October Proclaimed Disability Employment Awareness Month in Tennessee

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 | 5:31pm

Events across the state highlight contributions of people with disabilities to the workplace

Nashville – October has been proclaimed Disability Employment Awareness Month by Governor Haslam as events take place across the state to raise awareness of the talents and abilities of Tennessee citizens with disabilities.

People with disabilities represent a segment of Tennessee’s workforce that possesses educational accomplishments, trained vocational skills, a commitment to do well, enthusiasm and the confidence needed to succeed in their careers.

Over the past year, the Department of Human Services (DHS) Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program has assisted more than 2,300 people reach successful employment, while also providing services to help others accomplish the same. The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), a division within DHS, provides rehabilitation and assistive services to Tennesseans ranging from traumatic brain injury and cognitive impairments to blindness.

Vocational rehabilitation offices across the state as well as the seventeen Tennessee Rehabilitation Centers located in rural communities and the residential comprehensive Tennessee Rehabilitation Center in Smyrna provide numerous services to clients, including vocational training, physical or occupational therapy and transitional life skills.

“At DHS, we work with and proudly serve many individuals living with disabilities across the state and their contributions should not be overlooked,” said DHS Commissioner Dr. Raquel Hatter. “Employers that recruit qualified employees with disabilities realize the benefits of the investment in these amazing individuals.”

State departments, agencies and community partners are working together to provide a system of services and supports for people with disabilities to help them reach their employment goals. One example of this combined effort was illustrated by the Employment First Task Force report recently released.

DHS staff members are working with businesses, partners and other state agencies across Tennessee on activities recognizing Disability Employment Awareness Month. For more information on vocational rehabilitation services, visit: http://www.tn.gov/humanservices/section/disability-services

“My Disability Is One Part of Who I Am.” is the theme of the 2015 National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Learn more at: http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/

The Employment First Task Force report can be found at: http://www.tn.gov/assets/entities/didd/attachments/2015_Expect_Employment_Report-Final.pdf

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Contact: Devin Stone
Office:  615-313-5786

Council on Developmental Disabilities |Human Services |Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities