(Washington, DC) – Today, during National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of Disability Rights (ODR) are hosting the 15th Annual Disability Awareness Expo, an event that advances the conversation on equal opportunities and inclusive environments for people with disabilities. During the event, the Mayor encouraged residents to take advantage of programs and opportunities at DC Government and highlighted investments that support individuals with disabilities.
“Advancing our DC Values means being intentional about how we build a more inclusive and equitable city for people with disabilities,” said Mayor Bowser. “As we continue to invest in programs and resources, we also need to make sure people know about these resources. And that is why expos like this one are so important – so that we can build those connections and make sure people know about the opportunities available through our agencies and partners.”
In the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget, she made investments that include $11.5 million to retain direct support professionals who care for DC’s most vulnerable residents by raising wages over a three-year period as well as $500,000 to expand eligibility for individuals with developmental disabilities to provide the same services as individuals with intellectual disabilities. The Mayor also highlighted her administration’s continued investment in making sure parks, schools and recreational facilities are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“Mayor Bowser’s strategic investments are key to connecting residents to programs and services that help them live, work and thrive in the District,” said Mat McCullough, Director of the Office of Disability Rights. “We want to continue to move the needle forward and hold ourselves accountable to making sure all residents can participate in the prosperity our city offers.”
The event is held in partnership with several District Government agencies and this year’s theme is “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.” More than 50 exhibitors shared information on important topics such as housing, employment opportunities, mental health, and wellness. The Disability Awareness Expo is being held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library until 3 pm today.