NCD to Hold Public Meeting for Input on Disability Employment

The National Council on Disability will hold its quarterly meeting in Houston, Texas, Jan. 19-21. The meeting is open to the public and will include presentations by the Honorable Kathleen Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for Disability Employment Policy, and Lex Frieden, professor of health informatics and rehabilitation at the University of Texas at Houston, as well as presentations on emergency preparedness and youth with disabilities in transition.

The meeting will take place at the JW Marriott Houston, 5150 Westheimer, beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19, and ending at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21.

NCD, an independent federal agency composed of 15 members appointed by the President, by and with the consent of the U.S. Senate, said its purpose is to promote policies, programs, practices, and procedures that guarantee equal opportunity for all individuals with disabilities, and that empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and integration into all aspects of society. The council added that it believes it is vital to hear from communities around the country on what works and what does not for people with disabilities and that this meeting will provide another opportunity for that exchange. NCD uses the input it gathers from its public meetings held around the country to review and evaluate federal programs and legislation and to provide the President, Congress, and federal agencies with advice and recommendations.

In addition to the planned presentations, the meeting will feature the release of two NCD research projects: "Workforce Infrastructure in Support of People with Disabilities" and "The State of Housing in America in the 21st Century: A Disability Perspective."

Specific times also are designated to receive public comment, supported by a toll-free call-in line; NCD said input is encouraged and will be greatly appreciated. Individuals or organizations can also provide written comments by e-mail, fax, or mail. A public comment session will be held Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 11:30 a.m. until noon, CST. The toll-free call-in number is (888) 790-6568, and the pass code is “NCD Meeting.” Written comments on disability-related issues of concern or interest can also be e-mailed to [email protected] at any time.

Meeting participants, audience members, and stakeholders from the disability community also are invited to attend a reception at the hotel on Wednesday, Jan. 20, from noon until 1:30 p.m. More details about the meeting will be posted on the NCD Web site at www.ncd.gov as they become available. NCD said the meeting's agenda also will be posted on the site approximately 10 days prior to the event, and written comments for the council's consideration can be submitted at any time by writing to [email protected].

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