Everyone working to enhance employment opportunities for people with disabilities agrees that raising public awareness is necessary to advance these efforts. Now, the Massachusetts Work Without Limits initiative, led by UMass Medical School, is answering that call with the state’s first-of-its-kind disability employment information outreach campaign. Through an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Work Without Limits launched “What Can YOU Do? The Campaign for Disability Employment in Massachusetts” on April 1.
With funding from the Department of Labor and in collaboration with disability and business organizations, ODEP developed communication vehicles for a national campaign, including billboards, posters, and television and radio public service announcements, that promotes the benefits of employing individuals with disabilities. In its first collaboration with an individual state, ODEP has allowed Work Without Limits to customize these materials for use in Massachusetts. Also integral to the public awareness campaign will be the Massachusetts “What Can YOU Do?” website, which will direct visitors to local and state resources for disability employment. This vital resource went live on April 1, at www.whatcanyoudoma.org.
Jay Himmelstein, MD, MPH, professor of family medicine & community health, is the former director and current senior strategic advisor for Work Without Limits and chief health policy strategist for the Center for Health Policy and Research (CHPR) at Commonwealth Medicine, the public consulting division of UMass Medical School. Alexis Henry, ScD, research associate professor of psychiatry, is the director of Work Without Limits and the principal investigator of the federal grant that funds Work Without Limits, and is the director of the Disability, Health, and Employment Policy Group for CHPR. In this video, Dr. Himmelstein and Dr. Henry talk about the purpose and value of “What Can YOU Do? The Campaign for Disability Employment in Massachusetts.”
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