DOL Readies for National Disability Employment Awareness Month

U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced that "America's People, America's Talent... America's Strength!" will be the official 2008 theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which is observed in October nationwide by congressional designation. DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) leads the nation's activities and produces materials to increase the public's awareness of the contributions and skills of American workers with disabilities. Typically, advocacy organizations, the private sector, and federal, state, and local government agencies piggyback on the same theme to plan events and programs that showcase the abilities of employees and job candidates with disabilities.

ODEP says it is leading a 21st century federal response to the historic underemployment of people with disabilities. In collaboration with other government agencies, public and private employers, and additional stakeholders, ODEP facilitates the development and implementation of innovative policies and practices necessary to achieve a fully inclusive workplace. The agency's work primarily falls into three categories: employers and the workplace; workforce systems; and employment-related supports, which include education and training, health care, reliable transportation, affordable housing, and assistive technology.

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