Volume 4 Number 39
September 28, 2007

GOVERNOR AND CABINET RECOGNIZE OCTOBER AS DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS WEEK

Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet adopted a resolution in support of providing employment opportunities to Floridians with disabilities. The resolution, introduced by Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, recognizes October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and October 1 through 15 as Disability History and Awareness Weeks in Florida.



During Tuesday's cabinet meeting, Jane Johnson, director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), spoke to the Governor and Cabinet about the importance of employment in the lives of people with disabilities. She was joined by Bill Palmer, director of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR); Sharon Griffin, executive director of the Able Trust; and Renee Llewellyn, who has a developmental disability.

Johnson stressed that people with disabilities make very dependable employees---a fact underscored by Llewellyn's remarks. Llewellyn has been employed at the Leon County Supervisor of Elections Office for over 15 years.

In 2006, APD assisted more than 4,500 Floridians with disabilities in
maintaining gainful employment, while VR assisted 11,089 Floridians
with disabilities to achieve their employment goals and helped 1,767
injured workers to return to their jobs. The Able Trust has enabled more than 2,000 people with disabilities to enter Florida's workforce
through its grant programs.

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit apd.myflorida.com or call toll-free 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273).

R E S O L U T I O N

WHEREAS, Florida’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities provides services to more than 35,000 Floridians with developmental disabilities so they can live and work in their local communities; and
WHEREAS, Florida’s Vocational Rehabilitation program, within the Department of Education, assists citizens with disabilities helping them to become employed; and
WHEREAS, during the history of these two state programs they have had an overwhelming impact on the lives of thousands of citizens in Florida with disabilities by offering services including job placement, training, support services, and job coaching; and
WHEREAS, in 2006, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities assisted more than 4,500 Floridians with disabilities with maintaining gainful employment, and Vocational Rehabilitation assisted 11,089 Floridians with disabilities to achieve their employment goal last year; and
WHEREAS, within the Vocational Rehabilitation program, the Bureau of Reemployment and Rehabilitation Services provides services to assist injured workers in returning to suitable employment, helping 1,767 injured workers return to jobs last year; and
WHEREAS, The Able Trust, also known as the Alliance for the Employment of Citizens with Disabilities, provides Floridians with disabilities employment opportunities through fundraising, grant programs, public awareness, and education, awarding over $20 million to individuals with disabilities and nonprofit agencies for employment-related purposes, enabling over 2,000 Florida citizens with disabilities to enter the workforce each year; and
WHEREAS, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Vocational Rehabilitation, and The Able Trust have helped individuals with disabilities to go to work, enabling them to leave public assistance and become productive taxpaying citizens; and
WHEREAS, mentoring and job shadowing provides employment opportunities for students and job seekers with disabilities, therefore the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Able Trust are supporting Florida Disability Mentoring Day on October 17 throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, this year’s theme for Disability Employment Awareness Month is “Workers with Disabilities: Talent for a Winning Team;” and
WHEREAS, the state of Florida joins the rest of the Nation in recognizing the contributions of the 3.5 million Floridians with disabilities by celebrating October as Disability Employment Awareness Month, and October 1-15 as Disability History and Awareness Week.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida do hereby recognize October, 2007, as
DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH
in the State of Florida and commend the programs for their dedication and outstanding assistance toward improving the quality of life for the citizens of Florida with disabilities.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida have hereunto subscribed their names and have caused the Official Seal of the State of Florida to be hereunto affixed in the City of Tallahassee this the 2nd day of October, 2007.