FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Arizona Employment and Disability Partnership Joins Broad Effort to Observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month Nationwide campaign will take place in October
(Phoenix, Arizona) — 10/22/13 — The Arizona Employment and Disability Partnership (AEDP) today announced its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The AEDP is a collaborative of government and private entities that work together to ensure the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the workforce by addressing systems change and capacity building needs activities necessary to develop the workforce to meet Arizona’s business needs. Partners include ABIL, Raising Special Kids, Untapped Arizona, Rehabilitation Services Administration, Division of Developmental Disabilities, AZ Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, Division of Behavioral Health Services, Department of Education/Youth with Disabilities Transition Services and the Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families.
The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.
The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
“When I was growing up, many people doubted what I could do just because I was blind. But because I had people in my life who instilled in me an expectation of work and showed me opportunities to be successful, I completed college and became known for what I can do,” said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy when announcing this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme, which is “Because We Are EQUAL to the Task.”
Reflecting this year’s theme the Arizona Employment and Disability Partnership members will be hosting a reception to celebrate the collective work of its members in creating solutions to address employment barriers for people with disabilities and discuss future opportunities to partner in supporting more individuals with disabilities to work and become self-sufficient. The reception will be held on Tuesday, October 29, 2013, from 3-5 p.m. at the Disability Empowerment Conference Center and Courtyard.
The Arizona Employment and Disability Partnership is proud to be a part of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” said Amina Kruck, ABIL’s Benefits 2 Work Arizona Project Director “We want to spread the important message that a strong workforce is one inclusive of the skills and talents of all individuals, including individuals with disabilities.” For other Disability Employment Month Events go to October 2013 Calendar Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages, including free posters promoting employment of individuals with disabilities — during October and throughout the year — by visiting the ODEP website at www.dol.gov/odep/.
Amina Kruck, VP Advocacy Programs
Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL)
602-443-0722 (O) 602-980-1155 ©