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The Detroit Workforce Development Board will host the first Southeast Michigan Disability Expo on Friday, Oct. 16 to promote National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) at the Cobo Conference/Exhibition Center in downtown Detroit. Individuals with disabilities, their families, caregivers, healthcare providers, disability advocates, and human service professionals are encouraged to attend the Expo, which is from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and free to the public.

To launch this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) joined President Barack Obama in underscoring the administration's commitment to serving every American worker, including the 54 million people across the nation living with disabilities.

Locally, the Detroit Workforce Development Board’s Disability Council is organizing the regional initiative in collaboration with Washtenaw County Michigan Works, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Detroit Disability Taskforce, and a host of community and disability focused organizations. This year's theme of NDEAM, Expectation + Opportunity = Full Participation, captures the Council’s commitment to ensuring that people with disabilities are afforded every opportunity and accommodation necessary to participate in today’s workforce.

The Expo will feature exhibits and demonstrations focused on assistive technology, disability related supports, transportation, housing, education and training, recreation, and community-based services. Mobile vehicles will be on hand for Expo attendees to demonstrate adaptive technology, wheelchair access equipment, and services offered
by local One Stop Service Centers. A full day of workshops will be available for Expo attendees, as well, covering topics to include: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, Social Security Benefits, Disability Advocacy, Housing, and Assistive Technology.

To wrap up the event, attendees can participate in a “Possibilities are Endless Raffle” where they can win a portable wheelchair ramp, groceries, and other great gift items. Members of the disabilities, veterans, and senior communities are expected to attend and meet with exhibitors that are committed to sharing ideas designed to improve the overall quality of life for those living with disabilities. Ultimately, the Expo will provide a venue to access resources, network with peers, and gather knowledge about products and services available to those with disabilities.

The Expo is the first of its kind for the region and is a part of the increasing popularity of similar events across the country. Sponsors of this year’s Expo include: the Detroit Workforce Development Department, Washtenaw County Michigan Works! Agency, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Detroit Long-term Regional Skills Alliance, Jewish Vocational Services, Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, Michigan Commission for the Blind, Detroit-Wayne Community Mental Health Agency, Detroit Area Agency on Aging, Molina Health, STEP, Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, Connections for Death Citizens, Life Choices, and Michigan Business Leader Network.

The Detroit Workforce Development Board provides oversight of all workforce activities funded by the Detroit Workforce Development Department (DWDD), A Michigan Works! Agency, in partnership with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. DWDD is funded in part by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth. An Equal Opportunity Employer and Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. All are welcomed. TTY Number 1-800-649-3777.

For information about the Southeast Michigan Disability Expo or other workforce development services, contact your Detroit Disability Program
Navigator at (313) 962-WORK (9675) or visit www.detroitmi.gov/dwdd