Pennsylvania’s Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation is participating in several events to celebrate and raise awareness about inclusive employment.

“This month of recognition highlights the benefits of hiring people with disabilities for employers who may not have considered this valuable resource of employees,” Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway said. “It also lets people know how OVR is helping people with disabilities gain entry to the workforce and emphasizes the no cost resources it has available to businesses who want to meet their workforce needs by hiring Pennsylvanians with disabilities.”

One of the highlighted events is the PA Disability Employment and Empowerment Summit (PADES) from October 23-25 in Camp Hill, PA. PADES brings together businesses, government agencies, service providers, and people with disabilities to discuss the challenges and successes of inclusive employment and to make suggestions for systems improvements. The workshops explore the value that people with disabilities bring to the workforce.

Other events include the Philadelphia OVR Disability Mentoring Day with KPMG on October 23 and the York OVR District Office Job Fair at the York HACC campus on October 25.

In keeping with the national recognition of Disability Employment Awareness Month, Governor Corbett proclaimed October to be Disability Employment Awareness Month. His proclamation, which says that “all Pennsylvanians should have the opportunity to live and work with dignity, freedom, and economic self-sufficiency,” takes an important step toward creating an inclusive workforce. However, there is much work still to be done to close the disparity gap among unemployed people with disabilities.

To learn more about PA’s Disability Employment Awareness Month activities and to read Governor Corbett’s proclamation, read the PA Department of Labor and Industry’s press release.