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News Release

US Department of Labors Add Us In initiative provides more than $2.4 million to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities

WASHINGTON — As part of its "Add Us In" initiative, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy awarded four two-year cooperative agreements totaling more than $2.4 million to consortia led by the University of Missouri-Kansas City in Kansas City, Mo.; Community Partners-Integrated Recovery Network in Los Angeles, Calif.; The Workplace Inc. in Bridgeport, Conn.; and the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.

The consortia will create replicable models and strategies that can be used nationwide by businesses and employers to reach out to people with disabilities in their communities, build a national and local network of experts skilled in serving a diversity of individuals with disabilities, and improve employment opportunities and outcomes for diverse people with disabilities. According to recent data from the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of August 2010, the percentage of individuals with disabilities participating in the labor force was 22.0 percent compared with 70.2 percent for individuals with no disability. About one in five people with disabilities is in the labor force, and the unemployment rate for those with disabilities remains much higher than the national average.

"This administration is committed to expanding job opportunities for all Americans, including individuals with disabilities," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Add Us In will expand opportunities for workers with disabilities and help ensure that everyone who wants to work can find a good job."

More than 10 million Americans who are members of ethnic and racial minority groups have long-lasting disabling conditions or impairments. When looking at the relationship between disability and employment, researchers have found that individuals with disabilities from these groups are often at increased risk for unemployment. Add Us In is an important step toward integrating disability and diversity into employers' workforce planning and addressing employment disparities for people with disabilities.

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez noted, "It is quite appropriate for the Add Us In grants to be awarded on the eve of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. We look forward to the Add Us In consortia improving the ability of businesses to employ individuals with disabilities and serving as examples of success during NDEAM for many years to come."

The Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy provides national leadership on disability employment policy by developing and influencing the use of evidence-based disability employment policies and practices, building collaborative partnerships, and delivering authoritative and credible data on employment of people with disabilities.

To learn more about the Add Us In initiative, visit

Editor's Note: A complete listing of the consortia and their members follows this release.


Consortia Members


The University of Missouri- Kansas City in Kansas City, Mo.

The Greater Kansas City Black Chamber of Commerce; The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce; the Kansas City Business Leadership Network; Kansas City Parks and Recreation; Kansas City YMCA; Full Employment Council Workforce Investment Board; Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation; and The Whole Person


Community Partners, Integrated Recovery Network in Los Angeles, Calif.

The University of Southern California Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy; The Measurement Group; The Black Coalition of Los Angeles County; L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center; Homeboy Industries; The Business Federation of the County of Los Angeles; The South Coast Workforce Investment Board; and the Los Angeles Community College District


The Workplace Inc. in Bridgeport, Conn.

Career Resources Inc.; The Disability Resource Center of Fairfield County; Bridgeport Area Youth Ministry Inc.; State of Connecticut Bureau of Rehabilitation Services; State of Connecticut Board of Education and Services for the Blind; Connecticut Commission of Human Rights and Opportunities; Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council; Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition; and The Women's Business Development Center


The University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.

The Capital Chamber of Commerce; The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services; the Developmental Disabilities Services Division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services; the Cheyenne and Arapaho Vocational Rehabilitation Program; Statewide Independent Living Council; the Dale Rogers Training Center; The Central Oklahoma Workforce Investment Board; Eagle Ridge Institute; the Office of Juvenile Affairs; the Oklahoma Association of Youth Services; Youth Services of Oklahoma County; The Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City Inc.; Cimarron Alliance Foundation; Folds of Honor, Civicus; The Oklahoma Department of Commerce; and the state workforce board


Office of Disability Employment Policy
September 30, 2010
Release Number