important issue. As one of the leading national organizations providing healing services to military service-members and veterans experiencing military sexual trauma (MST), we are pleased to see Congress take this important step towards military justice, while recognizing the need for additional reforms.
As Congress continues to work on this important issue, we urge lawmakers to address gaps in services available to survivors of military sexual assault experiencing trauma. Melwood’s Operation Tohidu® program, powered by the Wounded Warrior Project and designed to help wounded warriors overcome obstacles to their recovery and supporting their successful integration into the community, currently has a six-year waiting list – demonstrating the immense need and lack of barrier-free resources for MST survivors.
We are encouraged to see the focus being given to these important issues and will continue our mission to inspire change and create a more inclusive society.”
Melwood is one of the largest employers of people with disabilities in the country, employing more than 1,600 workers – nearly 1,000 of whom are people with disabilities. Melwood offers job placement, job training, life skills for independence, and support services to more than 2,500 people each year in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Melwood also has an inclusive summer camp program for children and provides employment and support services to veterans and active-duty military members who have experienced service-related trauma or injury. For more information, visit www.Melwood.org.
Vice President of Government and Public Relations