Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What WILL You Do? – Campaign Invites Youth with Disabilities to Share Their Career Aspirations

At work, it’s what people can do that matters. Young people with disabilities have the power to decide their own limits, can work in a wide variety of jobs, and play an important role in America’s economy. And today more than ever, businesses need people who can think differently about how to solve problems and get the job done. People with disabilities do this in America’s workplaces every day – so young people should set their sights high!

Now, youth with disabilities can share their talents, abilities and career aspirations by being a part of the What Can YOU Do? public education campaign.

The Campaign for Disability Employment, a newly-formed collaborative of leading disability and business organizations, has launched What Can YOU Do?, a national effort designed to promote the hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities and dispel negative stereotypes about disability and employment.

Youth with disabilities are encouraged to become part of the Campaign’s efforts by sharing information about their career goals and aspirations. Using the interactive micro-blog feature on the Campaign’s Web site, www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org, youth with disabilities can get involved and share what they “will do” at work. Because, at work, it’s what people can do that matters.

The site provides the opportunity to learn about job training, career planning and internship and mentoring opportunities, as well as grassroots tools and tangible ideas for supporting the Campaign’s goals. It also features video public service announcements (PSAs) that challenge assumptions about people with disabilities and employment. Included in the video library is the Campaign’s flagship “I Can” PSA, intended for nationwide television broadcast, and "Meet Sue," winner of the What Can YOU Do? Video Contest, which invited aspiring filmmakers to produce their own videos in support of the Campaign’s goals.

The Campaign for Disability Employment seeks to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities by encouraging employers, and others, to recognize the value and talent that people with disabilities bring to the workplace, as well as the dividend to be realized by fully including people with disabilities at work. The Campaign is a collaborative effort between the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD); National Business and Disability Council (NBDC); National Council of La Raza (NCLR); National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC); Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); Special Olympics (SO); and the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN). The Campaign is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), receives technical assistance from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) and is supported by the Disability Policy Research Center (DPRC) at West Virginia University. For more information, visit www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org.

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