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Tinker recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla -- Tinker Air Force Base will hold activities in October to raise awareness during National Disability Awareness Month.

In honor of Disability Employment Awareness Month, Tinker's Dis-Ability Awareness Committee will once again sponsor a Dis-Ability Expo from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Bldg. 3001 Oklahoma Room. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to visit the Expo which showcases services, equipment, agencies and issues that affect people with disabilities. Awareness and understanding is key to fostering an inclusive workforce.

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

This year's theme is "A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?"

Approximately 54 million Americans are living with a disability. The federal government has an important interest in reducing discrimination against Americans living with a disability, eliminating the stigma associated with disability, and encouraging Americans with disabilities to seek federal employment. Yet, Americans with disabilities have an employment rate far lower than that of Americans without disabilities and they are underrepresented in the federal workforce. Individuals with disabilities currently represent just over 5 percent of the nearly 2.5 million federal employees.

As the nation's largest employer, the federal government must become a model for the employment of individuals with disabilities. On July 26, 2010, President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13548, Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities, which called for the hiring of an additional 100,000 individuals with targeted disabilities over the next five years. At Tinker AFB, we are striving to meet the executive order through increased recruitment, hiring, and retention efforts specifically directed at individuals with disabilities.