MEDIA CONTACT: TOM SNEE
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Jan. 9, 2003
ITAA, Disability Law Center Launch Disabilities Awards Program
The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA),
the nation's leading IT industry association, in cooperation with the University
of Iowa Law, Health Policy & Disability Center's "IT Works" project,
has established the IT Works Ability Awards, a national awards program recognizing
IT firms that have developed effective strategies to promote the employment
and advancement of people with disabilities.
"Our research shows demand for skilled and trained information technology
(IT) workers," said ITAA President Harris N. Miller. "Research
also shows the percentage of working individuals with disabilities in high
tech careers is substantially lower than the percentage of working people
without a disability. By placing a spotlight on innovative hiring and advancement
programs in this area, we hope to increase the number of individuals with
disabilities in IT-related positions."
The IT Works Ability Awards 2003 program has five categories: Recruitment
and Hiring; Assistive Technology; Developing Accessible IT Products and Services;
Retention and Inclusion; and Career Advancement and Training. A total of
10 companies will be honored each year, with awards going to one small and
one large IT firm in each category. Each winner will be presented an award
at ITAA's 2003 National IT Workforce Convocation May 5 in Arlington, Va.
"We are pleased to be partnering with ITAA on this awards program
to highlight the contributions industry has made to providing services and
career opportunities to the disability community," said Peter Blanck,
Iowa law professor, director of the Disability Law Center and principal investigator
of IT Works.
Only ITAA member companies are eligible for the IT Works Awards. An awards
committee, comprised of representatives from ITAA industry members and the
project's expert panel, will review all nominations and select winners.
ITAA provides global public policy, business networking, and national leadership
to promote the continued rapid growth of the IT industry. ITAA consists of
over 400 corporate members throughout the United States and a global network
of 49 countries' IT associations. The association plays the leading role
in issues of IT industry concern including information security, taxes and
finance policy, digital intellectual property protection, telecommunications
competition, workforce and education, immigration, online privacy and consumer
protection, government IT procurement, human resources and e-commerce policy.
ITAA members range from the smallest IT start-ups to industry leaders in
the Internet, software, IT services, ASP, digital content, systems integration,
telecommunications, and enterprise solution fields. For more information
The Law, Health Policy, and Disability Center is a leader in law, technology,
education and research. Based at the University of Iowa College of Law, with
a satellite office in Washington, D.C., the center concentrates on public
policy and its impact on people with disabilities, with emphasis on employment,
self-determination and self-sufficiency. For information on the disability
law center visit www.its.uiowa.edu/law. "IT Works" is 100 percent
funded by U.S. Department of Education, NIDRR grant H133A011803.