October is time to honor disability employees

Published 3:55 pm Saturday, October 8, 2011

By Jamey Helgeson

The Arc of Mower County

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.

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NDEAM’s roots go 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.” Upon the agency’s establishment in 2001, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)  assumed responsibility for NDEAM and has worked to expand its reach and scope ever since.

Although led by ODEP, NDEAM’s true spirit lies in the many creative observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year. Employers, schools and organizations of all sizes and in all communities are encouraged to participate in NDEAM, and ODEP offers a variety of resources to help them do so.

Activities range from simple, such as putting up a NDEAM poster, to comprehensive, such as implementing a disability education program. Regardless, all play an important part in fostering a more inclusive America, one where every person is rightly recognized for his or her abilities — every day of every month.

The theme for NDEAM 2011 is “Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities,” which promotes the valuable contributions people with disabilities make to America’s workplaces and economy.

Give to the Max Day

Last year, more than 42,000 individual donors logged on to GiveMN.org and gave over $10 million to more than 3,000 Minnesota charities and nonprofits in 24 hours during Give to the Max Day.

Nov. 16 is the third annual Give to the Max Day and The Arc of Mower County wants your help.

The Arc of Mower County,  together with GiveMN.org — a first-of-its-kind giving website for nonprofits in Minnesota — is working to create a stronger community for Mower County citizens living with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

By giving online with GiveMN, Mower County’s residents have the opportunity to make a huge difference for The Arc of Mower County. We hope you will help support our community by logging on to www.arcmowercounty.org on Nov. 16 and give to The Arc of Mower County. Be a part of this historical event and join this “Great Minnesota Give Together.”

Upcoming Events

Monday: The Arc of Mower County is CLOSED today in observance of Columbus Day

Tuesday: Birthday party for October and November, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Mower County Special Olympics Bowling, 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Thursday: Open Center and Wii bowling tournament, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Friday: Diners Club at Perkins, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Saturday: Special Olympics Minnesota Area 10 Bowling Tournament at Southpark Lanes in Owatonna