Washington, DC, October 10, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- Enable America, a non-profit organization devoted to improving employment for disabled veterans and others with disabilities, is praising President Barack Obama’s initiatives to ensure fair and equal access to employment for all Americans, including people with disabilities.
“We applaud the President for recognizing the skills and talents of the disabled worker who is able and willing to work,” said Steve LaBour, Executive Director of Enable America. “He is to be commended for his leadership in directing federal agencies responsible for employment to develop new plans and policies to help increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities across America.”
On Monday the president announced several steps that come in conjunction with National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which is organized by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).
"My administration is committed to ensuring that all Americans have the chance to fulfill their potential and contribute to our nation," said President Obama. "Across this country, millions of people with disabilities are working or want to work, and they should have access to the support and services they need to succeed. “
As part of the president’s initiatives, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) will collaborate to sponsor and organize a federal government job fair for people with disabilities. The fair is scheduled for next spring.
In addition to the fair, OPM, ODEP, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Defense’s office on Computer and electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) will provide workshops throughout the day on topics including the Schedule A hiring waiver, and the right to the provision of reasonable accommodations including information on assistive and communications technology.
Other federal initiatives include:
· OPM will develop training on Schedule A for federal Human Resources specialists, hiring managers and selective placement coordinators that will be easily accessible and includes on line training.
· EEOC and the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division will hold four Town Hall meetings throughout the nation to share information about the ADA Amendments Act proposed regulations and to gather comments on them. All Town Hall meetings will consist of two sessions - one for disability advocates and one for the employer community. These sessions will be completed by November 20th. The four locations are Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, and New Orleans.
· The Department of Justice will release a video that will identify and respond to a number of common myths held by employers about workers with disabilities.
· OPM will create and lead a task force comprised of representatives from key Federal Departments and Agencies that have developed and implemented model practices for recruiting, retaining and advancing employees with disabilities. The task force will report on the innovative practices agencies use to encourage the employment of individuals with disabilities. The report will identify and promote successful practices for conducting outreach, recruiting, hiring qualified candidates, successful accommodations, and providing opportunities for career advancement at all levels.
“There is no question, these Presidential initiatives, along with the important work of the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, will make our work easier and lead to improved employment opportunities for people with disabilities,” LaBour said.
Enable America has been engaged in helping improve the lives of people with disabilities since it was founded in 2002 by Tampa attorney Richard Salem. Salem established the non-profit to provide support similar to what he received after he lost his sight as a teenager.
This year the organization is expanding its outreach in Raleigh and San Antonio. The organization opens employment opportunities for people with disabilities by organizing disability employee mentoring programs with businesses and other community organizations.
In addition, Enable America’s Community Connections, Business Connections, and VetConnect programs unite members of the disability community and business community to raise awareness and increase employment opportunities for the 54 million Americans with disabilities, including our nation’s wounded warriors.