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Enable America Supports ODEP Listening Tour

The U.S. Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has launched a six-city listening tour across the country. Enable America is commending U.S. Department of Labor's Assistant Secretary Kathleen Martinez on the initiative, and encouraging participation.

Washington, DC, January 27, 2010 --( Enable America, a non-profit organization devoted to empowering people with disabilities to achieve independence through employment, is encouraging participation in the U.S. Department of Labor’s disability employment listening tour, which is being held now through early March.

“Enable America would like to commend and thank Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez for setting up her listening tour," said Steve LaBour, Executive Director of Enable America. “These sessions are a great opportunity for those working in the trenches to speak directly to the federal leaders who impact disability employment policy.”

The first listening tour by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) was held last week, in Dallas. Five more remain through March 5. Additional locations are scheduled for Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Boston. Each listening tour is described as an opportunity for members of the public to provide input to senior Federal officials on more effective ways to employ people with disabilities, including women, Veterans, and minorities with disabilities.

“Those who want to comment do not have to attend in person,” LaBour said. “ODEP is also accepting comments on-line, which is an excellent way for those who cannot personally appear to make their thoughts known to those who will impact employment issues. We strongly encourage participation whether it is in person or online.”

The tour is being held in conjunction with ODEP’s partners, including the Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Education, and U.S. Department of Labor’s Veteran’s Employment and Training Service.

Since 2002 Enable America has been working on this cause and the effort continues to grow. In 2009 Enable America expanded from its headquarters in Tampa to establish programs in Raleigh and San Antonio. With that expansion came further opportunities in Enable America’s employee mentoring programs, in which Enable America matches mentors from local companies with mentees from the community. Those mentees are people with disabilities or wounded veterans who often have difficulty finding work. While the experience helps those people become more employable, there is also value to companies looking to strengthen and diversify their labor force.

Enable America also organizes community connection forums, designed to bring local leaders, lawmakers, employers and service providers together to learn and share success stories. These meetings are an important step in building a bridge between those with disabilities, and their community.

Other successful programs launched by Enable America include VetConnect, which is dedicated to helping wounded warriors re-acclimate to civilian life, by pairing them with veterans who have faced similar challenges. Since 2007, more than two-hundred wounded warriors and their families have been served by VetConnect mentors across the country.

Pre-registration for those who want to participate in the U.S Department of Labor’s listening tour, including those who will make on-line comments, is required. More information can be obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor, and is also included on Enable America’s Facebook page, as well as the organization’s website,


About Enable America: Enable America was established in 2002 by attorney Richard Salem as a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities find employment and live independently. The organization’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.
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Enable America
Chris Jadick

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