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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ODEP News Release: [05/13/2010]
Contact Name: Clarisse Young or Bennett Gamble
Phone Number: (202) 693-5051 or x4667
Release Number: 10-0630-NAT

US Labor Department Office of Disability Employment Policy announces National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme

2010 theme celebrates workforce diversity and workers with disabilities

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy today unveiled the official theme for October's National Disability Employment Awareness Month: "Talent Has No Boundaries: Workforce Diversity INCLUDES Workers With Disabilities." The theme serves to inform the public that workers with disabilities represent a diverse and vibrant talent pool for hire.

Early announcement of the theme helps communities nationwide plan a series of events, some of which will continue throughout the year beginning in October, such as proclamations, public awareness programs and job fairs that showcase the skills and talents of workers with disabilities.

This theme epitomizes Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis' commitment to "good jobs for everyone."

"The solutions and innovations applicable to the successful employment of workers with disabilities impact the entire workforce, including aging workers, injured workers, at-risk youth, women, people of color, and unemployed and underemployed workers," said Kathleen Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy.

As background, Public Law 176, enacted by the Congress in 1945, designated the first week in October each year as "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." President Harry S. Truman designated the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities to carry out the Act. In 1962, the word "physically" was removed from the week's name to acknowledge the employment needs of all Americans with disabilities. Congress expanded the week to a month in 1988 and changed its name to "National Disability Awareness Month," which eventually evolved to its current name. The Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy took over responsibility for National Disability Employment Awareness Month in 2001.

Members of the public with questions related to the theme should contact Carol Dunlap at 202-693-7902. Members of the press should contact the individuals named above.