Artwork at Capitol Showcases Pennsylvania Artists with Disabilities

Oct 03, 2013, 15:20 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare from ,Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

October is Pennsylvania Disability Employment Awareness Month

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Departments of Public Welfare and Labor & Industry today recognized Pennsylvania Disability Employment Awareness Month by featuring an art display created by Pennsylvanians with disabilities and highlighting the need for continued collaboration and advocacy to promote improved access and equality for individuals with disabilities.

Pennsylvania is a leader in assisting individuals with disabilities in their job search.

"Pennsylvania draws strength from its diversity. By providing training, education and employment options to our citizens with disabilities we are able to empower them to enrich our workforce," said Department of Public Welfare Secretary Beverly Mackereth. "The Department of Public Welfare, in partnership with the Department of Labor & Industry, provides the services needed to build a diverse workforce."

Labor & Industry's Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), provides employment opportunities to Pennsylvanians with disabilities. Last year, OVR programs resulted in nearly 10,000 Pennsylvanians with disabilities successfully achieving employment. 

OVR also serves businesses looking to meet their workforce needs with pre-screened, qualified applicants with disabilities. Whether through finding qualified workers or providing no-cost consultation on accommodations, supported employment services and disability etiquette, OVR is a valuable resource that can help more and more Pennsylvanians succeed in the workplace. 

"OVR understands the unique needs of people with disabilities and works daily to ensure that they are connecting in a meaningful way with employers," said Labor & Industry Secretary Hearthway. "By employing people with disabilities, employers gain a valuable, hard-working employee and people with disabilities become part of Pennsylvania's growing workforce."

The art display entitled "Creativity without Limits" features the artwork of Pennsylvanians with disabilities from two state art galleries: Friendship Heart Gallery in Lancaster County and Verve Vertu Art Studio in Luzerne County. These galleries offer a venue for individuals to sell their art, while encouraging entrepreneurial skills useful in additional employment avenues.

Governor Tom Corbett's Cabinet for People with Disabilities works to ensure state government remains responsive to the needs of those living with disabilities in the workforce, with a focus on monitoring hiring, retention and promotion practices.

Corbett declared October as Employment Disability Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.

This year's theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month is, "Because we are EQUAL to the Task." The theme is intended to promote the valuable contributions people with disabilities make to America's economy.

Media contact:
Carey Miller, Department of Welfare, 717-425-7606
Sara Goulet, Labor & Industry, 717-787-7530

Editor's Note:

The full text of the Governor's proclamation is included below.



October 2013

WHEREAS, All Pennsylvanians should have the opportunity to live and work with dignity, freedom and economic self-sufficiency; and

WHEREAS, the vast majority of individuals with disabilities want to and can be employed in competitive, integrated employment; and

WHEREAS, in August of 2013 the national unemployment rate for people with disabilities was 14.1 percent, compared to 7.1 percent for people without disabilities; and

WHEREAS, growing jobs in Pennsylvania for all Pennsylvanians is a top priority of this administration; and

WHEREAS, we recognize the skills, abilities and dedication of Pennsylvanians with disabilities, including Pennsylvania's disabled Veterans; and

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania continues to promote awareness about disability employment through its annual "Pennsylvania Disability Employment and Empowerment Summit (PADES)" that provides disabled residents with information about programs and services that will suit their needs and enhance their quality of life; and

WHEREAS, the United States Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment

Policy recognizes October 2013 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month with a theme of "Because we are EQUAL to the Task."

THEREFORE, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, recognize October 2013 as PENNSYLVANIA DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH in Pennsylvania. I encourage all citizens to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.

GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, on this twenty-third day of September in the year of our Lord two thousand and thirteen, and of the Commonwealth the two hundred and thirty-eighth.


SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare; Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry