Leo’s Letter: National Disability Employment Awareness Month & Turning 22

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This year’s theme is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.”

In 1945, Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. National Disability Employment Awareness Month was declared in 1988, as Congress expanded the week to a month.

You can make that goal a reality by approaching a business in your community and asking them to consider employing persons with disabilities.

If you inspire interest, you can link the business with one of the regional employment collaboratives which you can find here. Scroll down the page to find the collaborative in your region of the state. You will feel good helping advance employment for yourself, your neighbors, and/or your friends!

Before I close this blog, I also want to give a shout-out to those individuals who have turned 22 over the past eighteen months and may still be waiting for services. As you may have heard, the workforce crisis contributes to your wait.

We encourage you to reach out to the area director at your Department of Developmental Services office if you need further assistance. You can find the name and contact information on this site. The link allows you to find the office by city or town.

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