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Policy

For NDEAM, Gov. Bill Lee Celebrates “Employment First” in Tennessee and the “Value of Employees with Disabilities”

Nashville, TN, October 5 – “Tennessee passed the State as a Model Employer (SAME) Bill, ensuring that state agencies and departments design and proactively implement best, promising, and emerging policies, practices, and procedures related to the recruitment, hiring, advancement, and retention of qualified individuals with disabilities,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee in a proclamation marking October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Gov. Lee also recommitted his state to recognizing “the value of employees with disabilities to the state’s current and future workforce,” and celebrated Tennessee’s “public policy accomplishments concerning expanding employment opportunities for citizens with disabilities.”

This is an important public commitment for the more than 533,630 working-age people living with disabilities in Tennessee. In the economic expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tennessee had a 35.2 percent disability employment rate. By contrast, people without disabilities had an employment rate of 78.2 percent. That means that there is a 42.9 percentage point gap in labor force participation rates between people with and without disabilities. [continue reading…]

Gov. DeWine: Ohio is “Maximizing Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities”

Columbus, OH, October 4 – “Ohio is wholly committed to maximizing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities through education, training, collaboration, and awareness,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in a proclamation marking October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Gov. DeWine added that “Ohio is setting a high standard by bringing together businesses and partners to break down the barriers faced by individuals with disabilities who are working or seeking employment.”

This is an important public commitment for the more than 821,099 working-age people living with disabilities in Ohio. In the economic expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio had a 39.8 percent disability employment rate. By contrast, people without disabilities had an employment rate of 79.9 percent. That means that there is a 40-percentage point gap in labor force participation rates between people with and without disabilities in Ohio. [continue reading…]

Gov. McMaster Commits South Carolina to “Full Access and Inclusion” for People with Disabilities

Columbia, SC, October 1 – South Carolina must “reduce the attitudinal and physical barriers that hinder full acceptance of people with disabilities,” said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster in a proclamation marking October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Gov. McMaster also recommitted his state to advancing Employment First policies to prioritize employment outcomes for “all working age citizens with disabilities” and recognizing that “a diverse and capable work force” is key to “further advance the economy of the Palmetto State.”

This is an important public commitment for the more than 362,000 working-age people living with disabilities in South Carolina. In the economic expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, South Carolina had a 34.3 percent disability employment rate. By contrast, people without disabilities had an employment rate of 76.8 percent. That means that there is a 42.4 percentage point gap in labor force participation rates between people with and without disabilities. [continue reading…]

As NDEAM Approaches, Gov. Abbott Calls for “More Employment Opportunities for Texans with Disabilities”

Austin, TX, October 1 – “The month of October is dedicated to celebrating and recognizing the indispensable contributions Texans with disabilities provide to the Lone Star State’s economy,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott in a proclamation marking October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Gov. Abbott, who is himself a wheelchair user, also noted that “promoting disability employment awareness,” “creating more inclusive workplaces,” and “cultivating more employment opportunities for Texans with disabilities” are key priorities in his final year in office.

This is an important public commitment for the more than 1.6 million working-age people living with disabilities in the Lone Star State. In the economic expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas had a 41.9 percent disability employment rate. By contrast, people without disabilities had an employment rate of 77.5 percent. That means that there is a 35.5 percentage point gap in labor force participation rates between people with and without disabilities. [continue reading…]

Missouri Gov. Parson Emphasizes the “Value and Talent” of People with Disabilities

St. Louis, MO, October 1 – In a proclamation marking October as Disability Employment Awareness Month, Missouri Governor Mike Parson reaffirmed “the State of Missouri’s commitment to an inclusive community that increases access and opportunities to all, including individuals with disabilities.”

