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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

ODEP News Release: [02/09/2006]
Contact Name: Peggy Abrahamson or Public Affairs
Phone Number: (202) 693-7909 or (202) 693-4676
Release Number: 06-0247-NAT

Labor Department Hosts EU-US Information Exchange On Disability Employment Issues and Trends

WASHINGTON-Innovations such as high technology vehicles for wheel chair users in Europe and new information technologies that level the playing field for working people with disabilities on both sides of the Atlantic were among many topics covered during a meeting here this week of government and private sector officials from the European Union and the United States.

The Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) hosted the Information Exchange, Exploring Employment and Retention Strategies for People with Disabilities, in collaboration with the department's Bureau of International Labor Affairs as part of a trans-Atlantic agreement between DOL and the European Union. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of the agreement between the two agencies and represents 10 years of collaboration and cooperation on employment and labor-related issues.

"This Information Exchange reflects the value of cooperation and the ongoing need to jointly explore and discuss our efforts, our successes and our challenges," said Roy Grizzard, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. "Our combined effort will ensure that workplace doors continue to open for people with disabilities."

Participants at the exchange heard about unique strategies used by employers from the United States and Europe to increase and promote the employment of people with disabilities, including transportation and assistive technologies.

Lisa Pavan Woolfe, director of the European Union's Equal Opportunities European Commission said, "Efforts to improve disability employment are important and are not discussions in generalities, but are about real people, real jobs and real companies."

The Information Exchange was a follow-up to the first meeting on disability employment held in Brussels in 2003. For decades, both the EU and the United States have implemented policies designed to promote independence and work opportunities for their citizens with disabilities.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.