October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which this year celebrates 50 years of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. There are many benefits to disability employment, both for individuals and for our communities. For individuals with disabilities, employment can provide increased financial independence and security, opportunities for social interaction and growth, and access to health insurance and other benefits. For communities, disability employment can lead to increased economic productivity and enable a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
In 2013, then-Delaware Governor Jack Markell was Chair of the National Governors Association. As his Chair’s Initiative, the Governor focused on advancing employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities by:
- Educating both private-sector and public-sector employers about accommodating people with disabilities in the workplace and the benefits of doing so;
- Supporting state governments in joining with business partners to develop blueprints to promote the hiring and retention of individuals with disabilities in integrated employment in both the public and private sectors; and
- Establishing public–private partnerships to build out those blueprints and increase employment of individuals with disabilities.
“As governors and chief…