National Association of Governors Committees on People with Disabilities

National Association of Governors' Committees on People with  Disabilities

The National Association of Governors’ Committees on People with Disabilities (NAGC) is a collective association of the Governors’ Committees in the states and territories of the United States. Not all states and territories have governor's committees.

The purpose of the NAGC is to provide a national organizational forum to facilitate a unified approach to important policy and program issues on disability. Working at the community, state and national levels, it is a voluntary partnership of business, government, education, labor and people with disabilities.

The membership of the NAGC includes the chairpersons and directors, or their designees, of each state and territorial Governor’s Committee. The officers of NAGC are elected annually by the membership.

Creation of the Governors' Committees

Post WW II on 8/11/1945, President Harry Truman approved H.J. Resolution 23 calling for an annual observance of National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.  The resolution became PL 176/ The intent was to provide post-war jobs for returning veterans and wartime civilians job holders with disabilities who would be replaced by returning veterans.  Paul Strachan, President of the American Federation of the Physically Handicapped and who was deaf, led the effort in Congress for the resolution. Following passage, he and Millard Rice, former National Commander of the Disabled American Veterans, led the effort for the first NEPH Week celebration.

To implement NEPH a Cooperating Committee reporting to the Secretary of Labor Lewis B. Schwellenbach.  On August 27, 1947, when President Truman signed the third NEPH proclamation, he sent a note to Schwellenbach suggesting “You may want to call upon officials and leading citizens outside the Federal government for all possible assistance in this program.” Thus the President’s Committee on Employment of the Physically Handicapped was born and the first meeting convened by the Secretary of Labor was held on September 12.  Recognizing the importance of state and local levels involvement, through the Bureau of Employment Services, the Veterans’ Employment Services and the State Employment Services, the building of state and local committees began. By the end of 1947, committees were launched in California, Maryland, Michigan and Texas. Rehabilitation and employment services agencies recognized the value of year-round activities and through the state offices of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Rehabilitation Administration soon every state and many towns had events, programs and public information activities. In 1962 by Executive Order 10994 the word “Physically” was removed from the Committee’s name. In 1988, by Executive Order 12640 the Committee’s name was changed to the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and the celebration week went to a month. In 2001 the President’s Committee was disbanded and its budget and staff were transferred to the new Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).  ODEP was authorized by Congress in the Department of Labor's FY 2001 appropriation.

The history was extracted from the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (PCEPD) 2087 publication, "50 Years of Progress."
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  • NAGC State Annual Reports

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