Michigan Proclaims October Disability Employment Awareness Month

Contact: Jennifer Smith 517-241-2112

For Immediate Release: October 2, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – In Michigan, approximately 19 percent of people with a disability are employed.  To recognize the abilities and contributions of people with disabilities in employment, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and Gov. Rick Snyder have proclaimed October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

“Disability Employment Month is an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of people with disabilities in employment,” said Nick Lyon, Director of the MDCH. “The Michigan Department of Community Health is committed to supporting employment goals and to identifying strategies to improve employment outcomes.”

To build upon the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) National Disability Employment Awareness Month, this observance highlights the ways people with disabilities strengthen the workforce, promote diversity, increase talent in the field, expand the tax base, and lower poverty rates in a community-integrated setting.

“It is important for employers and the general public to see that people with disabilities can work in their communities and contribute to an organization’s bottom line,” said Vendella M. Collins, Director of the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC) within MDCH. “They have exceptional skills and talents that are oftentimes overlooked. Disability Employment Awareness Month reminds us to focus on their abilities rather than their disabilities.”

People with developmental disabilities have the right to work in competitive, integrated work environments with needed supports. Every person has valuable strengths, a capacity to learn, and the potential to make important contributions to their local communities.

The Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council works to support people with developmental disabilities to achieve life dreams. The Governor appoints the 21-member Council that works to ensure that people with developmental disabilities are supported across their lifespan to live self-determined lives in a diverse and inclusive community.

For more information about Disability Employment Month, visit www.michigan.gov/ddcouncil

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