Gov. Ridge Speaks at Pennsylvania Disability Employment Summit

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Employers must focus on a person’s ability, not disability, Ridge says

By Jan Murphy

Within the past year, the U.S. Department of Labor made a sweeping policy change that former Gov. Tom Ridge believes will make great strides to help people with disabilities to find jobs.


This new regulation requires companies that do business with the federal government to set a goal of having individuals with disabilities comprise a minimum of seven percent of their workforce.


“I think it adds enormous potential for a great impact on anything we’ve seen since the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Ridge told a roomful of people gathered on the final day of the three-day Pennsylvania Disability Employment Summit at the Radisson Harrisburg Hotel in East Pennsboro Twp. The summit was organized by the Governor’s Cabinet for People with Disabilities.


Ridge, who served as governor from 1995 to 2001, spoke to the crowd in his role as board chairman of the National Organization on Disability. In that role, he is working to enhance employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and elevate the disability employment issue.


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