skip navigational linksDOL Seal - Link to DOL Home Page
Photos representing the workforce - Digital Imagery© copyright 2001 PhotoDisc, Inc.
October 4, 2008    DOL Home > Newsroom > News Releases   

News Release

Printer-Friendly Version

ODEP News Release: [07/22/2008]
Contact Name: Jennifer Kaplan or Richard Manning
Phone Number: (202) 693-5052 or x4676
Release Number: 08-0993-NAT

‘America’s People, America’s Talent... America’s Strength!’ is 2008 National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao today announced that "America's People, America's Talent... America's Strength!" will be the official 2008 theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which is observed in October nationwide. The 2008 theme captures the accomplishments highlighted in the 2007 progress report on President Bush's New Freedom Initiative for people with disabilities.

"Full access to community life for Americans with disabilities is an imperative and this year's theme conveys the tremendous contributions that these Americans can make in the workplace," said Secretary Chao.

Each October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month by congressional designation. The Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) leads the nation's activities and produces materials to increase the public's awareness of the contributions and skills of American workers with disabilities. Typically, private sector; federal, state and local government; and advocacy organizations piggyback on the same theme to plan events and programs that showcase the abilities of employees and job candidates with disabilities.

"It is important to note that having people with disabilities in the workplace is valuable to the individual and to businesses," said Neil Romano, assistant secretary for the Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy. "People with disabilities are the next great wave of diversity, and diversity fosters innovation to drive our economy and our nation into the future."

ODEP is leading a 21st century federal response to the historic underemployment of people with disabilities. In collaboration with other government agencies, public and private employers, and additional stakeholders, ODEP facilitates the development and implementation of innovative policies and practices necessary to achieve a fully inclusive workplace. ODEP's work primarily falls into three categories: employers and the workplace; workforce systems; and employment-related supports, which include education and training, health care, reliable transportation, affordable housing and assistive technology. For more information, visit

Phone Numbers