Look Closer,” a national public-awareness campaign designed to urge US employers and job recruiters to think differently about people with disabilities when they seek to add new talent, was unveiled recently in New York City’s Times Square.

The billboard will appear above Times Square throughout October—National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) launched the campaign in partnership with several leading companies, who have pledged their support and commitment to disability employment and inclusion, according to a media release from NOD.

“Millions of Americans with disabilities are ready to work. We need hiring and recruiting managers to look closer at their abilities and consider this largely untapped talent pool,” says Governor Tom Ridge, NOD Chairman and the first US Secretary of Homeland Security, in the release.

“There is reason for optimism. Today’s strong economy is forcing employers to consider talent that they might previously have overlooked. But with 80-percent of Americans with disabilities out of work, more must be done to bridge this troublesome employment gap. We all must ‘Look Closer’ and recognize the extraordinary talents of people with disabilities,” he adds.

Veteran Hollywood actor Robert David Hall, best known for his role as coroner Dr Albert Robbins on the popular TV series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, lends his voice to the campaign, the release continues.

“The car accident that took both my legs didn’t take away my abilities, nor my spirit or my creativity. I knew that I could contribute in a meaningful way, and so can 56 million Americans with disabilities,” says Hall, a burn survivor and longtime NOD board member.

“I see no reason why talented, hardworking people, who are viewed as ‘different’ should be kept out of the entertainment industry—or any industry for that matter. I am proud to lend my voice to the Look Closer campaign.”

For more information, visit the National Organization on Disability.

[Source(s): National Organization on Disability, Business Wire]