CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 26, 1999
UI professor leads national teleconference on service
for persons with disabilities
IOWA CITY University of Iowa College of Law
Professor Peter Blanck will lead an Oct. 28 teleconference to announce a free
and new nationwide service that will help enterprising persons with disabilities
launch their own companies. The new Small Business Self-Employment Service
was developed by the Presidents Committee on Employment of People with
Disabilities, which Blanck serves as a member. Blanck is also leading the
committees efforts to promote self-employment and expand the new service.
The teleconference will be at 4 p.m. CST (5 p.m. EST)
Thursday, Oct. 28 and will include authorities on disability services and
employment and journalists from across the United States. Local journalists
wanting to take part in the press conference can arrange to participate by
calling (202) 376-6200, ext. 53 through Wednesday, Oct. 27.
The service is an opportunity to enhance the employment
rate among persons with disabilities, Blanck says. National unemployment figures
show the U.S. unemployment rate is 4.2 percent but "a staggering 75 percent
of Americans with disabilities remain unemployed, even though the vast majority
of them want to work," according to a statement made by President Clinton
in recognition of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Entrepreneurship is a growing area of interest for
persons with disabilities, and the new service will provide the would-be business
owners advice related to starting a business, management, and relevant disability
issues. The new service offers far-reaching benefits for service providers,
friends and family of people with disabilities, and disabled persons interested
in self-employment and small business career options. The service will be
accessible to persons in the U.S., Guam, and Puerto Rico.
Blanck is the director of The Law, Health Policy &
Disability Center, which provides a neutral forum for persons with disabilities
to get help in becoming self-sufficient. The center also conducts research,
advises educational institutions, local and state governments, and policymakers
about disability law.
For additional information about the committee, visit
its Web site at www.pcepd.gov