|Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development News Release|
|Wednesday, October 5, 2005
|News Media Contact
Madison - Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman announced today the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and its Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) are celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month during the month of October. DVR is the state agency that provides employment services to people with disabilities.
DWD Secretary Roberta Gassman said, "National Disability Employment Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to highlight the talents and skills of job seekers and working Wisconsin citizens who have disabilities. It also gives us a forum to draw attention to the many challenges to achieving economic self-sufficiency faced by people with disabilities who are not currently involved in Wisconsin's workforce."
Wisconsin sees an incredible "return on our public funds investment" when it comes to people with disabilities and employment. According to DVR Administrator Charlene Dwyer. In 2004 almost 3,300 individuals assisted by DVR were successful in achieving their employment goals. Dwyer said, "These individuals were able to obtain employment and we project their annual earnings will be almost $52.8 million. Compared to the $21 million that was invested in the employment plans of these individuals, the state will realize an outstanding return on investment".
"In addition, employment brings with it a decreased reliance on social service programs," according to Dwyer. "The Social Security Administration estimates that for every $1 spent on a person with disabilities of working age to help them to back to work, $5 is saved in the public trust fund. This group of people is also now paying taxes and spending their wages in their communities, helping to fuel Wisconsin's economy."
During the month, DWD will feature DVR consumers who are pursuing careers in technical fields, including information technology and the health care industry. Gassman said, "We are excited to highlight the many talents and abilities that individuals with disabilities bring to our state and our communities."
Employment opportunities for people with disabilities can become a critical component in their ability to move on a path to independence and inclusion in their communities. DVR, in partnership with other advocacy groups and businesses, provides various programs and services that provide choices for those needing assistance.
For information about employment and other services for people with disabilities in your area, you can contact your local DVR office or independent living center:
DVR Offices: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dvr/locations/default.htm
Independent Living Centers: http://www.dhfs.state.wi.us/Disabilities/Physical/ILCs.htm