MEDIA CONTACT: STEPHEN PRADARELLI
300 Plaza Centre One
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
CONTACT: JAMES L. SCHMELING, J.D.
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: May 9, 2002
Disability Center sponsors awards to honor IT firms
The University of Iowa Law, Health Policy & Disability Center's "I.T.
Works" project, in cooperation with the Information Technology Association
of America (ITAA), the nation's leading IT trade association, has established
a national awards program to stimulate interest in employing individuals with
disabilities. The program will provide public recognition and awards to IT
firms with proven strategies that promote the employment and career advancement
of people with disabilities.
Iowa Law Professor and Center Director Peter Blanck believes that the I.T.
Works project will highlight connections among individuals with disabilities
and employers who have participated in IT training programs.
The I.T. Works program will make awards in five categories: Recruiting/Hiring;
Developing Universally Accessible IT Products; Accommodations; Retention/Inclusion;
and Career Advancement and Training. Ten companies will be honored each year,
with awards given to small and large IT firms in each category. Each winner
will be presented an award at ITAA's National IT Workforce Convocation.
Research by the Disability Law Center and ITAA shows that there is a demand
for skilled and trained IT workers. Also, the proportion of those working
with a disability is substantially lower than that those of people without
Blanck believes that increasing the employment of individuals with disabilities
in IT-related jobs will help strengthen the pipeline of available IT talent.
Award nominations will be solicited through ITAA's membership (http://www.itaa.org),
the I.T. Works project's Expert Panel, publicly and privately funded IT training
and employment projects, and the public at large through the project's website
An awards committee from ITAA members and the project's Expert Panel will
review nominations and select winners.
The deadline for nominations is Jan. 3, 2003. The winners will be notified
by letter by Feb. 1, 2003, and the awards will be announced publicly by May
2003. For more information about the I.T. Works Awards Program, contact: Marjorie
Bynum, vice president, Workforce Development, ITAA at (703) 284-5318, email
at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Sally Weiss, materials
development coordinator, I.T. Works Project at (301) 565-0153, email email@example.com.
For a detailed explanation of the award categories and the I.T. Works program,
I.T. Works is 100-percent funded by NIDRR, U.S. Department of Education grant
H133A011803. For more information about the Law, Health Policy & Disability
Center, see http://www.its.uiowa.edu/law.