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Newsom Proclaims Disability Employment Awareness Month 2023


SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today issued a proclamation declaring October 2023 as Disability Employment Awareness Month.


California is proud to join the nation in commemorating Disability Employment Awareness Month this October, an opportunity to recognize the critical contributions by people with disabilities to our workplaces, economy and communities. This year’s theme, “Advancing Access and Equity,” shines a light on the ongoing work to remove barriers for people with disabilities and strengthen inclusion and integration in all aspects of life.

Home to more than 7 million adults with disabilities, California understands the important role people with disabilities – visible and invisible – play in a diverse and inclusive workforce. My Administration is committed to recruiting and retaining a workforce that reflects the diversity of Californians. In partnership with the Legislature, we have enacted new laws to help state agencies identify, hire and promote employees with disabilities; facilitate reasonable accommodations for state employees with disabilities; and end subminimum wages for workers with intellectual and developmental disabilities, among other measures.

Our state is also taking action to expand education and career training opportunities for all Californians, including landmark special education reforms and investments totaling $3.5 billion to increase access and inclusion for students with disabilities. This August, my Administration launched the development of a new Master Plan on Career Education that will guide the state’s work to promote equitable access to career pathways and hands-on learning for Californians of all backgrounds – inclusive of ability, age, income, geography, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, immigration status, justice involvement, and more.

These efforts are important as ever. Employment is a social determinant of health, and people with disabilities who work are proven to have better physical and mental health outcomes and better economic security. While employees with disabilities invaluably enrich their workplaces with their talents and unique perspectives, the unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities has consistently remained around 70 percent. California must lead by employing individuals with disabilities and by developing and implementing programs that address this persistent inequity and improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

As we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month and the many contributions people with disabilities make to the prosperity and vitality of our state, let us reaffirm our commitment to expanding access, equity and opportunity across the board for all Californians.

NOW THEREFORE I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim October 2023 as “Disability Employment Awareness Month.”


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