This is an important public commitment for the more than 463,000 working-age people living with disabilities in Missouri. In the economic expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Show Me State had a 36.9 percent disability employment rate. By contrast, people without disabilities had an employment rate of 80.2 percent. That means that there is a 43.2 percentage point gap in labor force participation rates between people with and without disabilities. [continue reading…]

As NDEAM Begins, Gov. Dunleavy Celebrates the “Talent and Value” of Alaskans with Disabilities

Juneau, AK, October 3 – The “State of Alaska celebrates and recognizes the talents and contributions of individuals with disabilities in the workplace and commits to promoting awareness about disability employment opportunities,” said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy in a proclamation marking the first week of October as Alaska Employ People with Disabilities Week.

Gov. Dunleavy’s proclamation went on to add that advancing opportunities for people with disabilities “is a critical part of our efforts to build an inclusive community and strong economy throughout Alaska.”

This is an important public commitment for the more than 44,000 working-age people living with disabilities in Alaska. In the economic expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alaska had a 38.8 percent disability employment rate. By contrast, people without disabilities had an employment rate of 74.2 percent. That means that there is a 35.3 percentage point gap in labor force participation rates between people with and without disabilities.
[continue reading…]

As NDEAM Begins, Gov. Northam Celebrates Workers with Disabilities Who Help Drive Virginia’s Economy

Richmond, VA, October 1 – “Virginians with disabilities, including veterans, have the ability and desire to seek employment and to develop the skills they need to join Virginia’s economy,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in a proclamation marking October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

This is an important public commitment for the more than 491,000 working-age people living with disabilities in Virginia. In the economic expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia had a 43.3 percent disability employment rate. By contrast, people without disabilities had an employment rate of 80 percent. That means that there is a 36.6 percentage point gap in labor force participation rates between people with and without disabilities. [continue reading…]

As NDEAM Begins, Gov. Polis Celebrates “Significant Contributions” of Colorado’s Workers with Disabilities

Denver, CO, October 1 – “People with disabilities make significant contributions to Colorado’s economic and social wellbeing,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis in a proclamation marking October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Gov. Polis also noted that despite their considerable talents, Coloradans with disabilities “face barriers to employment, denying them the opportunity to use their skills and perspectives and depriving employers of the talent they need to grow.” According to Polis, “investment in workforce services is essential.”

This is an important public commitment for the more than 298,000 working-age people living with disabilities in the Centennial State. In the economic expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado boasted a 47.2 percent percent disability employment rate. By contrast, people without disabilities had an employment rate of 81.6 percent. That means that there is a 34.3 percentage point gap in labor force participation rates between people with and without disabilities. [continue reading…]

As NDEAM Begins, Gov. Sisolak Highlights the “Value and Talent People with Disabilities” Bring to Nevada’s Workforce

Carson City, NV, October 1 – Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak took the opportunity to publicly celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month this October and to “celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.”

Gov. Sisolak also recommitted his state “to take steps throughout the year to recruit, hire, retain, and advance people with disabilities and work to pursue the goals of opportunity, full participation, economic self-sufficiency, and independent living for people with disabilities.”

This is an important public commitment for the more than 176,000 working-age people living with disabilities in the Silver State. In the economic expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nevada had a 39.3 percent disability employment rate. By contrast, people without disabilities had an employment rate of 77.8 percent. That means that there is a 38.4 percentage point gap in labor force participation rates between people with and without disabilities. [continue reading…]

RespectAbility Advocates for Colorado to Close Labor Force Gaps for People with Disabilities

Colorado state flagDenver, CO, September 23 – This week, the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC) met to discuss the status of workforce practices of the Centennial State. In response to this meeting, RespectAbility, a national nonpartisan nonprofit organization, submitted testimony on how to implement best practices, advocate for greater inclusion and improve the standing of people with disabilities in Colorado’s workforce.

“When it was passed with broad, bipartisan support in 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) invested unprecedented resources into efforts to get people with barriers to employment into the labor force,” said Philip Kahn-Pauli, a native Coloradan and RespectAbility’s Policy and Practices Director. “Now, after the pandemic that has reshaped our economy, it is time to devote significant attention to supporting the economic advancement of students, job-seekers, and entrepreneurs with disabilities.” [continue reading…]

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