Disability Employment Awareness Month


WHEREAS, of the more than 3.7 million Virginia residents who are employed, just 163,000 of them are individuals with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, an estimated one in five Virginians will have a disability at some point in their lifetime; and

WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 46, signed July 27, 2015, directs the Secretary of Commerce and Trade to work with the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services and the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired and other executive branch agencies to expand efforts to recruit and advance to the workforce of Virginians with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, effective March 24, 2014, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs set a 7 percent hiring benchmark for federal government contractors to include qualified individuals with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, Virginians with disabilities, including veterans, have the ability and desire to seek employment and to achieve economic self-sufficiency as equal members of the workforce; and

WHEREAS, individuals with disabilities are an untapped resource; employers can enhance their businesses and workplaces by creating a common ground of career opportunities and hiring qualified individuals with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Labor’s theme for this year’s national observance, which celebrates 70 years of Disability Employment Awareness Month, “My disability is one part of who I am”, raises awareness about disability employment issues, and honors the many diverse contributions of America's workers with disabilities, to convey that advancing disability employment is about much more than just hiring; it is about creating a continuum of inclusion; and

WHEREAS, all Virginians should be given the opportunity to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of the Commonwealth, and the opportunity to engage in remunerative employment;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize October 2015 as DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.