Sheldon, Iowa — This is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.
The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when 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. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Lisa Johnson is Director of Development at Village Northwest Unlimited in Sheldon, and she tells us about the Village’s celebration of National Disability Employment Month.
Johnson says Northwest Enterprises and Futures, vocational divisions of Village Northwest Unlimited, provide a supportive environment in which to teach vocational skills for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. She says the Village provides a variety of work options and functional training opportunities to assist individuals in achieving maximum employment.
Johnson says many people are defined by their occupations or careers, and those with disabilities are no different.
She says Village Northwest Unlimited partners with 45 local businesses to provide employment for Village residents.
Johnson says the Village is meeting its goal of providing the dignity of meaningful work for those who desire it, and delivering on their stated mission.
Employers interested in partnering with Village Northwest Unlimited to provide work opportunities for individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact Leah Timmer, Community Employment Specialist, Village Northwest Unlimited at 712-324-2521 x4110.