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DHS news release

DHS prepared and circulated this news release on behalf of the Oregon Disabilities Commission.

June 21, 2004

Contact: Janine Delaunay, ODC (503) 378-3142

Oregon Disabilities Commission seeks nominations for annual employment and empowerment awards

The Oregon Disabilities Commission (ODC) is calling for nominations for its 15th annual Employment and Empowerment Awards celebration. Held each October at the state Capitol, the ceremony recognizes outstanding employers, rehabilitation providers, service organizations, youth and individuals who help employ and empower individuals with disabilities. The deadline to submit nominations is Thursday, July 15.

"These awards give employers the opportunity to share their stories and those of the individuals with disabilities that work for them," says ODC Executive Director Janine Delaunay. "We look forward each year to honoring these businesses and the individuals that make them successful - both in the bottom line and as exciting places to work."

There are six major award categories:

The Justin Dart Youth Award is given to a youth (or youths) with disabilities, 25 years or younger, who has made outstanding contributions in his or her community, school, and/or work. The award focuses on activities that contribute to the empowerment and/or employment of youth with disabilities and the elimination of structural, communication, and attitudinal barriers.

The Governor's Award is the highest honor given to an outstanding Oregonian with a disability. The Governor's Award is based on outstanding and significant achievements in reducing barriers and improving access to work, school, and/or community activities and services. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that their efforts contributed to achieving improvements in the economic, political, social or legal equity of persons with disabilities.

The Governor's Honor Roll for Employers of Persons with Disabilities recognizes employers for outstanding achievements in hiring, retaining and advancing people with disabilities. The employer must be a business whose mission does not directly relate to rehabilitation/employment of persons with disabilities.

The Rehabilitation Provider of the Year recognizes at least one community rehabilitation program for outstanding and innovative efforts that have contributed to the employment of people with disabilities. Nominees will be public or private rehabilitation organizations whose primary mission relates to improving the lives of persons with disabilities.

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual or organization that has most significantly contributed to employing or empowering people with disabilities

The Media Awards recognize and honor excellence in media materials concerning the achievements of people with disabilities. Entries must show positive representations of people with disabilities in situations or activities that emphasize employment, empowerment, inclusion and mainstreaming. Awards will not be given for education or training materials. Nominations will be accepted from individuals, radio or television stations, newspapers, advertising or public relations agencies, corporations, governments and non-profit organizations.

All nominating forms, instructions and information about past winners are available on the DOC Web site at www.odc.state.or.us. Please contact the ODC offices at (800) 358-3117 with any questions.

All entries must be received in the ODC offices by Thursday, July 15, 2004. Mail, fax, or e-mail as an attachment the completed (typed) nomination to:

Oregon Disabilities Commission
1257 Ferry St., S.E.
Salem, OR 97301-4278
Phone: (800) 358-3117
Fax: (503) 378-3599
Email: Danielle.Knight@state.or.us

The Oregon Disabilities Commission was created by the Legislative Assembly in 1985 on behalf of Oregonians with disabilities. The Commission advises the Governor, the Legislative Assembly, the Oregon Department of Human Services and other state agencies on disability issues.