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DOL's ADA celebration

Please join Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy Kathleen Martinez at the Department of Labor's celebration of the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The event is scheduled for July 30, 2010 from 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Department's Frances Perkins Building in Washington, D.C.

This anniversary provides a unique opportunity for the Department of Labor to reaffirm its commitment to the ADA's principles of equality, access, and inclusion; and to commit itself to ensuring that the goals of a diverse workforce and good jobs for everyone includes workers with disabilities.

Our keynote speaker for the event is former United States Congressman Tony Coelho, an author and sponsor of the ADA and Board Chair of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), who will share his thoughts on the impact of the ADA. The event will conclude with remarks from Christine Griffin, Deputy Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

The highlight of the event is the induction of Justin Dart, Jr. and Helen Keller into the Department's Labor Hall of Fame. The Labor Hall of Fame honors, posthumously, those Americans whose distinctive contributions to the field of labor have enhanced the quality of life of America's workers. Notable members of the Labor Hall of Fame include Cesar Chavez, Mother Jones, and Frances Perkins, among others.

Justin Dart, Jr. is widely regarded as the father of “the Americans with Disabilities Act.” Thanks to his tireless efforts and leadership, the landmark legislation passed and now serves as the foundation for equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Mr. Dart was both a successful businessman and a lifetime advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, women, people of color, and the gay and lesbian community. In 1989, he was appointed Chair of the President's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities (a precursor to DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy) where he advocated for the full civil rights for people with disabilities, including the right to employment based on abilities. Mr. Dart received five presidential appointments and numerous honors, including the Hubert Humphrey Award of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the nation's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Helen Keller's story as an advocate who was deaf and blind taught the world that everyone has something positive to contribute when they are given an opportunity. As a major fundraiser for the American Foundation for the Blind, she proved instrumental in assisting people with visual disabilities in the areas of technology, education, independent living, literacy, and employment. Ms. Keller campaigned to make Braille the standard system for reading and writing for people with vision loss. In addition, she successfully pushed the Federal Government to include people who are blind in the definition of “disabled” under the Social Security Act so that they could receive financial help. By providing her unique example of courage and hope, Ms. Keller changed the world and the lives of millions of people with visual impairments.

LOGISTICS:

What: DOL Commemoration of the ADA and Induction of Justin Dart, Jr. and Helen Keller into the U.S. Department of Labor's Labor Hall of Fame

When: July 30, 2010, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Where: Department of Labor (DOL) Great Hall
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W. (3rd & C St. entrance)
Washington, D.C. 20210-0001

Space is limited

Please respond to this e-mail at:
Nicholson.Rejeanne@dol.gov. Your name must be on the guest list to facilitate entry. Thank you.

Web Presentation: Should you not be able to attend in person, please go to www.dol.gov/dol/media/webcast/live.htm, where the live, streaming video of the event will be presented.