October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month - October 7, 2014

In NDEAM 2014 Compresseda collaborative effort several local organizations are planning a series of events to observe the 25th anniversary of the American’s with Disabilities Act in 2015.  To kick off a year-long calendar of events, the group is hosting a Lunch & Learn at 12:00pm at the Columbia Chamber of Commerce (Walton Building) on October 28, 2014, to coincide with October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  A panel of speakers will discuss their successful experience with hiring and retention of people with disabilities.  The lunch event is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so please reserve your spot by calling 573-777-1506.

Organizations working in partnership to mark the ADA anniversary include: Alternative Community Training, Boone County Family Resources, City of Columbia, Columbia Disabilities Coalition, Job Point, Central Missouri Regional Office, Great Plains ADA Center, MU Equity, People First of Missouri – Columbia Chapter, Thompson Center, Services for Independent Living, United Access, University of Missouri Disability Services and Woodhaven.

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.  Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages — during October and throughout the year — by visiting the ODEP website at www.dol.gov/odep/.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990 under civil rights prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA is divided into five titles (or sections) that relate to different areas of public life: Title I – Employment, Title II – State and Local Government, Title III – Public Accommodations, Title IV – Telecommunications, Title V – Miscellaneous Provisions (http://adata.org/learn-about-ada).

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