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County recognizes and celebrates value of workers with disabilities


Metropolitan King County
Council News

County recognizes and celebrates value of workers with disabilities


October proclaimed Disability Awareness Month


Kelli Williams, Director of the King County Office of Civil Rights
and Open Government (holding proclamation)
is joined by members of the King County Council and County Employees
after the Council proclaimed the month of October
Disability Awareness Month in King County.  

 As the Metropolitan King County Council declared October as Disability Employment Awareness Month in King County, the Council celebrated the talents and contributions of county employees with temporary or permanent disabilities serving the public.

“Families and communities within King County are enriched by the diversity and perspective of those living with a disability,” said Council Chair Joe McDermott. “We must continue to strive to address the injustices that linger and remove the barriers that remain, so that all lives are equally valued, no matter ability.”

“I am proud King County has set the bar when it comes to creating and expanding opportunities for individuals with disabilities to build meaningful careers,” said Rod Dembowski, Council Vice Chair. “Our Supported Employment Division does an outstanding job connecting workers with disabilities with employers needing great employees. This work is an important part of our mission to ensure that everyone in our community has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.”

“In recognizing Disability Employment Awareness Month we as a county celebrate the important contributions of our employees who do good work each day despite their own unique challenges,” said Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn.

Today’s proclamation recognizes local and national efforts to provide accommodations that allow those with physical, developmental and other disabilities to utilize their skills and talents and contribute to their workplaces and communities.

“I was in a wheelchair for about six weeks a couple years ago. Although it was temporary, I got a glimpse into what people with disabilities deal with every day – from navigating a steep and crowded hallway to finding room in an elevator,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “My brief experience has made me even more of an advocate for those with disabilities. It is imperative that we do all we can to enable those with disabilities and be aware of how we can be more helpful and celebrate and appreciate their many contributions to our county.”

“We all have family members and friends who live each day with disabilities, including the hearing and visually impaired,” said Councilmember Dave Upthegrove. “Today, we honor these folks and the important contribution they make to our community each day.”

The Council recognition encourages employers, schools and other community organizations to recognize the occasion and promote the message that “A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce” throughout the year.

“This is an opportunity to recognize the wisdom of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the enormous contributions made by people with disabilities since the Act became law in 1990,” said Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles. “Here at King County we welcome the talents of all people, and will continue to work to remove barriers that get in the way of full participation by all residents.”

“We are all better off when everyone has an opportunity to fully participate in our community and fully reach their potential,” said Councilmember Claudia Balducci. “I am proud to join my colleagues throughout our government to continue our efforts to ensure all people in King County enjoy a fair and equitable environment that includes and values everyone regardless of ability.”




WHEREAS, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has ensured the civil rights of people with disabilities since July 26, 1990, and this legislation established a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the ADA and other disability legislation has expanded opportunities for Americans with disabilities by reducing barriers, changing perception, and increasing opportunities; and

WHEREAS, King County government has been a leader in creating meaningful opportunities for people with disabilities to have full access to education, transportation, employment, health care, court services, voting, recreation, and emergency preparedness; and

WHEREAS, we recognize that our work to expand opportunity and confront the social barriers that persist around disabilities is not finished, and that we can always strive to promote acceptance and an understanding of the richness of diversity; and

WHEREAS, we must continue to address the injustices that linger and remove the barriers that remain, so that all lives are equally valued, no matter the ability; and

WHEREAS, we recognize that welcoming the talents of all people, including people with disabilities, is a critical part of our efforts to build a more exceptional and inclusive workforce and community; and

WHEREAS, King County renews its pledge to extend the promise of the American dream to all our people and recommits to cultivating a county free of barriers, discrimination, and prejudice, that fosters respect and dignity for those living with disabilities;

NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, proclaim October 2016 as


in King County and celebrate the many contributions and ways individuals with disabilities strengthen our workforce, our communities, and our county.

DATED this third day of October, 2016.


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