A weeklong symposium focusing on improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities opened today in Iowa City. It coincides with the ten-year anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the A-D-A. Dr. Peter Blank is director of the “Center for Disability, Health Policy and Law” at the University of Iowa. He says the majority of people with disabilities are still either unemployed or underemployed.Dr. Blank, who is also a law professor at the U-of-I, says the conference is zeroing in on helping people with disabilities employ themselves and become a success, rather than relying on others for jobs.Speed Davis is director of the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. He says there’s been a “new awakening in Washington” about the importance of using many different approaches in trying to employ people with disabilities.While the A-D-A has opened some doors, Davis says it’s debatable whether the law has created the widespread employment opportunities many thought it would. Bankers, small business owners and people with disabilities are attending the conference, which runs through August 2nd at the U-of-I’s Oakdale Hall.
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