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MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Sen. Tom Harkin available Tuesday, Oct. 13, to address disability employment and the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Sen. Tom Harkin will take questions via Webex video chat from 11-11:20am Tuesday, Oct. 13. A tireless champion of disability rights, Harkin will address disability employment and how the public sector may model North Carolina’s efforts to be more welcoming and inclusive of individuals with disabilities in the state government workplace.

The retired Iowa legislator now serves the disability community through his work with the Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement at Drake University. He will be the keynote speaker that morning for a virtual event for state government employees and disability advocates to recognize Disability Employment Awareness Month.

North Carolina reporters interested in participating in the media availability should accept this calendar invitation; please do not share the invitation or link with others outside of your organization. Beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday, you may join the Webex* event at this link to get in queue; Sen. Harkin will join at 11:05 a.m. If you wish to ask a question, please “raise your hand” upon arrival by clicking on the hand symbol next to your name. Questions will be taken in the order received and should refer to disability employment or the ADA.

Soon after its conclusion, the recorded session will be posted to the Webinars on Demand link of the Office of State Human Resources’ website.

Governor Roy Cooper, who issued Executive Order 92: Employment First for North Carolinians with Disabilities in March 2019, proclaimed October as Disability Employment Awareness Month, recognizing the value and talent that people with disabilities add to our workplaces and communities.

Visit the OSHR website for additional information about Employment First. More than 1.3 million North Carolinians have a disability, making up approximately 13 percent of the state’s population. Of those, more than 720,000 are of working age, but only 35 percent are employed, compared to 76 percent of North Carolinians without disabilities.

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*Note to Media: The Webex meeting number (access code) is 171 531 9079, and the meeting password is cCmSpyGN885. If you are unable to access the video, you may join by mobile device toll-free at +1-415-655-0003,,1715319079##, or by phone at +1-415-655-0003.